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Top 5 Short Mullet Styles for 2022

The short mullet was seemingly predestined to become one of the most significant hair trends of 2022. Now, if you’ve been following Beardbrand for the past handful of years, you’ll know that we’ve been championing the mullet since 2018 and even went as far as predicting its resurgence in 2020—which we wrote about extensively in our blog, The Ultimate Guide to Mullets.

But we’ll be honest, we never foresaw the mullet reaching this level of mainstream pop appeal the way it did in 2021 and has continued to do as we roll through 2022.

So, what the heck happened?

Sometimes two things are just on a collision course, and that was the case when you combine the rising niche popularity of the mullet in 2020 and global lockdowns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It created a literal big bang event for a new mullet revolution.

Naturally, the mullet is the ultimate do-it-yourself haircut. And in those early days of the pandemic when barbershops were closed, the mullet was ready and waiting for you to come to the conclusion that a buzz cut or long hair wasn’t for you. Or maybe we were all just bored out of our minds, and turning ourselves into temporary Tiger Kings gave our dopamine receptors just enough juice to survive our isolation.

Regardless, mullet popularity skyrocketed after pandemic lockdowns. Everyone from British schoolboys to seemingly every athlete and famous musician began to adopt the long-forlorn style.

Alas, a new mullet trend has emerged—one that features a more modern, less egregious interpretation of the business in the front, party in the back. The new short mullet is still business in the front, but it’s more of a happy hour in the back. It’s more accessible and easy to wade your feet into. The spirit is still there, but the price of entry is less steep, and the haircut hangover is less severe.

So if you’re ready to ditch the corporate confines of the side part and stop taking yourself so seriously, the short mullet is just the cut for you. And these 5 short mullet styles, as demonstrated by mullet aficionado (and Beardbrand Founder) Eric Bandholz, should give you plenty of inspiration.

THE QUIFF/MODERN MULLET

Eric Bandholz standing outside with a short quiff mullet haircut

The quiff/modern mullet is undoubtedly the most popular short mullet style. From country singers to indie rockers to high-profile athletes like Patrick Mahomes, you can’t really escape seeing this style wherever you look.

Take whatever notions of the disproportionate Joe Dirt Kentucky Waterfall mullets that permeated the ironic fringes of pop culture throughout the early aughts and throw them out.

The quiff or modern mullet is sleek, textured, and brings just the right amount of edge to the table with less trailer-park couture.

Keep the top and back to a similar length when getting this cut. The goal is to have just enough party in the back to allow it to swing—around 3 to 6” worth (depending on if your hair is straight or curly). That means you can grow your hair to the needed length in less than a year, even if you’re starting with no hair.

How to Style The Quiff/Modern mullet

The quiff mullet is meant to be worn on the messier side and works well on any hair typle/texture. This style is pretty low maintenance and easy to wear on a day-to-day basis.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. After getting out of the shower and lightly patting excess water from your hair, comb it back to get rid of any tangles.
  2. With the hair wet but not soaking, add in some Beardbrand Sea Salt Spray. The sea salt and kaolinite clay add volume to the hair while giving a slight hold. It’s got a natural matte finish making it perfect for bringing out the texture in your hair.
  3. Apply a small amount of Beardbrand Styling Balm—a nickel's worth is generally all you need, and you can always add more if needed. Work the balm evenly into the entirety of the hair—tips included. Focus on be pushing the hair forward and up.
  4. Grab a blow dryer. Start with high speed and high heat while pushing the hair forward and up. As the hair begins to dry, reduce the heat and speed while working the hair forward and up. Once the hair is 98 or 99 percent dry, switch to cold air to lock the style in place using your fingers to add texture and dimension.
  5. You want to go with the natural waves of your hair and see how things lay. The beauty of this style is that it will vary slightly every time you do it.

THE DROP FADE MULLET

Eric Bandholz dressed in a black tee shirt and with a short drop fade mullet haircut

The drop fade mullet toes the line between a short mullet and a mohawk. The fading is further back on the head but kept clean without the extreme disconnect of a traditional mohawk.

The drop fade mullet is a perfect starting point if you just want to dip your toes into the mullet movement or you’re trying to grow a mullet from a traditional skin fade. It’s like a mullet with training wheels. You don’t need as much length in the back, and it grows out nicely.

Style it the same way as the quiff/modern mullet to keep it a little messy and natural-looking.

80’s STYLE SHORT MULLET

Eric Bandholz with a beard and short '80s style mullet haircut

Inspired by some of the most iconic mullets in history—David Bowie, Patrick Swayze, etc.— The ‘80s style short mullet is less aggressive on the sides. There’s no skin fade or harsh lines. This mullet style is all about flow, volume, and texture, so having a barber or stylist who really knows how to work with sheers is critical. It also helps to have wavy or curly hair, but even if your hair is straight, you can still get plenty of volume if you know how to use a blowdryer (more on this below).

HOW TO STYLE THE ‘80S SHORT MULLET:

The ‘80s style short mullet requires a solid understanding of fundamental blowdrying techniques. Again, this mullet is all about volume. It just doesn’t have the same impact when your hair is falling flat.

Follow the steps below to maximize the volume in your mullet flow:

  1. After getting out of the shower and lightly patting excess water from your hair, comb it back to get rid of any tangles.
  2. With the hair wet but not soaking, add in some Beardbrand Sea Salt Spray. The sea salt and kaolinite clay add volume to the hair while giving a slight hold. It’s got a natural matte finish making it perfect for bringing out the texture in your hair.
  3. Apply a small amount of Beardbrand Styling Balm—a nickel's worth is generally all you need, and you can always add more if needed. Focus the Styling Balm at the roots of the hair. Putting too much emphasis on the tips of the hair will weigh it down, and you’ll lose some of that natural-looking flow. Be sure to distribute evenly to avoid having different areas of your hair look different.
  4. For this style, you’re going to be working the hair up and back.
  5. Grab a blowdryer. Start with high speed and high heat while pushing the hair up and back. As the hair begins to dry, reduce the heat and speed while continuing to work the hair up and back. Once the hair is 98 or 99 percent dry, switch to cold air to lock the style in place using your fingers to add texture and dimension.

80’s STYLE SHORT MULLET AND MUSTACHE

Eric Bandholz with a mustache and short '80s Style Mullet haircut

While pairing the ‘80s style short mullet with a beard gives a more contemporary vibe, pairing this same style mullet with a mustache or beardstache goes all-in on the style. It’s totally 1980’s Sam Elliott or John Oates (Hall and Oates), and it’s cool—trust us.

THE BOWL CUT MULLET

Eric Bandholz with a short bowl cut mullet haircut

The bowl cut mullet is not for the faint of heart. It’s punk-rock. This is the true-blue red-blooded kind of mullet that prides itself on its imperfections. This is the kind of mullet that you can cut yourself (though there’s no shame in having a barber add some texture to the tops and back).

There’s practically no fade on the side for the bowl cut mullet. This is all about having a stark contrast in hair lengths. The secret to making the bowl cut mullet work is to avoid right angles—keep the curve smooth and flowing. Style the top and back like you would with the quiff/modern mullet.

THE WRAP-UP

Are you rocking a short mullet? Tag us on Facebook or Instagram. Have questions about hair or beard styles? Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 for free, ongoing personalized style consultations.

Keep on Growing.

TL;DR

These 5 short mullet styles are some of the coolest hair trends of 2022:

  1. The Quiff/Modern Mullet
  2. The Drop Fade Mullet
  3. The ‘80s Style Short Mullet
  4. The ‘80s Style Short Mullet and Mustache
  5. The Bowl Cut Mullet

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