At menPsyche, we are about finding your unique style and path in life.
We encourage people to be brave – it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd and be yourself.
And we think nothing represents this more than the Skullet haircut.
It’s short, it’s long, it’s bold – and it’s a unique statement.
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What is ‘Skullet’ Hair?
Some credit metal singer Devin Townsend for coining the term ‘Skullet.’
For those of you who were around in the 80s, the term ‘Mullet’ may be familiar (I am still traumatised by my 1980s series of mullets).
Men and women alike proudly sported the trendy style, regardless of whether it suited them (and it mostly didn’t).
Interestingly, they had a revival in past years.
A mullet was a haircut shorter on top with a longer length at the back.
A skullet takes this hairstyle a step further – it is ultra-short or shaved on top (where you expose the ‘skull’ shape) with a long section of hair at the back – so basically a bald mullet!
Types of Skullet Haircuts
As with many haircuts for men, there are often subtle (and not-so-subtle) variations to select from.
Some hairstyles are better suited to different face shapes, hair types and textures (curly, coarse, fine, straight, wavy etc).
Below are some common variations of the Skullet –
- Crew-Cut Skullet
The crew cut is a perennial favourite short haircut for men. Short on the back and sides with a little length on the top – it’s about as easy and low maintenance as you can get.
Check out our full article on 7 short haircuts for men that look good and don’t need much fuss.
Now, instead of a crew cut all over, leave the hair at the back of the hair long.
It’s a fine line between a skullet and a mullet, but the shorter length is what separates it.
This style is less severe than the full-blown bald look on top.
- Curly Hair Skullets
Now, many curly-haired men and women out there will know the difficulty of finding easy styles (and styles that don’t require them to straighten their curls away!).
Curly hair can be unique and striking, and teaming a skullet with your curls can provide a new and simple way to manage your mane.
If your curly hair is too voluminous, a curly skullet might be the perfect way to tame the curls while keeping your natural texture.
(The Afro Skullet is another variation for those with this hair type).
- The Fade Skullet
Fade hairstyles have been on trend for a while now.
A stylish and low-maintenance look, fade styles allow for creativity and variation to the top section of the skullet.
Depending on your face shape, head shape and hair texture, a faded (or graduated cut on top) can give you your best skullet look.
Check out this article for proper guidance on selecting the perfect haircut based on your face shape.
This style combines two tending styles and looks modern.
- Lions Mane Skullet
I think the name says it all here – think of a long-flowing, wild mane at the back.
A real lion’s mane is visible from the front. You can copy this concept by bringing the shaved or short section on top forward a little (i.e. starting at the ears).
If your hair and ego can take it, the result is a dramatic statement.
Where Did the Skullet Originate?
Looking back through history in painting and photographs, we often notice that many modern hairstyles look familiar.
For example, the resurrection of the skullet style was in the various recent Viking-related television shows.
Whether Vikings actually wore these styles is up for conjecture.
But one thing you can say about the skullet is that it does take some Viking-like qualities to carry one off.
This skullet haircut is a modern symbol of enviable characteristics like bravery, courage, adventurousness and fierce independence.
For recent examples, enter Floki and Ragnar Lothbrok from the Vikings TV Show.
As mentioned, modern interest in the style is sometimes credited to singer and musician, Devin Townsend.
Looking through his various photographs, he certainly provides a great example of a skullet and how it works perfectly for a particular type of personality, hair ‘situation’ and industry.
The Devin Townsend skullet style involves a shaved look on top and a very long length at the back and sides.
It’s like any other long-haired rock star – except for the baldness at the top.
The Balding Skullet
Now, some of you might be thinking, a skullet looks like a solution that balding men have devised to go bald on top and still look cool.
Nothing wrong with that, quite frankly – it seems like a clever hair hack.
A skullet sure does appear a lot cooler than the dreaded ‘comb-over’ – the old way to deal with baldness for guys who wanted to keep their remaining hair.
Baldness affects millions of men – almost 1 in 2 men over the age of 40.
And depending on their particular pattern of baldness, they may be left with a lot of hair at the back, and none on the top.
A skullet-style haircut may be an option for those looking for a trending way to deal with this hair issue.
Shoutout to Larry David, who has tirelessly worked towards a better world for his tribe of bald men – is finally trending in the hair department!
Beards with Skullets Hair
A beard can be a sharp look for a balding man.
And beards can be paired with skullets to great effect (see ‘Famous Skullets’ below).
Assuming you have considered the overall look, a bold skullet with a badass beard is a knockout combo to consider for the right man.
Is the Skullet for You?
There are two main points to consider here – 1. Will a skullet suit your hair type and face shape? and, 2. Can you carry it off (i.e. does it match your personality?)
Now, depending on the second point, you may not care whether this style suits your face – it may match your style, so the decision is easy.
In terms of face shapes, the skullet cut proves surprisingly versatile.
Often, rounder faces can find carrying off some shorter styles a little challenging. But the length at the back somewhat offsets the ’roundness of short hair length on top.
The various other face shapes – such as oval, rectangle, diamond, heart, square etc, can work the short length on top, or balance things out with facial hair.
The Skullet seems like a risk – but it’s not really.
If you don’t get a good reaction or just aren’t feeling it – you can shave off the back in 10 seconds, and voilá – the always-cool short haircut appears!
Take inspiration from not only the hair but also the male characters behind the haircut –
Gustaf Skarsgård (Floki) in Vikings
Now this is a skullet! Where some hairstyles walk the line between mullet and skullet, there is no ambiguity with this example.
And note – the style is paired with a variety of beard lengths throughout the show.
Floki was an enigmatic character in Vikings. A brilliant engineer, a recluse and a kind of eccentric, the creators emphasised his character through unique skullet hair and dramatic eye makeup.
His hair and appearance told the world that he was different. He had courage because he stood alone in the crowd.
You could interpret the skullet as a calling card to Floki’s personality.
You can imagine the same concept in war times. A leader with a bold style might have signalled to an opponent ‘Fear me, I am a force to be reckoned with’. Wars are barbaric, and a psychological edge like this could influence both sides.
Matt Damon (Jean de Carrouges) in The Last Duel
Matt Damon usually sports the archetypical boy-next-door, clean-cut look.
In his films (and what we see in his personal life), there is not a lot of variation in his hairstyles.
Imagine his character in Good Will Hunting sporting a skullet as a genius with no confidence or self-esteem – it just wouldn’t work.
And as an astronaut in The Martian, I’m willing to bet the old skullet would probably not have gotten him into space school.
But when referring to the Middle Ages, like the Last Duel, rough, ready and brave styles are called for.
The character’s hair could almost be a mullet, but it also resembles a crew-cut skullet.
And once again, the style included a beard.
Hulk Hogan in WWE Wrestling
I think we all realised what was going on with Hulk.
He could grow long hair – just not on top anymore.
But his locks became iconic, and he stood out from a crowd that’s pretty hard to stand out from.
Yes, he did sport a bandanna sometimes (and yes, we knew why).
He also combined the look with signature facial hair.
Whatever you say about his style, for years, Hulk Hogan was essentially wearing nothing but underwear and sporting a skullet on television – now that’s courage!
Jennifer is the co-founder of menPsyche. She holds an Applied Science degree in Public Health & Health Promotion and authored the ‘Personal Disaster’ book series.
Jennifer has a vast range of experience across many domains, including extensive international exposure.