Iran bans the mullet Islamic republic aims to free itself of 'decadent' western hairstyles Phil Daoust guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 6 July 2010 21.00 BST An official describes appropriate hairstyles for men at a hairdressing show in Tehran. Photograph: Reuters
Imagine a country where a man with a ponytail could have it cut off by the cops, as could one with a mullet, or one whose hair was slathered in gel, fancifully spiked, or simply too long. Repeat offenders would face stiff fines, while their barber-accomplices would have their shops closed.
It may sound like paradise, especially if your own crazy-haired days are behind you. It's actually the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose cultural ministry has just unveiled (although that's perhaps not the most appropriate word in this context) a list of approved hairstyles in an attempt to free the country of "decadent" western cuts.
Jaleh Khodayar, who's in charge of the government- backed Modesty and Veil Festival, explains that the styles "are inspired by Iranians' complexion, culture and religion, and Islamic law".
It's not all good news for fans of the short back and sides, however: 1980s-style floppy fringes are acceptable, as are quiffs. And, worryingly, there seems to be a lamentable softening of Iran's hard line on goatees.