How to Do a Fohawk on a Guy's Hair

The fohawk offers a versatile, low-maintenance cut with an optional side of edginess.
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The roots of fashion often run surprisingly deep -- while the Native American Mohawk tribe first introduced the eponymous hairstyle to western settlers in the 17th century, the British and American punks of the 1970s revitalized this signature cut. As fashion progressed into the early 2000s, the faux hawk, or “fohawk,” arose as a less aggressive variation of the age-old mohawk. Unlike its predecessor, the sides of this do aren't completely shaved, allowing you to wear the central strip up on party nights or combed down on work days.

Start with the proper foundation. Your hair needs to be shorter on the sides and longer on top, creating a “strip” of length that extends from the hairline to the crown. Typically, a number three fade with about 2 to 4 inches of length on top does the trick. If you prefer closer cropped sides, you can go with a number one or two fade.

Run your fingers through sections of the top portion of your hair, starting at the crown and moving forward to the center of the hairline -- the area that will form the top strip or crest of your fohawk. As you lift your hair upward with your fingers, mist on a light, even application of texturizing spray, holding the bottle about 6 inches from your hair.

Work a hearty dab of wax, putty or gel into the longer top strip of your hair -- go with wax for a messy, matte-finish fohawk, putty for a matte finish with a bit more hold or gel for a strong hold and shiny texture. Apply the product to your palm, then spread it onto your fingers and apply to your hair with your fingertips using a massaging motion.

Lightly comb your hair into the basic shape of the fohawk. Part the hair inwards right at each temple, combing the hair inward and upward so that it meets right in the middle of your head -- this forms a tall crest that reaches from the widow's peak back to the crown. Depending on the length of the sides of your hair, which will be shorter than the top, you can comb them forward or downward, or simply not comb them at all.

Set your hair dryer to cool and dry the lengthier top portion of hair, angling the dryer upward to give your hair some lift. Alternate your focus from one side of the fohawk's crest to the other, encouraging the mohawk-like shape. Lift sections of your hair upward with your fingertips as you dry, teasing the hair to give it volume.

Work a pea-sized dab of pomade into the crest, moving the two sides of the crest inward and upward toward each other with your fingertips. You can also gently massage the sides and back of the hair with the pomade to give it a messy texture, or add a messy look to the crest by pulling strands forward or out to the sides. Finish your fohawk with an even application of lightweight hairspray if you really want to keep each strand in place, or leave out the spray out for a more flexible do.

  • Wash, condition and towel-dry your hair just before styling to maximize its manageability.
  • For finer hair, work a hearty dab of thickening mousse into the longer, top part of your faux hawk after you apply your texturizing spray.

Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.