If you watched any of The Voice, you would have noticed hair feathers. It seemed like every second contestant and celebrity guest was rocking a strand or two of Foghorn Leghorn’s finest.
Having recently done the rounds of the showings from all the high-street fashion brands to see what they have coming for summer, I can tell you feathers are in, whether they’re on earrings, headbands, sleeves, skirts, or clipped into hair as a DIY-instant extension. If you want something a little more permanent though, Navajo Hair Co have come out with some beautiful bohemian feather hair extensions.
As with any other gimmicky trend, these have the potential to look very, very wrong. Joel from Bauhaus Hair put my extensions in and we talked about how they look much better in natural colours that match the hair – pink and blue feathers stick out for the wrong reasons – kind of like you have stuck some pink and blue feathers in your hair (although the team at Navajo tell me these have been the most popular colours to date). Joel and I picked feathers in dark brown and cream, which blend subtly in with my own dark brown tresses. He also explained that placing them under the hair in line with the temples means you just get little flashes of them, rather than them being awkwardly clipped in on top.
They are put into the hair like normal hair extensions – a few strands of hair plus the feather are clamped together with a little microbead. Joel explained that rather than putting it right at the root, he examined the natural fall of my hair and put the feather in about a centimetre down so that it moved with my hair. The feathers (rooster feathers, FYI) are totally fine being heat styled, washed, brushed and blow dried. I have had my extensions in for almost three weeks and they still look bright and fresh, although they are loose at the roots and just about ready to come out (I run my fingers through my hair a lot, and probably wouldn’t do well with real extensions).
I have had so many compliments on them and will definitely get them again – just add maxi-skirt, wedges and floppy hat for boho-chic. And in case you’re a corporate monkey – they are totally office-proof. Just style your hair so they’re hidden 9-5.
Navajo Hair Co Natural Feather Hair Extensions
Price: From $17 per feather (economies of scale – the more you get, the cheaper each one becomes)
From: I had mine put in at Bauhaus Hair in Waterloo – check the website for stockists
Why you need them: For something a little fun and different
Worth noting: These feathers come from roosters who are specifically bred for their feathers.
In order for the feathers to be properly and humanely processed, the roosters are harvested. These feathers come from Whiting Farms, who service not only the feather hair extension market, but also the fly fishing market. This is what Whiting Farms has to say:
In order for the feathers to be properly processed and sold the unavoidable fact is the roosters have to be harvested. This is because what are desired by fly tyers (and fashion folks alike) are the “first nuptial” feathers that the roosters grow (their “breeding plumage”), and subsequent sets of feathers are not as good. But a unique attribute of the lines at Whiting Farms is the “saddle” (back) feathers, that are so highly prized by everyone, never stop growing. So our roosters get an exceptionally long life of almost a year waiting for these saddle feathers to get as long as they can, compared with a meat chicken that is harvested at 35 to 49 days of age. But unlike the brutal end that most commercial chickens endure, at Whiting Farms we euthanize the chickens painlessly so there is no distress nor blood. The meat from our roosters, though I could argue it is the safest meat in the world as we feed no antibiotics nor hormones and the chickens live such a pampered life, cannot be sold nor even given away because of USDA inspection regulations. What is left over after harvesting is composted, in conjunction with wood chips and manure, to create a soil amendment for our irrigated farm crops. So at least nothing is wasted. Plus the meat on these year old roosters is truly tough and pretty minimal as they’ve not been bred for meat, so not very worthwhile or palatable.
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