Southern Thing Column

Mullets are back: A brief and mostly untrue history of the party-in-the-back haircut

If you missed last week’s column on It’s a Southern Thing (SouthernThing.com), you can read it by clicking here. Below are the first paragraphs.

In prehistoric days, Grunt and Grog, a couple of cave-bros, were hanging out, having a few brewskis and brontosaurus burgers when the conversation turned to hairstyles. Grog noticed Grunt kept flipping his hair back in order to eat his burger, so Grog got his scissors and offered to trim the hair around his friend’s face. He offered to also take a little off the back, but Grunt said no. His exposed skin would get cold in the winter and sunburned in summer, making his neck red, like the guys in the Cromagnon clan living in the next village who all drove Dodge Mastodons with gun racks and wore cave-ouflage. So Grog left the length in the back, inadvertently creating a haircut known as the “mullet,” named for a common fish in the area that could be business-like but also liked to party.

Mullets became popular among the prehistoric peoples, so much so that they were soon showing up on Insta-Slab profiles. The fad died down when Neanderthals evolved to the point that they could blow-dry their hair but mullets have re-appeared from time to time over the centuries, as you will know if you’ve ever seen photos of Cleopatra, Ben Franklin, Ziggy Stardust or Carol Brady.

Mullets re-emerged in the 1980s, when they were popular with musicians. Rock-star code dictated they wear long locks but that tended to be a problem when they were leaning over a toilet and rock stars tended to lean over toilets a lot in those days. The mullet cut was a blessing for whoever was designated to hold their hair while they barfed. Then Billy Ray Cyrus appeared on the scene with the Mullet To End All Mullets and everyone else just gave up shaved their heads.

After that, mullets seemed to have gone the way of Grunt and Grog but, like disco, they couldn’t be eliminated forever, no matter how hard some of us tried.

What I’m trying to tell you is … mullets are back. Stop screaming, y’all. Click here to read the full column on It’s a Southern Thing.

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