Your Guide to the Modern Mullet

A fashionable man with a mullet

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It’s official — the mullet is back. The controversial style of the 80s has resurfaced with a few improvements. 

The modern mullet haircut is not quite the same as what your dad sported back in the day. It’s cool, stylish and everyone from Tiktok personalities to a-list celebrities is rocking it.

Thinking about getting a modern mullet for your next haircut? Here’s everything you need to know about the increasingly popular hairstyle. 

Side profile of a bearded man with a curly modern mullet hair style

What is a Mullet Haircut?

People describe the mullet with a popular phrase — “Business in the front, party in the back.” And that’s exactly what it is. A mullet is a hairstyle that is short to medium length at the front and longer at the back. 

When it first emerged around the 70s and 80s, the mullet was more styled. It was voluminous and featured a more drastic difference in length. It was a popular hairstyle back then. Many famous celebrities sported the style, which had a rebellious air.

The modern mullet is not quite as intense as its predecessor. It still has that short-front, long-back characteristic, but the hair length is generally shorter. Most modern mullets reach down to the neckline, while the classic mullet usually goes down to the shoulder and upper back.

Instead of the hair-sprayed, blown-out classic mullet, the modern mullet is more relaxed and features unique elements like faux hawks, undercuts and fades. There’s a lot of room for personalization, so you’re free to go as subtle or dramatic as you want.

A barber's hands cutting a man's medium-length hair.

How to Achieve a Modern Mullet Haircut

Ready to take on the modern mullet? Here’s what you need to do to achieve it:

  1. Grow Your Hair 

Since the modern mullet is not that long, you don’t need to grow long locks to achieve it. You’re looking at neck length, so grow your hair slightly longer than that to give yourself and your barber some leeway. Remember to take care of your hair, too. Keep it conditioned and moisturized. Otherwise, your desired mullet style might not work out as you planned.

  1. Decide on the Front and Back Lengths

The next thing you need to do is decide how long you want your hair to be on both sides. Think about the front. Do you want a short fringe or something longer and looser? What about the back? Try your best not to make the lengths too different. One characteristic of the modern mullet is that it connects and flows better. Back then, you might see people sporting a short fringe along with back-length hair. That’s not the case anymore nowadays (and for good reason). 

  1. Decide on the Sides

A lot of modern mullet styles feature some kind of fade or undercut. Some go for a smoother skin fade, while some go for a burst fade. Meanwhile, others prefer to keep the sides long to create a better transition from front to back. 

Before you hit up your barber, decide on the style you want already. If you can, prepare some pictures so that your barber knows exactly what you’re going for.

  1. Schedule with Your Barber

If you’ve made up your mind, it’s time to call your trusty barber. Remember to consult him, too. Barbers know what works with certain face shapes and hair textures. It’s all about setting expectations. Plus, he can tell you how often you need to maintain your cut.

Young man with a modern mullet haircut

How to Style a Modern Mullet

The modern mullet is more relaxed, so you don’t have to worry about using a ton of product or spending too much time styling it. For this hairstyle, it’s really up to you how you’d like to style it. Some like a more slicked-back approach, while others like the shaggy look. 

  • Step 1: Start with clean and conditioned hair. Brush or comb your hair depending on the style you want to achieve. If you want to add volume, blow-dry your hair while using a round brush. 
  • Step 2: Use a texturizing product to add volume and definition to your hair. Warm the product in your hands and slowly work into your hair.
  • Step 3: Use a comb or your fingers to style your hair. For a sleeker look, comb down the front and sides of your hair. If you’re a fan of the more popular shaggy look, just use your hands to add movement and dimension to your hair.
  • Step 4: Once you’ve styled the different sections, use a hairspray with a flexible hold to set the style in place without that overly stiff 80s look. 

This is just a basic framework for how to style a modern mullet. There are too many variations of the style to really give you a specific guide, but you can follow the instructions as a baseline. If you have a more unconventional style like a spiky mullet or one that features a faux hawk, ask your barber the best way to style it and what products will give you the right texture and hold.

Mullet Maintenance

Mullets are all about length, so when your hair grows, you need to come back to your barber to have him maintain it. Ask your barber what the ideal maintenance schedule is for your style. If you keep your sides long, your style can last much longer. However, if you have a fade, your barber might advise you to come back every two weeks or so. 

As a general rule, if the cut is starting to look too unbalanced, you need to come in for a maintenance trim. 

A Modern Take on a Classic

In recent years, the mullet has slowly yet surely made it back to the spotlight. This time, it’s more balanced, stylish and chic. The great thing about the modern mullet is how much it emphasizes individual expression. Just like how the classic mullet represents a rebellious mindset, the modern mullet encourages you to find your own style.

There are tons of different modern mullet styles out there. You can explore so many different length combinations and styling options. You can even make your own. 

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