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The national kid mullet contest is back — and the hairdos are longer and wilder

Ezekiel Arita, from Kaneohe, Hawaii, calls his hairstyle "Mr. Aloha Mullet." His hairdo makes him feel like a superhero.
USA Mullet Championships
Ezekiel Arita, from Kaneohe, Hawaii, calls his hairstyle "Mr. Aloha Mullet." His hairdo makes him feel like a superhero.

Long, short, curly, straight, with or without gel — the iconic '80s haircut, known as the mullet, comes in many forms.

This year, over 900 kids between ages 1 and 12 showed off their version of the "business in the front, party in the back" hairdo for the chance to win at the USA Mullet Championship.

Recently, the online competition announced the top 25 for the kids category. There are also contests held for teens, as well as adult men and women.

Voting for the final round ends Friday night. The top three kid finalists will be announced on Wednesday. The first place winner will receive $5,000 as well as a trophy.

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 military veterans.

Here are some of the top kids in the running:

Eli Powell is from Derby, Kansas.
/ USA Mullet Championships
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USA Mullet Championships
Eli Powell is from Derby, Kansas.

Eli Powell calls his mullet "The Ginger Mane." It was the first haircut Powell ever got at 9 months old. Nearly three years later, the mullet is still the only haircut he has ever known.

Nash Carroll is from Covington, Louisiana.
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USA Mullet Championships
Nash Carroll is from Covington, Louisiana.

Nash Carroll is not only considered a warrior for his mullet — he was born with half of a working heart. Despite his health challenges and an upcoming open heart surgery, the toddler continues to be full of joy and energy.

Dalton Ellis is from Eddyville, Nebraska.
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USA Mullet Championships
Dalton Ellis is from Eddyville, Nebraska.

Dalton Ellis' mullet, which consists of a mohawk, perm and mane-like volume, defies the "business in the front" element of the hairstyle — keeping it the party going 360 degrees, 24/7.

Owen Escoto is from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
/ USA Mullet Championships
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USA Mullet Championships
Owen Escoto is from Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

It took Owen Escoto about a year and half to grow his mullet. But soon after, his hairstyle because the go-to reference that mullet enthusiasts would show to barbers across his hometown. When asked if he'll cut it once the contest is over, Escoto said "No! It's who I am."

Mason Padilla is from Fremont, Calif.
/ USA Mullet Championships
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USA Mullet Championships
Mason Padilla is from Fremont, Calif.

The first time Mason Padilla tried to grow out a mullet, he quickly cut it off after getting bullied. He later learned to not care what bullies thought of his hairstyle and pursued a mullet again. Last year, Padilla ranked 11th place in the mullet competition.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.