There are few hairstyles more divisive than the mullet.
Mullets have historically been scoffed at by the mainstream yet have thrived in its fringes. The hairdo — known by some as "the Missouri Compromise" — has been associated with professional or aspiring hockey stars, 1980s pro wrestlers and hair metal rockers. Pop culture personalities such as the Tiger King, Joe Exotic, or the 2001 film “Joe Dirt” are examples, or perhaps caricatures, of the archetype of folks drawn to the “business in the front, party in the back” vibe.
Recently the mullet — and its sister hairstyle, the shag — are back in demand in barbershops and hair salons alike. The look has crossed over into different cultures and has birthed variations like the Edgar, most popular among Latino men, or the Dallas shag, a style seen on Black men in the South.
Barber Sir Carrawell has cut hair since 2009, but in the past six years he’s gotten more requests for mullets. “[Mullets are] a way to not conform to the views of society,” he said on St. Louis on the Air. “It’s a haircut that’s not traditional. It’s a disrupter.”
Though the general shape of the mullet is the same — short on top, even shorter on the sides and long in the back — hairstylist and self-proclaimed “mullet maniac” Onawa Brown said they love mullets so much that they’ve started persuading clients to try the look.
“I think it looks great on everyone,” they said. “[A mullet] gives you volume, shape and an effortless design without really having to try too hard, whatever your hair type is. To see [the clients’] face light up when they see themselves after — that’s the best part.”
For more on mullets, including Sir Carrawell’s experience cutting St. Louis music legend Chuck Berry’s take on the mullet, listen to St. Louis on the Air on Apple Podcast, Spotify or Google Podcast, or by clicking the play button below.
Mullets are so back. Take these St. Louisans' word for it