Punk rock hairstyles: How to create a cool mohawk

Jeanette | 05 September 2016
25 min Style Hard

Meet your new favourite alternative ‘do.

We enjoy mining the ’70s and ’80s for hair inspiration, because while there was a huge amount of glitz and glamour (think disco and Dynasty), there was also a gritty parallel movement of punk rock. Punk rock was bold and full of anarchy, pushing the boundaries when it came to clothes and personal identity. So, it only makes sense that punk rock hairstyles were a little off the cuff, too! We might add, though, there’s an unrivalled coolness to those edgy, alternative hairstyles. And when you look at some of the most iconic hairstyles of the period, like undercuts, shaved heads, and the mohawk, there’s a sense of irresistible rebellion that runs throughout them.

But while we love punk rock hairstyles, truth be told, some looks involve heavy hair commitments. So, what do you do when you like the look of a mohawk, but don’t want to commit to shaving the sides of your hair? Fake it, we say! Flat braids and twists are super effective at replicating the look and feel of punk rock hairstyles, all without having to get the shears out. In other words, all the attitude but with minimum effort. So, read on to discover how to create this edgy yet totally wearable hairstyle with our step-by-step guide.

Punk rock hairstyles: Creating a mohawk


Start with clean hair.

Begin with clean hair. We like to use a shampoo and conditioner that promotes weightless volume, like the TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Pre-Wash Conditioner and Shampoo for fuller-looking hair without the heaviness. Once washed, brush your hair to remove any knots and tangles.


Section your hair.

Section the front of your hair, from the temples to the centre of your crown, and clip it out of the way.

Pin your hair.

Using the tip of a comb, create a 1-inch wide horizontal parting on one side of your head. Take this section of hair and twist it flat to your head, stopping just before you reach the centre of your crown. Use a bobby pin to discretely pin the hair in place. You should now have a twist with the remaining lengths hanging loose.

Editor’s tip: If you have frizz-prone hair, apply a small amount of Toni&Guy Classic Shine Gloss Serum and work it through the section of hair before twisting to help minimize flyaways.


Continue to part and pin.

Continue to horizontally part your hair into 1-inch wide sections on the same side of your head, twisting and pinning in place, until you reach the nape of your neck.

Repeat on the other side.

Repeat the parting, twisting, and pinning process on the other side of your head. Once completed, you should have a strip of loose hair running down the centre of your head – AKA your faux ‘hawk!

Release hair at the front.

Remember the front section of hair you pinned back at the beginning? You’re going to brush it backwards in the next steps, so release it from the clip and comb it through.

Time to tease.

Using a teasing brush or comb, begin to gently tease the front section of hair from the back, near your roots. This will give you height and volume in the front of your hair – essential for your cool mohawk to look authentic and well-proportioned.

Smooth and spray.

Comb your teased hair backwards, smoothing over any visible teasing, and covering the lengths of hair and pins from your twists. Spray in place with VO5 Classic Ultimate Hold Hairspray, which will help to provide an invisible hold for your mohawk


Final look.

Et voilà! A cool, modern mohawk (AKA the perfect punk rock hairstyle) done.