The mullet is one of the most iconic men’s hairstyles of the ’80s. While this short at the front, long at the back haircut has had its fair share of jokes, it’s making its way back into fashion. Football players, musicians, and fashion tastemakers have all begun to embrace the mullet for its eye-catching shape and laidback vibe. The mullet is business at the front, party at the back! It is a haircut for men who aren’t afraid to stray from the crowd and don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s also a surprisingly flattering look, suiting a wide variety of face shapes.
RELATED: 13 Badass Skullet Haircuts for Men
Mullet Hairstyles for 2021
1. Curly Mullet
Curly hair is a perfect match for the mullet cut. That’s because the natural volume and bounce of curls soften the change in length from front to back. Keeping the hair long in the back section gives you a chance to show off and let your curls shine, without distracting from your face. This look works well if you rock the ‘70s or ‘80s-inspired style, as it brings to mind retro rock stars and Hollywood’s leading men of that era.
2. Mohawk Mullet
Have you ever dreamed of having a few haircuts at once? Now you can, thanks to the mohawk mullet. A hairstyle that defies gravity, you can keep your locks at any length. However, for a more authentic mullet feel, keep the top of your head a bit shorter than the bottom – this makes it easier to style. For those with straight or shorter hair, use some gel to add volume to the roots. Alternatively, you can work some sea salt spray into it for a more shaggy feel or leave it natural.
3. Mullet Shag
Unlike a traditional mullet with hair that’s somewhat disconnected between the top and bottom, this shaggy alternative relies on multiple layers to frame the face. This style is dramatic and a great way to honor the ’70s era while maintaining a modern touch. The beauty behind this hairdo is the myriad ways you can shape the layers – stick to a straight fringe for a fashion-forward aesthetic, or stick to a traditional cut at the front and maintain the choppy trend in the back.
4. Punk Mullet
Punk’s not dead, and neither are mullets. This hard-as-nails hairstyle is perfect for the guy who isn’t afraid to go all out. Like a skinhead style, keep the hair on the top of your head close to the skin. However, towards the crown of your head, leave the tips a little longer, so you can spike them up with gel or clay. This look works well with long or short locks; just make sure it’s as short as possible above the ears. Now you’re ready for the next gig or a trip to the pub.
5. Permed Mullet
For the truly brave, you can’t go past the long curly mullet. To make this look work, you’ll need to make sure your curls are intact and not fluffy. Try a special curl-defining styling cream or pomade. The rest of your hair should also be kept cropped quite short to emphasize the contrast in this mullet. If you have very thick hair, the long curly mullet means you can show off your curls without growing them out everywhere – which can look messy and be hard to maintain, especially in the summer heat. Keep the style from looking too retro by teaming it with a cool suit and statement shades.
6. Mullet with Hair Design
Express your individuality by incorporating art into your mullet. A line up is a classic go-to and can create an interesting juxtaposition between long and short locks, especially if you have a fade underneath. For those who are ready to let loose, ask your barber for a more intricate piece of artwork on your temples, such as a geometric shape, minimalist lines, something three-dimensional.
7. Mullet with Fringe
For a high-fashion, editorial-inspired take on the mullet, add statement bangs. A thick, straight across blunt fringe gives it a futuristic feel. These bangs emphasize the disconnection between the front and back sections and look great on oval face shapes. While the bangs themselves should be blow-dried smooth, the long back section can be kept loose and unstyled as this look is all about contrast.
8. Undercut Mullet
If you’re a little skeptical about going all out for your mullet, adding an undercut is a great way to test it out. Shaving the sides and the underneath will give an instant illusion that you can slick your hair all the way down your neck. Ensure that you have shorter locks at the top of your head and longer at the crown so you can give the impression of a mullet. When you’re ready for a new look, simply collect the hair and pull it into a ponytail or bun.
9. Drop Fade Mullet
The drop fade mullet combines two of the hottest hair trends for men right now. A drop fade means the faded part of your cut ‘drops’ down behind your ear, forming a cool arc effect. The rest of the hair can stay as long as you want, but adding a mullet will give the cut an extra layer of attitude. The drop fade mullet is the best of both worlds: the length of one style with the ultra-short, tapered look of the other. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re brave enough, it’s one of the most cutting edge cuts out there.
10. Short Mullet
Let’s keep it short and sweet, with this mullet that is. This style is neat and ready to rock anywhere. It’s a more modern interpretation of the style made famous by eshays in the ’90s, British chavs, and Australian rap and drill scene. The top half of your hair should be significantly shorter than the back, but you can keep it consistent or shaggy until you reach your ears. From there, let the longer locks hit at the middle of the neck. Shape the face with a French crop, or leave the sides with a fade or a faux hawk.
11. Modern Mullet
A more low-key and understated way to try out the hairstyle is the modern mullet. If you’re not quite sure if a mullet is for you – or you’re looking for a less noticeable and more office-friendly version – this is the cut for you. The modern mullet doesn’t have as abrupt a transition from short front section to long back section. Instead, the style is more graduated and soft. It’s a flattering look if you have naturally thick and wavy hair; your locks will be on show without getting out of control.
12. 80s Mullet
The ‘80s are back in a big way, and it isn’t ending at fashion. Today, the vintage mullet style is all the rage. Back in the day, it was all about keeping the hair fluffy and full of volume – extra points if you had shoulder-length hair behind the ears. Some of the most famous adaptions include the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus and Rob Lowe. These days, you can emulate the hairdo by staying true to the extreme opposites in hair length, paired with a modern twist. Add gel to the tips and create an updated version of volume with a quiff or spikes.
