SHOWCASING LOUISIANA: The Mullet is Back
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A symphony of scissors snip to the beat of a new-age song on the radio. Luscious locks of hair dust the floor. A bawdy laugh erupts from the barber’s chair. It’s the home of the gentleman’s haircut, and something most ungentlemanly is happening in the corner chair.
On the opposite side of Off the Top hair salon in Denham Springs, La, a high school senior is getting a cut made famous by Justin Bieber. His less-refined classmate is bringing back the worst haircut since your grandmother flipped a bowl onto your pate and trimmed around the edges.
“Unfortunately, the beautiful mullet is back!” shouted hairstylist Holly Howard over her buzzing clippers. “I was terrified to do my first one.”
The much-maligned mane made famous . . . or infamous by country singer Billy Ray Cyrus is making a comeback. And as Denham Springs High Junior Miles Steed admits from under his freshly trimmed sides and the hair flowing over his collar, it is an all-or-nothing proposition. “You either love it, or you hate it. There’s no in-between.”
Steed shakes his flowing locks and swaps seats with the next future mullet, DSHS Senior Josh Browning. Howard pulls off his baseball cap, and Browning’s hair falls into his eyes and past the collar of his T-shirt.
“I’m terrified, right now,” Browning laughed. He has always worn his hair long, but this could go bad quickly.
Howard cranked up her clippers and buzzed the hair over Browning’s left ear. “Oh my god!” Browning laughed. “I’m kind of concerned about my relationship status, now.”
The ladies cutting hair here say it’s a common reaction. “The mullet goes against what hair stylists strive for, which is perfect blending, and having a nice flow.” Howard explained while waving scissors around the head in her chair.
The stylists here churn out five to ten of these Achy Breaky Mistakees a week, and like most unfortunate things this past year, you can blame COVID. “Everybody’s hair grew out during the shutdown,” explained stylist Crystal Moore. “They liked it long, but they needed to look presentable to go back to work. So they got it cut short on the sides: Business in front. Party in the back!”
The kids may like it, moms who grew up around this hair disaster think they should . . . mull it over. “The first time I told her I was gonna get one,” said Steed, “she paid me $50 not to get one and paid for my haircut.”
And it is not just kids who are opting for the ’80′s neck-warmer. Stylists at Off the Top have taken a little off the top and let the back flow to customers ages one to 87.
Howard spun Browning for a peek at his mostly-finished do. “Look at that!” Browning laughed. “Hooo! Hoo-hoo! I’m about to be slaying the ladies. I’m gonna find me the most redneck girl.”
Howard laughed. “I like to have some class with them. “Now those are two words you have never heard in the same sentence. But you cannot argue with a happy customer.
Browning shook the hair across the back of his neck. “It shakes!” he laughed. “Oh my goodness.” Then he realized, “Oh! my graduation pictures -- laugh -- At graduation, I’m gonna have a mullet!”
It’s easy to poke fun at a bad hair decade, especially when it’s your own, but you have to give it to these kids. For all it’s faults, the mullet is more gentlemanly than its predecessor, the rat tail.
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