Burning off hair has long been a major fear for those of us who regularly use curling and straight irons. The smell is horrible, but also losing a giant chunk of hair is never great. So you can bet when we first heard about women going to a salon and paying to get their hair burned with a candle’s flame, we were super confused.

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The process is called velaterapia and it’s been popular in Brazil for some time now. Velaterapia has gained recent media attention from Victoria’s Secret models like Alessandra Ambrosio and Barbara Fialho who have revealed that they’re both fans of the treatment. So what is all this madness about? Let us explain.

The main idea behind velaterapia is that burning off split ends leaves hair looking smooth and shiny. The hair stylist begins by dividing hair in small sections and twisting it. Then, they light a candle and move the flame up and down the twisted section. The heat from the flame causes damaged parts of the hair to stick out. Those ends are then trimmed and the rest of the hair is given a deep conditioning treatment. The burning process is said to open up the hair follicle, which allows the conditioning treatment to be super effective.

Of course, the idea of putting a flame to your hair doesn’t sit so well with every hair stylist. Hair expert Elizabeth Cunnane-Phillips told Refinery29: “While burning split ends might remove the split in the hair, you are also creating a potential vulnerability to the fiber itself, which results in weaker strands. There are a lot more effective ways to remove split ends than to burn it off. I would say, don’t take the risk.”

If you do still want to give the treatment a try, this is definitely, definitely not a good idea to try at home. Let’s leave this one to the professionals, folks.

Have you ever tried velaterapia before? Tell us how it worked in the comments below.

(Photos via @alessandraambrosio and @antoniettahairspa)