So why on earth am I sitting there grinning while unseen hands take a candle to my hair? Well, in Brazil, it’s know as velaterapia and it is a favourite and time-honoured technique for getting rid of split ends in long hair. And now the Richard Ward MetroSpa in Chelsea is offering it, so I felt I had to try it — I thought that, with their high-grade clientele (Middletons, Chelsea-luxe, etc) I was surely in safe hands.
And it was fascinating. Basically, the hair is twisted into tight chunks so that all the short ends stick out – then these are singed off with the candle which somehow doesn’t set the rest of the hair on fire, though obviously it burns off a lot of little ends that aren’t split and leaves it all sooty (and smells alarming, too). But then you can’t snip out every split end throughout a long length of hair, so from that point of view, it does the job beautifully. The man with the candle is Nando Lopes, the education director at the salon and yes, he is indeed a pair of safe hands. I’ve written a whole piece on it which is sitting in a newspaper’s stockpile and I’ll link to that should it ever see the light of day.
Candle Clinic treatment, from £195, Richard Ward Hair and Metrospa, www.richardward.com. The Candle Clinic includes a cleanse, condition, trim (if required) and blow dry.