Some speculate the return of the mullet is a byproduct of the rise in ’80s and ’90s nostalgia. Others suspect it’s an act of rebellion in an increasingly controlling society. And some, like Zach Russell from Sydney’s Barberhood, reckon its return to prominence is the result of men all over the world being forced to perform DIY haircuts during lockdown.
Russell reckons that the move to remote working and video calls over the last two and a bit years has let us cheat how we present ourselves. For many blokes, this has meant cutting only the front and sides of their mane, giving rise to the new millennium mullet.
It would be understandable if the malaise of lockdown has created the perfect conditions for the resurgence of such a cheeky, off-beat ’do . It’s pretty much the next frontier for anyone who used lockdown as an excuse to grow out their hair. Factor in endorsements from the likes of the Western Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith, and we have a sure-fire winner on our hands…or heads.
1. Getting the new mullet look right
The 2022 mullet is far more structured than the classic version. Today, it’s about cutting into the hair, whereas the ’80s version was shaggier and less detailed, defined only
by ‘short on top, long at the back’.
So, before showing up for your haircut, take a moment to consider how you want to form your look using this mullet metric: the front and top versus the side taper versus the length at the back.
2. Framing your face
It’s smart to go short on top because it keeps the whole style looking relatively neat and modern. Having said that, many hair products on the shelves nowadays weren’t around in the ’80s, so you can achieve a slick look even with extra length on top.
3. The side fade
The key difference between the old mullet and the new one is that the signature shape can be achieved with shorter hair on the sides. The fade starts above the ears, and you decide how high towards the crown and how wide between your temples and neck, it goes.
4. The party at the back
Obviously, this is the part of the mullet you can’t easily see, so ask your barber or hairdresser for styling tips based on the volume and texture of your hair.
If you’re allowing a lot of length at the back, you’ll probably need to wash your hair more frequently (long hair captures and retains odours far more than short does). LA-based hair stylist Bryce Scarlett suggests switching to a 2-in-1 cleansing conditioner or co-wash, which won’t leave your hair fluffy.
Finally, if you’re looking to turbocharge your mullet, ask about shaping the back of your hair into a V. It’s a further evolution of the style and treads a dangerously thrilling line between the mullet and its less endearing cousin, the rattail.