How to Wear a Fohawk Haircut on Short Hair

Faking it never looked so good!

The fake mohawk, a.k.a. faux-hawk or fohawk haircut, is a look that involves spiking hair up in the middle without shaving off the back and sides of your head entirely. Most commonly seen with a fade, a fohawk haircut is a quirky hairstyle that can lean either punky or even low-key casual, depending on how aggressive your spike looks.

Some versions of the fohawk haircut have very short hair that is just slicked towards the middle; others are more in-your-face and involve longer hair, as in a floppy undercut, held in place with some extreme-hold gel and hairspray. The latter is the look closest you can probably get to an actual mohawk without a skin fade or a completely bare scalp all around.

In this tutorial, we walk you through how to wear an easy fohawk haircut for everyday, as shown on short hair with a classic fade:

1. Start on clean, freshly washed hair.

Oil and grease from your scalp plus product buildup can weigh hair down. Wash with a clarifying shampoo to rid hair of any gunk. We like SheaMoisture Men Bay Laurel & Shea Butter Commodore 4-in-1 All-Over Wash best. Towel-dry.

2. Blow-dry upwards while tugging at the root.

Blow-dry hair using your hands and fingers, paying special attention to the hair on top of your head. Dry this area by focusing the nozzle near the root and with a slight upward tug with your fingers. This will help infuse the roots with some volume and height, crucial ingredients of your fohawk haircut. Need a visual? Our blowdrying tutorial for men might help.

3. Start with the sides.

Starting with some non-greasy gel, like Bed Head for Men by TIGI Power Play, apply a dime-sized amount of product on your palms and rub your hands together for an even spread. Then mat or slick down your sides and back, leaving the hair on your crown and along your hairline for last. (The thickness of your ’hawk is up to you.)

fohawk haircut for everyday
Spike the hair at your skull bump at an angle so it blends in with the back.

4. Spike up your crown.

Using the same firm-drying gel, or a putty for a more bedhead-like feel, such as AXE Adrenaline Spiked-Up Look: Styling Putty, use both sets of fingers to rake your hair up to a point. Do this until you reach your parietal ridge, or your skull bump, after which start molding it at an angle so it looks more natural and less like a Roman warrior. Now you can start blending it somewhat with one side.

5. Refine your bang area.

Use any leftover product to finger-style your fringe. Whether you want the front of your fohawk haircut to stick straight up (this looks a bit edgier) or to the side (more pretty-boy) is up to you. All set!

1. Lots of Height

fohawk fade extra volume
If you’ve got some length on top, keep styling up!

Work with your longer length and create that height needed to sell this style as a mohawk!

2. Gelled to Perfection

fohawk fade gel
Use gel to guide your fohawk.

Looking for a fohawk that moves together as one unit? Guide the front of your style back and slightly to the side to give a nod to the quiff, but add more texture in the back to maintain the fohawk vibe.

3. Piecey

fohawk fade piecey
Create some texture up front. Photo credit: Indigitalimages.com

As you’re styling your fohawk, make sure to create some separation between sections to create piecey look. This will make your hairstyle appear fuller.

4. Texturized

fohawk fade texture
Create some much-needed texture.

If you’re working with a lot of hair on top, give it lots of texture to help sell the fohawk style.

5. Clean Side-Shave

fohawk fade clean shave
Go extra clean with your side shave. Photo credit: Dvora

Go for an extra striking look by maintaining a clean side shave.

Next Read