While the mullet haircut was most popular during the 1980s, it has been making a comeback during the past few years. It is often described as business in the front but a party in the back. Many barbers and stylists have taken the time to modernize this cut, contributing to its rapid comeback. There are a few important points about mullet hair that everyone should note.
What Is a Mullet Haircut?
A mullet haircut has very short hair on the sides with long hair in the back. In many ways, this haircut resembles a mohawk. While this haircut is also called a rattail, there are numerous cuts and styles when it comes to the mullet.
The modern mullet often incorporates other cuts and styles such as an undercut or a fade. This opens the door to numerous other style options, such as a faux hawk or a spiked up appearance. As a result, the mullet is more versatile now than it was in the past.
How To Get a Mullet Haircut
In order for someone to get a mullet haircut, the first step is to grow it out to the appropriate length. This will give the barber more hair with which to work. Then, inform the barber of the desired length at the back. A good length is usually hair that reaches the back of the neck. The front and the back need to have the right amount of balance, which is where the barber can help. Finally, he or she can blend the short sides with the longer top, completing the look.
How To Style It
When styling the mullet, the first step is to brush or comb the sides of the hair either backward or forward. Most men will brush the strands back. Then, a gel or pomade can be used to keep the sides in place while also adding shine.
Comb the top section of the hair back. Use the gel or pomade to mold it to the desired style. Consider spiking it up or raking some wax through the hair. This can give the mullet an edgy look.
#1 The Canadian Passport
This bouffant earned its name from Americans seeking to cross into Canada during the economic collapse of 2008. Achieved with an admixture of haste and a borrowed set of clippers, the Canadian Passport quickly fell out of fashion and then back in again as these individuals adopted new skills for use in the then-emerging gig economy.
#2 The Batty Boy Bishop
This decidedly un-orthodox mullet haircut comes with a full Elvis-style pompadour, close-sheared sides, a cluster of rat-tail like neck features, and the requisite tilted religious symbol shorn into the buzzed side. Aggressively atheist, the BBB suggests leaving behind religious ideation with great haste.
#3 Long Natural Mullet
Unconventional haircuts aren’t exclusively for young people and this salt and pepper mullet is proof! This style is very faithful to the original 1980s concept. It features a simple short cut in the front that morphs into a longer, shoulder-length cut in the back.
#4 Mullet with Short Spikes
Mullet hairstyles are typically business in the front but a party in the back. Smooth your short hair on top by spiking it up with pomade, but let the long hair in the back grow organically. The added combination of a curly beard and fade offers the right amount of texture.
#5 The El Camino Headrest
The El Camino automobile is known for providing bumpy rides and for suddenly spinning out on wet roads due to the rear wheels having poor contact with the ground. One response to this is a mullet haircut that reduces the risk of whiplash by providing padding to the head and neck.
#6 Alabama Shag
Finally, we have the Alabama Shag mullet haircut. This devil may care classic is achieved via the slapdash use of sheep’s sheers held in one’s non-dominant hand, and the use of a windshield instead of a mirror.
#7 The Rat’s Nest
Taking its rodent moniker from the Rat’s Tail, the Rat’s Nest mullet haircut has a much smaller tail and is topped with a nest-like bush at the top. Some care is needed to create the necessary graduation between the buzzed sides and back and the nest-like top.
#8 Slicked Back Hairstyle
Slicked back hair gels with every haircut including mullets. Use a pomade to slick back your mullet haircut before brushing it back. A mullet fade removes any unnecessary grooming steps by keeping it long enough in the back. This offbeat look easily works for professional settings and formal occasions.
#9 Sailor Aground
The Sailor Aground mullet haircut is so-called for its wind-swept appearance and the severely short sides. This mullet haircut requires both careful buzz-work and a great deal of mousse.
#10 Caesar Haircut with Mullet
An abstract mullet that screams avant-garde is perfect for someone who identifies as a hipster or artist. A U-shaped cut around the forehead and a thin goatee offer a soft appearance in the front. With the hair subtly grown longer in the back, the entire look ties together with a small fade at the temple. Add a quirky twist to your roots by implementing platinum blond highlights around your bangs.
#11 Pink Semi Skullet
A layered mullet cut permits you to express yourself as much as you want. Show off your personality with more than just a semi skullet but an extreme dye. Pick one solid color or mix two like hot pink and orange. Top off the edginess with a jarring short fade that cuts into the mullet and extinguishes any fear of caring what people think.
