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I am constantly followed by mullets wherever I go. When I visit a pub near Hackney in east London, I am greeted by their presence, just like you. At a Fred Again concert, I am surrounded by a sea of mullets. Even at a rugby match at Twickenham Stadium, there are as many mullets as there are team shirts. You may know it as the mullet, “Kentucky waterfall”, or “beaver paddle”, but these hairstyles have been hard to miss lately.
The current trend in hairstyles features a shorter cut on the front, top, and sides, with longer hair in the back. This style has been seen on popular actors like Paul Mescal, Jacob Elordi, and Timothée Chalamet. It has also made its way into the world of sports, with athletes like Hector Bellerin, Joe Marler, and Valtteri Bottas sporting the look this year. The trend has been popular for a few years now, with singers like Lil Nas X sporting a curly and layered version of the style at the 2021 MTV Awards. Additionally, it is worth noting that the majority of “Aussie rules” football players currently have mullets as well.
The coiffure has been a staple for women for a long time. Celebrities such as Rihanna and Zendaya have rocked the mullet on the red carpet, with Rihanna sporting it in 2013 and Zendaya in 2016. In 2021, Miley Cyrus also joined in on the trend. The mullet has even made its way into modern street style, with Vogue recognizing it as an unexpected standout. It has also made appearances on fashion week runways, with designers like Junya Watanabe, Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen featuring it in their 2022 shows.
If that wasn’t sufficient evidence of the mullet becoming popular among the general public, a reliable way to determine its popularity is when the trend becomes prohibited in schools or causes a moral panic. This occurred recently when a school in Sunderland deemed a student’s mullet as “extreme” and placed him in isolation until it was cut off. Additionally, more and more British individuals are embracing the Australian mullet culture. In fact, a doctor from Dorset made headlines this week for growing his hair in preparation for the highly regarded world mullet growing championships in Australia, which he described as the “Everest of the competitive mullet growing world”. It seems like everyone is catching on to the mullet craze.
The term “mullet” was not used until approximately twenty years ago, with the Beastie Boys’ song “Mullet Head” being credited for its popularization, but the hairstyle has been around for much longer. In his book “Mullet Madness,” Alan Henderson suggests that even prehistoric people may have discovered the practicality of having shorter hair in the front and longer hair in the back to keep their hair out of their eyes and necks warm. Additionally, references to men with mullet-style haircuts can be found in Ancient Greek texts, and depictions of Greek gods from the 6th century also suggest the existence of this hairstyle. In some indigenous populations in the US, long hair is seen as a symbol of power and a connection to the divine, and a variation of the mullet, with spiked hair in the front and long hair in the back, is considered a traditional style in tribes such as the Blackfoot and Crow in the western United States.
The modern portrayal of the mullet is heavily influenced by David Bowie’s tangerine-orange waterfall-style mullet, which he famously wore as his alter ego Ziggy Stardust. During the 1970s, this hairstyle became a cultural trend and was seen as a bold fashion choice. It was considered rebellious and caused a stir among those with more traditional hairstyles, as it did not fit into any specific category – the mullet was a combination of long and short, masculine and feminine, and managed to be both unkempt and stylish at the same time.
The reappearance of the mullet can be considered a fortunate coincidence. During lockdown, men would cut their hair at home, creating unique styles out of sheer boredom and sharing photos of the outcome in their WhatsApp group chats. However, the comical mullet trend has faded away, leaving behind a stylish and trendy hairstyle.
Many men are seeking the perfect modern mullet and are seeking the assistance of professionals. According to Ryan Lewis, the owner of Club 13 barbershop in Hull, approximately one-third of his clients are choosing to have mullets. He believes that the presence of mullets in combat and contact sports represents a modern form of masculinity that has become popular in mainstream culture. He also notes that the harsher cuts typically seen in rugby are being balanced out by the more subtle and feathered mullets worn by people like Mescal. The modern mullet is known for its natural and effortless appearance, with a softer and less extreme shape.
According to James Doyle, the manager of the Bristol barbershop Harry Blades and Angry Daves, it is not only individuals working in non-corporate settings who are embracing the trend; it is now considered acceptable in the workplace. Doyle adds that it is not just musicians or artists sporting the style, as even accountants are showing off mullets. The trend seems to be catching on with everyone.
The demand for the mullet hairstyle has become so high that even hairdressing schools are adjusting their training methods. Samantha Perkins, owner of Hair by Sam salon and lecturer at the London Hairdressing Academy, shares that the academy now offers specialized masterclasses specifically for cutting mullets due to its popularity. According to Perkins, the technique requires advanced skills as it involves cutting with scissors and razors instead of clippers, making it a level three cut. Understanding different hair types is crucial in achieving the desired look. She also mentions that the traditional “short back and sides” haircut, which has dominated men’s hair trends for the past decade, is slowly fading out in favor of the mullet trend. Perkins believes that this trend allows men to express themselves and embrace their uniqueness, as seen with a recent visit from a daring sixth form student requesting a mullet.
According to Michael Kent, a stylist at Blue Tit hair salon in London, the mullet haircut has become popular and is now a means of self-expression for men. Kent believes that men’s hair has typically been uninteresting, but the mullet has given them the opportunity to showcase their uniqueness. He notes that in today’s society, there is more acceptance and diversity in terms of sexuality, leading to an increase in clients requesting a cut similar to Timothée Chalamet’s rather than the previously popular style of Ed Sheeran’s hair.
The mullet hairstyle is not exclusive to men. It has also been popular among female celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, Joan Jett, and Dolly Parton, who have all sported their own versions of the style over time. According to Perkins and Kent, they have also had female clients requesting for the same cut. Kent states that the mullet is a non-gender specific haircut and both men and women are embracing it as an androgynous look.
If you’re interested in trying the mullet, Kent guarantees that it looks good on most individuals: “It’s like a versatile wig!”
The source for this information is the Independent newspaper.
The Independent newspaper is the origin of this information.