The mullet is making a comeback.
The notorious “business in the front, party in the back” haircut – so prevalent in the 1980s and 90s – has made a remarkable return. In magazines, on the internet, and in stores like Walmart, if you find yourself in the right place at the right time, you might just be graced with its presence and beauty.
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Now, this isn’t the first time the mullet has been back in fashion. In the early 2000s, people could be seen rocking the cut like nobody’s business. But I sure didn’t expect it to have its day again so soon. I know fashion is cyclical, and we’ve seen numerous times where iconic items such as bell-bottoms have come back in style – but dang! This? Of all things! It is, quite frankly, a bit unexpected. At least from my perspective.
I’m not opposed to the mullet, in case anyone is wondering. I’ve seen some really admirable mullets in my thirty-plus years of living. Done the right way – maybe with a mohawk or a leather jacket – it can really tie a look together.
The mullet is making a comeback. I suppose it makes sense. Our culture (especially among young people) is experiencing a real craving for nostalgia. There’s always been a portion of any population who yearn for a time they don’t remember, but never to this degree. Everywhere you go, hints of the past linger. The ghost of days long gone haunts store sound systems, vintage t-shirts can be found at cheap prices online and brick-and-mortar locations and elements of disco and 80s production are key to the success of modern pop music. And let’s not forget the recent cassette rebirth.
But back to the mullet. With the world crumbling, it makes perfect sense we would bring back something associated so strongly with “better” days and “simpler” times. In a way, those were simpler times, so I’ll give that to them. We didn’t have the double-threat of irreversible climate change and nuclear war looming over us. Nor did an entire generation live without constant war. On top of it all, housing was more affordable, and you could provide for a family with one job (and often one person working).
How does one arrive at this glorious haircut, though? While most of us might grow our hair long or get an undercut, it takes a special soul to commit to the mullet. For the uninitiated, an undercut is a hairstyle in which a person shaves their head underneath the visible portion of hair. They’re often dyed unnatural and quirky, intriguing shades, such as blue, pink, or green. It’s similar to a mullet, but at the same time, not at all like it.
I will admit that I don’t understand the undercut entirely, but it makes sense when you take futurism into account. These are futuristic times as much as they are retro. We have computers in our pockets, information at our fingertips, and even alcohol can be delivered to your house or apartment in certain areas. The undercut is a sign of the times.
Perhaps the mullet functions as the flip side of the same coin. One is the past, the other the future.
But what of proper mullet-appreciation protocol?
Rule number one: don’t stare. Sure, it probably looks amazing. But the wearer most likely does not appreciate prying eyes. Look, and look away.
Rule number two: if they approach you (or you approach them), don’t touch. Like any unique hairstyle, you might become overwhelmed with the urge to feel every inch, to become one with its particular beauty. But, if you reach a handout, you might get punched. At the very least, you will scare them, and they will not want to be your friend.
Rule number three: don’t ask prying questions. You might be tempted to ask them why they have a mullet, what led them to adopt it, or other invasive questions
While this is a good rule for anyone’s appearance and adornments, this hairstyle is more mysterious than many other cuts. So don’t ask anything that might seem a bit much. More than likely, the individual will be happy to talk about their hairdo. Just watch how far you take it.
So the next time you see someone who looks super-cool, with a curious haircut seemingly inviting a second look, keep in mind what you’ve read here. Not just the history I’ve offered or theories on what the mullet represents, but the rules for appropriate reactions to how they maintain their hair.
The mullet is making a comeback. Let’s celebrate the mullet!