Whether you are the 80s or 90s kid feeling a little nostalgic or someone looking for a fun hairdo, the permed mullet is a good choice.
The hairstyle popular with pro baseball players and country music stars back in the day has made a strong comeback. This is despite getting a bad rep due to changing hair trends over the years.
As far as unprofessional hairstyles to avoid go, the permed mullet is not one of them. The hairdo, described mostly as “business at the front and party at the back,” has proved to be a timeless hairstyle.
Today, celebrities like K-pop stars have embraced the hairdo and given it a modern twist that looks refreshing and stylish. The hairstyle trend has gotten so big that even women spot it, including Miley Cyrus and Zendaya.
Table Of Contents
What Is It
The permed mullet is a variation of the mullet hairstyle. Permed mullets were iconic in the 1980s with rockstars, sportspersons, and country music stars. Also referred to as permanent waves, the perm adds texture to a popular mullet hairstyle.
Beastie Boys, an American hip-hop band, popularized the term “mullet” in the 90s through the song “Mullet Head,” although the style was still popular in the 80s and 90s. Roman warriors wore the hairstyle for convenience since the long hair at the back and short hair at the front kept the hair in line with the helmet.
USA president Benjamin Franklin also rocked a style closely resembling the modern mullet. In prehistoric times, the hair was kept long at the back to keep the neck warm, and modern-day mullet hairstyles resemble what some native American tribes wore – for spiritual guidance.
17 Most Popular Hairstyles
A permed mullet is perfect if you want a refreshing new hairstyle or something out of your regular self. The good news is; that this hairstyle has many variations you can try. Some of the most popular and iconic permed hairstyles for men include:
If you love the mullet, how about going the simple and classic route and rocking a classic permed mullet? The hairdo features the typical long hair in the back, faded sides, and thick curls, an effortless look that captures the iconic spirit of the mullet.
If you want to jump on the mullet bandwagon without committing to a full-on mullet, you can try the mini mullet.
With a mini mullet, the sides are longer than in a classic mullet, and the back hair drapes above the nape of your neck, which gives the hair great texture due to the perm. The mini mullet is a subtle version of the classic mullet but still sports the unique silhouette of the timeless hairstyle.
With a Quiff
Go retro with the mullet by rocking the permed mullet with a quiff. With this hairstyle, the hair at the back is permed to reach down to the shoulders while the front and top hair are brushed into a quiff. The permed mullet is an iconic 50s-inspired look with an extra edge added by the mullet silhouette.
If you want to rock the mullet but subtly, go for the short permed mullet. The haircut needs to be of the right length, with the back hair falling to the nape of your neck, loose curls, and a natural-looking texture with faded sides that aren’t too stark.
To make the mullet appear as effortless and natural as possible, go for the loose permed mullet. The curls are loose rather than tight, like in a classic mullet, adding volume and texture and giving the style character. The waves span the entire length of your hair from the top to the shoulders with shaved sides for a signature mullet look.
While the mullet was a big hair trend in the ’80s, highlights were also a thing, and that trend is slowly coming back. To pull off the look, try bleaching your hair with a color of your choice. For most people, neon hair color does it as it brings out a somewhat ’80s vibe.
If you have bangs, then you can rock your permed mullet. The cool and experimental hairstyle is more common among younger men.
With a Beard
If you fancy a bolder look, why not combine your permed mullet with a beard? Go for a tight perm at the back with a straight, slightly tousled top and long pointy beard to complete the look.
The suffer mullet is a hairdo with a longer length, tousled texture, and bleached hair color.
You are lucky to have long hair because you can go for the most extreme perm that your hair can handle for an edgy look.
Long permed mullets like this scream boldness. Have medium-small curls that go down the back, covering your neck. Finish off the look with shorter sides that add that classic mullet vibe.
Hair spikes help create texture that makes even thin hair appear fuller and thicker at the top.
While you can achieve the look on any hair texture, it is easier to create on wavy or curly hair because it gives a more natural appearance.
To create the spikes, use a pomade or wax to form soft peaks in your desired height and length. When paired with a classic mullet, it draws the focus to the back of your head and the top.
