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Feather Hair Extensions: A Trend Worth Killing For?

The following article was written by Keegan Baur.

Would you support the slaughter of thousands of animals each week just so that you could jump on board with the latest fashion trend? That’s exactly what girls are doing when they purchase feather hair extensions for their locks.

Upon first glance, feather hair extensions might seem innocent enough, but they are in fact the reason that many roosters lose their lives. Roosters used to make these extensions are bred and genetically altered to produce long, luxurious saddle feathers (the ones on their backsides, which can take years to grow) before they are killed and de-feathered for their precious plumage. What costs these animals their lives in turn costs anywhere from $40 to $500 per saddle and can only be worn by the consumer for a scant two or three months.

Fortunately, you don’t need blood on your hands in order to strut your stuff like a peacock! Stay tuned for our DIY ribbon version of these accessories or check out these alternative rooster feather extensions.

Read more about this fashion fad on The PETA Files.

Commenting is closed.
  • flower*child says:

    There’s no reason why anyone would need to buy the real ones at all. I’ve got some really convincing synthetic hair feathers that I got on eBay for £1.20 (I’m in the UK) for festivals and such … they’re like the real thing. On eBay at least I’d noticed that a larger number of people seem to have bought the fake ones than the real ones, which is very heartening to see. I have no problem with people choosing to eat meat and could sort of understand if the feathers came from chickens used for food (even though I don’t exactly agree with that myself), but to kill them inhumanely and solely for the feathers is a disgusting practice. Well done PETA for bringing this to our attention.

  • bee says:

    The feathers used in extension, pink, blue, purple are indeed really feathers, although they may not feel like really feathers. They are dyed rooster feather which come from the saddle or rear end of a rooster. They are obviously not the common rooster we see on farms. These feathers have been used for a long time by fly fishers and have recently gained popularity in the fashion industry for extension and jewellery. Although the increased demand for these feathers have contributed to the death of more roosters than previously I still question why this valuing of roosters lives has only become an issue when women started using them for fashion rather than when men continue to use them for fly fishing. Is this a double standard?

  • Purple Rocker says:

    I’m pretty sure that the feathers that people buy (neon pink with zebra stripes, turquoise, etc.) aren’t real feathers. They don’t even feel like real feathers. I think most of them are fake feathers- like the ones in feather boas.

  • hana says:

    I dont know what other people are thinking about, but I think it is fine to wear hair feathers. As long as you eat chicken, or other animals, why cant we wear hair feathers? I just bought some from and they are gorgeous, I think I can understand those who also are wearing faux feathers!

  • Fake Oakleys says:

    Feather on hair doesn’t contribute anything other than money to inhumane industries. but is anyone here really exempt from cruelty (whatever animal, including humans) ? that is my only question.

  • greengirl27 says:

    we ashould file an animal cruelty act against this

  • Veronica says:

    Its worth a mention that fishermen have been using these feathers for fly-fishing expeditions for years and yet cruelty to the birds is only mentioned when ‘girls’are using them as a ‘silly’fashion accessory!

  • kattykat says:

    Guess what? I’m so terribly allergic to feathers these things could kill me. i wouldve had to leave school if the administration hadnt banned them. So yes, it’s killing roosters and children.

  • Doc says:

    The feather trend is a cruel one, unless you can take the animals out of the equation. Doctored Locks has done just that! Synthetic and Human hair faux feathers! Get the same great look, only VEGAN!

  • Bayee1975 says:

    I was at a Christmas craft show yesterday selling hats that I make (all animal free materials!). One of the stipulations for renting a table was that you had to “Hand make” your product. There was a table across from me selling these feathers, obviously not made by this woman’s hands!. My 6 yr old who just loves feathers really wanted one. I explained to her in a clear somewhat loud voice that they torture and kill roosters to get these feathers. Then I asked her to imagine someone yanking off her pony tail just so they could “be cool” and wear it! Harsh yes but honest. Myself and my daughter love animals especially the feathered kind. My daughter changed her mind and said she would just keep finding the feathers on the ground because she doesn’t want to hurt the roosters. These make me sick and should be banned!

  • BunnyLove says:

    I bought cruelty-free hair feathers at

    They’re made of a heat resistant synthetic material. They also look a heck of a lot better than any animal feathers!!

  • Stormcloud335 says:

    Poor birds! What does having a feather in your hair contribute to?

  • Purple Box Jewelry says:

    In some cases, some of the birds are losing their feathers naturally and then people are using them for jewelry. Not the norm but I have heard of some instances.

  • DeAun says:

    This article has really opened my eyes.But I really do love feather jewelry,i would like to continue wearing only synthetic feathers instead of real. how can i tell whether the feathers are synthetic or real

  • Roxana says:

    So everyone that is flipping out here is a vegetarian? There are a lot of valid points that people make in here like: your shirt was made in china maybe by an underpaid child. Or, feathers were already used by fishermen… ok.. BUT.. fashion increased the demand for the feathers so there is actually even more roosters killed for no reason other than having the feather attached to your hair. At least the fishermen get fish. Feather on hair doesn’t contribute anything other than money to inhumane industries.

    but is anyone here really exempt from cruelty (whatever animal, including humans) ? that is my only question.

