Rat tail haircut

33 Unique Rat Tail Haircut Variations to Try Today

People come and go. That’s just the circle of life. This quote also goes hand in hand with hair and its variations. Hair constantly evolves through past renditions or new creations.

Experimenting with hair was perhaps at its peak from the 80s throughout the 90s. Although some discoveries were highly questionable in the fashion scene, there were some on the other end of the spectrum that created history. The Rat Tail was one of them.

In this article, we’ll be covering every single aspect about the rat tail and suggesting multiple variations of the haircut that you could try out instantly.

What is the Rat Tail Haircut?

The rat tail is a hairstyle that only involves growing a portion of hair on the backside of the scalp, and right underneath the crown. The title comes from its physical appearance, as it looks eerily similar to a rat’s tail. It is also known for being an alternative to the mullet. The creation of it took place in the 80s, and even though the longevity of this hairstyle was uncertain, it made a praiseworthy comeback and is one of the most prominent haircuts today.

33 Amazing Rat Tail Hairstyles That Will Change Your Life

One key factor that always made the rat tail incomparable was its versatile nature. Although the range seemed rather limited at first, people really made the most of its texture, which later broke the stereotype. It became a staple for the trendsetters and adventurers shortly afterwards because of the flexibility it carried. A rat tail doesn’t come with requirements. It fits anyone like a glove.
Furthermore, if you’re reading this write-up in hopes of receiving some guidance about rat tail and how you can style it, your instincts are correct! Below are some of our favorite variations of the rat tail hairstyle that will definitely give you inspiration.

Rat Tail with Mohawk

Rat tail with mohawk

This was every person’s fantasy back then. A gelled up mohawk with a rat tail as the wingman was the go to duo. Shaving the sides off really increased the contrast of the hair, and made it stand out.

To bring this look back and give it a playful modern touch, introduce some patterns to the sides. Add some highlights to the rat tail so that the mohawk and the rat tail stand out in their own way.

Short Rat Tail

Short rat tail

If your hair is on the finer end, this hairstyle would suit you best. Doing a side part would really make this hair suitable for formal and informal occasions. The appearance looks very contemporary and elegant. To give it a shinier look, you may use hair wax. However, it’d be best if you just use a paddle brush, as the original look is product free and usually looks baby soft and silky.

Disconnected Curls with a Braided Tail

Disconnected curls with a braided tail

Who said that you need straight hair for rocking a rat tail? In fact, growing a rat tail if you have curly hair will give it a look of its own.
The variations that people can perfect with curly hair are higher than those with straight hair. This is because a rat tail on curly hair will look more full due to the voluminous nature of curls in general. As a result, people will be able to experiment more. Make the most of curly hair. Add some exciting colors to your hair. Grow a rat tail today and create your own look!

Fish Tail

Fish tail

This is for all the pescaterians out there. If you love the fish that you indulge in on the regular, show them some appreciation and get this look! Add some vibrant colors at the back to mimic the fish. This hair will really make you a trending topic amongst your friends, and is the perfect choice for those with a cheerful personality that are also open to living each day to its fullest.

Rat Tail with Cheetah Dyed Hair

Rat tail with cheetah dyed hair

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the latest fashion trends, then we’re sure you’re aware of the impact of tiger patterned materials these days. Tiger patterned clothes have been breaking barriers and setting trends for almost a year now. However, to take it a step further, team a rat tail up with cheetah dyed hair. This will really be favorable to extroverted people as it will create loads of buzz and will require quite a lengthy explanation.

Rat Tail with a Bowl Cut

Rat Tail with a Bowl Cut

What’s better than one unique hairstyle? Two of them! This look will give anyone the power to impress since a bowl cut and a rat tail really complement one another. You can further outshine the rest by giving the bowl and the rat tail their own identities through different colors. Remember to pick colors that go well with one another to achieve an effortless glow.

Braided Rat Tail

Braided rat tail

A rat tail is known for its funky and laid back presence, and there are many combinations that really enhance it. A braided rat tail is one of them. It is for those that want to add a definite wow factor to their hair. There’s nothing that screams confidence more than a hairstyle that stands out amongst a room full of people.

