Mullet Haircuts, Mullet Styling, and How to Cut a Mullet

By: Sam Watanuki | Published: Dec 21, 2023

The mullet haircut, a unique blend of style with a short front and long back, stands as a testament to fashion’s cyclical nature. Jerry Seinfeld, Brad Pitt, and Peter Dinklage are just a few of the many who have donned this style, impacting their careers and public images.

But men’s mullet haircuts have transcended beyond genders, allowing anyone to sport the ‘do. With its “business in the front, party in the back” ethos, the mullet isn’t just a hairstyle; it’s a cultural statement, spanning various eras and civilizations.

Ancient Mullet Haircuts

So, when were mullets popular? Believe it or not, the mullet’s history dates back to ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests that Neanderthals might have preferred this style for practical reasons, like keeping hair out of their eyes.

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Mullet Statue

Source: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons

Greek statues from as early as the 6th century BCE showcase the mullet, proving its long-standing presence in human grooming traditions.

Cultural Adoption and Evolution

The mullet’s journey through history is as varied as its style. Native Americans wore the hairstyle as a sign of spiritual strength, which Western cultures eventually adopted.

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Mullet Haircut

Source: Wordzandguitar/Wikipedia

Fast forward to the 20th century, and the mullet lay dormant until the rebellious 1960s and ’70s, when it reemerged as a symbol of anti-establishment sentiments.

The '70s and '80s: The Mullet's Heyday

The mullet reached its peak in the ’70s and ’80s, thanks to celebrities like David Bowie. His distinctive cropped front and long back hairstyle inspired a generation.

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David Bowie Mullet 1973

Source: YouTube

This era witnessed the mullet’s transition from a practical haircut to a bold fashion statement, cementing its place in pop culture, and eventually leading to the Jerry Seinfeld mullet and other mullets of the ’90s.

The Mullet Spectrum

What are mullets, exactly? Is there a single defining mullet styling? Not really. The mullet exists in various forms, from the short-hair mullet to the extravagant long mullet.

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Jerry Seinfeld Mullet

Source: NBC/Reddit

Each style serves a different aesthetic, making the mullet not just a hairstyle but a personal statement. This versatility has kept the mullet relevant across decades, adapting to the evolving fashion trends.

Crafting the Classic Mullet

Cutting a mullet requires a keen eye for balance and style. Whether for a short modern mullet or a long, flowing one, the technique involves blending the shorter front seamlessly into the longer back, a skill that’s both art and craft.

Patrick Swayze mullet

Source: Paramount/YouTube

This haircut challenges stylists to create a harmonious look that respects the mullet’s classic roots while embracing contemporary trends.

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The Mullet's Modern Haircut Resurgence

In recent years, the mullet has seen a resurgence, particularly among those seeking a modern twist on vintage styles.

Mullet Haircut

Source: MIKEY HENGER

The modern mullet man often sports a more refined version, and the best mullets showcase how this iconic haircut can evolve while maintaining its unique character.

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Mastering the Mullet: How to Cut a Mullet

Cutting a mullet involves creating a seamless transition from short to long hair. Start by trimming the front and sides shorter, while keeping the back longer. The key is to blend these lengths smoothly for a cohesive look. For styling, options vary from sleek and straight for a classic look to adding texture for a more modern twist.

Mullet Haircut

Source: Joe Malatesta III

Use styling products to maintain the shape and texture, and remember, regular trims (especially on top) are essential to keep your mullet looking sharp and well-defined. This hairstyle requires a balance of boldness and precision, making it both a challenge and a creative opportunity for stylists and individuals alike.

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The Mullet in 2023: A Fashion Statement

The mullet haircut in 2023 continues to evolve, reflecting current fashion trends while retaining its distinctive look. This year’s styles range from edgy and textured to sleek and understated, proving that the mullet can adapt to contemporary aesthetics while staying true to its roots.

Mullets in 2023

Source: brokebackbarber/Instagram

If you’re in need of inspiration, a quick internet search will return plenty of mullet haircut pictures for your viewing pleasure.

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Mullets and Celebrity Influence

Celebrities have played a significant role in popularizing the mullet haircut, today and in the past. The modern mullet’s versatility is further enhanced by influential personalities like Miley Cyrus and Rihanna sporting their own versions of this iconic hairstyle.

Mel Gibson mullet in Lethal Weapon

Source: Warner Bros./YouTube

From Mel Gibson’s mulleted, iconic look in the “Lethal Weapon” series to Brad Pitt’s mullet that broke him onto the scene in “Thelma & Louise” — not to mention the legendary MacGyver mullet — these stars have contributed to the mullet’s enduring appeal and style evolution.

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The Mullet's Universal Appeal

The mullet is not limited by gender and age, appealing to a wide audience. It’s up for debate as to whether there’s a truly “bad mullet haircut” or “good looking mullet,” and new mullet haircuts continue to pop up to this day.

Mullet Haircut

Source: _tlc_hair_/Instagram

Its versatility allows it to be styled in ways that suit any individual, making it a popular choice for those looking to make a bold fashion statement, regardless of their background.

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The Mullet's Timeless Charm

Now you know — no more wondering, “What is a mullet haircut?” The mullet remains a symbol of individuality and rebellion against conventional fashion norms. Its ability to reinvent itself while staying true to its roots is a testament to its timeless appeal.

JCVD Mullet Haircut in Hard Target

Source: Universal Pictures/YouTube

Whether loved or loathed — a long mullet haircut, a small mullet, a mid-fade mullet, or otherwise — the mullet continues to be an iconic element of style, transcending trends and time periods.

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