13. Skin Fade Mullet
While the skin fade is usually known for being a polished style perfect for business and formal events, it gets a brand new identity when combined with a mullet. Edgy and rebellious, the skin fade mullet as all about sharp angles and endless attitude. Thick hair is required to create the almost geometric features of this look, as you’ll need natural volume to make the hair stand up. Combined with a streetwear aesthetic, the cut is lean and mean – and super stylish.
14. Slick Back Mullet
Nothing says ‘smooth’ quite like a slicked-back hairstyle, but if you really mean business, try it with a mullet. This is preferred by those who have long hair over the entirety of the head but shorter sides and cascading hair towards the neck. As the name suggests, this hairdo is characterized by its sleek silhouette and is easy to replicate. Using volume-boosting products like pomade or mousse, use a brush from the top of your forehead, working backward and down the nape of your neck. Once you’ve covered the entire space, use some hairspray to keep a hold on the ‘do.
15 . Long Straight Hair Mullet
Perhaps the most recognizable version of the mullet is the long and straight kind. For those who want to recreate Australia’s favorite ’80s style faithfully, this is the one. While it can be a polarising look, the long straight mullet is flattering and low-maintenance. You only need to style the short front section – try wax to create texture, lift, and movement – then let the extended back section hang loose and unstyled. Fine and thick hair types both suit this style.
16. Mullet Fade
Are you a fan of the mid-fade, drop fade, or somewhere in between? This stylish hairdo blends sophistication with an edgy twist and isn’t for the faint of heart. Just like a traditional mullet, you’ll want to keep the hair significantly longer at the back and shorter from the ears and upwards. What makes this hairstyle different from the rest, however, are the buzzed temples. There are plenty of lengths to choose from, including temp, taper, or a high fade – we recommend a low fade for a trendy feel.
17. Mullet with Platinum Blond Hair
Blindingly blond hair has been a massive trend for A-list men over the past few years, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. If you’re considering the bleached look, a mullet is an equally attention-grabbing choice. Bringing the two together creates a cool Mod revival vibe, especially when paired with a suit. Because going platinum blond can leave your hair dry and brittle, make sure you use hydrating products to keep your mullet at its best.
18. Half Up Half Down Mullet
Perfect for the guy on the go, the half-up-half-down mullet perfectly combines work and play. This is an ideal hairstyle for those with longer locks, even if it’s shorter on the front or top. Gather the tendrils from the crown of your head and tie it as high or low as desired. This is an excellent option if you’re heading up a boardroom meeting or spending time with your friends – it works well in all situations and keeps you trim and tidy.
19. Dyed Hair Mullet
The futuristic mullet is one in a pop color like acid green, pink or turquoise. The cut is best styled spiky, giving it a punk edge. Sharp, fresh, and bordering on cartoony, the pop color mullet is ideal for fashion fans that aren’t afraid to be bold. You’ll be the center of attention if you rock this look. It stands out when combined with an all-black outfit, or go for head-to-toe color for a daring take.
20. Rose Gold Hair Mullet
The mullet goes to the next level when paired with rose gold, which is one of the hottest color trends for hair. A little more strawberry than copper, this hue suits those with a fair complexion and pink undertones. It’s a bold color that deserves a bold cut – like a mullet. For a truly on-trend look, team the rose gold color mullet with a high skin fade and watch heads turn.
How to Cut a Mullet
One of the key elements to the mullet is the length at the back of your head, so if you’re planning to grow it out, first, you should decide your desired length. Remember, the longer the locks are, the more pronounced the mullet will be – the ideal length is about two to six inches or to the base of your neck. On average, your hair will grow 1/2 an inch every month, so be patient! Section off the hair into three parts – the front of the hairline to the center of the crown and part the side sections from the front of the head to the ears. Chop off the middle section first – cut small portions of the locks and work your hair down. Once you’ve reached the desired length, you can move onto the sides. Cut the sides upward, leaving the parts at the top longer than below and tapering towards the ear. Blend the remaining areas as you wish, leaving it choppy or evened out for a more polished look. Alternatively, use clippers to create a buzz cut along the top and sides, leaving the glorious tendrils in the back.
Why is a mullet hairstyle called a mullet?
The origin and etymology of the mullet are still somewhat up for debate. However, the Oxford English Dictionary credits the first use of the phrase to the Beastie Boys, with their 1994 song Mullet Head.
Is the mullet coming back in 2020?
The mullet is indeed coming back in 2020, however, with a modern twist. This time around, it’s all about embracing natural texture, adding fun colors, and rocking more structured yet alternative shapes. More hair is being kept on top than in the 80s, and the length at the back is not as extreme. This gives the modern mullet a more rounded yet still distinctive style.
What's a mullet haircut look like?
A mullet haircut features shorter sides and top, while the hair at the back of the head or nape of the neck is kept longer.
How do you give a mullet haircut?
It’s best to head to your preferred barber for a mullet cut, as it can be a bit trickier than other styles to get correct. Your barber will section out your hair and create a short crop on top. The sides from the ear forward are generally kept shorter and can even feature a fade. Then, from behind the ear, the hair is layered, getting progressively longer the further back you move.
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