Is That A Helicopter On Your Head? See The Mind-Blowing Styles Of Detroit’s Hair Wars

Promoter and DJ David Humphries talks about Hair Wars, the 28-year-old Detroit hair showcase that produces some of the most imaginative hair creations in the world.

Don’t let the name fool you. Although the event is indeed called Hair Wars–a title that conjures images of well-coiffed battalions entering once more into the breach–it’s really more of a showcase than a competition. Even if some of the hairstyles involved look as though they could be used as a weapon.


Promoter David Humphries (he of the irresistible nickname Hump the Grinder), started Hair Wars in Detroit in 1985. It was an event where weave artists and world-class style wizards came to show off what they can do. Just like most fashion shows, however, Hair Wars has become less bound to actual street-level style and instead turned into a celebration of the wildest creations the stylists can imagine.

“Our goal is to help create ‘hair stars,’” Humphries says, “and plug them into various situations to enhance their careers through appearances, music videos, educational seminars, national and international magazine features, creating hair designs for celebrities.” (He cites Lady Gaga as one of the show’s clients)

This year’s theme is Back To The Future, and as such, several futuristic hair creations are expected among the more than 250 models who will be on hand. This year’s show, kicking off April 28 in Detroit, will also feature a second stage for the first time, with some unusual circus acts in between the hair acrobatics. There will be some other surprises as well.

“We’re expecting more of the audience to look like they belong on stage,” says Humphries “The last couple of years, more and more people are participating in what we call The Side Show at The Show.”

Some of the wildest creations have included: various Hairy-Copters; the Detroit Tigers’ Baseball Glove Do; The Zipper French Roll that unzipped a 4-foot python snake; the Super Bowl Stadium Do, worn by two models with swivels on their heads for easy mobility; and the Bar-B-Que Grill Do, which had a George Foreman grill within the piece and actually served cooked hot dogs to the models on the runway.

For a look at some of what to expect at the show, look through the images in the slide show above.