Bold, rebellious, and insanely unique... The mohawk hairstyle is one of the most unique hairstyles you can get and stand out from the masses.
It is a go to haircut for rock stars and punk lovers. Nowadays, though, it is becoming more and more popular among general population and becoming accepted even in offices.
More and more often you can see mohawks on celebrities, fashion models, and soccer players. There is no doubt a mohawk is a trendy haircut.
What is a Mohawk Hairstyle?
A mohawk is usually preferred by men with a somewhat rebellious attitude with a desire to stand out from the masses.
There are a lot of varieties of this haircut but the classic is when both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of longer hair on the top which creates a contrast.
Modern mohawks can boast with a lot of variations, including taper faded mohawks, buzz faded mohawks, messy mohawks, and so on.
What's interesting originally the sides of a mohawk used to be plucked instead of shaving. I am sure the original wearers suffered plenty of pain. Thankfully nowadays you don't have to suffer the pain of your hair plucked one by one :)
Interesting fact: Mohawk hairstyle took its name from the people of the Mohawk nation - native Americans. But the natives weren't particularly fond of the hairstyle. Source: Wikipedia
How to Style a Mohawk
Mohawks aren't that hard to style since you have only the hair on top to take care of. You can choose several styles of mohawk: you can spike up or just keep it straight. But before you start, make sure you have a blow dryer, a strong pomade, wax or gel.
Steps to style a Mohawk:
- Wash your hair. You don't want it to be oily and dirty.
- Blow dry your hair directing the air from bottom to top. You can use a brush or just you hands to comb your hair. Make sure you are blow drying upwards to make your hair stay straight.
- Pick a pea-sized amount of a strong pomade and apply to your hair.
Here's a video demonstrating the process:
Different Types of Mohawk Haircut
Like I've mentioned before, there are plenty of types of Mohawks. It can be short and long, curly/straight/spiky, faded or buzzed.
Right now the most popular seems to be the Mohawk fade. The reason is simple: it's more versatile and you can go with that even into a business meeting.
If styling is an issue for you, pick a shorter mohawk because it is easier to maintain and style.
Whether you want longer or shorter, classic mohawk or faded, you can always find something which suits your style.
1) Mohawk with a Fade
Classic Mohawk can be a little intense and inappropriate especially for those who have to go to office work. If you think that way but still want to show your bold and rebellious personality, try faded mohawk.
So this hairstyle is basically a classic mohawk but the sides are faded hence the name. The hair should be the longest in the middle of the forehead stopping right at the hairline and then it fades into shaved sides.
The idea is it gradually goes into mohawk. A lot of people rock this hairstyle wearing it both to office work and casual meetings.
There are two main variations of a mohawk with a fade: taper fades and buzz fades.
Taper Faded Mohawk
This hairstyle combines two great styles: mohawk and taper fade. What's interesting is that taper fades have been very popular for a long time.
Taper cuts are typically longer fades. The fade starts with a couple of inches of length and gradually becomes shorter until it fades.
Basically taper faded mohawks combine the best of both worlds by starting with long hair on top and going down to the skin in a smooth transition.
The buzz cut has also been around for a long time. It is one of the easiest haircuts to style. With this style you have to go short. There can be some combinations with a low, mid, and high fades but overall the hair needs to be short.
The buzzcut mohawk is a combination of buzz cut and mohawk which means the hair on top is going to be short but still longer than the hair on the sides.
It still is going to look bold and imaginative. At the same time it solves the biggest problem with the mohawk hairstyle - maintenance. It is the cut which requires the lowest amount of maintenance.
The beauty of buzz faded mohawk is that as soon as you wake up, you don't have to be worried about styling your hair. You are just ready to go. Well, there can be some brushing and styling involved but that's it.
If you feel like it's a little boring, you can add some hair designs. Although, the whole idea of the buzzcut mohawk is to be a little boring so that you could go with this to your office job.
2) Mohawk Braids
Mohawks and braids are an exceptional way to express your unique personality and style. If you also combine these two, you can get something extremely unique and special. The idea is to shave or fade the sides and braid the hair on top.
There is so much potential with Mohawk braids. You can combine dreads, cornrows or other braids with a mohawk and get something rebellious. It is unconventional and bold.
There are some cons of mohawk braids though. They are notoriously harder to maintain.
With dreadlocks you can look like a warrior of the past. By shaving the sides of the sides of your hair and braiding the hair on top, you get one of most dazzling styles.
Interesting fact: Earliest depictions of dreadlocks date from over 2,000 years ago. Source: Wikipedia
If you are considering of getting dreads, keep in mind that the best hair types for this style are coarse, curly, and thick hair types. It is going to be very easy for you to form dreadlocks if your hair naturally falls into ringlets.
If you have straight hair, you should keep in mind it is going to take more time and effort to make your hair grow in an unnatural spiral pattern.
