How to Get the Perfect High Taper Mullet: DIY or Stylist, a Step-by-Step Guide

The high taper mullet is a bold, stylish, yet surprisingly versatile take on this iconic hairstyle. With its short, tapered sides transitioning into a longer back, it offers edgy sophistication. But, getting the perfect high taper mullet takes some know-how, whether you’re opting for a DIY cut at home or heading to a professional stylist.

This comprehensive guide will take you step-by-step through:

  • Understanding the high taper mullet
  • Prep and tools for a home cut
  • Detailed DIY haircutting instructions
  • Tips for finding and communicating with a stylist

Let’s turn that mullet dream into a reality!

What is a High Taper Mullet?

The high taper mullet features the classic “business in the front, party in the back” silhouette. However, there’s a key difference: the sides and back are tapered much higher up the head compared to a traditional mullet. This creates a dramatic fade from short to long that gives the style a modern edge.

Should You DIY or Visit a Stylist?

  • DIY Considerations: If you’re experienced with cutting your own hair, have the right tools, and feel confident, a DIY high taper mullet is achievable. However, it’s definitely a more advanced cut with plenty of room for error.
  • Professional Perks: A stylist skilled in modern mullets has the expertise to customize the cut for your face shape, hair texture, and desired level of drama. They also bring the precision tools for the cleanest results.

DIY Prep: Essential Tools and Supplies

If you’re attempting a DIY high taper mullet, invest in the following:

  • Quality Hair Clippers: A cordless model offers the most maneuverability.
  • Clipper Guards: Several lengths to achieve the tapering effect (#1 – #4 are essential).
  • Hair Cutting Scissors: For refining the longer back portion and blending.
  • Comb: For sectioning, guiding your cuts, and blending.
  • Mirrors: A bathroom mirror and handheld mirror to check the back.
  • Hair Product: A little styling cream or pomade helps control sections while cutting.

Step-by-Step DIY High Taper Mullet Guide

1. Preparation

  • Wash and Dry Hair: Start with clean hair that’s been towel-dried, so it’s still slightly damp. Damp hair is easier to control and helps you see the true shape of your cut.
  • Visualize the Taper Line: Decide exactly where you want your taper to end. A high taper often ends around the temples or the top of your ear. Use a washable marker or a bit of styling product to lightly mark your guideline.
  • Section Your Hair: Create manageable horizontal sections using hair clips. Begin with the lower sections, and gradually work your way up the head.

2. Creating the Taper

  • Start with Sides and Back: Choose a #1 or #2 clipper guard for very short sides and back. Starting at the neckline, use short upward strokes against your hair’s natural growth to create your taper line.
  • Transitioning from Short to Long: Use progressively higher number guards (#3, #4) as you move upwards. Blend with short vertical strokes, feathering the clipper outwards at the transition zone for a smooth gradient.
  • Back and Top Length: Determine how long you want the back and top of your mullet. You might leave these sections untouched for maximum length or lightly trim them using scissors for better shape control and a cleaner finish.

3. Blending and Refinement

  • Scissors for the Top and Back: Switch to hair cutting scissors to blend the longer hair into the tapered sides. Use a combination of your comb and fingers to guide you. Point cutting (lightly cutting into the tips of your hair) adds a textured, piece-y look.
  • Check From All Angles: Use a larger mirror and a hand mirror to ensure you have an even taper. Pay close attention to the back of your head and the transition zones around your ears. If you notice unevenness, carefully make small adjustments.

4. Styling Your Mullet

  • Styling Product: A little pomade, wax, or texturizing cream will help define your mullet’s layers and give it hold. Apply the product to your slightly damp (or dry) hair, distributing it evenly.
  • Embrace the Shape: Use your fingers to shape your layers and create the desired volume. You can blow-dry to create a bolder style or air-dry for more relaxed waves and movement.

Disclaimer: Even with detailed instructions, cutting a high taper mullet takes practice. If uncertain, start with a less dramatic taper for your first attempt.

