How to Nail the Modern Fashion Shag

In general, the more texture the hair has, the more defined it is (although this is often harder to maintain). “You can add definition by using a gel or mousse in wet hair. This will provide hold while leaving the hair touchable and maintaining movement.

Marc Anthony Curl Lotion, $7

Tighter coils and loops offer the most potential of all

Again, following the rule of texture and definition: people with tighter curls and coils can enjoy those same high definition styles with a wider range of short and long styles. Alvarez enthusiastically endorses the afro mullet, for starters. “It’s very rare, but I’m always in awe of those who can rock it,” she says. “The key to marrying this texture and this style (tight curls) is to maintain the health of the curls. You want to keep your curls shiny, healthy, and hydrated by using products specially formulated for type 4 curls. I recommend a combination of leave-in creams and oils to lock in moisture and keep frizz away for as long as possible.

Conditioning Oil-in-Cream for Curlsmith Curls, $26

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Curlsmith Curl Conditioning Oil-in-Cream

Carol’s Daughter Coil-Enhancing Butter, $10

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Carol’s Daughter Coil-Enhancing Butter

Soften it up with bangs, or not

Here’s a rule of bangs and mullets: “The longer the bangs, the softer your mullet will look,” says Alvarez. “Cropped bangs are bolder while wispy curtain bangs add a feminine touch to an otherwise edgy cut.” So act accordingly; we do not promote one over the other, since we are an equal opportunity mule endorser.

Thinning Hair Requires Modification

Anyone can rock a mullet, even men with thinning or fine hair. That said, you’ll want to add as much texture and fullness to the top of your head, to maximize fullness (as with any haircut for fine hair). “The key is to cut the mule bluntly,” says Alvarez. “It will give the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.” We also suggest using a texturizing styler for the top, like clay.

Firsthand Supply Texturizing Clay, $24

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Firsthand Supply Texturizing Clay

Pair it with facial hair

Never underestimate how your facial hair helps sell a hairstyle, and vice versa. And never forget that a lack of facial hair or a beard that grows out of thin air or goes unstyled is just as much an intentional style as it is a style that you customize and precisely clean. “It’s all a matter of personal preference, and my my personal opinion is that a full beard makes the mule look infinitely cooler,” says Alvarez. Especially when you see that beard blending cleanly into the shorter, buzzed sides of the mullet; it’s like two very intentional styles pulling their weight, rather than one continuous mane of caveman shag.

Short haired guys can try it too

Don’t be discouraged if you have short hair but want to rock a mullet. In fact, you can start with a short one and permanently clean up the faded sides, enjoying the mullet at every stage of its growth. If you start with a very close buzz cut, let it grow an inch or two. Next, let your barber play with his clipper: “The key here is to let the back be a little longer, even just a little bit. If you can do that, you’re with the cool kids! said Alvarez.

Trust is the key

Bottom line: A pair of identical twins might wear the same mullet, and yet you’d probably be able to pick the one whose mullet looks better, and he’s the guy who wears it with more confidence. “There’s an ‘IDGAF’ attitude about the mule,” Alvarez says. “There is a challenge to that! A freedom to push the limits. Embrace this, and the mule will never wear out

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