#12 The Shorty Long-back
Typified by the short bowl cut combined with a narrow dorsal swoop, the SLB is achieved by taking the side buzz further toward the back than one would normally be inclined to do. It should suggest a stem for the mushroom-cap top.
#13 Crew Cut with Shot Mullet
Suave and polished probably aren’t words that come to mind when you think of mullets. It is a style that’s known more for pushing the envelope. However, this look shows that mullets aren’t just a fun trend. They can be timeless too!
#14 The Tennessee Top Hat
One of the rare mullet haircut styles that genuinely strives for a degree of panache, the Tennessee Top Hat achieves it with the heavy use of mousse and holding spray. Created for more via styling than by cutting, the TTH is one of those few mullet hair ideas that represent a very low level of commitment since little to no cutting is needed to achieve it.
#15 The Flavio (San Diego)
The tradition behind the Flavio comes from Italian immigrants to the West Coast in the early 1990s. A popular style among said demographic working in seaside fish markets, it quickly caught on with local tweens. This cut can be achieved using one guard on the sides, a four-guard on the back, and a pizza cutter along the neckline.
#16 The Mississippi Mudflap
A classic mullet haircut style, the Mississippi Mudflap embodies everything the mullet hair genre is meant to achieve. Exceedingly short and parted on top and 1980s hair-band-length in back, the MM leaves no room for compromise.
#17 Full Wavy Mullet
Celebrate old-school traditions by taking your hair back to its origins. Comb the front of your hair to the side, and tangle the mullet naturally with pomade or gel. Use a curling iron to loosely add curls and waves. You can alternate how your bangs look to truly emulate 80s iconic stars Chuck Norris, Patrick Swayze, and Billy Ray Cyrus.
#18 Rattail Mullet with Design
Everything about this rattail mullet is attention-grabbing! A lot is going on here, but it’s all executed well, so it works. The mullet haircut may have a reputation for being messy, but this look is surprisingly sharp. The volume on top is extremely neat and the design in his fade is even more precise.
#19 Mullet with Flipped Ends
Even though it may be oddly reminiscent of Kate Gosselin’s infamous soccer mom cut, this look has a silhouette that’s anything but uptight. It combines a swept-back top with the sides faded almost level with the hairline at the forehead. The bobbed length in the back adds the final touch.
#20 The Kentucky Waterfall
A more sporty version of the Mississippi Mudflap, the Kentucky Waterfall is slightly more subdued with a more reasonable front-to-back length ratio. Ideal for the jock or frat boy, the KW mullet hairstyle suggests some potential for future respectability. Just don’t forget the buzz-grooves above the sideburns.
#21 The Short-Long
Another candidate for the essence of the mullet haircut, the Short-Long allows the wearer to easily hide his wild doo at work, in church, or at his girlfriend’s parent’s house. This style is achieved by shearing the sides with one guard and trimming the back off with scissors.
#22 The Coos Cut (For Coos Bay, Oregon)
Seen exclusively in Coos Bay, Oregon – and for good reason – the Coos Cut is named about a specific group of loose women and a local style of pot dealer who favors them. Part bowl cut, part buzz, and all mullet- the Coos is not a mullet to be taken lightly.
#23 Versatile Hipster Mullet
This cut combines naturally tousled volume on the top with cleanly faded sides and a thick, well-kept beard. The result is totally easy and casual, but still interesting. It’s a solid, respectable choice for anyone who wants to try a mullet-inspired style but doesn’t want to look like Die Antwoord. Unlike your average mullet, this cut is all about subtlety.
#24 Blond Biker Mullet
Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy had an unforgettably unapologetic style. This sleek blond style evokes the same biker feel. Pair this mullet haircut with vintage tortoiseshell sunglasses and a leather jacket.
#25 Buzz Cut and Mullet Fade Hybrid
If this buzz cut were even a centimeter shorter in the back, it wouldn’t qualify as a mullet. Nonetheless, it’s paying homage to the spirit of the mullet. The temples and sideburns have been completely shaved off, accentuating the extra length at the crown and back of the head. There’s no need to book an appointment at the barbershop for this style! Anyone with confidence and hair clippers can DIY this at home.
