The high-taper mullet is a bold and edgy hairstyle that’s surprisingly versatile. With the right styling techniques, you can transform it from sleek and sophisticated to effortlessly messy and everything in between. This guide reveals pro tips and step-by-step tutorials to help you master multiple looks. Plus, you’ll get expert product recommendations for different hair types.

Understanding the High Taper Mullet

Before we dive into styling, let’s define what sets the high taper mullet apart. Here’s what makes it unique:

  • Contrasting Lengths: The classic mullet philosophy of “business in the front, party in the back” still applies, with a distinct difference between a longer top and shorter back.
  • High Fade: The fade begins much higher on the head than a mid taper. It often transitions to skin for a bold, high-contrast effect.
  • Modern Edge: Despite its 80s roots, the taper mullet feels fresh thanks to softer blending and textured styling.

Styling Essentials: Your Toolkit

The right products will bring your mullet to life. Here are some essentials:

  • Pomade: Ideal for a stronghold, polished looks, and controlling thick or curly hair.
  • Hair Wax: Offers medium hold with a more natural finish, great for a textured or messy style.
  • Sea Salt Spray: Perfect for adding beachy texture, especially for fine or wavy hair.
  • Texturizing Powder: Boosts volume at the roots and gives any hair type a bit of grit.
  • Hairspray: Locks in your finished style and tames flyaways.
  • Blow Dryer (Optional): Adds volume and helps create specific shapes like a pompadour style.

Styling Tutorial 1: Sleek and Polished

Transform your high taper mullet into a sophisticated and streamlined style. Perfect for special occasions or when you want a polished, put-together look, here’s your guide:

  1. Wash and Prep: Begin with clean hair. It’s best to start with slightly damp hair (towel-dried) as it’s more malleable but not so wet that the styling product gets diluted.

  2. Product Power: Choose a product that offers strong hold and a touch of shine. Pomades or gels are your best bet. Take a small amount and rub it between your palms to warm it up for easier distribution. Work the product evenly through the top and back sections of your hair.

  3. Slick it Back: Using a comb, carefully brush your hair straight back. Pay attention to pesky cowlicks or areas that tend to have a mind of their own. Distribute the product thoroughly for even hold and shine.

  4. Detail Work: This is where you elevate the sleekness. Use the fine-tooth side of your comb to smooth hair along the sides and back of your head, following the lines of your high taper fade. The goal is to create a smooth transition and tamed appearance near your ears and neckline.

  5. Finishing Touches: For maximum hold and a glossy finish, apply a light mist of strong-hold hairspray. Inspect your look from all angles to ensure everything is flawless and that the high contrast of your fade is clearly defined.

Pro-Tips for a Sleek Mullet:

  • Quality products matter: Invest in a pomade or gel specifically designed for strong hold and a polished look.
  • Less is more: Too much product will lead to a greasy appearance. Start with a small amount and add more if needed.
  • Regular trims: This sleek look relies on a sharp fade. Regular stylist visits to keep your high taper fade fresh are non-negotiable.
  • Own the look: Confidence is key, so exude sophistication as you rock this refined take on the taper mullet!

Styling Tutorial 2: Tousled and Textured

This style channels the high taper mullet’s inherent rockstar energy. It’s relaxed, a little bit messy, and all about embracing the natural movement of your hair. Perfect for everyday wear or those “I woke up like this” vibes, here’s your how-to:

  1. Prep is Key: This style works best with clean hair that has some natural texture to it. You can start with completely dry hair or leave it slightly damp to enhance those waves and add a touch of grit.

  2. Sea Salt Spritz: Your secret weapon! Apply a generous amount of sea salt spray throughout your hair. Focus on the top and back sections, scrunching slightly as you spray to start building a tousled look.

  3. Scrunch and Shape: Choose a hair wax or texturizing paste for workable hold with a natural finish. Scoop a moderate amount and work it into your hair, using both a scrunching motion for textured volume and a twisting motion on individual sections to define pieces.

  4. Air Dry or Diffuse: This is a low-maintenance look! Let your hair air dry to preserve the natural texture you’ve created. If you’re short on time or want even more volume and wave, use a blow dryer with a diffuser attachment.

  5. Finishing Touch: For a final boost of volume and a slightly gritty feel, sprinkle texturizing powder lightly at your roots. Fluff with your fingers to distribute, and voilà – instant textured perfection.

