Of all the haircuts stylists have fashioned throughout the centuries, none attracts the blend of vitriol and veneration like the mullet does. Despite the collective derision it meets from the public, “business in the front, party in the back” endures as a hair mantra to this day. Most interesting of all, however, is the fact that mullets were once at the peak of male hairstyles.
Its stint as the hairstyle of choice during the 70s up to the early 90s was not just an out-of-the-blue fad. Mullet Madness! author Alan Henderson firmly believes that the now-infamous haircut has been around since prehistory — and there is substantial science, not to mention historical proof, to support such a claim.
The question of how and why mullets were the practical choice for men across the millennia is easy to answer, as cutting away any obstruction to one’s eyes while maintaining a thick layer of hair to protect against the elements would undeniably be the objectively smart, if not subjectively un-stylish hairdo.
Stylists from the collectivacademy.com admit to sharing the modern dread people feel about the mullet but note that its contributions to pop culture are nothing to scoff at. They say that if anything, its ubiquity during those decades was what led the public to disown the style, after thousands of years of innocuous, even beneficial, existence.
Even before the Beastie Boys coined and popularized the word “mullet” itself, incidentally right around the time it fell from grace, the hairstyle has touched global culture and history in a way that no amount of jokes or ridicule can take away. For now, the mullet heads remain optimistic that the “hairstyle of the gods” will make a comeback.
People would tell them not to hold their breath — and they have good reason to do so — but this does not mean that the mullet was never one of the most important hairstyles on the planet, or that humanity should be ashamed in recognizing it.