#26 Euro Mullet
This look has major European vibes. Americans don’t have a monopoly on mullets! From the front, this looks like a normal cut. From the side, you can see that it’s been aggressively shaved down to the scalp to show off a retro tattoo.
#27 Mullet with Side Part
As the name suggests, the mullet and top of the head must be long.
#28 The Wisconsin Waterfall
Worn by just one man in Wisconsin, the WW mullet haircut is achieved by getting a tattoo of some local vermin on the head, growing one’s hair long, attempting to dye the hair blue but failing and ending up with green, and then shaving the sides to show off the tattoo you nearly forgot about. Jewelry that interferes with the health of facial mucous membranes is also required.
#29 The German (Long Beach)
This cut is achieved by cutting the sides short, dying the hair blond, and never applying any further care.
#30 The Beaver Paddle
While the Mississippi Mudflap is often mistakenly called a Beaver Paddle, the actual beaver paddle mullet haircut is so-called for the styling which resembles the way a beaver’s hair tends to look after it has been swimming in brackish water.
#31 The Missouri Compromise
This mullet haircut style incorporates a tip of the hat to the 80s rapper Vanilla Ice. As such, it is decidedly short on self-awareness and long in the back. It is important that the bangs appear to be covering a lobotomy scar and that the buzzed pattern resembles a lightning bolt.
#32 The Cousin Bop
With its Elvis Presley-like bouffant and trailer park style neckline, the Cousin Bop mullet haircut is achieved with a gradual fade on the sides, a carefully styled pompadour, and by forgetting about the back entirely.
#33 Wavy Long Mullet Haircut
Mullet haircuts are a perfect way to blend short and long hair into one unique style. With short hair combed and slicked over to the side, let the mullet hang loose. Use a flat iron for straight hair to create the right amount of natural-looking waves. This hairstyle combines older mullet traditions with a contemporary twist.
#34 High Mullet with Fade
Look young and fresh sporting an old-fashioned mullet updated with a modern flair. A strong mullet fade on the sides creates dramatic length as you brush and blow-dry the hair on top of the head into a light Mohawk. Add retro-styled sunglasses to make your throwback haircut extra cool.
#35 Edgy Fringe Mullet
Uneven strands of hair for the mullet is surprisingly trendier than ever before. With an edge fringe mullet, your look can be as messy or smooth as you want it to be. Cultivate an edgy fringe with an uneven cut for the hair on top and in the back. Texture the style by dabbing a pomade or wax on your hand and running your fingers through the hair for as many spikes as you want.
#36 Long Cascading Curls
Adding curls to your hair is easy in the front and back. For the front, use pomade as well as a brush to create a stylish wave on the side. At the end of your mullet, use a curling iron repeatedly for a tight cascade of curls. A friend or hairstylist can help ensure your hair doesn’t become too tangled or knotted.
#37 The Camaro Crash Helmet
Like many curly-haired mullet haircut designs, this one depends on its “Duke boy” inspiration. Because curly hair adds a small level of impact protection, it is called a helmet. This mullet hair can be yours by leveraging a perm kit designed for toddlers, a straight razor, and a mild case of glaucoma.
#38 Long Mullet with Side Part
Mullet wearers typically grow hair all over their heads, but the length on the crown and at the nape of the neck is up to them. Mullets don’t need to be smooth all over. A buzz cut at the front opens up your face and lets the mullet work its magic in the back. This style isn’t the best option for a workplace with a strict appearance requirement, but it’s foolproof for teenagers who want to break from the norm.
#39 Textured Mullet
Small layers add texture to a mullet instead of letting it grow evenly from the front to the back. Cap off the mullet by only letting it grow one or two inches longer than you normally do. A sandy beach blond dye brightens up your look without needing to use an extreme colored dye. You can wear a polished mullet for work and for taking it easy on the weekends.
#40 Spiky Mullet Haircut
There’s nothing in the mullet playbook that means a mullet must be a rat tail. Make your mullet as versatile as possible by asking your hairstylist to clip the mullet with spiky ends. The combination of jet black hair and the eye-catching spikes are the definitions of cool.
#41 Strawberry Blond Texture
Like other modern mullet haircut reinterpretations, this cut emphasizes its mullet silhouette by fading the hair at the temples and the sideburns. The length at the back is fairly conventional. This unfussy cut efficiently draws attention to the curly texture and warm color of his hair.