Additional Tips

  • Invest in quality clippers and scissors: Good tools will make the job easier.
  • Watch online tutorials: There are many helpful resources demonstrating mullet cutting techniques.
  • Go slowly and carefully: Mullets are quite forgiving, but it’s best to proceed gradually! You can always take off more hair but adding it back is impossible.

Finding and Working with a Stylist

Instead of a traditional barber, finding the right stylist with a knack for creative cutting can make all the difference when getting a fashion-forward cut like a high taper mullet. Here’s how to find a pro and ensure your mullet dreams come true:


  • Seek “Mullet Specialists”: Look for hair salons and stylists who explicitly showcase mullets in their social media profiles or on their websites. This indicates they’re comfortable and confident with more contemporary, bold styles.
  • Word of Mouth: Ask friends with edgy haircuts where they go – a satisfied customer is your best recommendation. Local online forums can also offer leads.
  • Vet Their Reviews: Read online reviews from the stylist’s past clients. Positive testimonials, especially those mentioning trendy cuts, are a great sign.

Inspiration Photos

  • Gather Visuals: Collect several pictures of high taper mullets showcasing the exact look you’re after. Pay close attention to the taper height, the length in the back, and the overall feel of the cut (soft and blended vs. dramatic and sharp).
  • Show, Don’t Just Tell: Having these visual examples makes it so much easier to communicate what you want. Pictures prevent misunderstandings and ensure you and the stylist are on the same page.

Communication is Key

  • Discuss Your Hair Texture: Let your stylist know if your hair is fine, coarse, wavy, curly, etc. They’ll use this information to tailor their cutting techniques and styling product recommendations.
  • Be Honest About Maintenance: Are you prepared to spend time styling your new cut daily? Let the stylist know to make sure they create a mullet that fits your lifestyle.
  • Styling Preferences: Do you like it blown out with volume? Air-dried and messy? Communicate how you plan to style it so they can adjust the cut accordingly.

Bonus Tip: If you’re nervous, consider scheduling a consultation first. This gives you a chance to talk with the stylist, show your inspiration photos, and get a feel for their expertise before you commit to the cut!

Additional DIY Tips

  • Take it Slow: A DIY high taper mullet is not a rush job. Work in small sections and check your work frequently.
  • Watch Video Tutorials: Search platforms like YouTube for detailed video demonstrations of the high taper mullet cut.
  • Enlist a Friend: Ideally, get help with checking the back and cleaning up the neckline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I do a high taper mullet on any hair type?

A: The high taper mullet is suitable for most hair types. However, very curly or coily hair may require specialized techniques from a stylist specializing in textured cuts.

Q: How often should I get a high taper mullet trimmed?

A: For a clean, high taper look, maintenance trims are typically needed every 4-6 weeks, especially on the shorter sides and back.

Q: Is there a low taper mullet option?

A: Absolutely! A low taper mullet offers a more subtle gradient and can be a great starting point if you’re new to the mullet style.

Beyond the Cut: Styling Your High Taper Mullet

The styling possibilities with a high taper mullet are surprisingly diverse:

  • Slick and Smooth: Use pomade for a sleek, polished look with controlled definition.
  • Textured and Messy: A lightweight wax or texturizing spray creates a piecey, lived-in style that’s perfect for thicker hair.
  • Spiked Up: Use a stronger-hold gel to spike up the top and back for a more daring, punk-inspired vibe.
  • The “Wet Look”: A high-shine pomade or gel mimics a wet look, creating a bold and fashion-forward feel.


Whether you conquer the high taper mullet at home or with a trusted stylist, this modern twist on a classic cut is an exciting way to express your style. The high taper’s contrast and versatility make it a surprisingly adaptable cut for different personalities and preferences.

Did you attempt a DIY high taper mullet or get the cut professionally? Share your results and any tips you learned along the way!

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