Tinsel outshines feathers as latest flashy hair trend

Jessica Lee

Nowadays, it seems like anytime a breeze blows through someone’s hair, a feather is revealed. A quick glance at the sunbathers at Barton Springs Pool reveals the trend has spread to everyone from children to grandmothers.

Naturally, the fashion-forward are looking for something new, and hair tinsel appears to be the answer.

This is not the tinsel that you throw on the Christmas tree every December. Hair tinsel is a tiny highlighted strand tied to the existing hair using a special knot.

Stella Blue Boutique & Salon hair stylist Melinda Wolbert has been adding tinsel into her clients’ hair for two years. After learning about hair tinsel from a woman visiting Austin, Wolbert began a search for the product. Six months later in Las Vegas, Wolbert finally found what she was looking for.

“I think feathers are more of a fad,” Wolbert said. “The tinsel is something that I think will last. It can be dressed-up for a special event or dressed down for daily wear.”

Mallery Clarke, 20, recently created her own business, Disco Do Hair Tinsel, adding tinsel to her customers’ hair in her College Station apartment.

“The tinsel used to be really hard to find, but now anyone can purchase it on the Internet,” Wolbert said. “The reason to get it done professionally is that they won’t fall out. I’ve had customers who have had the tinsel last in their hair for two months.”

Meghan Puetz, a 21-year-old student from Georgetown, had the tinsel put in her hair after she heard about Clarke’s business.

“Tinsel is sill pretty new, so a lot of people were curious about what was causing my hair to sparkle,” Puetz said. “When I told them what it was, they seemed very interested in getting some themselves.”

According to both Clarke and Wolbert, the tinsel can withstand the heat of blow dryers, straightening irons and other hair tools. Customers are urged to avoid aggressive brushing in order to ensure that the knot stays in place. Wolbert said the process can take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour depending on the number of strands.

Celebrities such as Beyoncé and actress Whitney Port have been spotted sporting tinsel in their locks.

Tinsel has become the new alternative to drastic hair changes.

“Hair tinsels allow you to experiment with bolder colors without having to actually color or damage your hair,” Clarke said. “Instead of getting a hot pink highlight someone could just get a hot pink hair tinsel.”

The tinsel comes in a variety colors. Natural colors like copper and gold blend in with the hair, giving it only a hint of sparkle, while the more bold colors like aquamarine and silver work well for the more adventurous.

“Being in college, I try to get some in my hair only on special occasions, or when I plan on spending the weekend out on the town,” Puetz said.

Anyone with at least 5 inches of hair can get the tinsel.

“I’ve even had a man come in and get them,” Wolbert said. “And let’s face it, sparkles look nice on everything.”

So don’t be surprised if next time you head downtown for thirsty Thursday, the bars seem to be lighting up a bit more. The hair tinsel trend is catching on, and it will be here for a while.

Printed on August 30, 2011 as: