The back party has made a comeback: the return of men’s mules

Something unexpected and yes, a little shocking, is happening in barber chairs across Long Island. The guys (and some women too) ask for … a mule.

On a recent Saturday at the Noble Savage Barber Shop in Bay Shore, the mullet variations were plentiful.

Casey Opatovsky, 13, of Brightwaters came for a cleanup of his classic version of the mullet cut. “When I was younger people laughed at mules, but we always say the circle is complete and it is,” says her mother Kerri. For his part, Casey said Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was his inspiration. “I just saw him and wanted him.”

On the same day, Jesse James Roberts, 39, of West Islip, took the style to new heights. “I was in the military for 12 years and since then decided to go a little crazy with my hair. I like to spice things up,” he says of his mohawk and mule mane.

“They actually say the words, ‘I want a mule. When you hear you think “oh my god, I thought this would never come back again.” “

Jamie Mazzei, owner of nuBest Salon and Spa, Manhasset

The dated haircut that existed in the 70s and peaked for about a decade in the early 80s to 90s and combined two extremes of hairstyle, short and neat in the front and long and long in the back. An iconic and exaggerated example of the much-maligned look is David Spade’s character “Joe Dirt,” but in reality, men and women from Blake Shelton to Zac Efron and even Miley Cyrus and Rihanna have adopted a certain iteration of the style, with a slew of professional athletes.

But why now?


“During the pandemic lockdown, people went for months without having their hair cut by a professional and that may have created a ‘mule-friendly’ environment,” says Garrett Munce, editor of the magazines. Esquire “and” Men’s Health “and author of the book,” Self-Care For Men, How To Look And Feel Good “. Dubbed “the modern mullet,” Munce says, “it’s a completely welcoming and trendy style and some aren’t as drastic as the ’80s mullet.”

He adds that the ‘do is a whole category of hairstyles, which all have one thing in common: shorter hair in the front, longer hair in the back. “It’s really a variation on the shag.”

“The modern mullet is the new rock star, especially with millennials,” says Ed Dennehy, co-owner of Mad Men Barber Shops in Williston Park and Wantagh. “It’s a different style for the younger generation who always find themselves.”


At the Men’s Grooming Studio at Lake Ronkonkoma, owner J. Ramos says that before the pandemic subsided, he made about 12 mules in the past week. “They are coming back in force … History is always repeating itself,” he said.

And at nuBest Salon and Spa, a unisex salon in Manhasset, “They actually say the words ‘I want a mule,'” says owner Jamie Mazzei. “When you hear that you think ‘Oh my God, I thought that would never come back again.'”

Thomas O’Rourke, co-owner of Noble Savage, says he’s started to see the trend with high school lacrosse and baseball players. “That’s where I saw him come in. It’s not Joe Dirt’s mullet, it’s a hybrid like a fade in a mule. I think part of that can be attributed to the people doing cuts home and go wrong. It’s a new, improved throwback from the ’80s. “

Of course, the red mullet is not the only one to make the day. “I see a lot of controlled chaos,” says Ramos, describing it as “medium to long hair that looks messy but is perfectly placed for a headboard look.”

Dennehy adds, “No matter how long men have gained during COVID, they are trying to embrace post-COVID. To that end, his stores cut skin discolorations and cut sides shorter and longer hair, and he says, “Businessmen keep going I love the classic comb and the hard part.”

But apparently, backtracking is in order. Says Mazzei, “While we do a lot of red mullet, I also see pompadours.”


In the news of men’s grooming, A-Rod has concealer, men put on makeup, and eyebrows are groomed.

Previously, the only robust areas in the men’s grooming market were shaving and hair care, says Garrett Munce, editor of “Esquire” and “Men’s Health” magazines. “But I think the men’s skin care game is exploding. Containment allowed the guys to go for it a bit more. Maybe they were sitting at home looking at their faces on Zoom and thinking, “Wow, I look tired or I have a pimple. “Overall, what the pandemic has brought out is this sense of experimentation and a sense of play.”

The most unlikely men’s makeup prize goes to Alex Rodriguez who partnered with the Hims & Hers brand to launch “The Blur Stick” designed to hide blemishes, dark spots, pimples and dark circles. The product sells for $ 17 on and comes in eight shades. Munce says A-Rod is the “last person” you think of when you think of men’s makeup. He is also a huge fan of the Lawrence based company, Stryx. “For the guy who’s interested and isn’t comfortable going down the makeup aisle, these products are great and sold at CVS,” he says. Along with a concealer ($ 18), there’s a tinted moisturizer, an anti-shine product, special blending sponges, and a clear beard and eyebrow gel.

And speaking of eyebrows, men pay more attention to them. “The ultimate rule is that there is no unibrow. They don’t want to model too much, but using gel for the eyebrows and shaping them lightly and threading them is more common than a few years ago, ”says Munce. This seems to be true at nuBest Salon and Spa in Manhasset, where more and more men are asking for yarn, says owner Jamie Mazzei.

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