Is… the mullet actually making a comeback?

Is… the mullet actually making a comeback?

Call it the Stranger Things effect, or put it down to our newfound love of cowboy culture, either way, it looks like the mullet is back.

You know the one: The iconic hairstyle left long at the back and cut short at the front – best described as “business at the front, party at the back.” Largely lacking sex appeal and coolness, the mullet is probably one of the most joked about hairstyles of all time.

And yet, maybe that’s why it’s coming back into style? Fashion and beauty trends are often about subverting the norm and pushing the boat out, and what could be more ironic than the mullet?

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📈📉✨

A post shared by Masami Hosono (@masamihosono) on

Luckily, the style has had a slight 2019 update. Teen Vogue first identified the so-called ‘step mullet’ as a trend, and instead of the hair being gradually cut down, it features a sharp drop between the short front and the long back. Not a traditional mullet, on many people it looks more like a severe difference between your bangs and the rest of your hair.

Teen Vogue asked Masami Hosono, creative director of New York salon Vacancy Project, what kind of hair suits this look best and she said: “Straight hair is best to make sharp line especially but curly hair is also cute,” but the most important thing is to take care with “the balance between length/bangs/and steps.” So, basically any hair type can give this a go – it just all depends on how brave you’re feeling.

Looking on Instagram, the step mullet is slowly but surely taking off. Many of the styles are sharp and crisp…

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What’s the point of blending in?

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A banana a day I say

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Manami by Masami 🙃

A post shared by Masami Hosono (@masamihosono) on

… while others go for a more textured, messy look.

There also seems to be a trend for step mullets dyed in bright colours…

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Purrrrrrrpal..... . Also embracing the jaw on my side profile

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Some people – like Japanese fashion icons Mademoiselle Yulia and Risa Aizawa – have taken the style further, creating an extra ‘step’, so they have a full fringe, mid-length bangs, and the rest of their hair left long.

You might shudder at the thought of a mullet, but these styles are a far cry from the haircut favoured by footballers in the Eighties.

Was it mandatory for Eighties sports stars to have a mullet? Left to right: Petar Borota, Paul Gascoigne, Paul Ferris (PA)
Was it mandatory for Eighties sports stars to have a mullet? Left to right: Petar Borota, Paul Gascoigne, Paul Ferris (PA)

Of course, not all mullets historically have been dodgy – at times they’ve been considered cool – just look at David Bowie’s – but even that couldn’t salvage the style’s long-term reputation.

Bowie’s Seventies mullet was certainly a strong look (PA)
Bowie’s Seventies mullet was certainly a strong look (PA)

The mullet was briefly brought back in the early Noughties by stars like Gwen Stefani, but it didn’t last long, arguably because it was too close to the Eighties version for comfort, with altogether too much choppiness and feathering.

Stefani’s ill-fated shaggy ‘do (Myung Jung Kim/PA)
Stefani’s ill-fated shaggy ‘do (Myung Jung Kim/PA)

The step mullet looks pretty different to this – could that be its saving grace? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, we’re going to play you out with this, from one of the most iconic mullets in beauty history…

- Press Association

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