Brothers with '80s-style mullets have generous plans for their manes

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comFebruary 12, 2013 

  • Mull-What?

    The Urban Dictionary calls the mullet a hairstyle in which the front is cut trim, but the back is long, left wild and often uncut. Alternate names include: bi-level; Camaro cut; business in the front, party in the back; Canadian passport; Kentucky waterfall; Missouri compromise, mudflap and, as homage to Kentucky's own best-known mullet man, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus: the Achy-Breaky-bad-mistakey.

    For more mullet fun, check out Mulletjunky.com. To learn about Locks of Love, go to Locksoflove.org.

Dougy Fresh and his brother, Steven, pulled into Bailey's Barber College on North Limestone last week with a seldom-heard request.

Their mullets needed maintenance.

The family from Powell County was driving by the Lexington shop when the haircut urge struck.

"I guess I'm just stuck back in the '80s," said Steven Fresh, 38, the younger brother. Plus, he said, "the women like to pull on it."

Steven first grew his mullet in junior high as an act of rebellion against his father's crewcut, he said.

Dougy, 42, said he grew his style — sometimes referred to as a Kentucky waterfall — first, and his little brother just copied him. There is a third Fresh brother who fell in line with the family patriarch's conservative hairdo and keeps it that way still.

"I just don't understand him," Dougy said with a grin.

The duo, who had the Lexington shop rocking with their comic banter and jokes that mostly can't be printed in a family paper, said many people marvel at the wonder of their mullets.

They see their commitment to the often-maligned hairstyle as a badge of honor.

As Steven Fresh said, "we are rockin' this look."

There aren't too many hairstyles that are part time capsule. But the brothers seemed pleased when Steven's barber, student Austin Mills, admitted as he combed out the long brown section known as the "party in the back" that "I have never seen one before."

The brothers had sort of a comical act that had the Bailey's staff laughing between snips. Dougy's son, Douglas, 8, has heard it all before.

"He acts like a child," he said sternly as his father launched into a joke about his son being 12-plus pounds at birth.

"That's not true," Douglas told the room, frowning. He prefers a close-cropped cut over his father's more flamboyant style.

Jennifer Bailey, who runs the school, had to walk Mills and his fellow student, Sam Bryant, through the mullet maintenance step by step. She said she hadn't seen the style in quite a while.

Has anyone ever tried to persuade the brothers to change?

"Oh, yeah, many people," Steven Fresh said. "My dad, my granny, they are always wanting me to get it cut."

"Church people," Dougy chimed in.

"Yep," Steven said.

Steven's mullet is a good five inches longer than his older brother's. That's because Dougy had lung cancer and is in the midst of regrowing his crowning glory.

The brothers say they might finally have a reason to trim their iconic hairstyle. They are both growing it out to make donations to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that creates wigs for kids who've lost their hair because of illness.


Mull-What?

The Urban Dictionary calls the mullet a hairstyle in which the front is cut trim, but the back is long, left wild and often uncut. Alternate names include: bi-level; Camaro cut; business in the front, party in the back; Canadian passport; Kentucky waterfall; Missouri compromise, mudflap and, as homage to Kentucky's own best-known mullet man, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus: the Achy-Breaky-bad-mistakey.

For more mullet fun, check out Mulletjunky.com. To learn about Locks of Love, go to Locksoflove.org.


See a video of the Fresh brothers from Powell County getting their mullet maintenance.


Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog: BluegrassMoms.com.

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