The modern mullet can refer to quite a few different mens’ hairstyles. While a mullet on its own is defined by long hair all over, especially at the back, a modern mullet is shorter on top and the sides.

The mullet is often seen as an out-of-date, unattractive style, but if you can wear it right then it really does look the part. Here is what you need to know to make the modern mullet work for you.

Mullet Hairstyle with Faded Sides
Mullet Hairstyle with Faded Sides, by @menshairstyles / Instagram

What is the Modern Mullet?

The modern mullet is characterized by two things, a long mullet (i.e. a lengthy body of back-hair and short side-hair) and medium length front and top hair. The word ‘modern’ in this haircut simply refers to the shorter hair at the front, so you are left free to style it however you please.

Because the term ‘modern mullet’ is so broad, you might see it describing quite a few different cuts. Just remember that it’s a mullet with a short-ish top, however it may be styled.

Mullet 1
Denis Makarenko /

How Do You Style This Cut?

The modern mullet takes quite a bit of length off of the standard mullet, but there’s still more than enough to style with. You can do this however you like, but here are some good suggestions to start with:

  1. Brush or comb it to one side
  2. Gel it up and towards one side
  3. If long enough, comb and/or gel it back
  4. Gel it up into spikes (while this may be seen as a bit too ’90s, it’s still a possibility)

While those suggestions only pertain to the top, you can try styling the mullet itself in a few different ways. You can leave it to drop down, bunch it up into a ponytail, or flare it out.

Modern Mullet
@mikeyyyyyyy_ / Instagram

How Do You Get The Modern Mullet?

If you want to try the modern mullet, you’re going to need some relatively long back hair to start with. You’ll need to have your hairstylist — or whoever else may be cutting your hair — cut the front and sides to your desired length.

Blonde Modern Mullet
Featureflash Photo Agency /

Typically, the modern mullet involves relatively short sides (up to an inch or two) and a somewhat longer front and top (between one and three inches).

As for the back, you can choose how long you want to keep it. Then, you’ll need your stylist to fade the long back hair into the shorter top hair.

David Beckham’s Modern Mullet-3-4
Beckam's On Field Hand Tossed Strands
Photo Works /
Messy and Wavy Mullet
Strands All Over The Place
Retro Mullet with Quiff
Retro Mullet with Quiff
Messy Duck Tail with Fringed Neckline
Messy Duck Tail with Fringed Neckline
Blonde Brush Up with Taper Fade
Blonde Brush Up with Taper Fade
Flat Top with Mullet
Flat Top with Mullet
Mullet or Just a Long Pompadour?
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