Friday, September 15, 2023

Windham resident competes for national mullet crown

By Ed Pierce

Move over Joe Exotic, Billy Ray Cyrus and Joe Dirt, you’re about to have some serious competition for the finest looking mullet hairstyle in all of America, and this one is homegrown right here in Windham, Maine.

Jason Putney of Windham, 33, has
been growing his 'rat tail dread
mullet' hairstyle for the past three
years and is a contestant in the 
2023 National Mullet
The iconic “business in the front and party in the back” mens’ hairdo now has a National Mullet Championship contest and Jason Putney of Windham is making a run at this year’s title. Putney has been growing his “rat tail dread mullet” for the past three years and is ready to stand out in the opening round of the competition, sponsored by

The first round of voting ends Sept. 15 and the top 75 competitors will move on to Round 2 of the contest, so there’s still time to vote for Putney’s mullet. All proceeds raised during the contest will go directly to Jared Allen's Homes for Wounded Warriors, which helps to provide accessible and mortgage-free homes for disabled military veterans.

“I had a huge afro back in my senior year of high school in 2008,” Putney said. “It took up the entire frame of my senior photo. The afro was truly getting out of hand, and something had to be done about it so I decided to get it dreaded up. My dread journey started 15 years ago and after 12 years of a full head, I asked my barber, Spencer at the Windham Crow’s Nest Barber Shop, to cut everything except the back of my head. Thus the ‘rat tail dread mullet’ was born and I’ve been wearing it for the past three years, much to the dismay of my wife.”

Originally from Calais, Putney, 33, runs a small trucking company called Downeast Shipping. His wife, Shelby LeClair, said that her husband was inspired to join the contest when he saw that it was a cause that supports veterans.

“He normally wouldn’t put himself out there like this, but his father is a veteran of the Air Force,” she said.

Known for a short trim on the top and sides with lengthy locks in the back, the mullet hairstyle first rose to popularity as worn by athletes Andre Agassi and Jose Canseco, actor Patrick Swayze and singer Bono during the 1980s and 1990s, but the hairdo has actually been around since the days of the ancient Greeks. Native American warriors wore the style in the 19th century and now the style is enjoying a revival, with celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Zendaya sporting their own versions of the look.

The mission of Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors is to raise money to build injury-specific, accessible, and mortgage-free homes for our critically injured U.S. military veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was founded in 2009 by retired Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen after he returned home from his USO trip to US Military Bases in the Middle East. Allen says that he was moved by the commitment, dedication, and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom and he wanted to say thank you to every soldier in the only way that he knew how. By embracing the conflict and making a positive life-changing difference in the lives of those who need it most, Allen hopes to make life for wounded vets just a little bit easier.

Allen’s charity was selected as the recipient of proceeds for this year’s mullet championships because of the good work that it does and the fact that Allen himself sported a mullet hairdo throughout his football career.

According to its website, the National Mullet Championships were created several years ago to celebrate the “bold and outrageous hairstyle that is the mullet.” The national competition travels throughout America searching for the wildest mullets and hosts a series of live contests where contestants can show off their mullets to lively audiences. Its’ annual digital contest, which Putney has entered this year, calls for photo submissions in a variety of categories, such as Femullet, Mens Mullet, Kids, Teen and 55-Plus.

Winners receive cash and prizes as donated by contest sponsors. Voting in the first round is only open for three days nationwide and only 75 competitors advance to the next round. The best 25 mullets will then compete for the National Mullet Championship later this fall.

To vote for Putney’s hairstyle, go to and cast a vote for Putney’s “rat tail dread mullet.” < 

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