There is no right way to wear a mullet.

Billy Ray Cyrus. A God-fearing, family-loving, mullet-wearing Southern man.

One of the more interesting cultural encounters I have had during our last 9 months of Euro/British travels was at an English hair salon.

I grew up in Alabama where mullets were not uncommon. Being a blunt-cut kind of gal back then, I never ventured into the “business up front, party in the back” she-mullet style myself, although Alabama would have been the place to give it a whirl.

I am English. I am angry. I scoff at mothers with young children.

I never expected that England would give me a second chance. Mullets are everywhere here, particularly among young-ish women who are considered fashionable (ie: fishnet tights, dark makeup, tight black clothing) and appear otherwise to take their sense of style seriously. The look here is a sharp, spiky mullet, usually applied to white-blonde or jet-black dyed hair. A kind of angry, robo-punk vibe. Much less lovable than the mullets of the deep South.

After doing a little online research, I see that there are theories that mullets can be worn well, cutting-edge even. I have been around the world observing mullets now for nearly three decades, and I believe the answer is no. But I did have my chance to try one.

After putting off a Euro-haircut for 7 months, I timidly showed up at the salon… advertised as a prestigious international salon, mind you, which I patronized in the hope of being able to describe my usual American, conservative-enough layered haircut. Also, we are expecting again (hip hip hooray), 15 weeks along, and I thought a little pick-me-up was in order.

I should have turned and run when my stylist looked like this.

This is approximately how I looked. And felt. Afterward.

My handsome and ever-supportive husband, back from a week of traveling, feasts his eyes on my new do.

My fashion-conscious five year old daughter was reassuring: “Mommy, you didn’t get a good haircut, but it’s the lady’s fault not yours.”

Fortunately, I have some hair cutting experience, since I practice often on my children. In reckless desperation, I shortened the “party in the back” and toned down the “business up front” and found a way to wear a pin to make it a suitable do, for now. But Sarah, my excellent hair stylist back in the U.S., now has her work cut out for her. Born in Philadelphia and trained in NYC, I wonder if Sarah has ever repaired a twice-mutilated she-mullet. There’s a first time for everything.

  • Kat

    This is very funny, JM, thanks for brightening my Friday morning! If anyone can make the best of a haircut-gone-wrong, it’s you. Maybe it looks better than you think?

  • Mary Alice

    My worst ever haircut was also while pregnant, I decided to experiment with bangs which, on me, are exactly Jo from Facts of Life — it was the New York City tough girl version of the mullet, and living in preppy Charlottesville, VA, it was very, very bad.nn

  • Anonymous

    MaryAlice, that is hilarious, bangs turned NYC mad-mullet. Stylists should have their licenses suspended for making mid-pregnancy women look like freaks.

  • Elena

    Oh no. I just wrote a similar post about a post-pregnancy haircut: Hair – a renewable

  • Anonymous

    Awesome post, Elena, your kids are hilarious! “Renewable resource” is so true, thanks be to God, it’s only temporary mortification (as if vanity is a real threat when we’re pregnant and postpartum… but anyway)

  • MollyG

    Whoa, way to sneak the big news in! Congrats!nnI have to say, the one situation in which I support mullets is in babies. Right now, my 11-month-old has these incredible curls gathering up around the back of his neck. His dad is campaigning for the first haircut. I’ve resisted so far…

  • KC

    1. Congratulations, JM! So happy to hear that you have a baby on the way. Hope you’re feeling well!nn2. Elena, your children’s reactions are hilarious! My four-year-old loves to talk about hair (thanks to Rapunzel!), but doesn’t care too much what I do with mine.nn3. MollyG, we just trimmed our almost two-year-old daughter’s hair for the first time b/c the mullet was really outpacing the rest of her hair. With our first, it only took about eight months until it had to be done b/c she had a head full and really started looking a little too ridiculous for us to handle. But in both cases, I saved the sweet little “tail” for the baby book :)

  • Bethany

    My daughter is almost is 3 1/2 and hasn’t had a haircut yet. We forced our way through the mullet stage (hoping, in vain, no one would notice) and now we’ve emerged into the Farrah Fawcett/Charlie’s Angels do. I hate to cut her hair, because she has soft, very light curls to her hair and as someone who has been told by 3 different professional stylists that I have the straightest hair they’ve ever seen, I’m living vicariously through her curls. She will probably get her haircut in time for Christmas

  • Anonymous

    Molly and KC, yes you’re so right, natural infa-mullets are acceptable and adorable. Thanks for pointing that out. And thanks for the congrats : )

  • Anonymous

    JM, this post was hilarious! Thank you for brightening up my Friday. I LOVE the pictures, but think something must be wrong with my computer because it’s not actually loading the picture of your new haircut 😉 What gives?

  • Anonymous

    There is no actual picture of me with my new haircut. I reserve some privacy rights : )

  • lisa

    ahhh, makes me miss merry old england!

  • EAngelo

    Funny, JM! When it comes to hair, my mother is a big believer in getting it done well — a woman’s hair is like her crown. Can a mullet ever be royal? Personally, with my hair type, I prefer the basic, low-maintenace layered cut, but have been disappointed in the past (one stylist even said “it’s not so bad” after his last snip…and I was pregnant at the time). Glad to hear that your latest do has not dampened your wit and humor. :) Praying that you and the baby are doing well!

  • B-mama

    JM, LOL by both GG and I. You gave us a good Friday morning chuckle and we’re just getting around to commenting. I wish I were there to tell you how beautiful you look in person. I’m sure you are ever-radiant and gorgeous, even with mullet.nnBaby MG is beginning to show the infa-mullet (LOL coin that phrase now!) Balding up front, dark-haired party in the rear. Poor, dear thing.