Cornrow is a hairstyle originated in ancient Africa. When styling this style, the hair is braided very close to the scalp. Usually cornrows are formed into simple, straight lines, but they can also be formed into various designs.
When you combine cornrows with mohawk, you can either shave or fade the sides or you can form a mohawk by braiding the hair on the sides extremely close to the scalp.
3) Pompadour Mohawk
If you ask people to name the most flamboyant hairstyles for men, most probably they are going to mention pompadour and mohawk.
Pompadour originally appeared as a hairstyle for women even, it was even named after Madame de Pompadour who was a mistress of King Louis XV.
But since then pompadour has evolved and there are numerous variations acceptable for women as well as for men.
We can probably say with certainty that Elvis Presley made pompadour hairstyle mainstream for men. He is the most iconic person rocking this haircut.
So, by combining pompadour and mohawk, you get a classy hairstyle that you can wear both casually and for formal occasions such as work. It is going to be a mix between a mohawk and the pompadour. The hair along the side of the head should be shaved and the middle should be slicked back instead of spiking it.
4) Big Mohawk
The length of the hair on top in modern mohawks is rather on shorter side. If you want to go absolutely rebellious and bold, you can always try a mohawk with a long top.
This is indeed the mohawk of the punk era. They say, "Go big or go home." With this it is kind of hard to go to office work or a job interview. But if you are self-employed or don't work at an office job, then go for it!
When people used to say mohawk, they used to mean this style of mohawk. The sides of this mohawk are clean shaven leaving extra long hair on top which is styled into tall spikes. For some people this is the true mohawk.
The maintenance of this hairstyle is hard though. You need a lot of strong pomade or hair gel. You also need hairspray to keep in place all that hair on top. Here's a video of styling the liberty spikes:
5) Classy Mohawk
Is it possible to make a mohawk look classy and business friendly? Absolutely! Yes, mohawks are traditionally associated with punks and rebellious men, but it is absolutely possible to style the hair to create a classy look.
All you have to do is to style the hair on top in a neat fashion similar to undercut hairstyle. Later you can easily blow dry it and convert your classy mohawk into a rebellious one to rock & roll after work.
6) Burst Fade Mohawk
The burst fade is popular haircut similar to drop fade. When doing a burst fade, the hair around the ear and down the neck are faded with tapers to create all-around fade.
To make it more edgy, the burst fade can be combined with a mohawk. This hairstyle was originally popularized by R&B singer Usher Raymond.
The burst fade mohawk typically looks good on black men, but it can work for other men as well.
By the way, if you are searching for a haircut for black men, check out this guide I wrote not a long time ago.
The hairstyle is especially good for men who are interested in a mohawk but don't want to shave the sides because the burst fade takes your style to another level.
7) Messy Short Mohawk Fade
Styling the hair is a huge time killer. Besides, who wants to spend more time in front of the mirror than his girlfriend?
Messy and short mohawk allows you to be a little messy and it is going to give you that rugged classically masculine look.
The sides of this haircut are faded short leaving a little longer strip of hair on top which you can style with a little bit of hair gel or pomade. Overall, you don't have to spend too much time styling this cut and if you have naturally messy hair, it is a "wash and forget" scenario.
8) Afro Mohawk with Fade
Black men have naturally curly hair which if you combine with a mohawk can be very unique and edgy.
It looks especially good with some hair design and a fade. The length of the hair on top depends on your taste and the ability to style.
If you have little time, go for a short afro mohawk like in the picture below. It is practically "get and forget" type of hairstyle.
If you don't mind spending some combing and styling your hair, then go for longer and more flamboyant styles like these:
9) Short Mohawk with Fade
Another short mohawk variation which combines fading techniques. The hair on the sides are faded which gives you more presentable on jobs look.
If you are searching for something imaginative but at the same time presentable and neat, go for this style.
10) Mohawk with Long Hair on Top
This hairstyle looks especially good on someone who has a luscious beard. Tattoos won't hurt as well. If you want to give an impression of a viking, a mohawk with longer hair on top will do it for you.
Think of the actor Alexander Ludwig who plays Bjorn Ironside in the TV series Vikings.
The hair on top has to be very long and sleeked back. It should also fall back gracefully. Despite the long hair, it still looks very manly and gives the appearance of a warrior.
To make it even more unique and give a personal touch, the hair on top can be braided into some strands.
Here you can remember Travis Fimmel who played my favorite character in Vikings tv-series.
Now let's talk about whether you can wear this hairstyle to formal occasions and places of work. If the hair on top isn't that long, you can always give it a slicked-back undercut appearance by styling it a little.
Several words of caution about the maintenance of the hair. The longer your hair, the more maintenance it needs. You need to frequently wash it and style it but trust me - it's worth it.
11) V-Shaped Skin Fade Mohawk
This hairstyle is going to be a hard work for your barber but styling will be comparably easier for you.
What you need is a medium length hair on top, faded sides and back. Two bordering section should shaved into thin lines creating a V-Shaped skin fade.
