The mullet, once considered a hairstyling faux pas, is back, and today's take on the short-up-top, long-in-the-back style might just persuade even the staunchest objector to try it out. How do we know this? Well, a high proportion of models and celebs are rocking this style. We even consulted stylists Chris Jones and Rena Calhoun about the trending 'do, and they confirmed our suspicions: The mullet has taken on a whole new level of cool.
The latest version of the mullet is much softer, and the variance in length isn't as stark, hence its new moniker, the short mullet, or "shullet." (The nickname also applies to the resemblance of a cross between a shag and a mullet.) It can suit poker-straight hair as well as curly hair. The key to this style is ensuring that the cut is more subtle and softness around the face.
Meet the Expert
Keep scrolling to see 25 great celebrity examples of the shullet.
Rowan Blanchard's shullet has got it all: volume, texture, even glam rock. "Her natural texture works perfectly for this effortless wash-and-go look," comments Jones.
To achieve lightweight, bouncy curls, Calhoun adds, "I always prep my clients with Virtue Moisture Defining Whip ($38). Once you’ve applied product, you can air-dry but a diffuser works wonders on curls if you want that extra pump of volume."
If you have stick-straight hair, Calhoun suggests getting a wave perm to add body.
Rihanna's interpretation of a modern mullet involves playing with texture. While she wears most of her mane thick and wavy, she undercuts with a shaved side to highlight contrasts. It's "an effortless look that works best on slightly textured hair. Because it's so layered, the haircut does all the work and is virtually wash-and-go," says Jones.
Sharon Stone's shullet is chic and low-maintenance (was there ever a better combo?) Not to mention, "This length is great for finer textures and hair that can lack natural volume," notes Calhoun. To achieve this look, she instructs prepping hair with a volumizing primer—we like Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging® Multiplying Volume Styling Mist ($30)—"focusing on the top and front sections. Round brush with over direction to create as much volume as needed. To finish, apply a lightweight pomade on your hands and fingers and run it through gently, away from the face."
Is there any hairstyle that Gigi Hadid can't pull off? "The narrow sides, loose fringe, and longer length complement this face shape so much," says Jones. To create this style, he suggests using "volumizing mousse at the root for lift and volume. Round brush the fringe under then wave the rest with a curling iron or wand." Finish with Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($49).
Kesha's hair evolution has seen many cuts, colors, and styles, but we count this look as one of her mane's most memorable moments. "In a world saturated with bobs and balayage, the modern mullet is a rebellious way to go against the grain. It’s the faded jeans and band T-shirt of hairstyles," says Jones.
English singer-songwriter Leigh-Anne Pinnock's lime-green suit and lived-in texture is attention-grabbing, to say the least. "This is a great option if you like the idea of a mullet but want to keep some length in your hair," comments Calhoun. The best part? Any hair type and texture can pull off this cut, she adds.
All it takes is priming with a texture spray throughout. "Follow by applying just a bit of a sticky/tacky (but lightweight) pomade on just the ends to create piecey-ness and definition," instructs Calhoun.
Working with your mane's natural texture, rather than against it, is the new hair mantra that seems to be gaining traction. "I think that having texture in hair is so flattering because it creates softness around the face," says Calhoun. To achieve this low-maintenance look, which works best on those with naturally wavy or even curly strands, "apply a bit of Virtue 6-in-1 Leave-In Cream ($34) to tame and create a lightweight, shiny finish."
British and Indonesian model Charlotte Carey can't decide between wearing her hair straight or curly so she does both. Her face-framing bangs lead into cascading curls for a result that is casual and cool.
Long layers at the crown build body and complement fine straight hair, as seen here on Nia Long. Piecey bangs add a bit of edge while flipped-out ends lend a flirty retro vibe.
Hair chameleon Kristen Stewart pulls off this shullet without a hitch. For this cut, leave hair longer in the center and sides a bit shorter. The effect is a subtle fauxhawk of sorts. The blonde on top and darker shade underneath make for the ultimate cool-girl look.
Brazilian-American model and actress Barbie Ferreira is no stranger to pushing the envelope when it comes to interesting hairstyles. She's played with costume wigs, green hair, and now, the shullet. A bold graphic eye takes this trendy look to the next level.
