Feather Hair Extensions:Fisherman Not Happy And Roosters Die From Overplucking
Steven Tyler rocked them on American Idol, and now they are all the rage. I'm all about fashion but the latest crazy of feather hair extensions, well maybe not so much after reading about them.
They are the same feathers that fly fishermen use and the process of getting the feathers are a difficult one.
The feathers come from roosters that are genetically bred and raised for their plumage. In most cases, the birds do not survive the plucking.
At Whiting Farms Inc., in western Colorado, one of the world's largest producers of fly tying feathers, the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers — the ones on the bird's backside and the most popular for hair extensions — grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized.
Fly shop manager Jim Bernstein was warned that hair stylists would come banging on his door, but he didn't listen.
Sure enough, less than 24 hours later, a woman walked into the Eldredge Bros. Fly Shop in Maine and made a beeline toward a display of hackles — the long, skinny rooster feathers fishermen use to make lures.
"She brought a bunch up to the counter and asked if I could get them in pink," he said. "That's when I knew."
Fly-fishing shops nationwide, he learned, are at the center of the latest hair trend: Feather extensions. Supplies at stores from the coasts of Maine to landlocked Idaho are running out and some feathers sold online are fetching hundreds of dollars more than the usual prices.