Nathan Rosenkranz can spot a trend coming from a mile away. It’s a skill he’s honed after years of living in New York City and working with everyone from athletes to celebrities. So is the mullet really making a comeback? For the uninitiated, the mullet was described as “business in the front and a party in the back” when it first reared its head in the 1970s, and it’s come in and out of fashion ever since. Stylist at Hair & Co. in Brooklyn, Rosenkranz has had a lot of requests from his female clients recently for something he calls a modern version of the shag-mullet combination. “Think of it as a shag without the volume,” he says, “with the shorter texture on top collapsing into longer hair in the back.” Rosenkranz calls the look, which is a bit shaggy, a fashion mullet.
Rosenkranz has also noticed that a lot of women are embracing their natural texture. “For the longest time, everyone who had curly hair was getting blowouts twice a week or having their hair chemically straightened,” he says. “Basically they were fighting their curl, but I’ve been seeing a shift across all cultures, from tight Afro curls to long, loose waves.” His suggestion is to showcase the beauty of your natural texture. “I worked with a designer from Lagos a couple of years ago, and we were creating these extremely textured looks on girls of all ethnicities.” Another trend he sees is extreme texture, especially on women who wear their hair short. “It’s either very textured or very smooth,” he says. “The in-betweens aren’t happening.”
So is the ubiquitous beach wave still a thing? The short answer is yes, but with a twist. “It’s got to be blown out, and a bit of fuzziness is okay,” he says. “The hair doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth anymore.”
Rosenkranz also predicts that really long hair is going to make a comeback. “Lobs were the big thing a year or two ago, but they’re not so big anymore,” he says. “What I’m seeing is a lot of girls growing their hair out.”
Since so many trends come from the streets or from athletes—think snowboarding, skateboarding or any of the Extreme Sports you see on the X Games—Rosenkranz pays close attention to what he sees happening in these arenas. “These kids don’t want to play team sports like everybody else. They want to do their own thing,” he says. “They’re individuals, and that extends to their hairstyles, which are a bit out of the mainstream. Their heads might be shaved in different spots or their hair is very unkempt.” In other words, it has a DIY aspect to it that is far from perfect.
Rosenkranz mentions Shaun White, who has won more Olympic gold medals than anyone for snowboarding. “He used to be the bad boy with that long, crazy hair, but now that he’s made it, he’s got a more conventional hairstyle.” He describes it as a pompadour that’s tapered through the sides with a disconnected top that’s blended through the back. “But a lot of these younger guys in the game don’t care what their hair looks like,” he says, “and they’re the ones you want to watch.”
Rosenkranz calls these trendsetters early poppers. “You know when you make popcorn and a few kernels start popping and then all the kernels are popping?” says Rosenkranz, who calls NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. an early popper. “He started wearing a Mohawk and bleaching his hair out on top, and then that became a look that everyone wanted. Keep your eye on the early poppers.”