Miley Cyrus has been seen wearing a shullet on more than one occasion, in fact, we're hoping it becomes her new signature look. Calhoun loves how she incorporates a fringe since "[it] makes a mullet look super modern. I think that a fringe is very flattering and can be softening on most people, especially when cut to the correct length for their face shape."
We almost didn't recognize English rose Edie Campbell at first with this sunset ombré hairdo. It reminds us of a tequila sunrise—but for hair, obviously. Ziggy Stardust would be proud.
Halsey has had a lot of hair-worthy moments—even her natural hair gave us pause— and this shullet is no exception. "Love this modern but wearable version. It's edgy but not overly layered and cropped," says Jones. A hair oil and styling cream combo like Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($42) and Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème ($11) respectively, "would not only give the texture some support but also a ton of shine," he adds.
Since this is a versatile style, consider air-drying hair for a natural finish, notes Jones. However, he points out that this will work best if you have some natural texture or wave.
It comes as no surprise that Billie Eilish is the fifth recording artist to make our list of top modern mullet looks. When it comes to sourcing head-turning hair inspo, we find that musicians almost never disappoint.
Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson's shullet 'do is equal parts edgy and romantic. Choppy layers are feathered at ends, providing texture while also softening edges. To keep bangs in check, Calhoun instructs prepping with a volumizing primer. For a quick refresher, she recommends a dry shampoo to soak up any oil that may come off your forehead. We're fans of Tigi Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo ($20) in case you were wondering.
Portia de Rossi
Portia de Rossi's subdued style may not be a shullet by definition, but hey, it's a spinoff worth noting. "I actually love this haircut. This works great for clients with finer hair. the short top blown up and away from the face is so in right now," says Jones. To create this look, he recommends prepping with a volumizing mousse before blow-drying. Try something like Joico JoiWhip Firm Hold Designing Foam 07 ($18) and then "dust a little Virtue Lifting Powder ($35) at the root for added texture and control," adds Jones.
Taylor Momsen's shullet features graduated layers around her face to give the ultimate cool-girl vibes. Her straight hair perfectly compliments the layers and fringe bangs. Momsen amps up her rock star style with smoky eye makeup.
Scarlett Johansson has the more extreme version of the shullet, with the fringe bangs, short sides and long back. Instead of graduated layers, ask your stylist for more pronounced length difference between the front and the back.
Yes, Billie Eilish makes our list twice! The singer cut her longer shullet into this short shullet with more graduated layers around her face. She kept her fringe bangs and transformed her look (as she is a pro at doing) by coloring her hair blonde. If you do a color switch from brown to blonde, keep your color looking fresh by using a color toning shampoo, like Olaplex No.4P Blonde Enhancer ($28).
Doja Cat tops off her sexy look at the Grammy Awards with this chic dark shullet. Her hairstyle features more dramatic layers between the front and the back, and gives a new twist to the mullet by switching the longer fringe bangs with the shorter bangs.
Demi Lovato's short mullet haircut is perfect for showing off their features. This haircut was also a great transition look as they were growing out their short pixie cut. Lovato keeps the bangs super short, and has more gradual layers going from shorter in the front to longer in the back.
Singer Natasha Bedingfield puts her own fresh spin on the shullet hairstyle. She keeps the trademark shorter length in the front and longer in the back, however instead of fringe bangs she opts for longer side-swept bangs. Spray on Amikea Top Gloss Hair Shine Spray ($27) to help keep your bangs in place and for extra shine.
Will a shullet haircut work with curly hair?
Yes, a shullet hairstyle will look great on those with curly hair. Thanks to the layers, your hair will have lots of volume in the front and a nice wave in the back. Keep in mind that the shorter the hair is cut, the curlier your hair will be.
What is the best face shape for a shullet?
Oval or square face shapes look fabulous with the shullet haircut. If you have a round face, you can still pull off the shullet just make sure to not have too much volume on the sides. If you have a heart-shaped face, opt for a longer shullet to help balance out your features.
Can I pull off a shullet if I have thin hair?
Yes, thin hair works well with the shullet. Ask for a medium-length or shorter mullet over a longer haircut, and focus on creating volume up top.