Rat Tail with Curtain Shaped Hair

Rat Tail with Curtain Shaped Hair

We all know how prominent curtail shaped hair has been since the 90s and how flexible the variations are. If you already have curtain shaped hair, give it your own twist and grow a rat tail towards the end. Pick a vibrant color like hot pink and dye the tail, especially if the shade of your hair color is dark.

Curly Hair with Braided Rat Tail

Curly Hair with Braided Rat tail

The ones with curly hair should really feel fortunate. This is because curly hair is more resilient than straight hair. The texture of it rarely gets compromised when carrying out experiments, which means that doing braids on it is less stressful. To make this look memorable, trim the sides with a zero guard so that you can create some room for the tail to make its mark. You may incorporate the use of hair custard to increase the definition of the braids and the curls in general.

Faux Hawk with a Rat Tail

Faux Hawk with a Rat Tail

A faux hawk is an excellent choice for a rat tail. Its matte esque presence and silky nature makes the haircut a popular choice. Amp it up with a rat tail so that you could show the length off. Dye your hair platinum blonde to give it a playful appearance.

Rat Tail with a Fade Haircut

Rat Tail with a fade haircut

The amount of hairstyles that can be paired up with a fade haircut is admirable. A rat tail with a fade is the ultimate combo. It’s for those that love spiking their hair up and believe in texture oriented hair. Use a hairbrush and a comb to give the spikes a bit more fullness. Remember that the rat tail can be styled in any manner when this hairstyle is worn, so, go with the flow. Style it as you please. Condition it regularly so that it doesn’t look brittle.

The Traditional Mullet with a Rat Tail

The traditional Mullet with a Rat Tail

Growing your hair out but have no idea what you want to do with it? Get a mullet! Better yet, combine it with a rat tail. This look has been around for ages now, but the influence and the amount of positive attention that it gets to this day is impressive. It is a common hairstyle in the music industry and is mostly worn by people in the indie scene. Achieve the ideal boyband look by getting yourself this haircut!

Rat Tail with Frosted Curly Tips

Rat Tail with Frosted Curly Tips

If you’re the kind of person who craves recognition, change your hair up a bit and go for this look. Frosted tips weren’t as appealing back then and were often criticized, but they receive a different kind of reaction now. They’re adored worldwide and look really trendy with a rat tail.
When going for this hair, blend the rat tail in with the original hair color or make it an additional frosted tip by adding a shade of blonde. To separate it from the frosted tips, give it a subtle life with some hair mousse. 

Subtle Rat Tail

Subtle Rat Tail

Add a little bit of spice to your life by achieving this look. Whether your hair is fully grown or is extremely short, a subtle rat tail will look very presentable. Just grow it out until it’s 2 inches long, and leave it be. You may also use a hair tie to make sure its presence is known.

Silky Rat Tail

Silky Rat Tail

A rat tail looks amazing when it’s silky and as soft as cotton candy. Use a sulfate free shampoo and a nourishing conditioner so that the texture of this hair is stress free. To emphasize the silkiness of this look, pour a few drops of coconut oil to your hair after stepping out of the shower and spread it evenly across each strand.

90s Rat Tail

90s Rat Tail

The fact that it’s on this list shouldn’t come off as a surprise. This is what kick started the success of this hair. Back in the 90s, people would wear their leather jacket and gloves, style their hair like a mullet, but decrease the width of the ends to make it look like a rat tail. To make the hair look more lively, they would add shades of blue to the hair throughout the rat tail.

Recreate this look to pay homage to those that have created this eternally memorable look. Remaster it by adding different highlights to the rat tail or patterns to your sides.

Top Knot Rat Tail

Top Knot Rat Tail

If you’re all for rocking a man bun but want to do something out of the ordinary, get this look done. Although it’s been around for quite some time, this hair is at its peak when the person wearing it has a beard.
Moreover, this might be one of the plainer looking hairstyle recommendations on this list, but that’s the main attraction of it. It complies and adapts to the environment flawlessly.

The Filbert Rat Tail

The Filbert Rat Tail

If you’re a painter or into art, perhaps you’ll understand this term. However, if you’re feeling confused and have no idea about the title, don’t stress about it. A filbert is an oval shaped paint brush. The name represents the color and texture of this rat tail.
On the other hand, if you are moved by this look and want to try it out, know that the color scheme of the rat tail can be different. You may use colors similar to cyan and hot pink for the tip of the tail if you want to outdo the rest.

