One glance at the name of our latest hair trend and you might be fooled into thinking that we’re singing the praises of a household accessory. Nope, we’re not talking about the latest powerful kitchen mop, but a hairstyle that’s short, full-bodied and packs a punch.
The power mop is the queen of the liberated hairdo. What we mean by that is that it might be the kind of hairdo you get after a breakup or before a big interview. It’s the equivalent of an overdue wardrobe clear-out or deleting your Facebook account.
We’ve sung the praises of “The Shag” before, aka the mop’s curlier, longer-haired sister (with an equally hilarious name). But the power mop is different - it’s shorter, more shapely, usually found pushed to the front and never lacking volume.
The ’do came to our attention during New York Fashion Week last month, namely in the Alexander Wang show. Wang has never been one to shy away from boundary-pushing and this season he called on the help of top hair stylist Guido Palau to get chopping.
Every model sported some kind of boy cut, mullet or pageboy - but it was model Cat McNeil who caught our eye the most. Guido had snipped off over a foot of her brunette hair and left her with a short crop that was instantly transformative in a kind of 90’s Linda Evangelista way.
In fact, it’s Linda who’s perhaps the most well known power mop devotee. Her tousled crop came to define the supermodel era of the 1990s. Models weren’t stick thin and childlike, but womanly, strong and with an equally powerful haircut to boot. The practicality of this kind of style (perfect for the wash ‘n’ go type girl) and it’s utter simplicity are the main attraction. Plus, nothing says business like a no-frills haircut with zero place to hide.
Thinking back over the history of the power mop, it’s hard not to cite Princess Diana as an inspiration. Diana went from Sloane Ranger to bonafide style sensation/working mother/humanitarian and her hair joined her on her journey. As she swapped fussy gowns for bold suits, Di’s hair equally sharpened up - morphing into a rounded version of the power mop and telling the world she meant business.
The style is soft enough to avoid looking intimidating (important when you are a member of the royal family) but still retains enough bite to impress. Diana used the haircut to show the public what a modern, working, female royal looked like - and it was nothing similar to what they had seen previously. Thanks (in part) to the power mop, pushing any connotations of Disney princess style hair to one side.
There’s one final figure who’s recently felt equally as liberated by the hairdo - prime minister Theresa May. Ok, hear us out here. On the morning of her very important and long-awaited Brexit speech back in January, Theresa debuted a new, slicker hairstyle. It was shorter and it was definitely sassier - her flat, middle-parted bob was gone and things were looking distinctly more cropped and style. Therefore having all the makings of a true power mop. Plus (whether you like it or not) she happened to debut the new look on the day she announced monumental changes to the country. The power ’do strikes again.
So, we’re expecting big things from this new take on cropped hair and equally as big things from the individuals who choose to sport it. Whether you’re channelling your inner supermodel, politician or simply just looking for a change, this is one hair trend we hope sticks around for good.
Words: Lucy Vincent