As We See It

For a punch of color in your hair, look toward plumage

Flyaways? With hair extensions made from feathers, you can be a hot chick, too.
Photo: Mikey McNulty

Her name ain’t Lola, but check out those feathers in her hair!

We’re not talking giant pillowy plumes, but subtle streaks of color peeking through a well-tended mane. And unlike dyes that can fade, Vegas hairstylist Kat Risling has found a way to make the hues hang around.

“It’s what I call the neat-o factor,” Risling says of the fun feather hair extensions she’s been experimenting with. “I guess I played with my My Little Pony too much when I was little.”

After testing out handmade peacock feather clip-in extensions around Halloween, Risling sought a more permanent option. Googling away, she came across feathers that could be installed semi-permanently. Already a master of traditional hair extensions—as well as sparkly tinsel strands and eyelash extensions—the stylist simply added feathers to her arsenal. “I’m grateful to have a job that lets me use my imagination,” she says.

Hairstylist Kat Risling

Hairstylist Kat Risling


Want more info?
Find Katherine Vigilato Risling on Facebook or call her at 497-5050.

Before PETA members get their feathers ruffled, relax. The feathers used for the extensions are collected from cage-free roosters. “The dying was done after they were shed,” explains Risling. “There are no turquoise birds running around!”

Clients call Risling to discuss what feathers they’d like about a week in advance, and she custom-orders the extensions, available in lime green, purple, black and more.

The peek-a-boo style is accomplished by affixing feathers to the tresses using a keratin bond that won’t harm the hair. The soft feathers can be washed, blow-dried and curled. The initial installation runs about $125, but since the feathers can be reused countless times, it’s only $25 to reinstall them as hair grows and the extensions need to be moved up. In addition, the bright colors won’t fade with washing.

“I call it fake high maintenance,” says Risling, who has purple feather extensions mixed into her vibrant black and pink mane. “It’s doing something fancy, but it makes your life easier. Color changes things. With a good foundation and good shape, it’s that feather in the cap—literally!”

Photo of Deanna  Rilling

Deanna Rilling

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