Many aspects of the eighties have flashdanced their way into 21st century culture, while maintaining their dynamism and cool factor.
For example, it wouldn’t be considered unusual to see a hip young thing dancing the night away to Belinda Carlisle or professing their undying love for The Breakfast Club.
In the world of fashion, the eighties is a decade which keeps on giving. Year after year, high street shops stock retro tees, sneakers and jewellery; adding a funky new twist with each passing season.
However, there’s one trend which hasn’t resurfaced – apart from in your local fancy dress shop – the instantly recognisable, much-mocked, mullet.
Your dad probably rocked a mullet back in the eighties, inspired by the likes of old-time trendsetters Patrick Swayze and Billy Ray Cyrus.
However, to modern eyes, the mullet is generally considered to be an abomination to hair everywhere; a salon crime so brutal it could well result in a hairdresser having their scissors confiscated by special forces.
So it was surprising for many when creative hairstylist, and Salon Sloane co-founder, John Vial, proudly posted to Instagram, a picture of a newly crafted mullet.
Check it out below:
Many of his followers were flabbergasted after seeing the retro style in a modern context, unsure exactly what to think about it all.
Some likened the throwback cut to a penis, while others thought it was like something straight out of Star Trek.
One anti-mullet advocate gagged:
Oh lordy I would rather chew the arse out of a dead rhino than have that as a haircut but….each to their own.
It looks just like that when I look in a mirror and cut my own hair from behind. Nobody called the 80s and nobody wants to see that anymore.
If I want to see accidents I’ll look Newstime thanks. [sic]
However, others admired the girl’s confidence, praising her for going against the bland old grain with such a boldly unique look.
One person whooped:
You go girl! You do You.
Some people urged the stylist to try using two colours to enhance the cut, and artistic minded Vial clearly listened to his fans’ suggestions.
He later posted another picture of a ‘modern mullet,’ further insinuating his fondness for the nostalgic ‘do.
This time, the mullet was dyed with striking blue and green peacock colours, giving it a much more edgy – and surprisingly contemporary – vibe.
This cut – which Vial coined the ‘marine bowl’ – was warmly received, with many followers describing it as ‘a work of art’ and ‘fabulous.’
One person simply responded, ‘WOAH!’
I personally love it and wouldn’t think twice about going under Vial’s quirky scissors. However, will it catch on?
I spoke with Rachael Gibson, founder of The Hair Historian Instagram page.
Mullets have been around in one form or another for centuries.
Ancient warriors favoured the style as it was good in battle – long hair kept them warm, while a shorter cut at the front meant that hair didn’t get in your eyes or hinder your fighting skills.
There are examples of that kind of cut in all cultures too, from Vikings to Romans and early Native Americans.
I can’t see any reason that the style wouldn’t come back – it’s a cool cut that can be adapted in loads of ways.
The way we make trends fresh is changing something up, and in this instance I think it looks way cooler without the stiff hairspray finish that we associated with 80s mullets. As a soft, layered cut – particularly on women – I think it can look extremely cool.
Let’s not forget that trends are always cyclical, and hairstyles are no different. Things like David Beckham’s Hoxton fin look ridiculous in retrospect, but that’s only because it’s recent history and fresh in our minds.
People have been bleaching, perming, colouring and shaving their heads since the beginning of time in a bid to keep up with trends; they’re nothing new and they’re always going to change – that’s how the beauty industry keeps in business!
We’re living in an exciting time for strange and fantastical cuts. Walk through any city centre and you’ll come across a person sporting ‘mermaid hair’ or a handlebar moustache.
It’s clear the mullet still has the power to surprise and intrigue, but does it have the potential to evolve as one of the hot new trends of 2018?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.