12) Short and Curly Mohawk
To get short mohawk, you don't have to do anything. All you have to do is to cut the hair on top very short, create fades on the sides and voilà, you have a unique hairstyle that flaunts the natural curliness of you hair.
As it's usually the case with short haircuts, curly and short mohawk is very easy to maintain. You don't have to spend any time styling it.
13) Shaved Short Undercut Mohawk
With this hairstyle you are going to stand out no matter where you go. The hair on top doesn't even have to be long to create that perfect contrasting look.
The sides of the hair should be shaved, leaving you with a strip of hair on top. Despite the fact that it is a somewhat flamboyant style, it still looks clean and a little formal.
14) Liberty Spikes
Liberty spikes is for those who are searching for a very funky hairstyle. It looks ridiculously outrageous. It is definitely not a type of haircut you can go to a job interview with.
But it looks awesome and out of this world. Styling it is very hard. Your hair should be arranged in thick sharp upright spikes all over your head. The hairstyle took its name from the Statue of Liberty.
To make the spikes on top stay upright you need to use a lot of hair products such as gelatin, egg white, strong-hold glued spray. Applying the right amount of hair products is essential since you don't want everything to topple over and look bad.
15) Mullet Hawk
The mullet hairstyle is one of the most unique styles for men. It is good for those who love longer hair. The unique thing about mullet is that the hair is cut short at the front and sides, but left long at the back.
The mullet haircut used to be especially popular among native Americans. Later it was adopted by rock stars such as David Bowie and Paul McCartney.
Mullet Hawk combines two flamboyant men's hairstyles into one creating a unique design. The hair at the front is styled in a mohawk-fashion and the at the back you leave it longer.
16) Upswept Mohawk
Mohawk hairstyles have become very popular. Even though they've been popularized by punks and rock stars, other sub-cultures adopted it as well.
This hairstyle has the vibe of 90s and reminds a little bit of rappers. For this hairstyle to work, you need to taper fade the hair on the sides and cut the hair on top a little short.
There is also another variation of the upswept mohawk where the hair on the sides is faded without gradual effect. The hair on top needs to be a couple of inches long. This kind of look kind of flirts between messy and neat/polished.
17) The Rollover Mohawk
Another mohawk style for men who want clean and neat hairstyle which is at the same time very fancy. It is for sure a type of hairstyle that you can wear both casually and to formal occasions.
To get this look, you need to cut the sides very short but not too short so that the length is still visible. The hair on top is rolled over to the side.
18) Messy and Angular Mohawk
Messy hairstyle was especially popularized by grunge rock stars like Kurt Cobain. This mohawk style was inspired by messy style of grunge.
To get this look, you need to fade the sides of your hair very finely. The sides need to gradually fade into a bald fade. The hair on top needs to be several inches long which you are going to style into a shape that resembles a triangle.
19) Low Fade Mohawk
If you've been paying attention, you can easily come to a conclusion that modern mohawks try to make the style more mainstream by making it less dramatic.
The low fade accomplishes it by applying fades on the sides with gradual transition from bold to lengthier hair. Yes, the style is quite different from the traditional mohawk, but it is still unique and stylish.
20) Afro Mohawk or Frohawk
Afro is a type of hairstyle which works best for naturally curly or straight hair. It is particular popular in the African-American community.
Afro mohawk combines the high volume of an afro with short or even shaven sides of a mohawk creating an eye-catching style.
There are many variations of afro-mohawk. For example, the hairstyle shown below features a unique start design to add some personal touch to the style.
By the way, if you are interested, I've also wrote an article about choosing a good hairstyle for black men. You can check it here.
21) Slicked Back Mohawk
If you want to look sophisticated an professional, then, instead of spiking the hair ont top, you can try slicking it back. It creates stylish and trendy look.
In order to get this style, you need to use a little bit of pomade and using a comb, slick the hair back. As a result, you will get a hairstyle that you can wear to your office job or interview.
22) Wavy Mohawk
If your hair has natural waviness that you struggle to comb and style, then try just playing along with it.
To get this look, you need to fade fade the sides of the hair and leave the hair on top long. The hair on top should be styled in such a way so that it falls forward above your forehead forming something that looks like a triangle.
Which Face Shapes Look Good with a Mohawk
Whether you have oval, triangular, oblong or any other face shape, you can find a mohawk style that is going to look good on you.
For example, if you have oval face, go for mohawks with short faded or even bolded sides. On the other hand, if you have oblong face, go for longer fades.
If you want to spice up your style giving it more edginess and rebelliousness, a mohawk hairstyle is one of the best ways to do so.
There are a lot of variations of this haircut and there are also a lot of ways to style each one of them. Whether you need a haircut to stand out from boring crowd or just level up your style, you can always find a mohawk style for your case.
Tell us in the comments what mohawk style you liked. You can also show your mohawk if you want ;)