#42 Skin Fade Mullet
Mullets aren’t the very style one will think of when you want a clean-cut appearance. However, the right shaping and cut can make it intriguingly refined. Create an elegant quiff on top and a close fade on the side. The mullet’s length hits the right space at the nape of the neck to not be too rebellious.
#43 Mullet Haircut with Undercut
Every girl is crazy about a sharp-dressed man! True words from ZZ Top. Like a silk suit and a black tie, this cut is on point. The mullet portion is so subtle that you could blink and you’d miss it. The slight elongation of the tail in the back of this cut is precisely what distinguishes it from a traditional tapered style.
#44 Asymmetrical Punk Mullet
If you follow the punk subculture, chances are you love to take your hair in new directions. Nothing is more exciting than a mullet you can rock at concerts and with friends. Grow your mullet to shoulder-length, and let a hairstylist vary the length of asymmetrical bangs to comb and spike. Promote the illusion of a divided mullet with a sharp fade around the ears. A dose of pomade or wax can help spike individual strands on their own to stick out on the top of your head.
#45 U-Shaped Fringe
A mullet haircut is unique on its own, but what about the bangs? Show off your imagination and eccentricities with a u-shaped fringe, and let your hair lay flat. The light blond coloring also generates an understated sophistication. If you identify or aspire to achieve an androgynous appearance, this stunning look is a step in the right direction.
#46 Low-key Waves
Here’s a relaxed update of the mullet. Mullet styles typically invoke edge and aggression, but this look is soft and casual. This cut is ideal for this man’s hair texture as it has just enough length to show off his curls, but it’s still short enough to be very simple. This is a fresh, no-nonsense cut for a fresh, no-nonsense guy. As a bonus, this simple look requires essentially zero daily stylings.
#47 Gordon Gekko Style
This look is a true throwback to the original mullets of the 1980s! It would fit right in next to Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen in the 1987 cult film Wall Street. The length is evenly balanced over the forehead and above the nape of the neck in contrast with the subtly sculpted sideburns. The style is crucially pulled together with the addition of just enough gel for it to be business in the front and party in the back.
#48 Messy Mullet
Go the opposite of a clean-cut mullet with a messy brush-out in all directions. Use a brush or your fingers and a dab of wax to stretch and push the hair exactly where you want to go. To style your bangs, use pomade with a brush to create a half-up half-down wave or curl. There’s no need to keep it elegant if a messy and natural mullet suits you better.
#49 Mullet with Lines
This look is a throwback, but not to the decade that you might expect. Did you know that while the mullet was born in the 1980s, it experienced a brief resurgence in the late 2000s? That millennial style is exactly what’s being referenced here. This look is all about a sharp, jagged texture like broken glass. If you have straight hair, this cut will require minimal effort daily. Just let your barber do all the work!
#50 Wavy Surfer Mullet
Catch some awesome waves with a mullet haircut that fits in with the beach and surfer culture. Use a flat or curling iron to etch in the right amount of “just got out of bed” tousle. This mullet variation is fashion-forward and matches the adventurous spirit who love to take risks.
#51 Faux Hawk
This soft hairstyle straddles the territory between a fauxhawk and a mullet just as much as it balances between being masculine and feminine. This is a look that’s all about tousled texture, bringing an edge to its otherwise neutral brown color. If you feel brave enough to try a new DIY cut, this is one to try!
#52 Bright Orange Mullet Haircut
Wearing a mullet is already taking a step on the wild side. Adding color takes it one step further. Luckily, there is a wide variety of dyes from crimson red to an aqua green that will catch everyone’s attention. Add an extra layer of edginess with a round fringe around the front and bald shave along the side. You’ll have no problem standing out from a crowd with a mullet bursting with bright orange dye.
#53 Textured Mullet with Fade
Instead of lying flat and elegant, the texture is a mullet’s best friend. Spike your natural hair upwards in different directions to create volume and definition with gel or wax. Play around with the length of spikes, especially if your hair contains lush layers. The effective combination of the fade along the side and length in the back will help increase your confidence ten-fold.
#54 Super Saiyan Mullet
This spicy take on the mullet fade brings to mind anime characters like Goku from Dragon Ball Z. This is a demanding cut that will require regular barbershop visits and plenty of devotion to your bathroom mirror in the morning for styling! If you want to pull off this look, you’ll need to make sure that you’re stocked up on texturizing cream and that your hair trimmer is in perfect working order.