Rat Tail with a Disconnected Mohawk

Rat Tail with a Disconnected Mohawk

A disconnected mohawk with a rat tail will really give you the best of both worlds. It will allow the mohawk and rat tail to maintain the amount of charm that they bring to the table. Shave the sides completely to get the ultimate disconnected look. 

The Anakin Rat Tail

The Anakin Rat Tail

This hairstyle was renowned in the early 2000s after Hayden Christensen, the actor that played Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, showcased an outgrown buzz cut in the 2002 film, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. What really made his hair more noticeable was the beautiful side braided rat tail that came with the haircut. It became a trend shortly afterwards because of how strong the influence of the Star Wars franchise was on people.

Braided Rat Tail

Braided Rat Tail

A braided rat tail is much more detectable in a crowd as opposed to the normal one. Supporting it with an undercut can also pay off heftily. Not only will it increase the appeal of the braided tail, but it will also increase the thickness of the hair on top. If the sides seem too plain to support this look, use your own imagination and create a design that would make it blend in with the hair.

Moreover, braiding a rat tail is as easy as it sounds. All you need to do is use a flat iron so that it’s easy to braid and section the hair into 3 parts. Afterwards, take the sections on the left and right and cross it over with the section in the middle. Repeat the process until the strands come to an end. You can also braid the rat tail by using a bobby pin.
On the other hand, if you are a visual learner, here’s a video that might come in handy. It’s very informative and can definitely assist you with braiding your tail. 

Textured Layers with a Rat Tail

Textured Layers with a Rat Tail

If you want a hairstyle that suits your laid back attitude, then this is it. Textured layers with a rat tail look rather charming due to its soft and smooth appearance. The hair is often grown out till it looks like a mullet or can even be a bit shorter. With the rat tail, you can either leave it as it is so that it creates its own look or you could braid it. Use a diffuser or a hair dryer to achieve a sensational look that is free of split-ends.

Shia LaBeouf’s Rat Tail

Shia LaBeouf’s Rat Tail

Shia LaBeouf gathered quite the buzz in 2016 when fans and paparazzis noticed his peculiar hairstyle. Even though the appearance of it was called out, it looked unusually pleasant. It was a buzzcut that was grown out from every angle but only to an extent. The look was further enhanced with a rat tail that was braided. The texture of the hair consisted of natural curls and the sides were shaved to the skin.
He later explained to the media that the hair was for American Honey, a movie that he was a part of in 2016.

Neymar’s Rat Tail

Neymar’s Rat Tail

Neymar’s accomplishments as a footballer and the skills he attains often leaves fans around the world in awe. However, outside football, he’s also well known for the hairstyles that he has worn over the years. One of many was the skin fade mohawk that he had with a long rat tail. He further added volume to his hair by dying his hair auburn red. To create the fluffy texture, he used hair wax with a firm hold to style the mohawk when his hair was damp, and used a blow dryer for achieving the matte finish.

Afro Rat Tail

Afro Rat Tail

Embrace your culture to the maximum and pull off a trendy look at the same time with this hair. Due to the resiliency and strength of afro hair, braiding it will be effortless. Get a taper or fade on the sides. Add an original touch to it by incorporating designs and patterns that you can relate to. You can even show your patriotic side by mimicking the pattern of your home country on the sides or at the back.

Rat Tail with Dyed Tips

Rat Tail with Dyed Tips

If you’re bored of the hair you’re wearing, give it a fresh start and mix it up a little. This is a haircut that will make you feel free and create a whole new positive first impression for you when you interact with new people. It’s very similar to a pixie cut, but the dyed tips are the main component of this look.When picking colors, try to pick something that reeks of energy and has a bubbly presence to it. Any color that brightens up the mood would sit perfectly with this option.  

Lawn Green Rat Tail

Lawn Green Rat Tail

If you’re always experimenting with your hair and are all in for cheap thrills, then this is your sign. Lawn green helps the impression of any haircut, but looks unbeatable once it’s merged with a rat tail. To give the look some volume and boost its enthusiasm, you may either grow it all out or shave the sides off. Both would look ridiculously eye-catching. 

