Synopsis by Mark Deming
In Detroit, hair styling isn't just a matter of personal grooming, it's a way of life, and Andrew Dosunmu's documentary Hot Irons offers an inside glimpse at Motor City hair salons that turn the tresses of their African-American clientele into remarkable works of art. Dosunmu takes his cameras to Detroit's annual "Hair Wars" competition, in which stylists compete to see who can create the wildest and most outrageous hairdo. Offering a stark contrast between the unique aesthetic of the stylists and the grinding poverty of inner city Detroit, which never fully recovered from the 1968 riots, Hot Irons shows how events like "Hair Wars" brings a sense of art and purpose to a community where both are often lacking. Hot Irons was screened at the 1999 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.
African-American, beauty-salon, community, competition, hair, hairdresser, inner-city