#55 Arthouse Mullet
Here’s another sharp mullet, but with a bit more elegance than the last style. This look would be perfect for anyone who is in an indie band. Like the last cut, this style necessitates discipline. Don’t think you can just wash and go if you want to pull this off!
#56 Avant-Garde Texture
What’s most striking about this mullet is the way the hair is styled into fine, tooth-like points above the face and along the back of the head down to the neck. It provides a sharp contrast to the way the sides have faded almost to the skin. Despite this look’s avant-garde feel, this is wearable, refreshing, and above all, fun.
#57 Taper Fade Mullet
The key thing to understand about the mullet haircut is that it simply does not take itself too seriously. This is a prime example of the attitude that the mullet represents. It’s not for everyone, but that’s okay!
#58 Stylish Pompadour Mullet
Leave a lasting impression with a rockabilly-inspired wall of hair. Create a high pompadour by simultaneously brushing and blow-drying the hair from your forehead to the back. It works best if you have long hair both in the front and back. Accentuate a bald strip on the side of your head with a jagged trim of lines.
#59 Hipster Mullet
Have you ever wondered what would be the perfect mullet haircut for an employee of a vegan coffee shop and juice bar? No? Well, here it is anyway! This cut combines Caesar bangs in the front, shaved-down sides, and an abundance of unruly curls in the back. The nose piercing and the eyebrow slit bring everything together.
#60 Camaro Driver Vibes
Sometimes just a hint of mullet is all you need to update your style! The key to this look is all in the little details – the highlighted tips and the designs shaved into the sides are what give this swept-back look its unique character.
Tip for Mullet Maintenance
When it comes to mullet hair, there are a few styling tips to keep in mind.
Pick the Right Gel or Pomade
There are lots of gels from which to choose; however, most hair products strike a balance between shine and holding power. For example, a hair product labeled shine will make the hair glow; however, they might not have the same holding power as other hair products. Find the right balance for the mullet haircut.
Consider Weekly or Biweekly Mullet Trims
The mullet haircut is all about striking a balance between the short hair on the sides and the long hair on top. As the short hair starts to grow, it could throw off the mullet haircut. Consider trimming the sides weekly or biweekly. The shorter the hair on the sides, the faster its growth will be noticed. Anyone with a super low fade should consider trimming the sides more often.
Enlist the Help of a Hair Professional
The mullet haircut is all about proper maintenance and grooming. Particularly for those with curly or wavy hair, professional stylists can help keep the haircut in check. They have the training and experience necessary to get even wild hair to stay together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mullet Hair
There are a few common questions that people have about a mullet fade. Some of the most frequently asked questions include:
How long should your hair be for a mullet?
If you are interested in a mullet haircut, most barbers recommend a length that is between two and six inches. The longer the hair is on top, the bigger the contrast will be with the sides. Also, this provides both you and the barber additional hair with which to work. The tradeoff is that it also takes longer to grow your hair out to six inches. The trick to a mullet fade is striking the right contrast between the long hair on top and the shorter hair on the sides.
Why is a mullet haircut called a mullet?
The original term for the mullet fade comes from a family of spiny fish called Mugilidae. These fish have spiky ray fins that resemble the spikes that many people have with their mullet fades. Due to the similarities, the term stuck and is still used today.
Who wore the first mullet?
It is unclear who wore the first mullet. There have even been some Greek statues that dated back to the 6th century BC that have been seen with a mullet. While the mullet fade is most closely tied to the 1980s, it has been popular throughout history and is still popular to this day.
When did the mullet become popular?
The mullet was most popular during the 1980s; however, it was still popular in the 1990s as well. One of the most iconic examples of the mullet comes from the popular band Beastie Boys. This is a hip hop group that was popular during the 1990s. This American band used the term “mullet” and wore this popular haircut when their hit song “Mullet Head” was released in 1994.
Is the mullet making a comeback?
Yes! The mullet is making a comeback. On the other hand, the modern mullet also has some notable differences when compared to the popular hairstyle of the 1980s and 1990s. When the mullet was originally popular, it was a relatively standard cut with short sides and a longer top. While this is the foundation of the modern mullet, many people are deciding to go with a mohawk, faux hawk, or even a spiked top. This provides wearers with more versatility and flexibility, allowing them to tailor the mullet style to meet their needs. As a result, the mullet is making a comeback and can be seen everywhere today!