A post-lockdown look is quickly gaining popularity in salons all over Britain. It combines the best of the shag with the mullet.
Brixton Cowie claims that he has cut many mullets in the three weeks since hair salons reopened. “But none of my customers are directly asking for a Mullet. Although they don’t use the word, they do say that they would like it to be a little longer but shorter, more layers and shaggier.”
Cowie is free to interpret the needs of his clients at Windle, a central London salon that is best known for its classy and conservative haircuts, rather than trendy, trendsetting styles. He says, “What we end up with is a mix between the 90s shag & the harder 80s mulet.” What is the result? It’s the “shullet,” as Cowie refers to it – the hairstyle that the industry predicts will be the most popular this summer.
This is not the unstructured, long slick that Tony Blair and Paul Weller are currently sporting. This shullet requires more careful and carefully layered snipping and should make your hair look soft and full. Imagine Miley Cyrus 2021, a modern-day pixie with a long, wavy mullet. This is a far cry from her father Billy Ray Cyrus, who was known for his “business in the front, party in the back” style.
Contemporary shullet-wearers are less likely to accessorize their mullets in pickup trucks and sleeveless vests as per the cliche. They are, instead, women of all ages who have been united by the post lockdown desire for drastic hair changes.
Cowie says that there is no age limit to this style. He debunks the fashion rule that if someone can remember a trend, then they won’t be able to wear it again. “If the customer is confident and has the right attitude, then they will be able to wear it. We’re seeing more people wanting something different and fresh at the moment.”
Salon floors are filled with optimism about the coming summer. George Northwood, the master of the bob has noticed a shift: Customers are looking for a different style, something that Alexa Chung’s famous style called by Northwood “a shaggier and softer blended mullet”. Northwood says the salon’s shullet is a “smoother version” and that it will be more universally accepted. “A lot people are coming in saying ‘do whatever you want’. I’m doing a lot of cuts to take that signature mid-length bob look. I remove the corners so it’s longer at back and feather it down at the collarbone. Customers want to trim a lot of hair.”
Luke Hersheson agrees that there is more confidence than ever before. His salons are a beacon for major hair trends. His customers are tired of their locks and want something different. “Shullets are a big business”, he says.”I think the best way to make this cut more wearable and trendy is to give it a more natural texture.”
Hersheson was a key figure in popularizing the perm’s return a few years back and believes that the shullet is an extension. He says that hair that is a little curlier hides the extreme shape of the face.
Haircuts, unlike lipstick sales and hemlines, are not used to evaluate the economic health. However, stylists across the nation believe that the smooth, easy-to-style shullet is a sign of a more positive national mood. Pinterest searches for “wolf-cut hair women” have increased by 75% in April, while searches for “wolf-cut girl hair” have seen 145% more searches in the same time period.
Midweek in Hackney, east London – arguably the centre for fashionably awkward haircuts – Blue Tit salon is busy with overgrown flowers and overgrown hair. Stylist Ben Rossiter – proudly sporting a curly hairdo – is eager to discuss the shullet’s cultural and aesthetic appeal. “Rihanna made the look sexy and Miley Cyrus made this mainstream. But to be fair, we’re getting many people – a LOT – bringing in photos of Chrissie Hynde Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, and Chrissie Hynde. In the last few months, people have spent a lot time looking at themselves in Zoom meetings. This feeling of being fed up and wanting to experience adventure is being expressed through their hair.”
Hersheson mentions the success of Sophia Hilton of Not Another Salon. She is a specialist in rainbow-coloured shullets, and offers online courses on how to cut the style. She told her hundreds of thousands followers, “Believe Me,” that shags and mullets were coming to your area, small villages and towns that take a while to get done. The shag haircut will be your new long layers of hair and sweeping fringe.”