By Victoria McNally // SWNS
It’s synonymous with parties for a reason: one in five American men are ready for the mullet to make an official comeback.
In a survey of 2,000 men, 20% said that if they could bring one popular hairstyle from a bygone decade back into fashion, it would be the classic ’80s mullet, followed by ‘90s ‘curtain bangs’ (15%) and the 2010s undercut (10%).
But even those polled admit that the infamous bi-level look isn’t for everyone; in a ranking of various hair trends, respondents found undercuts, curtain bangs and the ‘00s “shag” haircut to be more universally flattering ‘dos.
And even though 39% of men have dabbled in adding highlights to their hair — making it the most popular color technique among those polled — it was also the least-liked hair trend of the entire survey, ranked just under the infamous ”frosted tips” look.
It’s not surprising that men have tried out some fads they ended up hating later; 55% admitted they want to change up their look but are afraid to try something new, while another 47% don’t know what hairstyles would look good on them.
However, of the two-thirds of men who’ve experimented with a hair trend they were later embarrassed by, only a third say they regretted it afterwards.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Sport Clips Haircuts, the survey also revealed that men are experiencing a lot of similarly intense emotions about their post-pandemic haircut.
Not surprisingly, “relief” topped the list for 36% of men, while 32% also described themselves as “excited.”
During the shutdowns and social distancing measures of the COVID-19 pandemic, 75% of men chose to forgo professional hair maintenance.
One in four men instead tried cutting their hair themselves — despite the fact that 55% don’t think they do a good job at self-cuts — while 27% enlisted the help of a friend or family member.
Another 23% simply let their hair grow out, which may be why long-haired heartthrobs like ‘Aquaman’ star Jason Momoa and singing sensation Harry Styles dominated the survey’s list of biggest celebrity hair inspirations.
“While we’re seeing a lot of longer hairstyles in our stores, the truth is that styling men's hair, no matter the length, can be more complicated than it may seem,” explains Stacia Kelley, Sport Clips Artistic Director and stylist. “Longer hair still requires regular trims, shaping and home maintenance with high-quality products, such as conditioners to avoid breakage or light-hold texture creams that can give the hair some weight and tact.”
“Ultimately, communication with your stylist is key,” she added. “And if you’re growing your hair out, remember that it’s a marathon and not a sprint!”
With the increase of social distanced safety protocols and vaccine distributions, however, men are rediscovering more options for hair care.
Of the half of respondents who’ve already visited a barber since the pandemic first began, 85% cited it as a positive experience, with 27% describing it as “amazing.”
In fact, one in three respondents say that getting a new haircut makes them feel “smarter,” while one in four admit to feeling like “a better person” afterward.
Twelve percent even said they feel more inspired to ask for a raise after a haircut, results indicate.
“In the past year, a lot of men have been experimenting with new hairstyles while stuck at home,” said Edward Logan, president and CEO of Sport Clips Haircuts. "Although men may not always know the exact look they want when they come in for a haircut, guys know they want a positive experience that stays with them after they walk out the door.”
For the typical American man, that post-haircut confidence boost lasts just under five days on average.
TOP FIVE BEST-LOOKING HAIRSTYLES FOR MEN*
- Undercut - 3.18
- Curtain bangs - 3.15
- Shag - 3.11
- Pompadour - 2.97
- Long/Man bun - 2.94
*As ranked by respondents on a scale of 1 to 5
TOP FIVE CELEBRITY HAIR INSPIRATIONS FOR MEN
- Jason Momoa 40.10%
- Harry Styles 36.45%
- James Dean 35.20%
- David Beckham 35.00%
- Drake 31.75%