Shake your tailfeather

Kelly Andrews / Washburn Review

One of the hot trends of this season is feather extensions worn in hair. Although there are probably many who are not aware of it because of its narrow field of interest – but, it’s digging deeper as it becomes apparent that the fad is much more prevalent. Inquiring minds may wonder, what’s the big deal?

At many local salons, one can learn more.

“We haven’t had any for three weeks and it was a two-month wait before that,” said a salon clerk, who wishes to remain anonymous.

The feathers used are tail feathers from roosters. Some are known as saddle feathers and are also used in fly-fishing for lures. A quick Internet search shows that they come in a wide range of prices. They are desirable for many reasons – they are very versatile and durable. They can be left in for long periods of time, up to months, and can handle the same amount of manipulation as real hair. They can be dyed to a wide array of colors, blow dried, flat ironed and curled, as well as braided. Feathers of choice are delicate and thin, making it so they blend in and simply add a bit of panache.

On campus there are several people who have them in their hair, including Karen Kapusta-Pofahl, sociology.anthropology department. She  went to Salon 808 SW 12th St in Topeka. Kapusta-Pofahl said she was vaguely aware of the trend and commented that she was surprised that it cost so much. At Salon 808 it cost $35 for the feathers and $5 for having them put in.

There are alternatives to using the rooster feathers for those who are looking to add interest to their hair.  Faux feathers are an obvious option but wearers should be aware that they are not as durable and resistant, and can only handle up to 200 degrees.

Bling Strands are another option. They are a sparkly hair tinsel- like product that is said to be sweeping the nation. They come in bundle of 90, 450 and 500, and prices start at $5 online and can be found locally for under $20. They can be purchased at a variety of local beauty supply stores or salons as well. These too can be washed while in your hair and styled with the rest of your hair.

Bling Strands are heat resistant up to 300 degrees. According to the product information they can be blow dried, flat ironed and curled. If the real feathers are what you are looking for, they are not as simply found as Bling Strands but only take a few phone calls to find. Locally they can be purchased for about $16, with an additional fee for having them placed.

The flourishing popularity of this hair trend can be seen easily, if you are looking for it. From grade schools to runway models to Aerosmith and American Idol judge, Steven Tyler who wore them while during the show.

“They go really quick,” said Angie Specht a master hair stylist. “We can’t keep up and [you] can’t hardly order them online. They won’t be available until next rooster season”