Testing: Hair Feathers

Penna finds the right spot to attach my new plumage.

After delving into the world of hair tinsel, we couldn’t help but be stoked to test the latest and greatest in hair accoutrement: feathers. The trend’s been rockin’ on the west coast and has finally made its way to the east. Even Steven Tyler — as seen on a recent cover of Rolling Stone is up on the trend. We’ve been reveling in all things feathery for weeks now, so of course we had to get the real thing attached to our noggins. Read on for our two-part series on whether this fad was a soaring success — or for the birds.

Take One: Anne Vickman

Nick Penna, owner of Salon Capri, gave me a blowout and straightened my hair before wheeling over a cart covered with transparent plastic envelopes containing feathers of every shade. I was instantly drawn to the brights: turquoise, red, purple but I trusted Penna’s suggestion to stick with brown- and orange-tinged plumage, which more closely matched my dark blonde locks. After selecting three, the entire installation process took about five minutes. Penna simply chose a thin strip of hair mid-crown, looped a crimp bead onto it, put the end of the feather inside the bead, and mashed it shut with pliers. He told me I could wash, blow dry, and style as normal.

The result: the right side.

Initially, I was smitten with the feathered look, despite a couple of speed bumps along the way. The windy walk back to the office caused one of the feathers to stick straight out at a funny angle until I wet it down with some water. The next few days had me self-conscious about whether or not I had the mother of all flyaways. Combing my hair after a shower was a bit of a challenge — the metal crimp beads are just a tad too wide — and incidentally I just combed one out this morning, hair and all. But brushing, hair drying, and flat ironing proved easy — my feathers happily followed suit.

A couple of female coworkers noticed right away, reacting with genuine enthusiasm. A few people gave me the squinty “What the hell is that on your head” look, while a stylist on set at a photo shoot last week mistook the striped pattern for a braid in my hair. Either way, people were noticing my ’do, which most certainly never happens with my unfussy (read: prefers extra sleep to styled hair) look.

And the left side.

I asked a couple guy friends for their thoughts. “I think it either makes you look more crunchy, or hip for the sake of being hip,” said one. “Girls do a lot of things to beautify themselves that I don’t really understand, but I usually like it anyway,’ said another. So the male species most likely doesn’t care one way or the other, but I was pretty pleased — and considering they’ll stay in as long as I want them to (combing mishaps aside), they’re well worth the price at five bucks a pop.

Check back tomorrow to read Take Two by Tanya Pai!

Salon Capri, 31 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, 617-969-1970, saloncapri.com.

Marquee photograph by Hariadhi, via Wikimedia.