Pull off the trendy mullet hairstyle with these three tips

New styles of mullet are making a comeback.
MODERN TAKE New styles of mullet are making a comeback.
Image: Justin Dingwall

Maybe we didn’t want to see it before when Riri and Miley Cyrus started sporting this popular 1980s hairstyle, but it’s official: the mullet is back and stealing our attention on the runways of Thebe Magugu, Dolce & Gabbana, Fenty x Savage and Chloe.

The mullet didn’t really have much glamour attached to it before, and was really a style championed by 1980s rock bands and Billy Ray Cyrus during Achy Breaky Heart fame. But before you scream “business in the front, party in the back”, the mullet of 2021 is not the same mullet. Hairdresser Candice McKay of Wyatt Hairdressing and Barbering says: “The modern mullet is soft and less aggressive than previously seen. There is a femininity to it that relies on gentle textures and colour.”

Whether you call it the modern mullet or the soft-serve mullet, as it is now popularly known, the new mood of the mullet is much softer, more textured, and its DNA mixes elements of the mullet and the shag haircut of the 1970s. “When considering a mullet, your natural texture needs to be considered, and easy styling is a must, nothing forced or too contrived. Make sure to visit a stylist that has a solid understanding in cutting short hair as well as how to use layers to enhance the facial features,” advises McKay.

If you’re considering giving the mullet a try this season, then take note of our tips for this fun look and get more wear out of your style.

If going shorter, go for longer face-framing lengths

The short, very straight version of the mullet does tend to make the style look dated, so if you want a shorter length, make sure to ask your hairdresser to give you longer, face-framing lengths that will soften it all up. Going for a longer fringe length with choppy, framing pieces around the ears will give your mullet a more flattering, longer-length pixie look that’s still within mullet realm but is brought into the present.

Add texture to give the mullet a feminine softness

Adding loads of texture and volume or working with your own natural texture really elevates the style and gives it a cool, modern update. International hairstylist Jordan Avery Z says on Allure: “The soft-serve mullet is great for someone who wants to add a little texture and volume to their style with a delicate edge, as this bi-level cut focuses on the contrast between the disconnected silhouette and soft perimeter.”

It’s important to keep the cut quite short at the crown and focus the majority of the texture on the mid-lengths. If you have naturally straight hair, try working in some texture and wavy bends with a mini straightener that will be perfect for curling shorter hair.

Think about how your mullet will grow out to maximise style

The fear of most when considering a mullet is how the style will grow unevenly with awkward lengths, as it is an uneven haircut to begin with. That’s why if you want to give your mullet longevity, it’s advised to consider how you want it to grow out from the beginning. Go for longer lengths and sweeping face-framing pieces that will allow the mullet to grow out naturally into a layered, shag-like style. This looks particularly good in naturally curly or wavy textures.