How to Maintain a Mohawk

The trick? Keeping your hair locked and loaded (with product, that is).

What’s harder than deciding to cut your hair into a mohawk? Maintaining it day in and day out, that’s what. Named after an indigenous North American tribe with roots in upstate New York’s Mohawk Valley, punky mohawk hairstyles are definitely not for the faint of heart.

Characterized by having both sides of your head shaven and leaving one strip of hair stranding straight out from front hairline to neckline, it’s this out-there aesthetic—complete with gravity-defying, wind-resistant lengths—that makes it one of the most extreme, outrageous hair looks to date.

If you’re daring enough to commit to a mohawk, then you certainly need to know how best to keep the look, quite literally, on point. And although some die-hard ’hawk fans swear by it, we’ve come a long way from resorting to good, ol’ fashioned glue in keeping your strands locked in place. Read on:

Tips to Maintaining Mohawk Hairstyles

how to maintain mohawk hairstyles wet look asian hair
Modern mohawks can take all shapes and forms. Photo credit:

1. Trim

Make sure your mohawk is freshly trimmed every four to six weeks. If you like your sides completely whitewalled (a.k.a. fully shaven), it’s best to go to the barber once you see regrowth, which is usually around a month.

2. Wash and condition

Hey, little that strip of hair needs some loving too! A lot of mohawk enthusiasts also love pushing the envelope with bright, alternative hair dye, so it’s best to keep hair coated with the right moisturizing products. Colors such as blue, purple, orange and even platinum need a bleaching process for hair to lift, which can then cause damage to the strand. A deep conditioning treatment after a hair coloring session, accompanied by a strengthening shampoo and conditioner that won’t weigh hair down, such as Dove Men+Care Complete Care Fortifying Shampoo + Conditioner, can keep locks looking and feeling healthy and fortified.

3. Blowdry hair till damp

Rough-dry hair with your fingers till its no longer dripping wet. For best—and faster—results, blot hair in between two paper towels to help absorb moisture quicker.

4. Bend hair over and apply hair gel

Using the strongest-hold gel you can find (try Axe Adrenaline Spiked Up Look: Extreme Hold Gel), bend hair over and apply a dollop of product from roots to tips and mold your ’hawk into the shape you desire—a fan, spikes, sky’s the limit!

5. Spritz on some hair spray

Most mohawk hairstyles need a double dose of product to stay budge-free the whole day. While still upside down, give your hair a generous spritzing of maximum-hold hair spray like TRESemmé Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray on both sides for extra shellacking and staying power.

6. Blowdry, part 2

Give your mohawk a final blasting with a blowdryer for around five minutes, or until you feel the hair stiffen in place. Rock with your coolest leather jacket, piercings and some real bad-boy swagger. Remember to thoroughly wash your hair to get rid of all product build-up at least once a week. Other than that, have fun, go mad!

How do you maintain your own mohawk hairstyles?

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