In case you needed one more reason to avoid falling victim to a fashion trend championed by the likes of Miley Cyrus, Kesha (we refuse to type that dollar sign), and Hilary Duff, we’re here to tell you that feather hair extensions don’t only look dumb, they’re killing roosters as we speak.
A terrifyingly earnest piece from the Seattle Times alerted us to this violent trend, wherein roosters lose their lives and fly fisherman their precious bait. The feathers used for hair extensions, you see, are the same feathers used by fly fisherman as lures — and eager fashionistas everywhere are snatching them up at hundreds of dollars over the market price. These feathers are no ordinary feathers. As Matt Brower, a guide and assistant manager at Idaho Angler in Boise, told the Times, “It takes years and years and years to develop these chickens to grow these feathers. And now, instead of ending up on a fly, it’s going into women’s hair.”
These birds are genetically bred for their feathers and, sadly, most do not survive plucking. Writes the Times:
Whiting Farms is harvesting about 1,500 birds a week for their feathers and still can’t keep up with its current orders, said owner and founder Tom Whiting, a poultry geneticist. The company has stopped taking on new accounts.
“I’ve tried to withhold some for the fly-fishing world because when the fashion trend goes away, which it will, I’ve still got to make a living,” he said.
The most ominous aspect of this trend is its sheer pervasiveness. Its biggest supporters may be in Beverly Hills, but even the smallest of states is not immune.
The company was the one that told Bernstein in Maine several months ago that rooster saddle feathers had somehow become the latest coveted hair accessory. Bernstein said he scoffed at the notion that it could reach his shop along the coast of Southern Maine.
“This is Maine, it’s not California. We’re a little behind the trends here,” he said. “I screwed up. I should have said: ‘Send me everything you’ve got.”‘
So, ladies, stop with the feather extensions. And if you won’t do it for your sartorial credibility, then please, just do it for the roosters. (And the fisherman, duh.)