We've received a few questions lately regarding the difference between synthetic "feather" extensions, and the real thing. Synthetic extensions are far less costly, they are longer, and they are often advertised as being similar to real feathers. So what are the differences?
Synthetic Feather Extensions (left) Vs. Real Feather Extensions (right)
Synthetic Feather Extensions
Synthetic feather extensions are simply artificial hair that is dyed in stripes. They actually bear very little resemblance to a real feather. The strands are manufactured from a polymer plastic that is melted and strung into thin strands that simulate real hair. Synthetic feathers will look like doll's hair (they are the same material), and they have a more waxy and less flexible texture than either real human hair or real bird feathers. Lower-end synthetics will have no heat resistance, while some higher end synthetics can handle a little bit of heat styling. Both types look more like dyed hair with stripes, rather than a real feather.
Real Feather Extensions
Real rooster feather extensions have a flexible quill running down the middle with fine feathery fibres stemming from the centre. They are much more malleable so they move with your hair. They can be treated just like your real hair for washing, drying, and heat styling, while responding much in the same way that your natural hair does. They have a very soft and smooth texture. The grizzly patterns on the striped variety have a bold and powerful herringbone appearance, and the colours generally appear brighter with a gentle shimmer.
The Pros Vs. The Cons:
A Straightforward Synthetic (left) Vs.Real Feather Layers (right)
Synthetics often come in longer lengths, giving them an upperhand in this department over mother nature's authentic rooster feathers. A synthetic strand can reach to any length to match the wearer's hair. Meanwhile, a salon grade rooster feather averages about 9 - 10 inches, maxing out at 14 inches for the longest. While a synthetic strand can be happily slapped in to any length hair and offer full coverage, a real feather extension requires some creativity. For those with extra long hair, real feathers may be layered, or placed lower on the scalp or behind the ear, or strategically plotted around the head. Forethought is sometimes required, but the end results will speak for themselves. A layered and creatively placed feather look almost always beats a straightforward synthetic job.
Synthetic feathers appear more dull in colour, so you would think they'd be more subtle. But because they don't blend well with the hair, they tend to stand out much more than a real feather. Real feathers can be worn in bright colours or plush styles to stand out, but they also have an innate ability to remain subtle if placed in low volume underneath the surface of a style. Try that with a synthetic, and you may get a somewhat childish play dress look. A real feather looks intriguing, and often draws attention from others wondering how exactly you did that to your hair. An artificial synthetic is almost always obviously fake, and it only takes a glance to see that you've got a false extension in. On the appearance front, the real feathers always take the cake!
Lower end synthetic extensions can be difficult to style and often don't respond well to hairspray, mousse, or hair gel. Lower end synthetics can't be heat styled and often can't be washed due to the glue that holds them together. Higher end synthetic extensions do style more easily, but they're just not as responsive as real feathers, and they have a harder time holding their shape. Real feathers can be straightened to sleekly blend and move as part of you hair style, or they can be curled to stand out. They can be styled normally with any hair product, and they keep a style as well as your real hair does.
Why Don't We Sell Synthetic Extensions?
At our shop, we don't offer synthetic feather extensions at all. They just don't live up to our quality standard. We want our shoppers to look like the stars that they are, and we want them to feel confident that what they are getting is a high quality product that works well for them. The best salon grade extensions are never fakes, and the same applies to feather extensions. Sure, they're more pricey, and they might require a bit of tactful placement in extra long hair, but the overall result is invariably always more stunning than a synthetic would be. Our feathers come from the best two companies in the world for salon grade feathers, Whiting USA and Metz USA. These are the same feathers that celebrities wear and the highest end salons offer. We wouldn't offer you anything less!