Feathery fad has Vail Valley salons offering colorful extensions
They’re everywhere. Women are adorning their heads with plumage of their favorite colors, while men are wondering how their fishing hackles got caught in there. Feather hair extensions have followed an interesting path, and while the downy fad may be on its way out, a few stylists are betting on its survival. The feathers are positioned by putting a bead over a strand of hair, placing the tips of the feathers in with the hair and snapping the bead flat with a pair of fliers. No glue is involved, and the ornament can be washed, curled, straightened – basically you can forget they’re even in your hair. Just be careful while brushing. “They can last up to three to six months, but it’s not recommended,” said Michelle Lehnert of Salon Nouveau. “Because you have that gap … to where the bead is, it’s easier to catch. You can have it repositioned so you don’t have to take it out completely though.” Salon Nouveau in Eagle-Vail began putting feather extensions in hair in February or March, said stylist Rachel Sandoval. Sandoval said a lot of clients came in to get one at first, but it has slowed down to a trickle now since the pieces stay in so long. The feathers have slowly made their way across the nation. Steven Tyler sported some while he was an American Idol judge this spring, lending his celebrity stamp of approval to the trend. “The way that it’s traveling, it’s here, West Coast, East Coast,” Lehnert said. “It’s just now hitting Texas, my mom’s a stylist there.” Ijah Jaboolonfki said she started putting them in while living in Boulder two years ago. “It just picked up here last season,” said Jaboolonfki, who moved to the Valley last year. The self-taught stylist offers feather extensions through Bangl’z in Avon and Spatique in Vail.Some worry the trend will plummet soon, especially those investing money in it. Some stylists stopped offering the feathers because they order them in bulk, and can’t guarantee they’ll get their money back on another shipment. “They come and go so fast you know,” Sandoval said of trends such as this. She said stylists at Salon Nouveau continue the practice because they buy their feathers individually from a woman who has a bulk amount of them. The rooster feathers are sold for fly-tying hackle. “It’s the same feathers they make the fishing lures out of, so it’s hard to get them,” Lehnert said. “I think Leslie, the woman we get them from, was able to order them at a time when it wasn’t in such high demand.”Salons in Edwards, Avon and Vail are offering the feather extensions, some in bundles and some individually. Some clients keep the bundles together, while others pluck them apart and scatter them throughout their hair. “It’s a fun fad for now,” Lehnert said. Jill Beathard is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments about this story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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