Mullets are officially summer’s hottest new hairstyle

(BTS member V promoting the group’s latest single, “Fake Love,” has recently transformed his hair into a chic mullet.)

The mullet is back, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

So why not surrender yourself to this shaggy fiesta (if you’re here, we’re in the back)? The updated look is far from the long ridiculed shag, associated with 90’s Achy Breaky-era Billy Ray Cyrus (cringe) and that time when Andre Agassi actually had hair(gasp!). The updated mullet is more punk and rock and roll – think David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust – and less country. It’s also much more subtle, where the proportions aren’t as dramatic. 

SEE ALSO: Here’s how to get Zayn’s hair from the 2018’s Grammys

Recently, the updated mullet has been spotted globally, from BTS’s V, sporting a curly look at this year’s Billboard Music Awards, to Got7’s JB, who’s been rocking the look all year. And on social media, models, to influencers have all been embracing the look as well. Just look at influencer and barber, Mikey, who’s been recreating the fire look and uploading them on his Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXO-PKfB6bh/?taken-by=nicholas__barrett

So why now? Blame cyclical fashion, explains celebrity hairstylist, Niko Weddle, who’s worked with Abigail Breslin, Portia Doubleday, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, among others. The stylist attributes this recent wave of 90’s nostalgia on the runways – from Prada to Margiela – as a major factor for the mullet’s resurgence.

Social media, of course, also plays a factor, he says. With the illusion of perfection projected onto social media, Niko tells Very Good Light that “the mullet is the the ultimate f**k you to all of that.” He further explains: “It says ‘I don’t7

Vcare; at a time when our carefully cultivated social media presences seem to say perhaps we care a little too much.”

AXE’s own celebrity barber, Reggae, the man behind the fades of Zayn, Will Smith, Gucci Mane, among others, echoes this sentiment.

“[The mullet] adds a bit of uniqueness to each person who wears it,” he tells Very Good Light. It’s also versatile in the way that it allows guys to put a “twist on a fade faux-hawk look.” Since fades are really popular right now, the mullet gets men the clean cuts they want while experimenting with length.

Besides, that, mullets are simply “badass and rock and roll,” says Alicia Campbell, who’s worked with rockers like Green Day, Metallica, to guys like Vince Staples and Big Sean.

To get the perfect mullet look, Reggae gives us a few pointers, below:

1 Request the “South of France”

If you’re asking your barber how to achieve the look, start with a skin taper and then a high temple fade, suggests Reggae. “This type of fade was coined by a fellow celebrity barber,” Reggae tells us. “He called it the ‘South of France’ Fade.

2 All about proportions

Long gone are the ponytail-length hair in the back and a short cut up front. Instead, make it subtle. “The top would be a crop top with a messy and uneven length,” Reggae says. “Ask your barber to use uneven sheers to create the texture on the sides, then regular sheers cutting at an angle on the top.”

3 Style it to finish

Just as your hair is disproportionate, so should how you style it. For this, you’d use products for the top of your hair as you’d normally do. But for the back, “let it fall as is with minimal product,” Reggae says.

Donald Glover’s powerful message at the Met Gala came in the form of his hair 

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

We knew fashion made a political statement, but how about … hair?

Dubbed the “Oscars of Fashion,” Monday’s Met Gala celebrated the theme of “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” And celebs came dressed to impress like Zendaya who spruced it up as a chic Joan of Arc, Rihanna as a sexy Pope in Maison Margiela and Jared Leto as, um, Gucci Jesus

SEE ALSO: Here’s how to get Zayn’s perfect tousles 

Also among the crowd was Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino. The Grammy Award-winning artist has been having a whirlwind weekend with the debut of his politically-charged video, “This is America.” The video, which debuted Sunday, has been receiving an overwhelming amount of social media support for its powerful message on the state of the country. In it, he’s seen dancing in Jim Crow-style caricature, distracting viewers from the realities of American problems including: gun violence, police brutality, social media addiction, African American disenfranchisement, among others. It’s a sobering picture of the realities of this country and if you haven’t seen it, I urge you to watch it immediately.

