Friday, September 23, 2011

D.I.Y. Feather Hair Extensions

Feather hair extensions seem to be all the rage now and when I saw them, I wanted them! I hear salons charge around $20 for a single feather and that's freakin ridiculous if you ask me. For less then price of one I had feathers in my hair and on all three of my daughters and even on my niece. This is how I do it....

Here are all my supplies.

You will need..
1) Feathers of your choosing
2)Small pliers
3)Micro Beads 
4)A threading tool or needle and thread

For this demo I used a fake hair piece I have. The feathers look so much nicer on natural hair, but this was easier for the sake of pictures since I don't currently have anyone around to torture for my blog. 

They sell feathers supposedly made specifically for extensions, but I've come to find most any natural feather will work depending on the look you want to achieve. I found mine on eBay from a fly fishing supply seller. You can also get them in sporting good stores that sell fly fishing supplies and in some craft stores. This whole big red bunch set me back about $6. They are 4-6" long and look great in long bangs. The long black and white stripe feathers you see sometimes are called grizzly feathers and they cost a good deal more for a saddle patch but if you only need one or two you can find those on eBay too for about a buck a piece. The cheaper ones seem to have made my kids happy and have lasted a good two months so far.

You also need "micro beads". The ones I use are silicone lined but they also have ones that aren't. I feel like I get a better hold with the silicone. If you need less then 50 you can get them on eBay really really cheap. Around $2 if you order from China and if you go with a US seller you can get 50 for under $3 and they will arrive much quicker. The jar I have pictured I paid $12 for and it has 1000 beads. I tend to buy in bulk. It's a sickness I tell you, but I can't seem to stop myself sometimes. Just search micro-bead in the health and beauty category and sort price plus shipping lowest first. If you do a site wide search you will end up with a dick-load of crafting beads cluttering your search results.

Now it's time to get a small section of hair through a micro-bead. They make tools specific for this job (also can be found on eBay from China for under 2 bucks) but it's an unnecessary cost. I have one because they sent it to me for free when I bought the 1000 beads. You can also use a very very small lace crochet hook or just a needle and thread. We did the needle and thread method before we got our hook. I'll show you both.

You just put the hook through the bead, grab some hair and pull it through! 

With a needle and thread you do the same. Put the needle through the bead, wrap it around your hair strand, and pull it through the bead.

You don't need much hair at all, but I learned from experience to pull more then 3 or 4 hairs through or that feather can get ripped out pretty easy (with your hair attached! ouch!). 

Next you just slide the tip of your feather up into your bead. I don't like to poke through to far or else it stabs you in the head if you have it placed right against your scalp. We usually clip them in about a half an inch away from the scalp and it seems to blend in better with the natural hair flow that way.

Now it's time to clamp! 

They make special tools for this but that's a serious waste of money. You can use any tool strong enough to clamp the metal down but pliers work best in my opinion. 

You just give that bead a good squeeze of the pliers and that's it! It's in and done!

It should safely stay in through washing, brushing, and styling. To remove it you just squeeze the bead the opposite direction and slip it off. Pretty simple right? 

The purple grizzly one pictured below I paid less then a buck for and my daughter has had in in for more then 2 months. I just love how it lays across her hair so perfectly. We have also recycled feathers. One kid takes it off, I put the feather in my make up box and soon enough one of my other daughters wants it in her hair. So have fun with it, and don't feel like you have to limit yourself to specific feathers. Even if you end up with a variety that doesn't last very long when you do it yourself it's super cheap so who cares!

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