NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For Norfolk’s Lincoln Barnett, the party isn’t just in the back ahead of the 2023 USA Mullet Championships.
The 8-year-old knew he needed to stand out in the competition’s flowing field of creative locks, which features everything from American flags cut into the side of the head to a range of mullet/mohawk combos.
So he turned to Ki’Andre Howard at Norfolk’s VIP Lounge, who ironically had never worked with a mullet.
“I’ve always wanted to do a mullet … so I want to add a little style to it, something I hadn’t done before,” Howard said.
His creative twists included a fade and a special part on the side that carries over to Lincoln’s eyebrow, adding a layer of aerodynamic flair for the baseball player.
“I think it came out very dope,” Howard said.
With that extra dimension of mullet magic secured, Lincoln threw his name into the field to crown the nation’s top mullets, which starts online on Wednesday, July 12. Lincoln is in the Kids Mullet Showdown in the 5-8 age range.
The competition is through a weighted system that combines fan voting online, judges’ scoring and fundraising for their charity partner, Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, a non-profit founded by the former NFL defensive end that provides injured service members with mortgage-free homes.
The process to enter all started about a year ago for Lincoln, who got inspiration to grow out the mullet from fellow baseball players, including Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, aka “The Big Unit.”
“That’s how it truly started, Lincoln got into baseball cards,” said his dad Samuel. “I only had some old ones, and he saw their hair and was like I love this.”
“So yeah we went through as the mullet started, kinda really growing and taking effect, looking into communities for mullets and we came across the U.S.A. championships … so we submitted our application and got approved to represent Norfolk,” Samuel added.
The winner of the mullet mayhem gets a trophy, a cash prize and the bragging rights that come with being able to say you’ve got the coolest mullet out there.
“I’d probably feel really happy and spend almost all money,” Lincoln joked about what he’d do if he wins.
He’s also excited to raise money to help wounded warriors.
“All of Lincoln’s family out here are ex-military, so it plays close to him,” Samuel said.
But win or lose, Lincoln says he plans to keep the mullet — at least for about the next 20 years.
“It’s not just people have done it just for the competition, it’s a lifestyle,” Samuel said.
To keep the mullet fresh, Lincoln usually goes back to the barbershop about every two weeks, and then there’s the upkeep.
“We have to put a detangler in it to be allowed to comb it through, just playing a lot of baseball … it gets knotted up quickly,” Samuel joked.