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Mullet (haircut): Wikis


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A side view of a mullet.
A front and side view of a mullet.

The mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back.[1] Often ridiculed as a lowbrow and unappealing hairstyle, and facetiously referred to as "business in the front, party in the back",[citation needed] the mullet began to appear in popular media in the 1960s and 1970s but did not become generally well-known until the early 1980s. It continued to be popular until the early 1990s and has enjoyed a partial return to favor as a retro look in the 2000s.[citation needed]



According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term mullet was "apparently coined, and certainly popularized, by U.S. hip-hop group the Beastie Boys",[1] who used "mullet" and "mullet head" as epithets in their 1994 song "Mullet Head".[2] Their fanzine, Grand Royal Magazine, was the first to use the term in print.[1]

In Scandinavia, the hairstyle is known as "hockey hair", as it was common among their Ice hockey players in the 1980's.


First popular appearance

The modern mullet began to appear initially in the late 1960s, Welsh pop singer Tom Jones sporting one. Glam rock artist David Bowie wore a proto-mullet in the early 1970s. Florence Henderson featured a mullet in the opening sequence of the television sitcom The Brady Bunch (1973–4 season), Paul McCartney sported a mullet throughout the 1970s. The hairstyle achieved further popularity in the late 1970s and 1980s among entertainers with receding hairlines such as Anthony Geary of "Luke and Laura" fame from the soap opera General Hospital, and the rock performers Michael Bolton and Phil Collins.


As the 1980s progressed, big and bouffant mullets increased in popularity, and like other popular hairstyles at the time, often included spiking or blond highlights. Popular bands such as Rush, Guns N' Roses and Mötley Crüe probably contributed to the popularity of the hairstyle. Australian Rules footballers were instrumental in establishing the popularity of the mullet in Australia. Notable players included Warrick Capper and Dermott Brereton. The mullet is well known and widely remembered in Germany, where it is known as the "Vokuhila", which is an acronym for "vorne-kurz-und-hinten-lang" or "short in front and long in back". The stereotypical German image of the mullet is epitomized by 1980s soccer teams and their fans, as well as by the ubiquity of the hairstyle in images dating from the fall of the Berlin Wall. This fact has led to an unfortunate tendency to associate the mullet with negative stereotypes of the former East Germany, which is probably not fair, as the hairstyle was also popular in West Germany and elsewhere at the time. The zenith of the mullet's popularity in 1980s continental Europe has been described as an "age of singing tattooed Swedish Flokati Rugs" [3].


In the mid to late '90s the "tail" of the mullet was occasionally "permed" with loose or tight curls adding even more internal composition contrast to the hairstyle.[citation needed] Punk rock band The Vandals sang of country music singers and Jerry Springer Show guests sporting mullets, and listed regional names for the style in the 1998 song "I've Got an Ape Drape".[4]


The mullet and its associated lifestyle have been central themes in movies such as Gummo (1997) Joe Dirt (2001) and the television show The Mullets (2003-2004).

The mullet remains a moderately popular hairstyle among certain social groups in various Western countries. In Spain it can be widely identified in the streets of cities like Barcelona.[5] The Spanish mullet is generally shorter and lighter than a classic mullet, only using the last inch or so of hair above the hairline. It rarely extends beyond the neck. Also in Spain, the mullet is traditionally associated with gypsies and young left-winged and separatists from the Basque Country.

In the U.S. and Canada, the mullet is particularly associated with blue collar men, fans of country and heavy metal music, and ice hockey players, as well as lesbians. In the United Kingdom the mullet is most commonly associated with thugs, David Shales, Pat Sharp or with professional footballers. In Australia the haircut is associated with Bogans and NRL players, particularly those from the 1980s, as well as Lebanese-Australian youths. Jared Allen of the Minnesota Viking's has a recognizeable mullet. In Sweden it is referred to as "hockeyfrilla" (hockey-cut) - perhaps because many Swedish hockey-players played in Canada and adopted the hairstyle. In Finland mullet is sometimes called "lätkätukka" (hockey hair) or "tšekkitukka" (Czech hair).

Singer Billy Ray Cyrus was known for his distinctive mullet and frequently jokes about it on Hannah Montana. One episode had his character "impersonating" his real-life counterpart by donning a fake mullet.


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