Without a doubt, one of the most popular trends this summer is feather hair extensions. They’ve been popping up everywhere, from the streets to our television screens. Celebrities such as Selena Gomez, designer Wendy Nichol, and even Heidi Klum have been spotted sporting the trend, along with accessorized appearances on hit shows, such as Pretty Little Liars. But we’ve got to ask: where do these feathers come from, and why are they suddenly so popular?
Believe it or not, the feathers are from rooster plumes that are commonly used in fly-fishing—why, how chic! These roosters are specially bred and genetically altered to produce long, luxurious feathers (which can take years to grow) before they are euthanized and de-feathered. Because of the flexibility that these feathers are prized for, when put in the hair as an extension, they can be styled just like natural hair. Usually, the feathers can be straightened, washed, blow-dried and curled, and they last up to several weeks. They add a whimsical, summery look to hair—perfect for this season.
However, there is some controversy behind this hair trend. Since demand for the feathers is so high, more and more roosters are being killed– lately in record numbers. Many animal rights groups have begun to protest the sharp incline of killings, and a few salons have even started to sell cruelty-free feathers in response to the criticism.
Some view the feathers as an easy, natural way to style your hair— while others simply find it tacky. But are the feather hair extensions just a fad, or an official trend for 2011? Looks like time will tell!