Hydra Head was founded in 1993 as a distribution company while Turner was still in high school. In 1995, he moved to Boston to attend art school. In late 1995, he was handed a demo by local band Vent. That seven inch would be the first record released on Hydra Head. The label grew to accommodate local bands such as Roswell, Corrin, Piebald and Converge, and after Turner graduated from college in 1999, it became a full-time endeavour. Hydra Head recently relocated to Los Angeles, California from their former home in Boston, Massachusetts.
Some of the bands signed to the label include Cave In, Xasthur, Kayo Dot, Boris, and Jesu. Its discography includes Botch, Khanate, and Harkonen, who were all signed to Hydra Head prior to their respective disbandings.
On September 11 2012, Turner announced the "imminent demise of Hydra Head Records", stating that they will take their first steps into shutdown "this December, at which point we are cutting off new releases from the label." They will continue to stay operational, maintaining their back catalogue to pay off their "rather sizeable debts."
On May 10, 2016, Turner announced that Hydra Head would release Oxbow's next album 'The Thin Black Duke.'