Tips for Ultimate Tousled Cool:

  • Don’t overthink it: This look thrives on imperfection. The less you fuss with it, the better!
  • Embrace your hair type: Wavy and curly hair textures naturally amplify this look. Straight hair may need extra product and styling time.
  • Get handsy: Use your fingers to style, twist, and separate hair sections for that perfectly undone, textured finish.
  • Confidence is key: Rock this effortlessly cool mullet with the laid-back attitude it so perfectly embodies.

Styling Tutorial 3: The Pompadour Mullet

Add a touch of retro cool to your high taper with a classic pompadour style. It’s a little more technique-heavy, but this bold style is a true head-turner. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Build Volume: This is the foundation of any pompadour. Apply a small amount of pre-styling mousse to damp hair and blow dry upwards for an instant lift. Alternatively, work a little volumizing powder into dry hair at the roots. Ensure your hair is completely dry before moving on – moisture is the enemy of a lasting pompadour!

  2. Product Time: Classic pompadours call for pomade or clay. Both offer strong hold, but clay tends to add a slightly textured, less shiny finish. Warm up a moderate amount between your palms and work it evenly throughout the top section of your hair.

  3. Up and Back: Using a comb, brush your hair upwards on top, then backward, aiming for that basic curved pompadour shape. For beginners, don’t go too high yet – it’s easier to build it gradually.

  4. Refine and Detail: Now it’s time to sculpt with your fingers. Adjust the height, width, and curve of your pompadour until you’re happy with the shape. Pay extra attention to smoothing the sides, creating a sleek contrast with the high fade. For a more sculpted pompadour, use a comb for extra side control.

  5. Lock it in: Strong-hold hairspray is non-negotiable! A generous mist sets your pompadour, guaranteeing it holds its shape and volume.

Pompadour Pro-Tips

  • Practice makes perfect: Mastering a pompadour mullet might take a few tries. Don’t get discouraged!
  • Adjust to your hair: Fine hair may need more product for lift. Thicker hair might require layering the product in gradually to avoid a greasy look.
  • Own the vintage vibe: Rock this style with confidence! A leather jacket and a touch of attitude complete the rockabilly aesthetic perfectly.
  • Consider a hair pick: Traditionally used for pompadours, a pick can help refine shape and keep those sides extra sleek.

Product Recommendations by Hair Type

Choosing the right styling products is crucial for making your mullet look its best. Understanding your hair type is the first step to finding the perfect product lineup.

Thick Hair

Thick hair offers built-in volume, which is a bonus for the high taper. Your challenge is finding products that control and define your hair without making it look greasy or stiff. Opt for strong-hold pomades or clays for shaping styles like pompadours or a slicked-back look. Since thick hair can sometimes get unruly, a touch of hairspray can lock everything in place, especially for sleeker styles.

Wavy/Curly Hair

Your natural texture is your greatest styling asset! Sea salt sprays enhance those beachy waves and texturizing pastes add definition for a tousled look. If you want a more polished style, defining creams or curl-enhancing gels can add structure and hold while preventing frizz. Look for products that offer both hold and moisture to keep your waves and curls looking healthy and vibrant.

Fine Hair

Volume is your goal! Texturizing powder is your secret weapon, adding instant lift at the roots. Lightweight mousses can also boost body without weighing your hair down. Sea salt spray creates a beachy texture, giving the illusion of thicker, fuller hair. Avoid heavy pomades, which will only emphasize a lack of density and make your hair look flat.

Straight Hair

You have maximum styling versatility! Pomades are perfect for crafting a sleek and polished slicked-back look. Hair waxes or texturizing pastes allow you to embrace a tousled, textured style. If you want the bold look of a pompadour, volumizing mousse and blow-drying are essential to create the necessary height and fullness.

The High Taper Mullet: Endless Possibilities

The beauty of the high-taper mullet lies in its adaptability. With a few styling products and some creativity, you can truly own this hairstyle and express your unique style. Whether you choose sleek and refined, effortlessly cool, or full-on rockabilly rebellion, the styling options are endless.

Remember, confidence is the ultimate accessory! Embrace the boldness and have fun rocking your mullet.

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Nyla Rose is a hairstylist and beauty blogger dedicated to helping others achieve their style goals. With years of salon experience and a passion for exploring trends, she offers practical hair advice, product reviews, and guides for recreating iconic looks.

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