And so it was to no surprise that the star wanted to carry on this message into the Met Gala as well. There, he looked perfectly dapper in a royal purple Gucci suit and ivory loafers. But instead of making too obvious of a statement with his apparel, he made a subtle one – with his hair. That’s right, if you thought it looked similar to his locks in the “This is America” video, you’d be correct; the grooming move was entirely intentional.

“We discussed the video release [Sunday],” says Erica Sauer, Donald’s groomer, to Very Good Light. “We wanted his hair to resemble the video but not be identical.”

Meaning, he wanted to represent his video and its powerful messages for the world to see – on his own terms.

To get Met Gala ready, Erica advised Donald to get clean shaven the night before. She also asked him to exfoliate and moisturize to keep his skin hydrated and in peak form. Her favorite tip before a big red carpet: “lots of water and raw juices to help hydrate from the inside out!”

(Photo by Erica Sauer)

For his face, Erica used Baxter of California’s Shave Tonic treatment to prep his bear while revitalizing the skin. Next, she used her T-liner hair trimmer to line up his beard and neck. “I use the edge of the t-liner to blend the beard so that it doesn’t have a harsh line,” she tells Very Good Light. “Essentially, I scratch the edges of the beard instead of ‘lining it up.’ Afterward, she used a toner onto a cotton pad to remove any excess dirt, oil or impurities.

To get his skin in peak form, Erica used Baxter of California’s Super Shape Recharge Cream with “moderate pressure” to get circulation going in his complexion. She also gave him a light lymphatic drainage massage for his eyes would be fresh without any dark circles or puffiness.

And now onto the hair. For the style, Erica applied a Cream Pomade into his hair to give a light, frizz-free hold with a low shine finish. “[I] used a blow dryer on medium,” she tells us. “I first pick out his hair then use fingers to pull out sections and dry them individually.” She says she used the blow dryer “in pieces to give it an uneven, wild look.” Aka, something that was styled but still gave that “This is America” vibe. The end result was creating an empowering statement that was quiet and subtle but absolutely beautiful.

In a time of tense politics, where wearing a single item could get you into any kind of trouble, it’s as if grooming – the face! the hair! – has officially become the next power statement.

First Look: Rudy’s Clay Spray is the answer to styling thick Asian hair

Rudy's Clay Spray

(Photo by David Yi/Very Good Light)

Sometimes having thick, straight Asian hair is … frustrating.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s so much better than worrying about thinning or not having enough hair. But strong hair often means you’re never not at war with your locks. There are days when you’re screaming at that sharp shard of wet hair to stay down, and others when you’re willing your dead hair to rise from its grave. Washing your hair before bed means waking up looking like Goku and not washing it at all makes the oils build up so you end up looking like a mutant. And when it comes to products, good luck. Using a clay pomade sometimes makes your hair way too sticky while using a leave-in conditioner will make your hair flop over by lunchtime.

SEE ALSO: For Korean men, groomed eyebrows are a symbol of masculinity

Basically, having Asian hair means you have to have A LOT of patience and understanding – and wearing hats. Lot of hats.

That is, until I came across Rudy’s Barbershop and its newest product, the Clay Spray. The brand, now celebrating 25 years, sent over the product four weeks ago. And since, I’ve been spraying it around my bathroom without abandon. Essentially, the product is exactly what it says it is – clay in a spray form. In this case it’s specifically a clay pomade mixed together with a sea salt spray, two products that, separately, are perfect for giving volumizing your hair while also taming it.

(Spray away, spray away, spray away.)

At first, I’ll admit I was skeptical. A thick, clay texture bottled up into a spray? Would it come out in chunks? Would it be messy AF? Would I have a few strands that are thicker than others? They’re valid questions, one that Rudy’s and its entire team brainstormed for over a year.

When speaking to Rudy’s CEO, Brendon Lynch, the product’s inception came about after surveying employees about what kinds of products were needed in the industry. After discovering everyone was really into cocktailing sea salt sprays together with clay pomades, Brendon said it only made sense to offer a two-in-one product.

