How to Cut an Asian Mullet

An Asian mullet describes the razored haircut favoured by many Asian men and women with hair of all lengths. Short layers frame the face and head, with long layers keeping length without the thickness or weight of traditional long hair. Despite the "mullet" name, this hairstyle is not like the stereotypical mullets that come to mind when someone refers to a mullet hairstyle. With confidence, you can cut your own Asian mullet hairstyle or use this information to explain the cut and style to your hairstylist.

Divide the hair at about mid-ear-level across the back of the head in a reasonably straight, horizontal line. Clip the bulk of the hair at the top of the head, and comb out the bottom portion.

Part the bottom portion of hair in half, and pull to the front on both sides of the neck if cutting your own hair. With the razor shears or shearing scissors, begin to slide the shears down the ends of the hair on an angle to produce strands cut at different lengths. You do not want these first strands too short, so begin only about an inch or two up from the bottom.

Separate another section of hair from the top bulk of your hair, a half inch or so above the first section. Clip the remainder at the top of the head. Combine this second section with the first section and comb straight.

Repeat the angled layer cutting as in Step 2, pulling the hair to the front on both sides of the neck if cutting your own hair. This time the layering may begin slightly above the previous angle to taper and thin the hair in the "tail" portion of the Asian mullet. Angle the cuts downward, and use razor shears of shearing scissors.

Repeat with a third section, taken slightly above the first two sections, and again clipping the bulk of the hair at the top of the head. Combine the three lower sections, comb through, pull to the front if cutting your own hair and cut on an angle. When cutting the hair closest to the ears, cut this hair shorter than the main "tail" portion to begin framing the face.

Repeat with a fourth section, this time cutting noticeably shorter when you reach the hair around the ears at the sides of the head. The bulk of the crown hair should remain clipped up while cutting these longer sections.

Tie the lower four sections with elastic to keep separate from the top hair. Release the hair clip and create a vertical part on one side of the head, behind the ear about parallel to the visible neck vein. Clip the remaining hair to one side.

Comb this side section down and slightly forward so it is visible, especially if cutting your own hair. With the razor shears or shearing scissors, cut angled layers in the side section, sliding the shears in a downward angle. You want the angled cut to start no shorter than the jawline so the end result will show face framing.

Repeat on the other side, separating the hair in a vertical part behind the ear at about the same spot on the other side of the neck. Clip the back section at the back of the head. Cut this side hair section in the same way as the previous step.

Comb out the back section, then comb upward, over the top of the head if cutting your own hair. You will need to lean forward so the hair stays forward while you cut it. Avoid cutting these strands shorter than five or six inches --- some length is lost from pulling it over the top of your head, so if cut too short it will look awkward when combed back. Also cut these back strands on an angle with the shears, then comb to the back.

Grab random sections of hair around the front and sides of the head and cut slightly shorter, holding the shears at an angle. This produces shorter layers to add volume and lift to the hair around the head and help the layers frame the face better. Avoid cutting any layers shorter than the top of the ears, however, as they may stick out instead of lying flat.

If desired, trim the fringe. Bangs may be cut shorter than the tops of the ears.


This haircut is relatively easy to maintain with thicker Asian hair, but non-Asians may require the use of a flat iron to keep the layers neat.


Cut hair when dry to avoid breakage or stretching the wet strands.

Things You'll Need

  • Comb
  • Shearing scissors
  • Hairstylist's razor
  • Hair clips
  • Hair elastic
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About the Author

Sasha Maggio specializes in topics related to psychology, fitness, nutrition, health, medicine, dentistry, and recovery after surgery, as well as cultural topics including Buddhism, Japanese culture, travel, languages and cooking. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Japanese from the University of Hawaii, as well as a Master of Arts in forensic psychology. She is currently pursuing Medical and PhD programs.