The Battle of the Strands

By Christopher Harrity

Originally published on Advocate.com November 25 2013 4:00 AM ET

We don't want to perpetuate stereotypes. The gay hairdresser is certainly one of the most familiar. But we know that more than a few of you ladies and gents out there are in the glamour business. Plus, when we saw the photos that the Clark Russell Salon sent us, we had to see more. Besides our awe at the imagination, skills, and teased up decadence of it all, we are making notes for next year's Halloween costume and other cosplay events.

The Battle of the Strands (BOTS) is a hair, makeup, and wardrobe competition. BOTS showcases original avant garde looks from salon teams before a panel of industry icon judges. Now in it’s third season, it recently welcomed teams from Mexico and Puerto Rico. The 2013 season consisted of six qualifying rounds; New York City, Orlando, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and an online voting qualifier. October saw the semifinals in Las Vegas, with the final on October 14th.

They presented current wearable trends, couture, and high-end cutting edge looks on their models, critiqued before a panel of celebrity judges, media, and thousands watching.  Hosted by TV’s King of Makeovers Kim Vo and YouTube legend Kandee Johnson, it featured icons Michael O’Rourke, Allen Edwards, James Harris, and Andrew Caruthers among others.  

For more information on this competition and deliriously beautiful visual event, go to battleofthestrands.us.


Hair models queueing up. Note warning sign about 9 foot clearance. Take it seriously.

Click through for the most outrageous hair designs you will ever see >>>

The Global Trends Challenge

The Lamborghini Challenge

The Las Vegas Showgirl Challenge

The Final Battle


Angel-Rosario Salon


Charlie's Place


House of Style


House of Style

The Final Battle


L'Occoco


Miranda Beauty Group


Peter Cardón Salon


WM Squad from Wanda Montes Salon

The Final Battle: The Winner


Clark Russell Salon


Clark Russell Salon


The Winners: Clark Russell Salon