As mentioned, the process took a long time. Finding a strong enough clay product that wasn’t too heavy and water soluble was definitely a conundrum to figure out. “The first clay we tried was bentonite clay which is the same one as in our clay pomade but it was too heavy and separating from the liquid so it had to be constantly shaken up,” Brendon tells Very Good Light. The result after 7-8 formulas: Kaolin clay, a mild clay that’s silky. It’s also one used in face masks to neutralize oily skin while detoxifying pores.

Asian mullet

The two properties together make it perfect for anyone who has thick, oily hair that needs taming and volume for that natural look.

While testing the product, I simply sprayed water in my hair, towel-dried it, then proceeded to spray it all over. Starting from the roots, I’d spritz the Clay Spray about 5-6 pumps until my entire head had enough product in it. Unlike what I thought, it sprayed evenly. Note: I’ve been doing this co-washing thing where I’m weening off shampoo so my head has been extra oily. This product worked WONDERS because it soaked up the extra oil, acting as a dry shampoo, while allowing my hair to have the natural, beachy, lived-in look.

Rudy's Clay Spray

I’d simply style my hair with my fingers, walk out the door, and allow it to dry. Which is when the magic ~really~ starts to happen. That’s when the product will beautifully sit into your scalp and locks, hold it in place, while allowing your hair to flow beautifully. It makes it seem as if you paid zero attention to styling your hair that morning, with shine, grittiness to it, with a messy, beachy look that almost every guy is going for.

Of course, this Clay Spray isn’t recommended for all hair types. While it’s great for guys with thick, straight, oily hair, I wouldn’t say it’s for coarse or dry hair. I feel the clay mixed with salt will be way too much for over-drying someone’s scalp. At the end of the day, not every hair product is meant for every person. Of course, you’ll have to trial and test out the best products for you. But if you’re lazy, have unruly hair and just want it to look good in seconds, this Clay Spray is ~exactly~ what you need.

Get the Clay Spray later this month, from Rudy’s Barbershop.

Here’s how to get Zayn’s perfectly tousled Grammys 2018 hair

Can we talk about Zayn Malik for a second (or 60)? If looks could kill, we’d already be slayed by his fire Grammys look alone.

We already knew Zayn was becoming a style icon with his perfect outfits (see Exhibit A and Exhibit Z). But the 25-year old is primed to becoming the biggest grooming star in the Western world since, well, David Bowie. In the past year, we’ve delighted in how versatile he is when it comes to his face and hair (and also how QUICKLY his hair seems to grow). From his green-hued hair streaks, full-on beard, pink locks, his shaved head, and perfectly imperfect dangling hair strand, it’s obvious he isn’t risk averse when it comes to his beautiful head.

SEE ALSO: Say goodbye to dark circles FAST

To our delight, he debuted a yet another new hair style on Sunday’s Grammys red carpet, while sporting a salmon suite with a white rose embroidered onto his lapel – a show of support for the important #TimesUp movement. To literally top it off, he showed off a dramatic undercut with a flawless beard to hair fade. While the singer, who was nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media for his duet, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” with Taylor Swift eventually lost to Moana, it didn’t even matter. This entire look obviously made him Sunday’s biggest winners.

(Photo by Joanna Simkin)

Hair

So how do you get his red carpet hair? Joanna Simkin, his own groomer, shared a step by step guide in getting that perfect messy hair look. Below, she provides a breakdown:

1 “Starting with clean hair, rough towel-dry to slightly damp,” she instructs. (If hair is fine, use a blow-dryer for some lift. Thick hair can start with damp hair to the same effect.) 

2 After hair is slightly damp, use a dime-sized amount of pomade. For Zayn’s Grammys look, Joanna used Baxter of California’s Clay Pomade, and warmed it between her palms. This makes sure there are no clumps of product or too much concentration of product in any one place.

Baxter of California Clay Pomade ($23)

Clay Pomade | Baxter of California

Buy here!

3 “Starting at the back of the head, coat the hair with [pomade],” she says. “If you need more product, repeat, using a dime-sized amount of product.” Pro tip: It’s better to layer than start with too much, she says. In this case, too much can be too much.

4 Once the hair is coated with product, “finger style” the hair. Meaning, you can tousle the strands in between your fingers upwards for a more natural look. “The beauty of Clay Pomade is there is enough hold for the style to hold once it’s set, but not so firm that you can’t work the style until it’s too your liking,” says Joanna. Meaning, pomade won’t feel heavy or greasy, rather, it’ll settle in naturally with your locks.

