If you’re looking for a hairstyle guaranteed to get you noticed, you can’t go wrong with a Mohawk. This edgy hairstyle leaves a strip of hair running down the centre of the head, with the sides fully shaved. A milder alternative is the faux hawk, which makes a gradual transition between the long and short sections of the haircut. The term “Mohawk” originates from the Native American people who inhabited the Mohawk Valley in New York, although many similar hairstyles were seen on tribes such as the Iroquois and Pawnee. Since then the style has been adopted by many groups throughout the years, including American soldiers who wore this style in World War II to intimidate their enemies, and the multi-coloured spikes favoured by punks in the 1980’s.
Styling a Classic Mohawk
A classic Mohawk is defined by leaving a narrow strip of upright hair running from the front to the back of the head, with the sides completely shaved. Yet within this framework there are many variations. For example, hair can be cut into a different pattern, such as two or three strips rather than just one. Rather than leaving the hair standing upright in a single vertical strip, another style is to put it in spikes. These may be of a single colour, or dyed in multiple colours. A more modern version of the Mohawk is to backcomb this central strip and leave it a few inches wide, creating a very thin pompadour with shaved sides. A side part can also be added to this central strip and backcombed for an updated style.
Styling a Modern Faux hawk
Those who want the style of a Mohawk but without fully shaving the sides of the head can opt for a faux hawk. This is usually worn with a small spike in the middle, and has been made popular by trendsetters like David Beckham. To get this style, you can use either clippers or scissors. The middle section that will be left standing should be pinned with clips, away from the rest of the hair that will be either cut shorter or shaved completely to get a full Mohawk. If you’re simply trimming the sides, you can use either clippers or scissors to cut hair down to the desired length on either side of the central strip. After each sweep of the clipper, be sure to comb your hair in the direction of growth. Finally, you can trim the central strip to the desired length and style it as you wish. For a more dramatic look, you can backcomb it and hold it in place with gel or mousse, or make it pointier with pomade.
Tips for Mohawk Styling
- If you’re interested in creating texture in the centre strip, you can use point cutting to layer the ends of the hair.
- It’s helpful to work the centre strip in sections, teasing and blow drying each handful of hair to get it to stand up straight. Each section can then be secured with hairspray as you work down the line.