No longer just a fish that comes in grey and red, Mullet is also the term given to the men's hairstyle that is short at the front, long at the back. Coined by the Beastie Boys in an issue of their fanzine Grand Royal, the Mullet haircut has slowly but surely entered the fickle language of follicular taste.
As haircuts go, it is unequally distributed, with high Mullet-counts found among footballers, adult-orientated rock singers and people in "creative" businesses like music and advertising. Mullets are also widespread among youngish men in hot regions like Australia and Texas, who believe it to be a stylish solution to the problem of sun-caused neck cancer.
Probably born in the 1970s, the Mullet has mutated through various movements: glam, post-punk, and new romantics all saw variants on the basic Mullet theme, and it can now even be found on policemen and middle-management executives. Uber-Mullets of history include singers Michael Bolton and Billy Ray Cyrus, magician David Copperfield and Wings period Paul McCartney - indeed, Linda McCartney is testament to the fact that, occasionally, women too like to have a Mullet. One recent pastiche example is Steve Coogan's creation Tony Ferrino, who sports a kind of romeo Mullet.
But do hairdressers know or care about the Mullet? I called Steve, the spokesman for Soho barbers Cuts, to find out whether anyone ever walked in and said, "A Mullet, please". The answer was an unequivocal no. "Disgusting. No, we don't do them anyway," he snorts. Instead, Cuts' latest endeavour is called the Buddha, which is extremely short at the front and sides, rising to a longer section on the crown - "Like the opposite of a Friar's bald patch". Fine - but can the Buddha outlive the Mullet? Let fashion's finger of fate decide.Reuse content