Is your hair a fire hazard? (sponsored by today's top viral video)

A model at a recent Diddy-sponsored event was just soaking in a bath surrounded by candles and about 300 other people (wtf?) when all of a sudden she smelled something burning. The back of her hair had kissed a candle flame and immediately caught fire. Lucky for her she was in a pool of water and put out the fire without too much damage. Unlucky for her, the whole thing was caught on tape and is making the rounds across the internet.(warning: it's not totally safe for work)

While it's hard to relate to her particular public bathing scenario, the flammable hair situation is one I know intimately. The mixture of styling products, frizz and a match has not once, but twice, turned my hair into a momentary inferno. And the tale of another friend, whose curly locks got caught in the crossfire of her Bat Mitzvah candles has haunted me for years. (She was fine, but she did have to cut all her hair off which is not so fun at 13). And we all know about Michael Jackson's brush with flame while making a Pepsi commercial in the '80s.

So what would Smokey the Bear say about flammable hair? First off, if you're sitting in front of a candle just put your hair up to be safe. Big hair, in particular, is like a toddler: it will get into just about anything if you're not watching it. Trust me, I know. Then there's the matter of styling products. Avoid gels and conditioners that contain alcohol if you're planning to be anywhere near an open flame. Several hair sprays even have flammable warning signs because of the high risk. Mousse products also contain the flammable agent Butane, an aerosol propellent that doubles as a recipe for disaster. Check out sites to see if any styling agents you own are on the danger zone list for being highly flammable. If you do find yourself singing some of your locks, your best bet is to cut off the charred pieces immediately tospeed up regrowth. And skip flat irons for a few months. Any reminder of heat trauma will send your hair into shock. And really, hasn't it been through enough?

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