Here's Why Everyone In Montreal Suddenly Seems To Have A Mullet

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Why Are Mullets So Popular In Montreal? We Asked Experts

A March article from the Agence France-Presse notes the "improbable return" of the mullet — known in Quebec as the "coupe Longueuil." The article points to the surging popularity of the much-made-fun-of haircut among celebrities like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus.

But Montrealers need only walk out their doors to find local examples of the mullet revival. Anecdotes of multiplying mullets have been swirling from the Mile End to the Sud-Ouest.

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So how did this '80s fashion faux-pas become a Montreal pandemic fad? 

We reached out to Guillaume Cheny and Christopher Vincent of the Plateau's Salon Helmet to find out.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

So why have mullets been popular during the pandemic?

According to Cheny and Vincent, the mullet revival could in part be about convenience.

"I love mullets," said Vincent. "I think they grow really easily. They're kind of naturally deconstructed, messy, so they kind of work with everyone's lifestyle right now. Easy."

"Since the pandemic and everything, people being stuck at home, hair salons being closed for months and months at a time, people have had a lot of time on their hands for their hair and it's an easy cut to do at home," Cheny added.

"Often, it's easy to cut the sides and the top but the back is more difficult."

Both hairstylists said Helmet has done more mullets in the last year. The cut's gender-neutral status has made it an easy option for everyone.

"I call myself the Duchess of mullet," said Vincent.

But today's mullets aren't like the 'dos of yesteryear, according to Cheny.

"I think it's not like the '70s, '80s look anymore. It's a little bit different. More refined, more like modern mullets."

Have people been more experimental with their haircuts during the pandemic?

Pandemic restrictions might also have encouraged people to become more daring with their grooming.

"When we came back in late June 2020, from the first lockdown, we saw some quite funny haircuts out there," said Cheny. "People are experimenting at home."

"We saw a lot of mullets."

"I think in front of a camera, you can look good in the front and have the party in the back."

As Vincent sees it, more widespread hair experimentation began during the second lockdown, when it became clear that we'd be living with restrictions for the foreseeable future.

"I even had a couple moments where I went on Skype with some people and I had a friend that would send me money to buy a bottle of wine or something like that."

"And I would sit on Skype and watch my friends cut each other's hair. They were quarantined together. And some of the stuff they were trying was like, 'you know what? Just leave the back. Cause the back's really hard. Yeah, cut the bangs short. Yeah. That's something different. Get something fun, something different.'"

Even Vincent, himself, took advantage of the unique opportunity to experiment with style.

"I had a moment where I was just like, I don't know when the next time I'm going to see my family is, so I shaved my head and I tattooed the top of it because why not?"

"And I think a lot of people are feeling that with their hair. Why not? You don't have to go to any business meetings. Why not? You don't have to go see family. Why not? It's been kind of fun."

How can Montrealers achieve the perfect mullet?

"Don't do it at home," Cheny warned.

"I think it's better to get these people to their hairdressers. There's so much you can do with mullets right now. And especially having it done professionally, having the right hair products to bring home and to style it properly and have some fun with it."

"I would say all good fashion is on purpose," said Vincent. "Someone who knows what they're doing can help you with that."

Their other message: support local businesses.

"The pandemic's been hard on small businesses." He encouraged Montrealers "to go to their local hairdressers and support them and support their whole local market."

Salon Helmet is located at 163, avenue du Mont-Royal E.

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