The Mohawk was, without a doubt, one of the coolest and most intriguing hairstyles the world has ever seen. It was worn intensely during the 70s and 80s as a signs of rebellion against the system and against tradition by a subculture which went by the name ‘punk.’ It was the epitome of cool. And even though it dwindled down since then, we never thought something could come along and make the Mohawk even cooler. That was until we were introduced to the Mohawk fade.
Let’s take a look at the history of this haircut and its modern counterpart, how many versions there are, and how exactly you can style a Mohawk fade.
Say hello to gorgeous Mohawk fade made up of a traditional Mohawk with gelled spikes and a high fade. This is what the most basic shape looks like, if you’re a guy who cares about tradition. If not, we’ve got a lot more options for you. Just keep scrolling.
Short Mohawks with a fade have just a little hair on top that you can choose to style into spikes if you want. You can also see the clear and defined line going down the back all the way to the nape. This haircut has a high fade as well plus a set of thin sideburns which are, of course, highly optional.
Talking about the Mohawk fade as a cool hairstyle, it does not get better than this. It’s a curly hawk with caramel blonde tips and, of course, a high fade. Not to mention the gorgeous, very well-groomed beard. This is the essence of the 2010s in terms of styling. If you manage to master all these elements, you’re golden. Much like this hairstyle is, so pun intended.
As usual, the first thing we need to do is establish very clearly what this hairstyle is. Since it involves a fade, which has a lot of versions of its own, there might be some confusion out there.
The Mohawk fade is a modern version of the classic Mohawk haircut, which we will also detail below. It combines a Mohawk on the top with a high fade on the bottom. The high fade allows men to keep a sharp contrast. This was one of the elements which made the Mohawk so scandalous to begin with. But without having to shave their heads completely.
What Is a Mohawk?
A Mohawk is a haircut in which the sides of the head have to be shaved off and only one stripe of hair has to remain on top of the head. The stripe runs from the forehead to the nape. It started out as a small and narrow stripe with the hair cut very short. But the Mohawk became very famous when it was adopted by the punk subculture. Subsequently the hairstyle adopted long spikes on top of the head and shaved sides.
Back to the Mohawk fade, it can have any type of Mohawk you want on top. This means it can be a traditional one, a curly one, a long, short, wide or flat Mohawk. It can even be one made of dreads or man braids. But you should know that only the traditional one made of spikes is actually called a Mohawk. The rest are categorized as Fauxhawks or faux-hawks, meaning fake-hawks. Faux is French for ‘fake.’
The History of the Mohawk
As is the case with most traditional haircuts, the Mohawk has a huge history behind it as well. In fact, it might surprise you just how long its history really is. The first man ever to wear a so-called Mohawk is believed to be one who lived no less than 2000 years ago near today’s Dublin in Ireland. His mummy was discovered by accident and his hairstyle was held in place by pine resin and oil.
But the Mohawk hairstyle as we know it and the name itself come from the Mohawk tribe of Native America. They belonged to the Iroquois Confederation and used to wear this very distinctive hairstyle with shaved sides and a single strip of hair running down the middle.
They would also decorate the strip of hair and braid it. But the name ‘Mohawk’ was not their own term. In fact, it comes from ‘Maw Unk Lin.’ It means ‘bear people’ and this is what they called themselves. Dutch settlers were the ones who translated this name to the more popular term ‘Mohican’ and, thusly named the tribe in the process. Later on, Mohican became Mohawk.
But why did they shave their heads like that? What was the purpose of the Mohican? It seems that having their hair cut like this would make it extremely hard for an enemy from another tribe to scalp them and take it as a trophy.
The Mohawk in Popular Culture
The hairstyle emerged out of its Native American background for the first time during the Second World War. It was famously adopted by a unit of the 101st Airborne Division called the Filthy Thirteen. One of their sergeants was of Native heritage and started the trend. However, the haircut did not spread much from there.
Later on, Sonny Rollins, a jazz musician, went for a very short Mohawk as well. He wanted to pay tribute to the Native Americans.
But the haircut wouldn’t really become famous until the 70s and 80s when it was adopted by the punk subculture in England. Punk rock musicians as well as their fans took to Mohawks completely and made it into the cool hairstyle that it is today. Joe Strummer, for example, of The Clash had a famous Mohawk. But he was just one of thousands.
The idea behind the haircut was to shock and rebel against traditional and polite society. The Mohawk hairstyle was dramatic and even theatrical. It was obviously worn to send a clear message to everyone. The wearer was a non-conformist. He or she was defying both tradition and the soft, flower-power generation of the 60s decade that came before them.
How Did the Mohawk Fade Appear?
The Mohawk fade became popular after 2015 when the traditional Mohawk started to be considered cool once more. The classic version saw a period of decline after its magnificent glory in the 70s, 80s, and the beginning of the 90s. People replaced it with other trends in the decades that followed.
But they suddenly remembered that Mohawks were cool in the second half of the 2010s. However, they added a brand new element to it – the fade. And that’s how the Mohawk fade was born. Although, it’s important to mention that the new version has all kinds of fauxhawks on top, not just the classic one.
How to Style a Mohawk Fade
The most important thing you need to keep in mind here is exactly how you want the top to look. Therefore, start by choosing what you want on the crown. Then you can begin styling it by following the next few steps.
- Shampoo your hair as you normally do.
- Towel dry it until it is damp.
- Apply a small amount of your favorite styling product all over the crest so that every single strand will stay up all through the day and won’t flop over.
4. Using your finger, a comb or a teasing brush, depending on the style of Mohawk of your choice, push all the hair to the middle of the head. Brush it up in swift motions to add volume.
