Tag Archives: Do it yourself

Feathers: DIY vs. Professional

27 Oct

Is it worth getting feather hair extensions professionally placed over doing it yourself?

In my opinion… no way!

Although salons place the feathers for you and take walk-in appointments, it’s just not worth the money to me.  Depending on where you go, and the individual who places the feathers in your hair, you never know how long the extension will stay put.  It could potentially fall out within a week or two which is not reliable enough for the money.  Most credible salons around the Iowa City area charge around $40 for a three-pack of skinny feathers.  This is why doing it yourself is less risky and more worth it.

                                                                  Photo courtesy of Etsy, Inc.

How to DIY:

First, you will need to purchase feathers.  To shop online for feathers you should visit Artwear Miami.  Here you can find both feather extensions and clips.  Feather clips are great if you don’t want to commit to clamping in a bundle of feathers that may last for a month or two.  So, after you purchase your feathers you will need a hair clamp to keep them secured to your hair.  (Clamps come with feather purchases from Artwear Miami.)  The round, aluminum clamp resembles a bead and is lined with silicone to help it stick in your hair. You’ll want to weave your hair and feathers through the bead and fasten everything together using pliers.  The pliers will squish the bead/clamp flat.  This keeps the hair and feathers tight, and this step alone determines how long they will stay put. (i.e. the tighter you fasten the bead the longer everything will stay secure.)

Where to place your feathers:

When placing your feathers you should consider two things: look and comfort.  In order to come up with the perfect placement you need to have a balance between the two.  If you want it on the outside of your hair, I suggest using a clip that you can take in and out daily.  Otherwise, if you use the semi-permanent clamp extension, I advise you to put it underneath your hair, just behind the ear.  This way you can see the extension when your hair is down or up in a pony tail, and your head won’t ache from the metal bead resting between your head and your pillow.

Here is a great tutorial on youtube that walks you through the steps on how to master the art of putting feather hair extensions in yourself!

Embracing Your Natural

20 Sep

New York Fashion Week, just held this September 8th-15th, has brought visions of spring and summer 2012 looks.  Runway models displayed many different hairstyles, from messy locks to sleek ponytails.  One look that has kept its footing in the hair industry is the (seemingly) all natural wave.  The “celebrity hairstylist of Iowa City”, Sorayah Hamilton, weighs in: “It’s simple with a sense of adventure.”

Hamilton, a 40-something mom of three, who refuses to share her actual age with anyone, is a hairdresser at Buzz salon located in the pedestrian mall, downtown Iowa City.  The stylist takes classes annually at Bumble & Bumble (Bb) in New York to advance her cutting, styling and product knowledge.  She has also worked with models for numerous backstage events and photo shoots, some of which she collaborates with her designer brother, Tim Hamilton.

Hamilton’s favorite look that has been constantly seen on the runways and in the magazines recently is the natural wave.  “I appreciate it when someone is creative with their natural texture,” she said.

The stylist is not a big fan of flat irons. “I call that the F-word…and I don’t use the F-word,” she said.  She rethinks her statement, “I like to flat iron ribbons and shirt collars,” she laughed.  Flat irons are damaging to hair because of the intense heat.  If used the right way (sparingly), Hamilton admits they are acceptable in some cases.  But for the most part, she doesn’t find the look very appealing.  “Very fine fragile hair that sticks straight beyond belief really isn’t flattering on anybody—except for maybe DJs in the 90s,” she said.

How To:

The next few seasons are all about embracing your natural beauty, Hamilton said.  To get the natural wavy look, wash your hair and squeeze excess water out of it with a towel.  Comb.  After combing, Hamilton suggests making a middle part and applying a serum.  Hamilton’s favorite: shu uemura’s nourishing protective oil. (You can find the product at Buzz or order it online.)  “I call it lip gloss for the hair,” she said.  Its benefits are high shine, silky softness and UV protection.  Then, take 1 inch sections of your hair and alternate between twisting and braiding until no loose hairs are left.  For the most part the braids will hold, but sometimes the twists won’t.  In this case, pin back twists anywhere on the scalp with a single bobby pin.  (Don’t worry about how messy it looks at this point.)  Let your hair dry naturally, unpin, tousle, and enjoy looking like a goddess!

Touch of Flair:

Another trend popping up in the hair industry is the feather.  Girls all over have been seen flaunting the feather hair extension.

Hamilton thinks the right placement of these should be more subtle; behind the ear, on the lower end of the hairline.  This way it peaks through in the ponytail, and is noticeable yet not distracting when your hair is down.  When choosing the right color she opts for the neutrals. (Think creamy shades of brown.) Hamilton said to steer clear of electric pink, blue, green, etc. because they’re not for everyday wear. Hamilton is all about not having an “over engineered look,” she said.  This meaning: stick with the natural wave and a neutral colored feather.

To get a feather extension, you can walk into Buzz salon to have a staff member put one in on the spot.  There are options to get one feather or a three-pack placed.  The process takes less than five minutes.  The price ranges between $12 and $45 depending on how big the feather is, and how many you want in your hair.

The feathers are supposed to stay in your hair anywhere between 4 and 6 weeks.  If you can’t commit to a feather for that long, there are other options like clip-ins. You can also look into buying a long feather earring, which would have remotely the same look if you are wearing your hair down.  This may be a better bang for the buck, because you can wear it whenever you want, unlike the extension—once that falls out, it’s out.

To learn more how to put a feather in yourself and alternatives to the hair extension, stay tuned for my next post!

Fun Fact: The feather fad in the hair industry has caused a shortage of feathers for fly fisherman.  “Eh, they’ll find other things to catch their fish with,” Hamilton shrugged.

Above Photo: Sorayah Hamilton (right) prepping a hair model for a photo shoot.