5 If you have any random flyaways, smooth just those with a tiny bit more Pomade. Keyword: TINY.

6 Finally, Joanna says she topped the look using Baxter’s Clay Effect Style Spray to hold. You can totally use any other spray as well that isn’t too sticky and free of alcohol (it’s drying).

Baxter of California Clay Effect Style Spray ($27)

Men's Hair Styling Clay Effect Style Spray | Baxter of California

Buy here!

7 Voila! You’ve got Zayn’s perfect coiffure.

Skin

For those who are wondering about how Zayn’s skin looked so glistening, Joanna says he washes, exfoliates then gently pats his face until it’s still damp. The extra water allows the face to lock in extra moisture, she says. She also used Baxter’s Under Eye Complex to push any and all puffiness out. Finally, after moisturizing, Joanna says she took a tissue and blotted Zayn’s T-zone. “The result is even skin that looks hydrated without grease or shine.” All it takes is a tissue, guys!

Meet Chaz French, the ‘sappy ass’ rapper with beautiful rainbow hair

Chaz French

“Don’t do it bro, don’t do it,” they said.

It was the summer before the first leg of his tour for his debut album, True Colors, the first under Capitol Records, and the rapper named Chaz French was contemplating if he wanted to dye his hair a bright color. That’s when he had his fair share of critics and friends who told him it’d be best “not to do that.” But he’d been wanting to color his locks for the past five years and felt it was finally the time to do it.

Chaz French

“F*** it.”

He went midnight blue.

In a traditionally hypermasculine culture of hip hop, where guys have historically been taught to be “hard,” and “man up,” the very act of deviating from these notions could be looked upon. Dying one’s hair an outre color, then, could real consequences. Like antiquated critics who’d question one’s masculinity or sexuality by the color of their outfit or by something like their hair. But for Chaz, hair is hair, expression is expression. “It doesn’t take away from s***,” he says. “The whole thing doesn’t even matter.”

Coloring his hair blue “felt really good.”

“It’s freedom and I can do whatever I want,” he explains. “If someone doesn’t like it that’s their problem.” Since, it’s evolved to blonde, purple, green, to an off-orange color.

“I’m a sappy ass person.”

“[Hip hop] s not what it used to be,” he tells us. “We now live in an era of hip hop where we can express ourselves in different ways. The kids, we run style and run culture. There’s no rules to this s***. Back in the day, the older generation weren’t dying their hair but had hard tattoos and piercings. Today, we’re not going to do that.”

Chaz French

The entire process of dying his hair isn’t an easy one, especially on the road. But it’s one that he’s committed to, his stylist on-call when he might have a hairspiration. If you thought the process was easy (because he makes it look so), you’d be wrong. “It burns!” Chaz explains, of the amount of bleach that’s added to his hair. Apparently, one has to get it blonde enough to add permanent pigment. After changing his locks so frequently, Chaz has discovered it doesn’t come without mishaps.

On time, after his stylist dyed Chaz’s locks into a “perfect purple,” he requested she bleach it one more time. Though it was against her better judgment, Chaz wanted to try it out. It ended up with hair falling out and a distinct bald spot on the side of his head.

“I was so upset,” he says, with a laugh. “My barber fixed it but I’ll never make that mistake again.”

The constant change of his hair’s colors are almost symbolic of his debut album, one that takes a vibrant look into the D.C.-based rapper’s upbringing. From growing up without a father who was incarcerated since his childhood, being homeless, to finding his way through music, True Colors is about, if anything, the human and its resilience. “It’s about pulling through,” Chaz says. If that sounds emotional, it’s because it is – and Chaz will be the first to admit it.

Chaz French

“I’m a sappy ass person,” he tells us. “It’s hard to make music that doesn’t show otherwise. When I’m making music I’m the most vulnerable.”

With his father behind bars, the young Chaz grew up resenting him. It was only years later, after having children of his own, when he began empathizing with his dad’s experience. “Let me shed a different light on my dad and realize how no matter what he did he still cared for me,” he says. He even wrote a track called “POPS” in homage to his father.

