Portraits of Hair Warriors

Helicopter hair!

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.

A good selection of images form this series can be seen on his site, and a further selection can be seen on Radar Online.


4 Responses to “Portraits of Hair Warriors”

  1. James Shearhart Says:

    Ahahaha, “hair entertainers”, no really, where’s the post for today?


    These are a long way from egg whites and water, or a can of hair spray and a couple of copies of National Geographic, I tell ya….

  2. Mer Says:

    I love this series. Bad ass and balls out.

  3. Tequila Says:

    I know someone on LJ made a post about this at one point last year…it was damned cool then and damned cool now. Usually you only saw stuff like this in high end fashion shoots or for crazy music video sillyness…

    This is a nice mix of both…some of em look like Mardi Gras floats meshed with their heads and hair…just awesome.

    So much potential and possibilities with hair…it’s a shame so few are willing to really experiment with it and how forced we are to keep it so dull…

  4. six06 Says:

    gah, i wish i could remember the name of the movie i saw recently that featured stylists in some outrageous hair competition. this reminds me of it. so much fun, so much fury. :)