It is a perfect hairstyle for men who love the idea of a mullet but don’t want to go over the top so that it becomes noticeable and on the face all the time. You can experiment with different lengths in the back, sides, and top.
With that in mind, there are many styles you can try when it comes to spikey permed mullets like a spikey front permed mullet, spike top permed mullet with a line or a permed mullet with a fade and short spikes.
When it comes to hair designs, the list is endless, and there are so many designs you can experiment with. To add a fresh spin to a traditional mullet, give your mullet a modern appearance by curving lines into the side.
With Faded Sides
The permed mullet with faded sides gives a modern touch to the ’80s hairstyle. It is a trendy hairstyle that is bound to draw attention.
If you are going for the hairdo, decide between taper and fade. Either way, you still look dashing, especially when you pair it with casual outfits.
The slick back hairstyle is very classy, especially if you have long hair. Couple that with a perm at the back, and you get a smooth look that will make you stand out. The hairdo is characterized by a sleek silhouette that is easy to replicate.
Use volume-boosting hair products like mousse and pomade, and then brush the hair from the top, working downwards towards the nape of your neck. When you’ve covered the entire space, try using hairspray to achieve a healthier look and more hold.
Permed Back on the Mullet
A permed-back mullet is an excellent option if you already have a long mullet. Hair is pushed back, giving off an effortless, easy-going vibe, while the permed back adds waves to your style. This is an excellent style if you don’t mind going to the extreme with a mullet.
The skullet is a classic hairstyle for the free-thinking gentleman who doesn’t like spending much time styling his hair. The permed skullet is achieved by blending two of the most practical hairdos – the mullet and the skinhead crew cut.
The permed skullet gives off the vibe of the classic mullet of business in the front and party in the back.
The permed skullet is what you go for when hair at your forehead begins thinning, and the best shampoos to combat hair loss haven’t worked. The skullet takes shape once the hair at the back starts to grow out.
Permed Rat Tail
If you have a rat-tail, you don’t need to shave it off when you want to sport a mullet. In reality, the rat-tail and mullet are more like distant cousins. How do you achieve the look? Let the rat-tail grow slightly to get the mullet to look before perming.
How to Get
Step 1 – Give your hair time to grow
The main element of the permed mullet is the length of the hair at the back of your head. So, if you plan to grow a mullet, let the hair grow to your desired length first. With a mullet, the longer the hair at the back is, the more pronounced the hairstyle will be.
An ideal length is about two to six inches or a length that reaches the base of your neck. On average, our hair grows at half an inch every month, so you must be patient.
Step 2 – Section off
Once you’ve achieved a good length, combine the hair into three sections. Start by sectioning the front of the hairline to the center of your crown and then parting the side section from the front to the ears.
Step 3 – Chop off the middle and sides
Next, chop off the middle section cutting small portions of the hair while working your hair down. After that, move to the sides and leave the parts of the top longer and tapering towards the ears. Blend the rest of the areas as you please, leaving it evened out or choppy for a more polished look.
You can use the world’s best hair cutting shears or clippers to create a buzz cut along the sides or top, leaving longer locks in the back. Check out this guide to buying hair clippers. The next step is perming the hair.
Step 4 – Preparation
Before starting the perming process, remove all oil and residue from your hair since perming requires clean hair. Use a clarifying shampoo but don’t use conditioner as it can hinder the perming process. Once your hair is clean, pat it dry with a clean towel and leave it damp.
Step 5 – Sectioning
Using a comb, section the hair you want permed. For permed mullets, only the hair at the back is permed, so make sure to separate the top hair from the back.
Step 6 – Wrap your hair
This is a crucial step. Take a strand from the section that you want to perm. The strand should be wide or slightly less than the available perm rods. Depending on hair length, you are better off using medium-sized perm rods. At the end of a hair strand, fold an end wrap around its back.
Take a perm rod and place the end of the end-wrapped strand on it. Roll the perm rod so your hair strands wrap around until you reach your scalp. Do this to all hair you intend to perm before wrapping a cotton coil around the rolled hair to keep the perm solution in place.
