Don’t call them stylists – the term is “hair entertainers.” Today a hair show with a circuit of about 10 major American cities, Hair Wars began in 1991, and originates from nightclub events put on by one DJ Hump the Grinder. Today the event features some of the most multi-layered, hyper-detailed hairstyles I’ve ever seen. From haute-couture hair architecture to silly, surreal takes on everyday objects, images from this event convey artistry, humor and kitsch, all of which constantly flow into one another.
Photographer David Yellen has created a series of portraits of the hair show participants, which he published this past fall. Perhaps equally as fascinating as the hairstyles are the people wearing them. There are no fashion models here, just ordinary people having fun. They are young and old, male and female; many project the air of having been through a lot in their lifetime. There are little mysteries in each picture, such as in the image above, where the model has a visible scar on her neck. How did that happen? She could’ve hidden it with a scarf or a neckpiece (or with hair!) – but she didn’t, and the image is more powerful for it.