  • Kellie says:

    I am so heartbroken after hearing about this. I was about to get them until my hairdresser told me how against it she was and explained how they only kill these poor roosters just for the feathers. People need to be made aware that this is a cruel trend, because if my hairdresser had not told me I would have been clueless and would have just thought they were fake feathers.

  • Animal luver says:

    I hate feather hair extensions and earriong, all the people who wear them look ridiculous and stupid, they’re so not worth buying except for the man-made ones, those I have to say I like!

  • angryteeth says:

    Of cousre we should think about these animals when we make up.
    Girls who like these feather hair extensions can buy man-made one.
    I know a website is selling man-made ones, but looks very beautiful.
    You can get 10% off by the coupon code ANGELL73.

  • synthetic feather hair extensions says:

    It’s really really a pain for pet, i don’t like this way fashion,

  • Viper says:

    Hey which stores can you get the fake feathers like which art stores

  • hihihibybyby says:

    hi im so sad 4 the birds

  • sardawg329 says:

    HOWEVER, there are the synthetic feathers that are being used in several salons. So before we all flip out, let’s do a little more research. Because I’m pretty sure clothing you are wearing that is made in China by some underpaid enslaved child is just as bad

  • Alyssa says:

    I’m pissed at Kesha and steven tyler for spreading this shit like wildfire. People are sheep and will follow anything a celebrity does. I’m willing to bet if they hadn’t done it it wouldn’t be nearly as popular. Isn’t Kesha supposed to be an animal rights supporter anyway?

  • Erikaaa(: says:

    I’m writing an article about how cruel the chickens are treated. You know they don’t even eat all of them afterwards? The male chickens are known to have tough and stringy meat therefor undesired. Most farmers either throw the bodies to the pigs or eat the few that they can themselves. The rest is left to rot. Also, the whole process of obtaining the feathers is horrid. They isolate these chickens in cages for about 30 weeks before plucking their saddle feathers off. THEN they wait for them to die; If they don’t, then they are euthanized. Oh yeah. This is totally worth some tacky hair extension that won’t even last a year.

  • Ashley-P says:

    Felicitas: Unfortunately, it seems there is no such thing as “cruelty-free” when humans are looking to profit from animals. 🙁 I would suggest trying one of the many faux-feather alternatives in place of real feathers: you’ll get the look without hurting any birds! 🙂

  • Felicitas says:

    There are places where you can find cruelty and kill free feathers. If you bring them to salons, they’ll (usually) let you use your own.

  • Meghan Barton says:

    The feathers in art stores are synthetic unless stated otherwise.

  • Canaduck says:

    Hey Bubbles, (one comment below)–the feathers in art supply stores aren’t any more fake than the ones that fall off the rooster. Where do you think they get them, after all? The person who called you a murderer was completely out of line, but unfortunately your art supply feathers are as real as real can be.

  • Bubbles says:

    I am totally against people harming animals, but some poeple who are against animal cruelty are disrespectful, and pathetic. I have feather extensions in my hair. The other day I had someone cuss me out because of them. They called me a “murderer” and they said some pretty mean things. What that person didn’t know was that my feathers are FAKE. They are the ones you buy at art supply stores. So I believe if you are going to say something to someone about such things make sure you find out if they are real.

  • Don't Know says:

    Okay, i totally think that what they were doing is TOTALLY 100% WRONG, but guess whats so awesome with todays technology? They can make FAKE ones!:)) So stop this abuse AND still follow the trend with getting fake ones! TOTALLY cool and non cruel!:))

  • Crazy says:

    Roosters are bred for their feathers, their feathers have been used by fly fishers for years, to catch and kill another animal. Pick and choose your battles.

  • little_bow says:

    Feather extensions look cool!!! They are an interesting switch from hair extensions!! And trust me, I work at a childrens boutique, I know everyone wants them!!

    Everyone thinks they’re plastic, like how certian hair extensions are. People DO NOT know that they are anything but plastic. I have so many hair extensions that are plastic that I’ve used, that it didn’t even tip me that they were real feathers. Even when the packageing for the feathers states that “You can curl them” (on a low heat setting) I still didn’t think they were real. I’ve straightened many hair extensions before that were plastic, so I didn’t think twice about the feathers. I strongly suggest that instead of saying hateful or cruel things to people and making graphic comments..we should tell people. Because it’s not the people who buy it who are bad, as much as the people who sell it. The people selling the feathers are hurting the birds the worst. So if you tell buyers, and give alternatives that look just as splendid as feathers, I can pretty much almost 100% guarantee, that people will change. With working in a boutique..I know companies only sell what people want and with that in mind if you change what people want, the companies will move on to something else (hopefully less cruel). And if not? just like any trend…it’ll die out fast :). Just remember…it’s not common knowledge!! Not enough People know!! I didn’t know until months and months later after the trend started!!! So tell people about it 🙂

  • alyssa says:

    errrrrryone, chill!
    this is to anybody who wants to wear the feathers but doesn’t wanna kill any roosters:
    these are 100% synthetic and cruelty free. i just ordered 10 for $10
    i’m not being paid by the website or anything to post this; i wanted to share this! i’m sooo excited that i found these.