Step 7 – Apply the perm solution
Apply your perm solution around your already rolled hair applying the solution one rod at a time. After using the perm, cover your hair with a plastic cap for about 15 minutes. After that, unroll one rod halfway to check if there is a curve or bend on the hair strand.
If not, wrap the strand back and give it a few more minutes, checking every three to four minutes to see if the hair strands look curvy. You can then move on to the next step when you achieve that.
Step 8 – Rinse and apply neutralizer
Wash the hair without removing the rods and apply an appropriate neutralizer. Once you’ve rinsed all solution from your hair, gently pat dry with a towel and let it dry naturally. After using the neutralizer, let it sit for 7 to 10 minutes before rinsing.
Step 9 – Remove the perm rods
At this point, gently remove the perm rods, one strand at a time, ensuring that you don’t use force as you can damage both the hair and the curls. After removing all the rods, let your hair dry. Depending on your style, you can use various styling products like alcohol-free hair gel for men to maintain the hold.
How to Maintain
Step 1 – Avoid washing your hair immediately
After getting your perm, ensure that you wait at least 72 hours before washing your hair. When you wash it, use a good shampoo and conditioner combo. Use a spray bottle for the first 72 hours to spray water on your curls, but don’t overdo it.
Likewise, don’t shower immediately as this can end up relaxing your perm, and also, don’t soak your hair in a swimming pool during the first weeks after getting your permed mullet.
Step 2 – Avoid heat styling
For the first 72 hours, avoid any time of heat on your perm as this can undo it.
Step 3 – Coloring
If you are going for the bold, edgy look and want to dye your perms, wait at least ten days.
Step 4 – Sleep in a silk scarf
To protect your perms, wrap a silk scarf around your hair when sleeping. Also, avoid sleeping on your back, at least for the first few days, to avoid putting pressure on your perms.
Step 5 – Use a good conditioner
With a permed mullet, the curls tend to get dry quickly. To prevent that, use an excellent chemical-friendly conditioner.
Best Styling Products
Salt spray is a great product for medium and fine hair. It adds grit and texture when hair feels too “clean.” A few spritzes will also help moisturize your curls and restore their definition.
Hair Mask Treatment
If you have a permed mullet, use a hair mask treatment at least once a week to keep your curls soft, moisturized, and untangled.
Like most premium hair creams for men, the curl-protection cream works for all curl types. And while it is great for styling, it also helps block UV rays – something you need to prolong your perm.
Hair pomade helps hold your hair for long and gives it a shiny and sick appearance.
A hair mist is an excellent product for those in-between washes. It helps detangle strands and also prevents frizz. Buy leave-in mist formulated with natural ingredients like green tea extract and argan oil.
If you want thick curls rather than super-defined ones, buy an ’80s-volume styler. It helps nurture all types of curls while leaving your strands loose and lustrous.
The curls are the highlight of a permed mullet. A curl-boosting serum helps maximize the definition of any perm. Go for a castor oil serum since it helps lock in moisture, conditions your hair, and eliminates frizz.
You don’t need to wash your permed mullet daily, but because your hair is exposed to elements and styling products, it can get dry at some point. A moisturizing spray will help nourish your hair and keep the curls in shape.
An excellent moisturizing spray should be lightweight and contain ingredients like green tea extract and argan oil.
A leave-in conditioner when you have a permed mullet is like a no-makeup makeup. The conditioner has a soft touch that defines and gently holds your perm.
How long does a perm last?
A perm generally lasts about two to six months, depending on how it was done and how you maintain it.
How much does getting a permed mullet cost?
Depending on where you go and the quality of products used, you might spend between $40 to as much as $200 for a permed mullet.
How long should your hair have to be to get permed?
The hair strands must be long enough to wrap around a perm rod. Ideally, 2 inches of length is enough to be permed.
Do perms damage the hair?
Perming is a chemical process that damages the hair follicles, so they don’t hold their natural shape. As a result, hair damage can occur in the form of breakage, hair loss, and split ends.
Can perms be undone?
Yes, perms can be undone. You can do that by shampooing and deep conditioning your hair immediately after getting a perm. Another way is by doing a straight perm six months after your initial perm.