In the three weeks since the beauty salons reopened, Brixton cowie he says he has cut dozens of mullets. “Except none of my clients have been directly asking for a mullet. They don’t use that word, but they say they want it a little long but a little shorter, more choppy, with more layers and hairier. “
Cowie must interpret the needs of her client base at Windle, a central London salon best known for its chic but conservative haircuts rather than the edgy and trend-setting ones. “What we are finishing is a cross between the fluff of the 90s and the toughest mullet of the 80s,” he says. The result? Cowie calls it the “shullet” – the cut that the industry predicts will be the biggest hair trend of the summer.
To be clear, this is not the long, unstructured style that Tony Blair and Paul Weller wear. The shullet calls for a more deliberate, layered cut and should make your hair look limp and wispy. Think Miley Cyrus in 2021, a modern pixie-style mullet, instead of her father Billy Ray Cyrus in 1991, sporting what came to be lavishly described as “business up front, party back.”
Rather than decorating your mullets with vans and sleeveless vests, according to the cliché, contemporary shullet users are more likely to be women, of all ages, united by the post-blocking impulse for a radical hair change.
“There is no age limit on this style,” says Cowie, who debunks the fashion dictum that if someone is old enough to remember a trend the first time, they can’t wear it when they get back. “If the client has the right attitude and style, who’s to say they can’t pull it off? Ultimately, what we’re seeing a lot right now is people being a lot braver – they want something new and they want something new. “
The sense of optimism for the summer is palpable on the living room floors. Even George NorthwoodMaster of the bob, he’s seen a change: Customers are coming in looking to deflect that unfinished Alexa Chung style he’s made famous for what he calls “a hairier, smoother, more blended mullet.” The atmosphere in the Northwood lounge is “a more subtle version” of the shullet that he hopes will translate more easily across the country. “A lot of people come and say ‘do what you want’ and I’m doing a lot of cuts that take that medium length bob style that is our signature, removing the corners to make it longer in the back, and feathering it down the side. front on the collarbone. Clients want to cut a lot of hair. “
“There’s definitely more confidence than we’ve seen in a long time,” agrees Luke Hersheson, whose salons have become a benchmark for the main hair trends. Her clients are fed up with her long, collected hair and are eager for something more experimental. The shullets, he confirms, are doing great business. “I think what makes this cut fresher, newer and easier to wear is when it is used with a more natural texture.”
Hersheson helped popularize the perm on her comeback a couple of years ago and believes the shullet is an extension of that style. “Hair that’s a little curlier disguises the limb of the shape,” he says, “so it goes less Pat Sharp, more Stevie Nicks.”
Unlike hemming and lipstick sales, haircuts are rarely used to assess the health of the economy, but stylists across the country believe the simple, cheery shullet reflects a more optimistic national mood. . Pinterest searches for “wolf hair women” in April have increased by 75% since April 2020, while there have been 145% more searches for “wolf cut girl hair” in the same period.
On a weekday afternoon in Hackney, East London, arguably the national center for trendy uncomfortable haircuts, the Blue Tit salon is full of plants and overgrown hair. Stylist Ben rossiter – proudly sporting a curly mullet – is eager to explain the cultural and aesthetic appeal of the shullet. “Rihanna made it sexy, Miley Cyrus made it popular, but to be honest, we’re getting a lot of people – a lot of – bringing photos of Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett and Debbie Harry. People have spent a lot of time staring at themselves at Zoom meetings in the last few months and this feeling of being fed up and in the mood for adventure is wearing off, in a good way. “
For those who think the look might be a London fad, Hersheson points to the success of Sophia hilton, owner of Not Another Salon, which specializes in rainbow colored shullets and teaches specialized online courses on how to properly cut the style. “Trust me,” he told his hundreds of thousands of followers last week, “cormorants and mullets are coming to your area, small towns, towns where things take a long time… listen to me: 100%. At the very least, the long haircut will become your new long layers and sweeping fringes. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism