Birds of a Feather: DIY feather hair extensions 

Ohmylanta! Y’all… I can’t even with this right now. I don’t think I’ve been this excited for an Amazon package to arrive in a long while. Fam, I even paid to rush delivery. THAT’S how excited I am for these feather hair extensions.

So let me just back up a second and say that I am 100% fully aware that I missed this boat the first time around. Y’all, I completely chickened out. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to try it. It was probably a combination of several things including, but not limited to: being less bold, listening to the opinions of others… and then eventually it sort of faded into the background. Also, I have this terribly annoying thing where I don’t want to jump on the trendy bandwagon when it’s already overflowing with passengers. But as I’ve gotten over myself time and time again throughout the years (and as I will continue to do, because I’m human and life is, well, life) I’ve learned that in addition to always following my own path, that I don’t have to avoid others just because I’m not the only one or even the first one to travel down it.

Life lessons, y’all. They can present themselves in just about any form, even something as trivial as feather hair extensions. Alright, so I ordered these off of Amazon from Feather Lily Feathers. The company advertises that these are 100% authentic rooster saddle feathers from the USA. They’re sold in packs of 20 and each feather is between 8-11inches long. They can be washed and heat styled just like normal hair and this particular brand is advertised as being used in salons across the country. Now I can’t attest to the brand aspects of these feathers, but I can say that after a full day of having them in and styling them, I’m pretty impressed.

When the package first arrived and I opened it up, I’m not gonna lie… my immediate reaction was disappointment and I was afraid I had made a stereotypical online purchase that I regretted. The bag didn’t look nearly as full as the ones advertised on the site and the feathers appeared shorter than I had expected. Now I was a little prepared for this because I am an avid review-reader. However, not one to be so easily deterred, I decided to try a few and if it didn’t work out, well… I’d cross that bridge when I came to it.

Opening the package and reading the instructions, it’s all fairly straightforward. But I prefer to be well-researched (or at least haphazardly-researched) when jumping into my last minute, spur-of-the-moment, impulse projects–ergo, YouTube videos. Yup. I watched tutorials to teach me how to do something so that I could make a tutorial to share with y’all. I’m THAT kid…

Back to instructions. I opened the package and inside were 20 thin feathers of varying lengths and colors along with a clear plastic loop, and a smaller bag full of bead clamps which are used to secure the feathers to the hair. Now, what isn’t included is a pair of pliers for obvious reasons. If you don’t own a pair at home you can easily pick up a pair of needle-nosed pliers from your local craft store.


Basically, the beads slide onto the clear plastic loop like so:


I tend to part my hair slightly off-center on a daily basis. So to make sure that the beaded clamps aren’t just hanging out in the open on the top of my head, I created a deeper part off to one side. This is the layer I’m going to start with. This way the extension clamps will be less visible but the feathers themselves will still peek through. Once you choose a small piece of hair, maybe 1/8 of an inch, loop it through the plastic circlet and pull the bead up over so that your hair is threaded through the bead as shown below. Once the bead is on the section of hair, slide it up unti it’s approximately a quarter to half an inch from your scalp. The closer it is, the harder it’ll be for it to lie flat but if you place the bead too far down your hair it’ll end up snagging, tangling, and ultimately making bigger problems down the road.

When the bead is where it needs to be, you can slide your feather(s) through the bead as well. A few things they don’t mention when doing this: (1) make sure the feathers are facing the right direction because accidentally putting them in upside down could damage them down the road with all the wear and tear and (2) Be sure you’re holding the section of hair in a natural direction (and not straight up or out to the side) when you go to clamp the bead  otherwise it may not lie flat.

So I repeated this over and over in different sections along the middle-ish tier of my hair with a few extras focused around the front to sort of frame my face. I’m not an expert, obviously. But I’m pretty stoked over how this turned out and I’m even happier that they’re advertised as an investment and not just a one-time deal. As my hair grows, the extensions will grow out and all I have to do to remove them is pinch the bead open.  If I want to keep the fun going, I just slide the feather and bead higher up on the strand, pinch it closed again, and keep on keeping on. While it’s advertised that these can be left in for several months, I probably won’t leave them in on the same strands that long so that I can avoid unnecessary damage, matting, and breakage; all things that can happen when they’re not taken care of and they’re left in for too long.

Basically, babes? This is a homerun so far. I feel like this just takes my earthy, bohemian vibes to the next level. And real talk, I’m beyond glad I finally pursued this. At the end of the day, people will say and think whatever they want about you. Most of their words fall short for me but every so often some of them stick and they grow and pretty soon they’re spreading, feeding off of my good energy. But I have the power to cut ties with the expectations and the people that aren’t good for me. This is me doing just that. This makes me happy. This is for me and no one else. You have the same power, fam. So challenge yourself and set goals that make you better. Do something positive and healthy today that’s just for you. It could be something small and quietly brave or something bold and in-your-face.  Just make it fiercely, authentically, unapologetically YOU.



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