So probably one of the biggest hair extension trend right now is hair feather extensions. These are long skinny feathers that are attached to your hair using a small metal ring that is clamped shut to hold the feather in place. The idea of them is pretty cool they can be washed and heat styled like they are your own hair but they are honestly nothing new. Feathers have been used in the hair for centuries.
I get a lot of people asking me how i feel about the feather extensions, or if I will do them, and really i can’t just answer by saying no. By just saying no, means that that client will just go somewhere else and not consider how that feather got to her hair, and not considering what an animal goes through just to give you that cool little extension
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to push my beliefs on anyone in anyway, I am simply trying to educate people to think about the source and who had to suffer to make it.
I have had many people justify the feather trend by saying that these are feathers that were naturally shed. While this could be true for some feathers, most however are not this way. If this were the case these companies would have a harder time keeping up with the high demand. And really can you really invision someone walking around in the forest looking for shead feathers.. If that really happened, these feathers would be going for a lot more than $8-$10 per feather.
So where do these feathers usually come from, the fancier feathers come from birds kept in cages and pretty much kept just for their feathers. They aren’t good for meat, or eggs so usually the bird is just simply killed and stripped of its feathers (called feather pelts!) and thrown away.
The alternative to this is plucking… but this to me is even worse it is just a slow painful tourturous life for the bird to have 1 feather plucked at a time.
Some feather companies claim that they get all their feathers from farms that collect the feathers from molting birds, but I would like to see how these birds actually live, and how they are treated before i can make a conscience decision to do these for clients.
You can actually watch a video from a feather farm that primarily provides feathers for fishing tackle but also provides feathers used in hair feathers called Whiting farms, while this video is made to sell their product you can still see how small and how many birds are kept in a cage together, and they actually admit that these birds are different than birds raised “for supermarket use”. They even admit to sending out 65,000 bird hides a week! And still say they do not have enough to meet demands. And this is just one company!! you can see the video here http://www.whitingfarms.com/video/videohigh.html
So what can you do to stop this, its simple don’t follow this trend, do not support companies that support animal cruelty. I know so many people that will not use products that are tested on animals so why is this any different? It’s not, in fact I feel that it is worse… If these birds were used for food and eggs maybe it would be slightly better but these poor birds die just so people can have fun little feathers hanging in their hair, and no other reason.
I refuse to compromise my integrity for the sake of a buck, so I cannot provide this service to my clients. It’s hard for me to post this on my page because it is controversial, but as the feather trend grows and grows and I get asked more and more to do it, I figured it is better for me to address it now than to ignore it, and then maybe i can help spread the word about how horrible a trend like this is and educate clients and stylists why they should also not perform this service.
Animal welfare has always been a passion of mine, and it always will be, no animals should have to suffer to make a person feel cool, or trendy. I was hoping with the green trend that caring for the ethical treatment of all animals would soon follow, but this trend is a total step in the wrong direction.
“The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but rather, “Can they suffer?” ~Jeremy Bentham”