  • Kelly says:

    There is also a way of obtaining these feathers cruelty free!!!! There are several places currently offering such. They are only obtained through the natural molting process and then hand dyed by individuals. They ate of course TONS more expensive, but it’s $$$ well spent to me. I am a devoted animal activist and this is a great solution. I often pick up peacock feathers from my yard and at my zoo where the “local” free roaming peacocks drop their feathers!!! Google cruelty free feathers as well as try easy .com 🙂

  • Lindz says:

    It may be wrong and ignorant to wear fur and feathers, but to say that you hate those people and that they are scum is also wrong! My local grocery store only sells regular meat and eggs that come from slaughter houses, where they toss around and neglct the livestock, doesnt mean im not gonna eat it, the spoiled food gets thrown in the trash anyway. I respect peoples opinions on animal rights, but don’t call the rest of the world scum. Learn to be more tolerant and not fricken chicken nazis.

  • Steph says:

    Oh dear, I really liked this trend I didn’t think they actually killed the rooster for it. People are so impatient, most birds molt (shed there feathers to replace them with winter/summer ones) twice a year. No need for killing!

  • Qing says:

    Lindz, I very strongly dislike you. They pluck the feathers off poor innocent chickees, too, and the don’t actually KILL the “poor innocent indian girls”

  • MegsFauxFeathers says:

    Take a look at this cruelty free alternative to the rooster feather extensions.
    Cruelty Free Synthetic Feather Hair Extensions

  • lindz says:

    I love wearing feathers in my hair. It taps me into my native background :)If anyone has hair extensions here…just so you know they chop the hair off poor innocent indian girls.

  • Nicola Payne says:

    That’s actually really weird, really, really weird. I’ve never heard of this before. The idea of having dead bird in your hair is just disgusting.
    It’s pathetic they are all following each other and supporting this slaughter in the name of ‘fashion’.

  • STARSHINE says:

    Yeah, this feather thing is terrible, but at least these rooster get to live life for a while, what about the chicken factory in Iowa that grinds up 300,000 live newly hatched male chicks a day because they can’t lay eggs, like the female chicks they “let” survive to grow up and become laying hens and have a miserable life stuffed in a too small metal cage with other hens who can’t walk around, just sit and peck on each other. Maybe the male chicks are the lucky ones? No, I don’t think being ground up alive we be a humaine way to end a little life either!

  • Carol Reins says:

    Fashionistas…will do anything for their vanity.

  • Sam Grr says:

    I’m so confused! There’s people contradicting PETA, and others supporting their view on this… Who do I believe?!

  • Nicole says:

    To the so called “animal lovers” who are appalled at those who compare animal cruelty to human cruelty: you are part of the problem! That is specie-ism. Who determines whether one life is more important than another? Just like sex-ism, rac-ism, and age-ism. Besides, those comments (baby fingers) are simply analogies and jokes. If you are so offended and think it’s okay to kill roosters for their feathers, why are you on PETA’s comment page anyways?

  • linda says:

    a, who cares if fishermen suffer – they cause enough suffering themselves we don’t need to worry about them!
    b…this trend is being driven by steven tyler’s use of them and his increased visibility on that music show he judges. ask him not to wear these, peta needs to go out to him directly and ask him to renounce these.

  • fountain_of_wise_ass says:

    Anyone who supports this, NO MATTER WHEN, is scum. Whether it is fisherman of the past or a current fashion trend. Timing is of little significance here. Awareness has been raised right here, right now. As far as the comment on the baby fingered earrings, is there special place I can go just to laugh at that, or should I do it right here from my desk? My desk? Okay, AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ! Not quite as funny as my comic strip involving Canned Human Hunts, but funny.

  • jane says:

    The point being made is that these roosters are bred purely for their feathers, therefore killed, just for the feathers. It’s like breeding cats and dogs, and using them just for their skins, for fashion, to feed the vanity of humans!!!

  • Keenyah says:

    That is just so sad! I had no idea that the feathers for those extensions were actually from a living, breathing animal! I feel horrible for considering them. I need to start doing my research…murdering an innocent for “fashion” is idiotic!

  • Just another fad says:

    I like the baby fingers comment 🙂 it was funny.. In a sick twisted way. And obviously they are killing more birds than normal to meet this new demand in fashion. Lmao honestly guys butt feathers are all the rage; you got to love everyones individuality in all this, and how much they pay for this crap. Lmao you consumer prostitutes!!! XD lololol gezz can’t wait for this trend to end.