I Want a Cooler Haircut. Can I Pull Off the New Mullet?

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“I really want a fresh hairstyle. My hair has been up in a bun since early 2020 and I’m craving something new. I saw Charlize Theron’s recent mullet cut, and wow. Can I possibly pull that off, too? ” EarYearning for Newness

I saw the shots of Charlize Theron and her new hair and I, too, had an extreme reaction. It was a MOMENT, in capital letters, for me, because it made me, too, wonder about how liberating a radical hair change would be. And Theron is 46, so this isn’t just a young starlet trying on a different hair personality every second month.

If you didn’t catch the moment, Theron appeared earlier this month at an Africa Outreach Project event with her usual sleek blonde bob dyed dark and cropped in short choppy layers around the face, longer at the back. Yup, that is what used to be known as a mullet, and you really can’t get any more ’80s than that word.

Charlize Theron stuns, ditching her blond bob for a black “mixie” cut. Photo: Getty Images

The new name is the ‘mixie,’ a portmanteau of mullet and pixie, says Toronto hairstylist Jason Lee, founder of the new Mela & Kera haircare line. “It’s transformative.”

We’ve seen this look recently on Miley Cyrus (who turned her usual brunette locks blonde for her mixie look), and on Billy in Stranger Things, the Netflix show bringing back all things’ 80s, including the great Kate Bush. The all-time best mullet belonged, of course, to Joan Jett.

“Rihanna has done it. Demi Lovato has done it, ”says Lee. You’ll notice most of these examples are young musicians. But when an elegant woman of a certain age cuts a mullet, it “could mark a real change in hair trends,” Lee says. “When a new hairstyle comes along, the early adapters try it on, and there is a certain level of irony. It’s fun, it’s playful. But when the real change starts to happen in fashion and hairstyling, you feel something different. ” That is how he’s feeling about the mixie now.

Theron’s cut was crafted by LA hairstylist Adir Abergel, likely for her role in the upcoming action / fantasy film The Old Guard 2. (Abergel calls it the “mixte” cut.) “She is a Dior ambassador,” Lee points out. While actors are often restricted in how they present themselves by their contracts with fashion houses, they have some freedom to play with their hair and makeup, and indeed Theron debuted her new ‘do dressed head to toe by the French design house.

“Her cut is relevant because it is strong, it is bold, and it has an opinion,” Lee says. “It’s cut around the ears. We haven’t seen a cut around the ears in so long! ” Indeed, a whole lot of us have been stuck in a rut of long, layered locks finished in beachy waves since the ’90s. Personally, if I never see another beachy wave, it will be too soon. Hair can be interesting! It can say something! We have basically been saying the same thing for two straight decades!

“There is a real hunger for newness now, as the pandemic restrictions have lifted,” says Lee, who has noticed his clientele are searching for a new look like you are, Yearning. “Pretty much every facet of our world has changed. Isn’t it time to represent that with different kinds of haircuts and colors? ”

The history of the mullet is a gender-neutral one, and that feels very modern, too. “Think of David Bowie, Rod Stewart,” says Lee. But just as influential was Jane Fonda in KlutePersonalmy personal favorite haircut of all time.

Lee recommends most of us move towards a look like this in stages, unless you have a real go-for-it kind of personality (I don’t, hoping you might, Yearning). “As you move towards shorter hair, you are showing more of your face,” he says. While this cut has an edge, it’s flattering at the same time. “It’s attractive to frame your face in layers like that.”

Be sure to bring in an inspiration pic. “That’s the best way to communicate to a hairstylist: visually,” says Lee. Then let them give you advice on how to customize the cut to your face shape and features, and hair texture. When you’re going “beyond a trim,” as Lee puts it, it should be a conversation that feels right for both parties. “Sometimes, if I see someone who would really rock this haircut, I would suggest it to them,” says Lee. “Some of my best work has been spur of the moment and organic.”

So, how much maintenance will you be in for if you go for a mixie? “It is short; That takes a lot of commitment, ”Lee admits. Though, he adds, extensions or wigs can make a grow-out much less painful than it was in the past.

“What’s so great about this haircut is you don’t need to do a lot of styling,” Lee says. Many hair types will just fall into place because it is such a structured cut, but some may benefit from product. “If you have natural texture that you like to bring out, you can apply our Mela & Kera Exquisite Blowout Creme to damp hair to control frizz, and allow it to air dry,” he says, adding that all hair types can go the cream route to achieve a softer, romantic look with a smoother finish. If you’re looking for that rock ‘n’ roll feel, Lee recommends misting on Mela & Kera Wave Foundation “to enhance your natural waves and accentuate the haircut.”

If you’ve been hiding behind your long hair, take Lee’s advice as a sign. “It’s time for a big change for all of us.”

Shop the advice

Great products for volume and shine

Mela & Kera Exquisite Blowout Crème, $ 46, melaandkera.com. Photo: Mela & Kera

Shop Now

This cream from Lee’s own line contains vegan keratin to smooth out frizz and give a softer, more romantic look.

Mela & Kera Wave Foundation, $ 41, melaandkera.com. Photo: Mela & Kera

Shop Now

Mist this wave-enhancing spray on damp hair and allow to air dry or style as you like.

Virtue Texturizing Spray, 52, sephora.ca. Photo: Virtue

Shop Now

Amp up your texture and shine with this lightweight mist from Theron’s hairstylist Adir Abergel’s haircare collection.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Dream Curls Creme Oil, $ 17, shoppersdrugmart.ca. Photo: John Frieda

Shop Now

Curly hair craves moisture, so work in this frizz-controlling cream-oil hybrid to add nourishment and definition.

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