Pink Undercut with a Rat Tail

Pink Undercut With a Rat Tail

Replace the ends of an average undercut with a rat tail and give the hair some personality through the use of vibrant colors like pink. This is one of our top picks due to the amount of people that have previously worn their hair this way. It is supported by sides that are shaved to the skin to further enhance the positive vibes of this hair. For the rat tail, you may either let it create its own flow or tie it up for a cleaner look.

Mullet Tail with Patterned Fade

Mullet Tail with Patterned Fade

This look was heavily marketed after the rat tail first came in. People would often fuse the mullet with a rat tail to increase the uniqueness of a mullet. They would trim the sides off and use a 0 guard to add an artwork to each side to pull off an original hairstyle.
To make its presence a bit less retro, you can avoid braiding the hair and decrease the use of hair products to give it a smoother look instead of a greased out one.

Kpop Haircut with a Rat Tail

Kpop Haircut with a Rat Tail

Kpop has gathered quite the fanbase over the past decade and the groups creating music of that specific genre have released music that will be cherished and looked back on years from now. The aesthetics that they brought to the table also plays a crucial role behind their success.

The kpop culture contributed to fashion in an immense manner. One haircut in particular, known as the two-block haircut, achieved worldwide recognition. It later became a staple in Kpop culture.

This specific hairstyle was invented in 2019, when Kpop star Hangjoong made minor adjustments to the traditional kpop hair. Instead of a taper fade, he grew the backside out to a mullet and added two braided rat tails under the crown. This hair is a great option for any kpop fanatic out there.   

Cornrows with a Rat Tail

Cornrows with a Rat Tail

Cornrows have been around for ages and are regularly worn by those that embrace their heritage and culture. In terms of appearance, it looks extremely suave and is supported by thick and full strands.

Cornrows with a tail can be a game changer to those that are seeking hair that is low maintenance and good for casual gatherings. Once the process of getting cornrows is over, it can be worn for a lengthy period of time with very little effort. Appreciate your uniqueness and get this look today!

 Crew Cut with a Rat Tail

Crew Cut with a Rat Tail

Crew cuts are for the ones that adore grunge music and desperately want to create their own punk-esque aesthetic. When getting a crew cut, make sure to get a disconnected design, so that it brings out the best in the rat tail and the crew cut itself. Moreover, to give it an edgier feel, add a striking color to the tail.

Shaved Head with a Rat Tail

Shaved head with a Rat Tail

A rat tail has no boundaries. It can be pulled off by anyone and everyone under any circumstance. If you feel as if you’re a victim to male pattern baldness and don’t want to say goodbye to your hair yet, create your own trend. Shave it all off, but save a minor portion at the ends of the backside. Embrace your genetics. To make it more exciting, get something tattooed on your head. The rebel vibe of your new demeanor will really add to the appeal. 

FAQs

Rat tails are very easy to style and even easier to pull off. To make the process even easier however, here are some queries we’d like to address.

What is the purpose behind the rat tail haircut?

The rat tail was invented shortly after the discovery of mullets. It’s a strand of hair that is grown out at the back. It is usually parted down the middle above the neckline, and is slightly longer than any other section at the back. It is known for its versatility as it can be braided, highlighted, dyed, or just left loose. Multiple celebrities have worn this particular hairstyle back in the day. These days, the trend of this hairstyle is solely being kept alive through footballers.

When did the rat tail appear for the first time?

The rat tail was created in the 80s, but gained a massive following when actor Jet Li was seen wearing it while shooting a film. It became a revolutionary look from then on and was able to last till the 90s before making a dramatic comeback in 2021.

How long does it take to grow a rat tail?

It usually depends on the wearer’s target. It can take up to 7 months if they’re planning on growing a lengthy rat tail. However, if they’re planning to keep a subtle one, they can get it done today! Getting a fade or a taper would be ideal if the initial plan is to keep a short rat tail.

Final Thoughts

We hope this write-up contributes to your decision making in a positive way. A rat tail is something that shouldn’t come with a handbook. Style it in your own way, and on your own terms. Pair it up with an attire that represents the 90s to make sure you do the whole look some justice. Remember to have fun with it and incorporate highlights if you really want to be the highest in the room!

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