Fatal fashion accessories: Feather hair extensions
Category : Uncategorized
Are you thinking about wearing feather hair extensions? Consider learning the facts first.
I actually put up a post about feathers and down about two months ago, but I only mentioned at the end the burgeoning trend of wearing long rooster feathers as hair extensions. Though the feathers were originally used as bait for fly fishers, their newly fashionable status developed because of celebrities like Steven Tyler, Miley Cyrus, and Kesha, all of whom have been seen wearing them at various events. Since I wrote my original blog post, however, the popularity of these extensions has grown even more–they are advertised in several different hair salons, and at least a handful of young women are wearing them. And so I thought we could use an update.
Many people are under the false impression that the feathers are molted naturally from living roosters, that they are fake, or that they are cruelty-free. If only this were the case.
Some info about feather hair extensions, from our page on Down and Feathers:
- The roosters are killed at about one year old for their feathers, and their bodies are thrown into the compost. (Chickens can live 10 or 15 years.) These birds are bred solely for their feathers; according to Tom Whiting of Whiting Farms, the largest fly feather producer in the world, they “aren’t good for anything else.”
- The birds are raised in enormous, windowless sheds with thousands of other roosters. At six months old, they are put into the individual cages in which they will live the last half of their lives.
“[We’re] sentencing [each rooster] to a solitary cage for the last 6 months, with nothing to look at or listen to other than lots of other confined roosters … [y]our sentiments can quickly shift from wanting to evaluate their necks to wringing [t]hem. Some of my most sheepish moments in life have been after hurling an especially bad rooster across the barn in utter frustration…”
- Now that the feathers have become fashionable, Whiting Farms slaughters 1,500 roosters every single week.
Some might be tempted to seek out animal-friendly feathers, but remember, the only feathers that are absolutely guaranteed to be animal-friendly are those that don’t come from birds at all. For example, a company called Fine Featherheads originally described their hair extensions as “cruelty-free” and sourced from “ethically treated” roosters. A few months ago, however, it was revealed that like many so other companies selling feather extensions, Fine Featherhead’s extensions come from Whiting Farms. (Fine Featherheads ended up dropping the cruelty-free claims from their website.) I think it’s safe to say that relatively few people would consider a product that results in the confinement and death of an animal to be cruelty-free.
Still can’t get over the appearance of feathery hair extensions? MegsFauxFeathers on Etsy sells a variety of absolutely beautiful synthetic versions of these otherwise fatal fashion accessories that look like the real thing. Just remember to tell people that they aren’t made of real roosters!
- Fur Tails, Feather Extensions…What’s So Hip About Cruelty? (Vancouver’s Animal Voices Radio)
- High fashion or bait? Fly ties now hair extensions (Seattle Times)
- Feather Hair Extensions: More Cruelty for the Sake of Fashion (blogs.timesunion.com)