The return of the mule: the hairstyle of the 80s is back | Lifestyles

BATAVIA – Whether you like it or not, the mule is making a comeback.

There are many possible reasons for the resurgence of the mullet, a 1980s hairstyle that features a business-like look in the front and a looser, longer look in the back.

The mullet’s rise began in the ’80s and quickly faded, becoming more of a humorous look that people would wear for a laugh or two of their buddies.

However, the hairstyle has since made a fierce comeback in the mainstream, with celebrities including Zac Efron, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus all participating in the “Mullet Revolution”.

Perhaps revolution is too strong a word, but the return of the ‘Kentucky Waterfall’ – one of the mules’ many nicknames – is real, and some attribute its recent rise to societal changes forced by the COVID pandemic. -19.

“When people were stuck at home without being able to have their hair cut by a professional, many made the decision to cut their hair themselves. For anyone who’s ever tried to cut their hair, they know that cutting the sides is much easier than cutting the back, ”said Tommy Slenker, hairdresser at Canzoneri’s Barbershop in Batavia. “This, coupled with the fact that people were able to grow through the awkward phase during the stay-at-home order, triggered the mule’s return to notoriety.”

Whether you agree with Slenker’s point of view or not, wherever you look, someone is wearing the “North Carolina neck warmer” strutting around like it’s 1987.

“Immediately after the barbershops and hair salons reopened last June, we saw an influx of mules,” added Slenker, who has a mule himself. “And over the past year, it’s become an important style within our store.

At the forefront of the “Mullet Revolution” were barbers and hairstylists, like Slenker, who were tasked with creating their own version of the “Tennessee tophat” for clients of all ages. These barbers and hairstylists accustomed to giving more modern styled cuts were forced to step out of their comfort zone and use a little creativity to develop their own idea of ​​what they envisioned for the ever popular ‘mudguard. of Mississippi ”.

For the Canz’s crew, concocting their approach to the “Achy Breaky Big Mistakey” took some discussion. The idea was to go with a traditional look with a new-school touch.

“The traditional mullet is short on the top and long in the back, but we went with the pompadour style for the top to make it a bit more appealing and make it a true modern day mullet,” Canzoneri said. “As opposed to the traditional ’80s mullet that people think of.”

The look was a big hit at Canzoneri. So much so that recently, the boutique, located on Ellicott Street in the city, held its first “MulletFest” in honor of the return of hairdressing.

“Ever since I cut my hair for the past 10 years, the mullet started off as a funny haircut for the high school sports playoffs,” Canzoneri said. “Since the start of the pandemic, it looks like the mule is actually back. First, I would have said it’s a joke. But these guys take it seriously.

On July 2, the shop welcomed over 20 customers of all ages for ‘MulletFest’, with one contestant winning an award for ‘Best Mule’ and another posing for a silhouette image of their mullet, which would be printed on ‘MulletFest ‘t-shirts. The winner of the “Best Mule” was Kris McCowen, a 20-year-old from Roy.

“My vision was why not – I had a mule so let’s see how I’m doing,” McCowen said of why he decided to participate in the event. “It would be neat if I won and still get the (mule) because (wearing it is) a way of life and it takes respect. I think Joe and the team did well, they did it. made it fun and competitive with all the haircuts they had Five stars for boys and their shop.

The silhouette image was created based on the legendary lettuce profile view of Micah Moretti, 1 1/2 year old from Pembroke, son of Alex and Hali Moretti.

“We decided to do ‘MulletFest’ for a reason, it’s just a fun concept, and not everyone who looks at a mule can smile when they see one,” Canzoneri said. “It has been a huge success with our customers. Every day people ask us’ who has the best mullet, who won ‘MulletFest’. Customers are so intrigued by the fact that people are getting mules and the amount of mules that we as a hair salon do with them on a daily basis. At any time, upon entering our store, you will most likely see a mullet.

Another place you’re likely to see a mule these days is the Batavia Ice Rink, where Batavia-Notre Dame hockey coach Marc Staley says hairdressing is booming. For hockey players, coaches and parents, however, the mule is nothing new.

“The sport of hockey has had a very interesting history with hair in general – set beards, mules, shaved sides, blonde coloring, etc.,” Staley said. “These things tend to be cyclical. I remember playing college hockey in the mid-90s, and we went through a little phase where growing up (Mullet) was cool. I never really grew up, but I shaved my sides and went blonde at one point. Fortunately, there are no photos.

Former York High School student-athlete Riley Stella, a 2020 graduate, was well known for his superb mullet when playing for the Golden Knights track and field program. As someone who’s been wearing the hairstyle since the start of its resurgence, Stella’s approach to the mullet is as straightforward as it gets.

“I got my mule for a bet I made with friends, and apparently I took the bet a little too seriously,” said Stella, who says he has grown to love the appearance of the hairstyle.

“I feel like if I didn’t have the mule, I would look like a child,” Stella added.

The search for a real reason for the mullet’s resurgence continues. But instead of overthinking it, the answer might be easier than you think – people love it.

For some reason, the mullet is more than a joke these days, as it is starting to be worn as a fashion statement by young and old around the world.

The mule is in business, and it doesn’t look like the party will end anytime soon.


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