Sunday, August 15, 2010
Mullet Haircuts: 25 Years Of History
Originally popularized during the 1960s by Tom Jones, mullet haircuts were adopted by icons such as Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Paul McCartney and David Bowie. In parts of the northern United States, in Canada, Scandinavia and Sweden, the haircut is called hockey hair. This relates to the fact that during the 1980s, many hockey players wore the hair style.
The style was worn by men through the 1980s, with some variations. It has again become popular during the last decade by those men wanting a slightly retro appearance. The style features hair short on the sides and top, while the back remains long. The length in back may be collar length or even longer. Some consider the style unattractive and lowbrow in character, but it has remained culturally popular.
The song "Mullet Head" was recorded and released by the "Beastie Boys" in 1994. Their fan magazine is the first known appearance of the term mullet in print. Australian rules football players popularized the style on the Australian continent during the 1980s. In fact, the style was adopted by players in several different sports such as hockey. It was closely identified with Germany youth, sometimes negatively, because of its popularity in the country during the period surrounding the fall of Berlin Wall divisions.
The mullet style was kept in the forefront throughout the 80s because of wear by sports figures and appearance in songs, television shows and movies. The look is associated with country and western songs, blue collar workingmen and heavy metal sounds. The Mullets was a short lived television show of the 2003-2004 season; the movies Joe Dirt and Gummo promoted the look and the lifestyle linked to it. Hannah Montana's Billy Ray Cyrus jokes about his distinctive mullet haircut in the television show.
Some other instances where this style is or was popular include Lebanese-Australian men and Czech sports figures. Thugs in the UK are linked to the mullet style. Working class connections and sports connection are each linked to the distinctive hairstyle.
Over the years, the appearance has changed somewhat. A fuller bouffant look appeared in the 1990s, including a permanent or curled back section. The song by the musical group Vandals referred to the Ape Drape, which is another name for the mullet.