Even before the pandemic induced isolation of this year, you’ve probably seen this trend out in the wild. No, not the “Say So” dance or that viral Dalgona coffee situation, we’re talking about the mullet haircut. First, it was just your cool friend with extremely good bone structure last year, then it started popping up in your IG feed a little more, and now, everyone from Miley Cyrus to Barbie Ferreira is debuting their own takes on the mullet haircut. Now, it’s officially been (re)endorsed by none other than the woman herself: Rihanna.
While you might not remember given her myriad of hair and style changes over the years, Rihanna has in fact sported the mullet before. All the way back in 2013, because who would our Queen be if she wasn’t seven years early to a controversial trend. You can spot her shaggy, rock and rock ‘do in the new promo vid for her upcoming Savage x Fenty lingerie show and needless to say, people are hype.
Mullet Rihanna 2.0 features a wider tail, chunky, face-framing side pieces and a lot of choppy, voluminous layers that give way to a fringe. We only get a quick glimpse of the beauty, but we’re already reaching for the scissors… again.
Retro trends do come at you fast. The mullet it is a divisive cut, but let it be known we at Syrup are supporters, and we’re here to say: fuck a fringe, give yourself a mullet.
Pema Bakshi, fashion and beauty writer and stylish friend of Syrup, explains that she wasn’t instantly sold on the mullet hairstyle, but as is the case for so many of us, the power of repeat exposure and suggestion is strong. “What finally sold me was seeing different people take this look on in their own unique way. From baristas and models, even to one of those guys in suits that scooters around the city. I learnt that no two mullets were the same.”
Who do mullets suit?
Bakshi’s also alerted us to, dare we say it, the subtle inclusivity of the mullet haircut. “The beauty of the mullet is that it is not simply a definitive cut, it’s a spectrum,” she notes, “You can dip your toe into the shallow end with a hyper-extended fringe that fades, or sharply cuts off, into longer locks. A great way of trying out the look in a noncommittal way.”
The other thing that’s p cool about the mullet is the variety of genders, hair textures and hair lengths it suits. From longer, straight Asian hair to uber curly short hair, the evidence is clear: the mullet is the queen of haircuts. So, who better to chat all things mullet-y with, than Laura Spinney, National Educator of Edwards and Co. and self-dubbed Mullet Queen.
Where did mullets come from?
First off, it’s definitely not just a microtrend anymore: Spinney says that she gets mullet requests from “women, men and children (believe it or not),” adding that, “People are more comfortable with expressing their individual identities and are always looking at new, edgy ways to stay ahead of the pack. Gone are the days of trying to blend in with the crowd.”
The mullet haircut has been around for centuries, but in recently history has been associated and popularised by the likes of male musicians; think Billy Ray, David Bowie, Rod Stewart. But what we’re really into is the more Joan Jett and Patti Smith vibes of the hairstyle’s current renaissance. “I think there is something to be said for the females and female identities owning their femininity enough to give this haircut a go, despite it being a historically masculine, abrasive style,” says Spinney, and we are co-signing that sentiment.
How do you make a mullet look good?
The key with its versatility is the technique involved, according to Spinney, “The mullet ranges from extreme, super short on top and long at the back, to a more modern interpretation, with choppy layers creating the illusion or silhouette of the style, without going full Billy Ray.”
As we mentioned, the cut’s versatility and low-maintenance level makes it perfect for the wash-n-wear set amongst us, no matter what your hair length or texture is: “Because this cut is so textured, it has a lot more longevity, looking fresh for far longer in-between cuts. It also means people with curly hair are able to feel confident wearing their hair more natural, as the cut is so strong and structured.”
Honestly, the more you look at the mullet, the more beautiful it becomes. As Spinney puts it, “the beauty of trends coming full circle is in the evolution of them. Gone are the days of the stereotypical mullet wearer, this versatile cut is serving people from all demographics and styles, ranging from chic to alternative, and I for one am here.for.it.all! ” Hard agree.
Between Bakshi and Spinney’s glowing endorsements, and our growing saved folder on IG of mullet-spiration, it’s getting more and more likely that this iso, we’re putting down the dye and picking up our hairdressers shears. Please note… Syrup has absolutely not asked Spinney about at-home mullet success rates. This one’s all you baby.
The best mullet haircut inspiration
For a primo selection of some of our fav mullet looks, we’ve curated the below:
Lead image via Instagram @onegill.