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Here Comes the ‘Shullet’

Here Comes the ‘Shullet’

The hairstyle of the 80s, synonymous with beer bellies and football games, has made one heck of a comeback. But this time round, it’s upped its glam ante.

‘Business in the front, party in back’, is the way they used to describe the ‘mullet’, the go-to for way too many blokes in the 80s. And it’s back, but this time it’s softer around the edges, favoured by female A-listers and – whisper it – we’re loving it.

Termed the “shullet’ because of its cross between a shag cut and a mullet, it takes a certain confidence to pull it off, and NZ stylists are ready.

According to Stephen Cockle, co-founder of ACS Salon in Auckland, this time round, the mullet isn’t as in-your-face. “The shullet is far softer and attractive if executed well,” he says. “Any skilled hairdresser should be able to sneak in some kind of shallot to suit [their clients’] lifestyle.”

Zendaya rocked the shullet at the Grammys

But just how did the hairstyle find its way back onto the style set’s radar? “The mullet revival was born in the pandemic, as the unplanned love child of Salon Shutdown and Lockdown Boredom, who had a wild night drunk on Tik Tok,” laughs co-owner of Auckland’s D&M hair salon and five-time New Zealand Hairdresser of the Year Danny Pato.

“Mullets have been around since Ancient Greece,” says Danny. “In the thousands of years since, it’s had a few revivals, most famously in the 1970s with the likes of David Bowie and Joan Jett. It went extreme in the 80s when combined with perms. In more recent times, alongside its iconic status in several subcultures, the anti-fashion – but also totally fashion – mullet has popped up from time to time. I’m looking at you, Miley Cyrus. Now we’re firmly in a new era of a soft, beautiful, balanced mullet, one that’s not so extremely disconnected. It looks more like a shag and could even go undetected to the untrained eye.”

And if your clients want to give it a try? Danny says it most will be able to pull it off.  “Most hair types can handle a shullet. We adjust the cut depending on the hair texture, the face shape and the client’s sense of style. Saying that, probably wavy hair is the shullet’s best natural fit.”