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All About the Mullet Haircut and Why Is the Hottest Trend of the Year

With a great mullet comes great responsibility.

Newsflash: The mullet haircut is still going strong. This iconic blast from the past continues to evolve with every decade (we know, we’re equally perplexed and amazed), and in even gnarlier news, it’s making quite the strong comeback this year.

Traditionally represented by longer locks in the back and shorter strands in the front, a fresh and modern mullet iteration has taken the streets these days. 

mullet haircut retro
The Retro Mullet: Business in the front, party in the back.

The mullet haircut can be described quite simply as a style featuring long hair at the back and a short-to-medium length at the front and sides. This combination of a conservative, standard look with something that was generally seen as a ‘rebel’ style gave the haircut the memorable description: “business in the front, party in the back”.

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The look came to prominence in the ’70s and ’80s, with classic mullets sported by celebrities of the era. During these decades, it was common to see heavily-styled mullets with voluminous, blown-out hair, worn loose or tied back into a ponytail.

The Revival of the Mullet

After the wave of man buns and braids, a resurgence of the mullet makes sense. So what makes the modern mullet different?

While it still involves the combination of short and long lengths, the modern mullet is styled with less of a dramatic contrast between the two. Hair can be kept longer at the back, with a slightly shorter length at the front and sides. And this look actually works really well for hair with a lot of texture, so if yours is naturally thick, wavy or curly and you’d like to try this style, the shorter lengths around the front can make it much more manageable. But don’t worry, you can wear this look even if you have fine or straight hair by applying a molding product like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Pure Texture Molding Paste to create a rougher tousled texture. Did we mention that it’s also great if you want to emphasize sharp cheekbones or add length to a round face?

To keep it feeling fresh, avoid the heavily-styled look of the past and stick to a more moderate length at the back of your head (just above the nape of the neck). You can also try making your mullet haircut more unique by adding a brighter color or creating more contrast with a faux hawk or a sharp fade. See? Now the idea of a mullet doesn’t seem so out-there, right?

mullet haircut modern
The Modern Mullet: Less feathering, more punk edge.

From the looks of it, the hairstyle we’re seeing has evolved out of its backwater roots and has now become one of the coolest hairstyles for men, especially for those willing to experiment with a punkier, grungier vibe.

Unlike the traditional mullet, you don’t need a head full of long hair (a.k.a. “party in the back” locks) to achieve this modern iteration. In addition, it can now work on straight, curly or wavy-haired guys alike.

However, with a great mullet comes great responsibility. Read on to discover how to get the perfect mullet haircut:

mullet haircut with bangs
The modern twist of the mullet haircut. Photo Credit: Indigital

With its new, even shorter length at the top, this modern-day spin on this vintage style is stylish and quite sharp.

Step 1. Grow out your hair.

First, you’ll need at least an inch of hair all around to achieve this hair cut. Since you’re aiming for something more contemporary, you’ll need to give your stylist some specifics.

Step 2. Know what lengths you want.

Ask for a length at the back of your hair that you’re most comfortable with. A length that reaches the midpoint of the back of your neck would be ideal if you have long hair. Be sure that the proportions are cut right, i.e. Give your front and back the right amount of balance and the ability to complement one another with some expert shearing and layering—or you’ll end up with too much disconnect between the top and bottom sections.

Step 3. Avoid the rat-tail.

Once this style is cut and groomed, it can be worn as a casual or formal hairstyle. The key is not to end up with a super long rat-tail.

For example, ask for a mullet with the right amount of balance all around. You may opt for a low fade at the side, or if you have curly-textured hair, leave your sides just about the same length as the top of your hair. This plays well with the longer length at the back, it looks more uniform and not faux hawk-ish. The top should be cut with just the right amount of length: long enough for a sleek gelled look or a fun quiff, so you can carry out your daily styling routine.

mullet haircut medium hairstyles quiff
Tucking in your hair behind your ears is an instant style upgrade. Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Step 1. Get ready to comb.

Depending on the direction your hair grows, brush or comb the sides of your hair forward or backward.

Pro tip: most men tend to brush their strands back.

Step 2. Apply product.

Apply gel or pomade like Dove Men+Care Defining Pomade to add shine and keep your sides in place.

Step 3. Mold your style.

Comb the top section of your hair back and mold it into a pompadour-like style. If you want an edgy and spiky effect, rake through some wax or gel through your hair. Use your hands to give it a slightly edgy finish, and comb the sides of your top inward.

For a smoother effect, (most favored by curly- and wavy-haired guys), use AXE Messy Look Matte Wax to slick your hair back, using your fingers to mold your locks as you create volume.

Step 4: Give your style hold.

Finish off by giving your hairstyle a bit of hold.

Mist the finished look with Dove Extra Hold Non-Aerosol Hairspray to give your style some hold.

mullet haircut long
Super-long mullets require a lot more maintenance (and attitude!). Photo credit: indigitalimages.com

Tips on mullet maintenance.

The mullet is all about maintenance and grooming, so don’t miss out on your weekly or bi-weekly trims, especially if you’ve got a super low fade on the sides. For those with curly or wavy hair, the help of stylers can keep your mullet cut in check. When the hair tends to grow out a bit, it won’t look too obvious. Your sides will easily blend in with the overall length of your cut. But don’t go too long without a trim!

That’s all there is to achieving the modern mullet haircut. With the help of some inspo/reference photos and all the right styling products, you should be good to go.

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