Mullet Man

(© SarahJ -

NEW YORK — Calling all the Joe Dirt fans out there: a new study finds the mullet is ready to make a comeback! One in five American men say they’re ready to bring back the hairstyle that’s all business in the front and a party in the back.

In a survey of 2,000 men, 20 percent said that if they could bring one popular hairstyle from a bygone decade back into fashion, it would be the classic ’80s mullet. The ’90s “curtain bangs” (15%) and the 2010s “undercut” (10%) followed closely behind.

Even though 39 percent of men have dabbled in adding highlights to their hair — making it the most popular coloring technique in the poll — it was also the least-liked hair trend of the entire survey. In fact, highlights actually ranked just under the infamous “frosted tips” look.

Just as women sometimes leave the salon with a hairdo they immediately regret, it’s not surprising that men have tried out some fads they ended up hating later. Over half the poll (55%) admitted they want to change up their look but are afraid to try something new. Meanwhile, another 47 percent don’t know which hairstyles would look good on them. However, of the two-thirds of men who’ve experimented with a hair trend they were later embarrassed by, only a third say they regretted trying it out.

Who are our hairstyle superheroes?

Post-Pandemic HaircutConducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sport Clips Haircuts, researchers also discovered that men are experiencing a lot of similarly intense emotions about their post-pandemic hairdos. Not surprisingly, “relief” tops the list for 36 percent of men, while 32 percent also describe themselves as “excited.”

It turns out 75 percent of men chose to forgo professional hair maintenance altogether during lockdowns and quarantines. One in four men instead tried cutting their hair themselves — despite the fact that 55 percent don’t think they do a good job at self-cuts. Another 27 percent enlisted the help of a friend or family member.

Nearly one in four (23%) simply let their hair grow out. This may be why long-haired heartthrobs like “Aquaman” star Jason Momoa and singing sensation Harry Styles sit atop the survey’s list of biggest celebrity hair inspirations.

“While we’re seeing a lot of longer hairstyles in our stores, the truth is that styling men’s hair, no matter the length, can be more complicated than it may seem,” explains Stacia Kelley, Sport Clips Artistic Director and stylist, in a statement. “Longer hair still requires regular trims, shaping and home maintenance with high-quality products, such as conditioners to avoid breakage or light-hold texture creams that can give the hair some weight and tact.”

“Ultimately, communication with your stylist is key,” she adds. “And if you’re growing your hair out, remember that it’s a marathon and not a sprint!”

A haircut can literally make you feel like a new person

Post-Pandemic HaircutWith lockdowns ending and vaccines rolling out now, men are rediscovering more options for hair care. Among the half of respondents who’ve already visited a barber since the pandemic first began, 85 percent say it was a positive experience and 27 percent described it as “amazing.”

In fact, one in three respondents say that getting a new haircut makes them feel “smarter,” while one in four admit to feeling like “a better person” afterward. Twelve percent even said they feel more inspired to ask for a raise after a haircut.

“In the past year, a lot of men have been experimenting with new hairstyles while stuck at home,” says Edward Logan, president and CEO of Sport Clips Haircuts. “Although men may not always know the exact look they want when they come in for a haircut, guys know they want a positive experience that stays with them after they walk out the door.”

For the typical American man, that post-haircut confidence boost lasts just under five days on average.

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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