Hair Studies: The Mullet
Whatever you call it – and there are many monikers including Bi-Level, Ape Drape, Mississippi Mudflap, Missouri Compromise, 10/90, Camaro Cut, Achy-Breaky-Bad-Mistakey, Hockey Hair, Yep-Nope, Squirrel Pelt – the Mullet is the cut we love to hate.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the hip-hop/punk band The Beastie Boys “apparently coined, and certainly popularized” the descriptor in the 1994 song “Mullet Head:” You're coming off like you're Van Damme / You've got Kenny G, in your Trans Am / You've got names like Billy Ray / Now you sing Hip Hop Hooray ? / Put your Oakleys and your stone wash on / Watching MTV and you mosh on / number one on the side and don't touch the back / number six on the top and don't cut it wack, Jack... You want to know what's a mullet? well / I got a little story to tell / About a hair style, that's way of life...
Some random facts about the cut itself: Archeological evidence support the likelihood that many members of ancient civilizations (top row, above), such as Mesopotamia, Syria, and Asia Minor, wore mullet-like cuts simply to keep their necks warm and dry and their eyes unobstructed.
James K. Polk (top row, above, fourth from left) has the distinction of being the only sitting president to sport a mullet. His kept the Oval Office long in the back and short in the front from 1845 to 1849.
In 2010, the government of Iran banned the mullet for men, claiming it was part of a "western cultural invasion.” Barbershops were raided and serial offenders were issued steep fines. (First time mullet owners were given a complimentary and less controversial haircut.)
But the Mullet is also the cut we love to love, and it appears regularly on the runways and magazine pages – and at Hairstory Studio. So you can leave your ’80s irony at the door, thank you, and embrace something that can be quite beautiful.