5. If you want a firm hold on your hairstyle you can blow dry it. Set the temperature on high but use a product that will protect your locks against the high heat first.
6. However, if you’re going for a more textured look, don’t use a brush or a blow dryer at all. Instead, use your fingers to comb all your hair up and allow it to dry naturally.
How to Cut a Mohawk Fade
We strongly suggest that you see a professional hairstylist or barber if you want a Mohawk fade. This is a rather complicated hairstyle both to cut and style. Therefore, it requires skilled, trained, and experienced hands to get it right. In other words, if you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to a Mohawk fade, things could get bad very easily.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn or even give it a go if you really want to or if you’re on a budget. If this is your case as well, here’s how to cut a Mohawk fade.
The first thing you need to take into account is that your hair will have to be medium length or long on top. Otherwise you won’t be able to turn it into spikes. The best results will be yielded with two or three inches if you want a shorter Mohawk. You will need four or five inches for a longer haircut.
However, try to take into account how thick your hair really is. If you have thin tresses, go for a short Mohawk fade that won’t show off this fault. On the other hand, thick hair allows for longer haircuts that can be styled any way you want.
What Types of Mohawk Fade Is Best for Me?
If you cannot decide on what type of Mohawk you want on top, discuss this option with your barber or stylist. He or she should be able to tell you exactly what to get based on what type of face you have, your weight, the color of your hair, and other such criteria.
Fade your hair with a clipper. Numbers one, two, and three are for a high skin fade, while a bald skin fade will get you very close to the classic Mohawk.
Celebrities Wearing a Mohawk Fade
We’ve already mentioned Joe Strummer of The Clash who was one of the first major public figures and musicians to sport this hairstyle. Since he had shaved sides, you could say he wore a classic Mohawk or a Mohawk with a bald fade.
Adrian Young of the band No Doubt wore one in the 90s, proving that the Mohawk fade is not a recent idea whatsoever. Even though it gained popularity in 2017. Travis Barker of Blink 182 wore one during the same time with the traditional spikes. It complemented perfectly his massive chest and neck tattoos.
Jared Leto had an immensely famous Mohawk fade colored in a shocking neon pink. This happened in 2010, back when Leto was still rocking heavily with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. It suited him magnificently as he paired it with true punk-inspired outfits made of leather vests with metal studs and ripped jeans.
David Beckham Mohawk Fade
The king of all haircuts, David Beckham sported a Mohawk fade as well, before everyone else, in the 2000s. This just goes to show once again that this famous soccer player is truly a trendsetter. Mohawk fades weren’t even a thing when David was proudly displaying his all over the world.
Curiously enough, Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey also had Mohawk fades. This was not something that the world had expected from the two funny men, as they had never displayed any signs of rebellion themselves.
Adam Sandler declared it was a haircut he simply wanted to try out, but that it was the worst one he ever had. Jim Carrey got one at the age of 49, when he was already a grandpa. We’ll let you make of that whatever you want. But one thing is certain. The Mohawk fade surely attracts everyone!
The Curly Mohawk Fade
Let’s take a second to talk about curly Mohawks with a fade because they are a thing of absolute beauty. If you have been blessed with curly hair, you should feel thankful. And you should try to take very good care of it. Not to mention that you have to flaunt it as best as you can. And a curly Mohawk fade might just be the best way to do that.
As far as explaining this hairstyle goes, it’s very simple. It’s the same Mohawk we’ve been discussing so far. The difference is that, in lieu of the gelled spikes of old, you have your natural curls adorning the top of your head like a crown. The hairstyle continues with a high fade that completes the look.
Of course, you have several options. You can get a short haircut on top that merely shows the world you have curly or wavy hair. Or you can get one with long bangs that lie heavily on your forehead. Otherwise you can color the curls on top of your head for added pizzazz.
Mohawk Fade for Black Men
If you’re an African-American man and want to get a Mohawk fade, please keep in mind that your hair has a different texture and a different thickness as well. It is also, probably, curly or kinky, which will give you some other options when it comes to styling it into a Mohawk fade. If you’re doing it at home, use a hair sponge to style your curls.
Mohawk Fade with Hair Designs
Hair designs or hair tattoos as they are otherwise known are one of the coolest additions to this haircut which you can get. Get creative and choose the design you like the most!
One of the products that will help you the most when styling your hair into a Mohawk fade is hair gel. Invest in a high quality brand that will moisturize your hair as well as keep it tight an entire day.
Mohawk Fade with Pompadour
The pompadour is a classic hairstyle which works incredibly well as a Mohawk. Mostly because the Pompadour already has a very high and elevated wall of hair at the front which we call ‘the pomp.’
Mohawk Fade with Dreads
A Mohawk made of dreads might actually be the coolest hairstyle the 2010s have ever seen. And, when you add a set of cool hair tattoos to it, you just know you have a major winner on your hands. Or on your head!
Long Mohawk Fade
Yes, you can get a Mohawk fade even if you have long hair. And no, you don’t have to put it up in gelled spikes for it to be considered a Mohawk at all. The simple like of the hairstyle will do this job for you, so don’t worry!
Platinum Blonde Mohawk Fade
Platinum blonde was a major trend last season, but it’s still a tendency to watch out for. Therefore, if already have bleached hair, don’t sweat it! Turn it into a Mohawk fade and you’re on point with this year’s fashion fads!
So is the Mohawk fade the coolest haircut of our decade?
You can bet! It’s incredibly versatile, it allows you to tailor it however you want, plus it has a huge history behind it. Did we mention that it looks completely badass? Because it does! Let us know how you feel about the Mohawk fade in the comment section below.