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Championship win proves mullets are 'hair to stay'

Newshub logo Newshub 19/08/2022 Richard Larsen, Dick Wybrow
Watch: Manawatū crowns its 'best mullet' champion. © The Project Watch: Manawatū crowns its 'best mullet' champion.

It’s easy to see the appeal of rocking a mullet. It makes you look like a powerful lion. Or a Canadian hockey player, circa 1986.

The fearless follicle fashion statement has faded in and out of popularity for decades, and it's not going away anytime soon.

"I've definitely seen more people rocking the mullets. It's a timeless thing," said Ice Studios barber Izak Lal.

"All it takes is for some sport stars to start rocking that style and, boom, it blows up."

And the iconic hairstyle may be much older than we realize. A new theory, floated in February of last year, suggested mullets may have been around at least 2000 years.

It came from a discovery during an excavation for a proposed car park in eastern England. Ancient artifacts were unearthed and among them was a five-centimetre figurine believed to represent the native men of Roman-era Britain.

The tiny figure is standing there, arms akimbo, and rocking what appears to be, yes, a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

Now, an alternate theory is that the first-century figurine could be the likeness of a Celtic deity. However, in either case, it represents god-like power.

But even those ancient Romans couldn't boast a sweet, curated coif like 18-year-old Jonty White. He's just won Manawatū's best mullet. 

There were dozens of entrants and, after 5000 votes from the public, White took the top prize.

 "Oh, it was good. It was good, yeah," he told The Project on Friday. "It was crazy."

With his win, White earned himself a trophy, a free haircut, and hot towel shave from Ice Studios.

Manawatū photographer Helen McDonald launched the competition after being inspired by her son Hector's haircut - one that she never saw coming.

"I came home to find that my partner Nick had given him a haircut, and it was a mullet. I'd already said 'No, I don't think that's a good idea'," McDonald told The Project. "But there was no going back, and I grew to like it in the end. 

Helen said she plans on making her mullet contest an annual event and is keen to go wider, possibly taking it to Taranaki next year.

But the Kiwi of the day is the new reigning champ, Jonty White. So, does the king have any aspirational mullets he'd like to emulate? Like on a sports hero or a celebrity?

"There's not really one you can pinpoint, because they're all great in all different ways," White said, then ended on a philosophical note.

"A mullet's a mullet and every mullet's sick."

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