Brazilian Split Ends Treatment Involves Fire

Brazilians (and their supermodels) have great hair. Hi, Gisele Bundchen! But they really do have some cray cray methods of dealing with things like split ends. Model Barbara Fialho, who has strutted her stuff for Victoria's Secret, nixes chemical treatments for her tired tresses in favor of something much more elemental and more, well, technically au naturel. No, it's not water. Nor is it air or earth. It's fire. Yes, fire.

Wait, what?

Fialho, who said that she would "lose all [her] hair" if she used strong chemical treatments, so instead she opts for the open flame of a candle (!!!) as part of the velaterapia procedure at the high end Laces and Hair Salon in São Paolo. For this signature, er, procedure, the stylist runs the flame of the candle along the hair to burn off the split ends, effectively cauterizing the strands, locking in moisture.

It's a two-to-three hour procedure. Who needs a regular trim every six-to-eight weeks when you can, you know, incinerate your split ends instead?

In case you share The Hound's fear of flame, the salon also offers a cut where it only snips the split ends in hair, a procedure that Alessandra Ambrosio and Isabeli Fontana like.

However, the candle method just sounds dangerous, and like an accident waiting to happen. Hair, like paper, is flammable. One errant flick of the arm and poof! You could end up with a charred pixie cut and not by choice. We're not trying to make light of the situation, but this is a really literal case of playing with fire.

Josue Perez, celeb stylist and Rowenta Beauty brand ambassador, who has had his hands in many a famous head, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz, commented on this treatment. As I suspected, he doesn't think it's a good idea, either.

"I would not recommend this procedure to anyone," Perez said. "Although the Brazilian stylists claim to use this as a method to get rid of split ends, it would only dry out the hair even more. Burning hair at such a high temperature will completely dry out the hair, leaving the ends stripped of moisture."

Perez offered an alternative method, saying, "Many women will go to any length to avoid the scissors and cutting length. So instead of taking such a drastic measure, you could ask your stylist to cut your hair when it's dry so that the stylist can clearly see the difference between the split, dead ends and your healthy hair, and ensure to only polish off the unwanted dead ends." So it sounds like he would be okay with the other split ends cutting method, just not the burning one.

Here's a video of the treatment, where you can see the candle do its thing. I winced through the entire thing.

Image: Getty Images