Skip to Main Content

DIY Hair ‘Feathers’

Written by Ashley Palmer | June 23, 2011

Feather hair extensions seem to be the latest fashion craze, but is this trend worth killing for? Thousands of roosters are losing their lives so that people can wear their feathers as hair accessories. To me, that sounds more like a tragedy than a trend.

Luckily, I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve, and with these easy, fun, and animal-friendly DIY versions of feather hair extensions, you can get the look without harming any birds. It’s a win-win situation! So get craftin’, and go flaunt your featherless fashion.

DIY Hair ‘Feathers’
3/8-inch (or smaller) shiny ribbon, any color
Your favorite cruelty-free paint or nail polish, any color
Bobby pins

  • Cut the ribbon lengthwise to form very thin strands. One end of each should come to a point.
  • Lay out the cut ribbon and add colored stripes with the paint or nail polish. Let dry overnight.
  • Secure to your hair with the bobby pins.
Commenting is closed.
  • Vandyke says:

    What’s up, yeah this post is truly good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  • jane says:

    Its almost kind of hypocritical… kill a rooster for a feather, kill ecosystems releasing the byproducts of producing synthetic ribbon and nail varnish into the air and water. Entirely redundant.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I see a lot of guinea feathers being used for these. We have some pet guineas and chickens, so I was thinking of just collecting the feathers that they shed naturally and making my own feather clips out of those. The birds are losing them naturally, and we have a lot of really pretty birds, so I’ll look great and be 100% cruelty free!

  • Babe says:

    my feathers r %100 crulety free!!!!

  • Mrs. Bieber says:

    I recently got clip in feathers and had a few people comment on them. Some said i was killing birds..but i agree with the other people. No live birds are plucked. Synthetic feathers are great too. Mine aren’t real(:

  • Holly says:

    This may not be accessible everywhere but if you visit a national park anytime soon, you can find feathers, even peacock feathers, just lying on the ground. The best bet may just be making sure you source your own feathers or you know where they come from.

  • Jessica says:

    I had feather in my hair 🙁 I had no idea they were real especially since they can be curled and straightened 🙁 I got them removed today. No fashion trend is worth the suffering of animals!!!!!!!!!

  • HR says:

    I luv this option of using synthetic feathers-just wondering if anyone has actually ordered from the Hair Royalty website & if so how are the synthetic feathers? Im a hairstylist & while i like the look of feather extensions I own a blue crown conure so the thought of using real bird feathers grosses me out! Im sure the rest of my salon would rather opt for a cruelty free option & other salons would hopefully take notice:)

  • Lylo says:

    definitely giving this a go, i’m allergic to feathers and the extensions look great. i’m veggie so i wouldnt use them either way. but giving this a go and let you know what i think 🙂

  • drunken housewife says:

    Thank you so much for this! My daughters want these feather hair extensions so much, and this looks like a great cruelty-free way to replicate the trendy look.

    We love birds very much (I’ve done volunteer work at a wild bird rehabilitation center) and would never eat one, so it would be a bit hypocritical to buy these hair extensions.

  • hairstylist says:

    Since day one when the feathers became popular i didnt like the idea. I can only imagne when they are in such high demand and on back order for weeks and weeks, that the need to supply us all wih feathers is becoming more and more unethical. Some even still have raw hide attatched to the end. So wrong and so gross. In which case i came up with an ethical alternative at my salon. Neutral and brihtly colored individual fusion human hair extentions, dotted with black or brown hair color. Voila! Looks even better than feathers, and can be washed and heat styled like your own hair! No birds harmed!

  • Rev. Meg says:

    This is the 21st century. The only beings who should be wearing feathers are birds. For many years I wore hair wraps; a lock of hair would be wrapped in colorful string with beads woven in. No animal had to die for that.

  • Cat says:

    If I may…I like the look of these feathers, especially the undyed ones; many birds have some religious significance for me; and I would’ve been wearing found feathers in my hair years ago, but that there was no way to do it (bobby pins definitely don’t hold in small feathers.) However, not wanting to be part of the animal-abuse demographic any more than we all already are, I brought my stylist feathers I’d picked up off the ground, in the woods, from birds I recognized–gift feathers, you might say. They’re more subtle than the rooster saddle, more personally meaningful, cruelty-free…and cheaper. For me, that’s the win-win way to do feathers.

  • Piranha says:

    The best way to get this trend to stop is for someone in Hollywood or the fashion industry to find the newest thing and wear it. Tomorrow my daughter and her friends are going to get ribbon and barrettes to make some “xanadu” barrettes. Maybe even bring back that 80’s trend!!

  • AW says:

    People, there is no live plucking. The birds are grown and then killed for their feathers. The feathers are typically sold in a bunch still attached to the skin. Also, these chickens are all specially bred for creating these specific types of feathers (they were actually created for the fly fishing industry). There is no meaningful human meat consumption associated with these birds although it’s likely that the meat is incorporated into pet or other animal food, maybe McNuggets?

  • nope says:

    The birds are geneticly engineered for the long feathers… these are NOT just normal chicken. The Roosters a killed and then skined for the feathers. None of the feathers are “plucked from live birds”

  • BLL says:

    JustSaying well of course birds loose their feathers naturally but people aren’t going to go scouring through the woods looking for these feathers. If that were the case these feathers would be even more than they already are. I like this ribbon idea, too bad they don’t stay in longer…

  • aleknows says:

    Real feathers can be shampooed, styled and even curled. These ribbons will melt as soon as you put heat on them and you will have a disaster in your hair. They do not just kill the bird for the feathers, if they want to make any money they will harvest the entire corpse (food, etc).

