Hair Feathers: Totally Cute, Totally Over, or Best Left on the Chickens?

I don't want to be a magical woodland fairy.
Publish date:
September 6, 2011
DIY, cultural appropriation, hair extensions, hippies, feathers

I would like to discuss the whole hair-feather-extension phenomenon. Don’t know what I’m talking about? This is a trend in which people get feathers stuck in their hair. On purpose. For fashion.

I know I'm late to the party on this. I’ve seen these extensions referenced as “bohemian” or, less indulgently, as a hippie thing. “Oh, I was just romping in the forest with the woodland creatures and these feathers magically became woven in my hair! Tee hee!”

I am not usually into the bohemian nor the hippie thing, but I find myself super attracted to hair feathers, and equally confounded by my attraction, for the following reasons.

First: I can’t decide if this is cultural appropriation or not. We all know that wearing Native American-inspired headdresses as hipster fashion is a very bad idea, right? Or at least in extremely poor taste. This is not a matter of the dreaded “political correctness,” but a case of literally stealing an article with enormous cultural significance to an oppressed minority and cheapening it by using it as a funny/ironic/”exotic” prop. Not cool.

Being that I feel so strongly about feathers in headdress form, I have to consider whether these extensions are any less problematic.

Second: I can’t decide if feather extensions are simply stupid. Is this the kind of thing I’ll see pictures of myself wearing 10 years from now and wonder what the heck I was thinking?

Third: I refuse to pay $25 per feather in a salon. This means I am going to have to buy a DIY feather-extension kit, probably from Etsy’s extensive list of offerings, to give them a shot. This means figuring out how those silicone link things work. This means probably trailing feathers from my ineptly-applied extensions everywhere I go, like a sad hippie with feather-mange. Such is my tenative plan right now, and I shall report back on my success/failure.

What do you think, dear readers? Is there a compelling reason I should NOT stick feathers in my hair? Do you have feathers stuck in your hair RIGHT NOW, and is it awesome?