Trends are trends for a reason: we know they’re fleeting. We know they have somewhat of a lifespan. We know they’re not here to stay. It’s as if we are consciously aware that a type of dress or a hairstyle will eventually die out, but we embrace them anyway. But why do we “know” this? Why is a trend a trend? Because it’s too weird— or endearingly stupid—to be a mainstay or a classic? I guess posing that question is like asking why high-heeled sneakers were popular—there is just no logical answer or explanation. I’m no trend expert but I can only make the assumption that we do ridiculous things to ourselves for the sake of “fashion” because we are all sheep. Just kidding—again, I don’t understand what is so encapsulating about trends that turn us into mindless followers.
Trends tend to recycle themselves of course—usually taking a new life in the form of a subculture. These “band of outsiders” who generally ignore present-day trends will look back to vintage styles for inspiration. Bettie Page bangs, for example, was a trend in the 50s and early 60s but only really found popularity again starting in the 90s with riot grrrl subculture. Most recently, a new wave of pinup culture started to once again take on the short fringe.
While Bettie Page bangs are a cute, recyclable trend that will probably make various appearances in decades to come, there are some trends that should stay dead and buried in the cold ground of their respective decades. The following heinous hair trends embody the sentiment that we can not let history repeat itself.
We all know why this hairstyle was (and still is and always will be) horrible. Sure, sometimes horrible hairstyles can look “good” (I use the term “good” very, very loosely) depending on how it’s worn or who is wearing it. But in the case of the mullet, there is no exception, ever. Even if Beyonce decided to rock a mullet sometime in the future, I would be wildly upset. For the first time in my life, I’d believe Beyonce actually looked bad. It’s truly hard to fathom how people still walk around with this hairstyle given it not only looks sad, but its reputation is worse than Tara Reid’s career. Just trust me, you’ll never, ever break someone’s ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ with a mullet, you’ll just have yours broken.
And then we have some of the Mullet’s family members…
If you’re unfamiliar with this mid-late 2000s look, you can think of it as the mullet’s grown-out, rowdy child. This style was popular during the heyday of Myspace and emo bands. I can’t even begin to really describe what ‘scene’ was other than a subculture embraced by (mostly) teenage boys and girls who looked like they stuck their finger in an electrical socket. And they said ‘rawr’ a lot (I don’t know why—don’t ask). They also generally ‘skunked’ their hair which means exactly what is sounds like—fashioned their hair color and texture after a skunk’s.
What even was this? The only thing I can surmise is that it was the mullet’s annoying aunt. The woman with this haircut always seemed to have a problem with something and made sure everyone around her knew it. Whether it was with another mother at her kid’s soccer game blocking her view or the lady at the supermarket who took the last case of Pepsi—she always was ready to mouth off at someone. Oh, and she’ll always demand to speak to the manager.
The Rat Tail
The rat tail was like the mullet’s little brother who was always tattling on his friends. He was the worst kind of “business in the front, party in the back” because he (or she because women, unfortunately, did this to themselves too) consciously chose to LEAVE this piece of hair hanging from their head instead of committing to and entire, horrible mullet. He probably drank mountain dew to stay hydrated instead of water and was a little racist. No thanks, man. Next.
And what was worse than the rat tail? How about—
The Braided Rat Tail
Seriously I remember watching a Tears for Fears video and thinking Curt Smith was so hot until he turned to the side. I wanted to jump through the screen with scissors and hack off those stupid little braids. What was the point… really? Didn’t the 80s have enough horrible hair problems to deal with? Did they really have to get creative with the “business in the front, party in the back” mentality? What was with this mentality in the 80s?
But back to some other horrible hairstyles that have no relation to the mullet…
You remember this artificial 80s, 90s, and early 00’s hair style that mostly white girls thought looked cute—made possible by one of these bad boys:
(I was one of those white girls and now I’m embarrassed). I even had a crimping iron with multiple-sized, interchangeable plates for some fun variation. That was a stupid idea and a waste of money. Crimped hair looks crunchy, immature, and almost as bad as the zig-zagged middle part moms liked to create in their little girls’ scalps; throw in some butterfly clips and they were the coolest kid on the playground. But in defense of how bad and unhealthy and unnatural crimped hair looks: hair isn’t supposed to look ‘sharp’. Hair should not have thousands of protruding, pointing edges made possible by the teeth of a dreaded crimping iron.
The Winged ‘do
THIS HAIRCUT HAD WINGS. Think Zac Efron—or any boy that resembled Ellen DeGeneres or late 90s Meg Ryan. Almost every boy in my line of vision at school dances rocked this hair. For some reason, this cut ruled most middle school and high school hallways in the mid-to-late 2000s and caused us ladies (and gentlemen) to swoon. What was is about the hair flip of a pre-pubescent boy that got us so excited? Was is the fact that they looked like Brady Bunch matriarch Carol Brady? Why was that appealing? Also, this ‘do looked like an overgrown bowl cut. Thanks, Ellen.
This was just stupid because no one realized that they were going to have tufts of short hairs eventually coming in when they wanted to grow their hair out again. Everyone who had this hairstyle looked like Skrillex—and that’s a bad thing. My best friend in college thought it would be a good idea to do this to her head—yet when she decided it was time to let those hairs grow back out, only half her head resembled a Chia Pet.