  • animalstoo says:

    Every part of an animal is used. If its a meat chicken, those feathers are pulled and sold. When egg layers are dying, their feathers and pulled and sold. Nothing is free and no one is kind about it. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • shalee says:

    join the few of us that care and show your distaste – dont wear cruelty on your head!

  • PV says:

    I’ll never wear these.

  • msalabama says:

    Humans are disgusting. Parasites in shoes.

  • Leyla Alghazi says:

    I think it is disgusting that a person would entertain wearing attire and for vanity, that they know means an animal losing it’s life for. My Daughter has hair extensions made with real human hair. If Humans were made to wear feathers we would have been born with them.

  • anne hoesch says:

    this is a deplorable fashion trend, its bad enough that birds are plucked alive (agonising) twice a year to make bed quilts and feather pillows, this is the equivalent of someone pulling out your hair by the handful, imagine how painful that is!! but for hair accessories!!!!! this should be illegal, there is no need for such cruelty and anyone wearing these feathers should be ashamed!

  • ash- E says:

    yeah, so… i live on a chicken farm, we have about 150 peeps. chickens molt and shed every darn feather they would be very stupid to kill your birds just for there feathers since the molt several times during there bird…more feathers…no brainier here. if the animal shed it, it’s free for the taking the last time i checked.

  • Ashley-P says:

    Farmers are unable to keep up with the demand for feathers to be used as hair extensions, which is why they don’t wait for the feathers to fall out naturally during molting. Instead they pluck the feathers, which would be the equivalent of someone pulling out every strand of hair on your head. The birds are killed in the process.

  • JustSaying says:

    correct me if I’m wrong but don’t birds naturally lose feathers?
    I’m pretty sure they’re not killing these birds for they’re feathers.

  • Hair Royalty says:

    Alternative rooster Feather Hair Extension, No Killing of Animals! Pass it on

  • Cece says:

    Fake feathers are good, right?
    I found some down by the creek, is it ok if i use those?

  • Sara says:

    I don’t see why people can buy such a thing when they know that an aninal was tourched and killed so that that one feather could be bought! Why don’t all people make this? It saves money and most importantly saves an animals life.

  • Jessica Smith says:

    Technically, the birds aren’t raised for their feathers for hair extensions. The feathers are used as bait when fishing.

  • Summer says:

    The reason roosters have to die is because cruel, greedy humans want ALL their feathers at once. Boycott this trend. Who really need feathers in their hair to look ‘attractive’. Gal in the picture, great hair by the way. Kindness is an attractive quality and cruelty is not. Who or what are you planning to attract anyway…a bird?

  • Ann says:

    Why would they raise chickens just for this. It is more likely that they are getting the feathers as a by product of the meat industry. So buying the feathers shouldn’t really be killing 1,000’s of chickens, it would be the eating of them that do that.

  • Design Your Career says:

    Ashley, great business idea by Jessi. I would also suggest creating a video – put it on You Tube and add the link in all of your social media platforms. The business idea is either make them for sale or create a fun how to video (you could charge for that as well) give all of the proceeds to PETA, keep a % or keep it all. Need help getting started with your soloprenuer venture give me a “holler”.

  • Nora-V says:

    Cute! Great conversation starter too…using fashion to talk about animal rights!

  • jessi says:

    I think you guys should make them for people instead of having them make them themselfs i think it would go over better and help out more exspecially if they were cheaper cause ive looked at those things and they cost a arm and a leg to get a set of 2 !

  • Sunrae says:

    This is a great idea. Sometimes I wear a feather that I found in the woods, I hope people don’t think I am hurting any bird by doing so!

  • Lisa D says:

    Roosters often don’t survive the plucking. I read an article about it a couple of weeks ago.

  • katie says:

    It’s because the demand is so high for these “fashion” items that they are not just letting the roosters molt at their natural times. Stress causes them to molt more often. The people that are “raising” these roosters are just in it for the money and want the roosters to produce as much as possible. The more they can get out of them before they die, the better. And most of the time they are using the birds for JUST their feathers and then tossing them.

  • Jenn Batte says:

    Teri, I understand what you are saying. My Dad had peacocks and like roosters, they loose feathers. However, I think it is the amount of feathers that are needed. Something this popular would take a lot of feathers and people picking them up. So it is easier to kill and pull the feathers off in clumps.

  • GestaltZe says:

    Roosters lose feathers, but with the large demand for these ‘accessories’, it’s not financially viable to just wait for naturally shed feathers. It’s not right, but that’s the way it works.
    Thanks for the great craft!

  • Teri Ames says:

    Not sure why roosters have to die. It isnt’ as though tail feathers are not renewable. We use to have 3 roosters (range free) and they would loose their tailfeathers all the time. Those mean suckers were lucky to be alive. Had to carry a stick to go collect the eggs.

  • Teri Ames says:

    Not sure why roosters have to die. It isnt’ as though tail feathers are not renewable. We use to have 3 roosters (range free) and they would loose their tailfeathers all the time. Those mean suckers were lucky to be alive. Had to carry a stick to go collect the eggs.