“Wasn’t around a lot and I blame it on prison
As crazy as it may sound I wanna be just like him …
You may say he ain’t shit
But to me he’s the realest, he the realest,” he raps.

Without a dad around, his mother stepped in and taught the young Chaz how to steer his own destiny. “She’s gone through a lot and still stays strong if she ever had a breakdown,” he says. “We all have moments and times when we shut down – that’s life. It’s how we get back up that’s important.”

And that’s exactly how Chaz discovered his own definition of manhood. “Being a strong person means being really mentally and emotionally strong,” he says. “There are many guys who are physically stronger than me but they wouldn’t be able to have gone through what I’ve been through. They’d crack under pressure.”

With that mantra, Chaz is doing Chaz – green-hued hair, colorful outfits, with a vivid view of his future ahead, he’s unstoppable.

“I’m going to fulfill everything I’ve wanted,” he says, assuredly. “Modeling, acting, getting a Grammy, an Oscar, even having my own beer brand.” You want to believe him.

But for now, he’s plotting his next hair color. “Maybe it’ll be peach, maybe it’ll be something else. I don’t know. You gotta keep them guessing.”

To find tour dates for Chaz French’s tour, head here. 

This is the one hair step you’re not doing

Is your hair frizzy? Dry AF? Did you color it so much it now looks like straw? Or worse, do you not have any hair any more?

Same.

Back when I was a fashion editor, I colored my hair as often as Katy Perry. We shared the same hair colorist, Rita Hazan, and whatever Katy did, I was there, following her every shade. Deep, navy blue? Yep, did it. Soft, grandma lavender? Done did. Champagne blonde? Duh.

Fast-forward to fall and my hair’s in the worst condition it’s ever been. Knowing that I needed some major help, I visited a local hair salon called Orang Hair in Seoul’s chic Apgujeong district. There, I had the salon’s master stylist, Jennifer give me an intervention. I’m not going to sugar coat it, she was aghast, sighing in disbelief.

http://www.giphy.com/gifs/3ohs7X6yyElCDPD4IM

“Your hair is one of the worst I’ve ever seen,” she blurted. Wait, what do you really think? I asked.

“No, really, it’s really bad. What essence are you using?”

Uh, essence? I asked. You mean people use essence for their hair?

She gasped again. I might have as well been North Korean at that point.

Just as you’d hopefully use an essence for your face, I learned Koreans pat on essence into their tresses every single day for its overall health. It’s still a relatively new concept in the states, but here in Seoul, every woman and man uses hair essence to revitalize their strands, make it less dry and completely revitalize its texture. That means saying goodbye to your straw-like frizzy hair and hello to soft, silky hair.

Hair essence is a lot like essence for your skin. It’s usually water-based, soaks in quickly and leaves your hair with an immediate shiny dew. Using it often enough will not only revitalize your hair, it’ll resolve any frizziness and will be easier to style. Essences come in many forms: pumps, in serum vials or in oil form. What it’s ~not~ is leave-in conditioner. While essences are usually water-based and treats immediately, leave-in conditioners have synthetics, weigh down the hair and coats it.

There’s a list of amazing hair essences you can find at Soko Glam here. This one from British M is one we’d recommend for its ability to nourish your hair back to life. It has organic pumpkin seed and argan oil to treat it. The only downside? It’s a whopping $67. You can get a smaller bottle from Skinfood for $14 though. It’s not as good but it’ll do it for you.

As for me … hair essence alone wasn’t going to help me. Since I was beyond a hot mess, Jennifer needed to give me a scalp massage. Think of this as a facial, only for the health of your scalp. She put in essential conditioners and used an actual machine to ensure it soaked in deep. After, she put me into a deep moisturizer chamber. Its red lights undo UV ray damage and the steam allows the hair’s very strands to seep into its pores.

It was quite a luxurious experience. I’ve heard Koreans do this twice a week, where some come back weekly if their hair is severely damaged.

Afterwards, my hair wasn’t only supple, moisturized, but probably the best I’ve seen it all year. Peroxide be damned, my hair looked even ~better~ than before I dyed it. Take a look for yourselves: