The Mullet: An Illustrated Guide

Cruising the streets of Santiago, sooner or later you are bound to run across a particular hairstyle that adorns the heads of men, young and old alike, and hell, sometimes even women. Here, I speak of the mullet, or as Chileans like to say, the pichanguera.

Santiago Chile
Photo courtesy bargas

The mullet is also affectionately referred to as the chocopanda in Chile, the idiosyncratic name stemming from the hairstyle's popularity with ice-cream vendors selling chocolitos back in the 90's.

Santiago Chile
Leonardo Farkas. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The trend soon further took off with Chilean footballers such as Marcelo Salas, El Bam-Bam and Richard Zambrano sporting the look, hence the word pichanguera, derived from the word “pichanga,” which loosely means having a kickabout. After the footballers were seen sporting these whopping great coiffes, the rest was history. Celebrities, politicians, babies, everyone was suddenly rocking the pichanguera.

The snappy style has managed to survive over the years and even plays a role in Chilean politics today. Check out the bouffant on Leonardo Farkas who nearly ran in this year's presidential election.

Of course, the mullet was not limited exclusively to Chile. The hairstyle is believed to have been started in the United States in the 1960s, but did not truly reach “haircut hall of fame” status until the 1980s, when it finally gained its place in the English vernacular thanks to the growing number of hair rock bands such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and, how could we ever forget, Bon Jovi.

Not content with the word mullet, this 'do is also recognized by other names such as the ape drape, the Tennessee top hat, the hockey head, the mud flap and, my personal favorite, the achy-breaky-big mistakey.

The following guide illustrates some classic variants of the mullet. We hope this will prove invaluable when braving the streets of Santiago. If you spot better examples of the mullet around town, please email them to! The best photo will win tickets to a live concert in Santiago! Happy mullet hunting!

Mohawk Mullet
(courtesy geoftheref)

Mud Flap Mullet
(courtesy geoftheref)

Rat Tail Mullet
(courtesy specialkrb)

Permed Mullet
(courtesy !Fiesta!)

Lady Mullet
(courtesy scrapstothefuture)

(courtesy tobyotter)
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