I spent last weekend in Las Vegas at Cosmoprof, which is an industry conference where small beauty brands can get hooked up with buyers, distributors, and salon owners. Meeting and talking to entrepreneurs is one of the best parts of my job, and I was eager to speak to them about their impressions of the industry and to scout out trends-in-the-making. There was tons of great stuff, which I’ll be reporting on all week.
I came upon the booth for Hair Flairs, a small company that sells feather and tinsel hair extensions. The creative director, Trina Marr, was more than willing to dish about all the controversy in the hair feathering industry. Turns out there’s a lot.
First of all, a bit of background on Trina. Trina, who is a hair stylist, has been on Oprah‘s show three times. She’s also been a participant on Taking It Off, a Canadian weight loss reality show. (She lost the weight doing roller derby.) This is relevant because when she went on Oprah to talk about her husband who was divorcing her because she’d gained a lot of weight, Oprah happened to mention that she loved Trina’s tinsel hair extensions. The result? Trina’s business increased 2,000% in one day. Oprah moves trends, people.
We moved on to hair feathering, which if given the amount of hair dresser types I saw at Cosmoprof with them, is a trend that is not dying any time soon. I asked Trina about the hairdressers vs. fly fishermen and what was happening on that front. She had absolutely no sympathy for the fishermen, saying, “Too bad for them for not planning ahead. A hair stylist doesn’t just keep one pair of scissors around.”
Price is another touchy point. Back in January, a hair stylist could pick up a feather for about $2. Now Trina sells them for about $4.40, which is because supply is so tight. Salons will turn around and charge customers anywhere from $10 to $40 for the service. There are about eight North American rooster farmers that provide these rather rare feathers for distributors, and they can’t keep up. Trina, who is proud to source all her feathers from North America, was really irked at a competitor at the show who was advertising feather for less than $3 each. He was able to keep his prices low because allegedly he sources his feathers from China. (I can also tell you that his stall was absolutely mobbed.)
Roosters are killed to harvest these feathers, so the farmers are looking for other parts of the roosters to use and sell. Trina’s farmer asked her to try to figure out what to do with the short feathers. They came up with the idea of working them into braids (pic below) and she now sells the short ones, too. This look may be a bit too Pocahontas, but I will never rule anything out.
Finally, I asked Trina for her take on new trends in the hair ornamentation world. She told me crystals are catching on–they basically stick on to your hair–and that pieces of leather worked into the hair was becoming more popular. This one has some interesting possibilities. You can use dyed leather, add beads, and it should be fairly cheap because there are a lot of wasted scraps of leather lying around.