Love It, Hate It, Embrace It: The Mullet is Back (Again)
A mullet moodboard for those eager to keep the party going in the back
Characterized by a short, often choppy top and a noticeably longer mane behind the ears, a mullet may very well be the very definition of business in front and party in the back. Like any eccentric hairstyle, it also proves to be a prime example of harshly divided opinions—you either love mullets or downright dislike them with an achy breaky passion. In case you happen to identify with the latter, we suggest you click out of this tab now because one thing’s for certain: the mullet is making a comeback.
Purveyors of the look’s inevitable return include: Miley Cyrus, daughter of The Original Mullet Purveyor, SEVENTEEN’s resident cool kid The8, who went right back into mulletarization after parting with his signature ‘do for a few months, and the scissor-happy folks who got a little too bored during the quarantine.
Whether you’re a lockdown mullet victim or are eager to explore the realm of an intentionally uneven cut, keep reading. We’ve rounded up a list of updated ways to sport the look.
Imagine a layered lob, tips of the hair ever-so-slightly brushing the base of the neck. Then, picture piecey bangs, exaggerated sideburns and short, short choppy layers at the crown, and you’ve got yourself a pretty accurate mental picture of Euphoria actress and Instagram girl crush Barbie Ferreira’s 2020 rockstar shag.
Meant to be worn a little messy and with a lot of attitude, this has all the potential to be the WFH-appropriate wash-and-wear ‘do we’ve all been looking for. A word of advice: this look works best for people whose hair has natural volume and doesn’t fall limp. For finer or straighter-haired folks, reinforcements may be needed, in which case the hair can be given a little zhuzh with shaping cream or a lightweight wax.
K-pop boy group SEVENTEEN’s The8 has a rather colorful hair history. Since debuting with a bleached blonde Bieberesque fringe helmet in 2016, he has gone on to sport neat blonde spirals, silver locks and a bright red bowl cut. He also had a brief side-swept brunette moment, which was really quite pretty, but his best looks of all have easily been with a mullet atop his head.
Evidently a man of taste, he chose to go for the cut himself in 2018 and has only briefly parted with it since. His mullet has seen many shapes and forms, but his dark brown tousled waves from this performance of Dreams Come True remain a personal favorite. Undone twists up top, a little flick at the bottom—it’s a soft, subtle mullet that has the potential to change the minds of even the most dedicated mullet naysayers.
Slick as a Whistle
While we’re on the topic of K-pop boys, GOT7’s JB has been working the look for quite some time, too. Like The8, he’s worn his cut short, long and curly, but this particular look deserves to go down in the pages of mullet history.
The layers. The overgrown fringe. The half-concealed ears. The long hair traveling down the back of the neck. Slicked back and ever-so-recklessly pushed away from the forehead, this might just be the quintessential bad boy of all mullets.
Lock in the same high shine and strong hold—without the stickiness—with a water-based pomade like this one.
The Joe Exotic
When Tiger King took the world by storm, public intrigue was caused largely by the looming mystery surrounding Carole Baskin and her missing (possibly dead) ex-husband. It was also partially due to the strange world of big cat politics and the main character of the docuseries: the gun-slinging, tiger-breeding Joe Exotic and his iconic dirty blonde mullet.
Instead of taking after her father’s era-defining brushed-back ‘do, Miley Cyrus seemed to take a few pointers from the Tiger King‘s look. A look best suited for strong jawlines and wavy textures, the brow-grazing bangs and near-frizzy mane are an attention-commanding equation. An alternative for straighter, limper locks is Ida Anduyan’s modern take (which she sported way ahead of Tiger King‘s worldwide popularity).
Not quite sold on the mullet’s appeal just yet? How about a fringe or a short, summery cut? Or how about a head-turning color change once it’s safe? Let us know what your post-lockdown hair plans look like.
Images via SEVENTEEN’s official Instagram
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver