I alluded to the debate over feather hair extensions in this post after coming across many fly fishing bloggers who were posting about how the trend has affected the supply for their sport & craft. Since then, the story broke into the mainstream, and even more information is available about a darker side to the trend. Here is how the trend is affecting others.....
Fly Fishermen & Fly Tiers
The grizzly feathers used for hair extensions are primarily used by fly fishermen and folks whose craft is "tying" or making fishing lures. These hobbyists are having a tough time buying the feathers that they've always been able to get their hands on because of this hair trend. There is now extreme demand for limited supply and the demand is driving prices for the feathers way up.
Tackle Shop Owners and Farmers
Tackle shop owners are seeing a boom in demand for the feathers in their stores- so much so that farmers can't keep up with it. Some suppliers are happy about the increased demand, and some are just miffed. Given the fleeting nature of fashion trends, tackle shop owners and farmers know this trend will go away, along with the money, and they don't want to alienate the fisherman and fly tying customers who have been loyal to them for years.
Grizzly Roosters are bred and genetically modified to produce those beautiful striped tail feathers that are used for fly tying and now hair extensions. It takes a rooster about a year to grow the feathers and then they are "harvested", which means their tail feathers are plucked or their pelt is removed. The roosters that don't survive this process are euthanized. Another method is to put the rooster down before removing the pelt. These roosters are bred for feathers and are not used for food.
Fashionistas ruffle fishermen's feathers
Hair salons: Fly-fishing feathers are 'in'
One Stylist Explains: Why I’ll Never Do Feather Hair Extensions
A Fishing Blog's Perspective: How Silly can it Get?
About Whiting Farms