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 every day, as shown on short hair with a classic fade:
How to Style a Fohawk Haircut on Short Hair
A fohawk haircut is such a popular hairstyle for men, but we get it, this style can be a little intimidating. Whether you’re growing out an actual mohawk style or want to bring your hair to new heights, it’s important to know how to style the look.
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.)
4. Spike up your crown.
Using the same firm-drying gel, or 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!
Inspo-Worthy Fohawk Hair Looks to Try
1. Lots of Height
Work with your longer length and create that height needed to sell this style as a mohawk! This is also a great style to try if you’re growing out a mohawk look.
2. Gelled to Perfection
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.
We love using Dove Men + Care Well Defined Taming Gel because it holds your style all day and adds shine without making your hair feel dry.
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.
If you’re working with a lot of hair on top, give it lots of texture to help sell the fohawk style. To add texture, use wax, like AXE Messy Look Wax. This can help you achieve that piece texture.
5. Clean Side-Shave
Go for an extra striking look by maintaining a clean side shave. This is a great style to try for the summertime!
6. Fohawk Fade
Try a variation of the fohawk by pairing it with a fade. This fade style is just like it sounds. The hair will gradually taper down and get shorter towards the nape of your neck.
7. Sleek Fohawk Haircut
Deciding to go with a sleek fohawk haircut makes this style very wearable. You can use a gel or pomade to slick back the longer section. This is also a great way to make the style very wearable for everything from date night to work.
8. Voluminous Fohawk Style
Have wavy textured hair? A fohawk haircut is a great cut to show off your textured strands without having to sport a longer style.
9. Fohawk on Natural Hair
Use a fohawk haircut to emphasize the volume of natural hair. The great thing about the haircut on this specific hair type is that there is little to no styling required; it’s practically a wash-and-go look!
10. Straight Fohawk Haircut
Sporting the fohawk on straight hair allows you to play around with volume and texture! Using wax or pomade makes it easier to create the same piecey texture.
11. Fohawk with Dreadlocks
Fohawks and dreadlocks are two styles that don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but there’s no reason you can’t sport this style? Focusing your dreadlocks in the center section of hair will make them pop and stand out even more in the best way possible.
12. Smooth Fohawk
Opting for a smooth style creates an easy-to-wear look. This option is perfect for those with straight or thick hair who want the look of a fohawk without a lot of height.
Whether you have natural or straight hair, a fohawk hairstyle is a great way to show off or add volume to your strands.