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Go Wild!

From feathers to even tinsel, hair ornamentation is being taken to a whole new level

By Shayna Wiwierski

Step aside hair bows and flower clips, there are new kids in town.

Hair extensions aren’t just hair anymore; there are many new trends out there that are taking the hairstyling market to a whole new level.  From tinsel to feathers, there are plenty of new ways to spice up your locks.

One of the biggest trends this past spring and summer have been hair feathers; colourful rooster feathers that are attached to a few strands of hair using a microlink.  The feathers are available in a variety of colours and can be straightened, curled, and washed just like your normal hair.

“They are the hottest trend, bar none.  The company has seen a 2,000-per-cent increase in business this year alone,” says Trina Marr, a master stylist in Calgary, Alberta who is also the Canadian manager of Hair Flairs, a company specializing in hair feathers, flairs, and gems.

Hair feathers are relatively easy to install and offer a huge profit margin, which according to Marr is the reason for their popularity.

“They are dumb-dumb easy and are really simple to put in.  In the salon you are charging $10-15 to install it; there is a huge value to it.  It costs stylists three to five dollars a feather to buy so they are making a huge profit.”

So just how popular are they? Celebrities like Steven Tyler, the cast of Glee, Hilary Duff, Selena Gomez, and many others have been spotted wearing them.

Marr, who won the Best New Talent competition at the Winnipeg ABAs in 1999 and worked at Edward Carriere that same year as an apprentice, has been involved with Hair Flairs for the past three years. Their namesake product, ‘hair flairs’, are polyester strands that are tied into the hair and are available in 21 different colours.  Like the feathers, they can also be curled or straightened.   The flairs add some sparkle and shine to your hair and have been spotted in the locks of celebrities such as Beyoncé and Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Perhaps the most notable and powerful celebrity that has been interested in them was the queen of daytime talk shows, Oprah Winfrey, who helped make the company successful.

“January 28, 2011; that’s when everything hit the fan.  We filmed the show on the 19th of January and we literally had one week.  Oprah said ‘what is in your hair and how do we get one of those,’ and in that moment I knew that was it.  She made hair flairs a name.”

Trina Marr, Canadian manager of Hair Flairs, with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey

The flairs are 100-per-cent polyester and can be flat-ironed or curled.  They tie into your hair with no tools required, and on average, they can stay in your hair from two to six weeks.

Both the tinsel and the feathers have been popping up in salons across Winnipeg.  Rituals in Hair in Skin offers both the feathers and tinsel and the response for them, according to owner Kristina Poturica, has been very positive.

“We have had a good request for both. Some people like the sparkle and others like the feathers.  The nice thing about both of them is that you can curl them, flat-iron them, they wash well, curl well, and they are fun,” says Poturica, who has offered the services since May.

Regarding the rising popularity of hair ornamentation, Marr says that it’s due to the lower price point that clients can obtain them for that makes them so irresistible.

“It’s like the lipstick effect; when the economy is on a downward turn, people try to look for a lower price-point item to make them feel better.  People feel that they really want to do something special for themselves but they don’t have the money to do really expensive things, so it matches with the price points.”

Fun feathers aren’t just for humans; your furry friend can wear them, too.

Puppylocks, a division of Condition Culture, offers feather fur extensions specifically designed for dogs.  Like the human kind, the colourful rooster feathers are attached using a silicone-lined microlink, and Fido won’t even be able to feel them!  Puppylocks are available through their website at  Your dog will be the envy of the neighbourhood with this ‘fetching’ accessory!