Mohawk fades contain elements of a classic mohawk, burst fade, drop fade, and modern mullet all in one edgy, trendy hairstyle. Plus, the styling is built right into the cut so it’s a great wash-and-go option! Check out the ‘hawk fade style guide with photo examples below.
Considering a Mohawk Fade?
Isn’t the mohawk fade such a refreshing men’s haircut? After years of seeing crew cut after crew cut and fade after fade, we were all ready for something a little different to make its debut into popular culture.
And like an answered prayer, we now have the edgy and urban fade with a mohawk as the centerpiece. This eye-catching haircut is different. It’s bold. It’s fun, and it’s actually a really flattering look for most men.
If you’re still thinking of mohawks as a symbol of rebellion or punk culture, think again. This once-fringe mainstay hairstyle has officially entered the mainstream.
When the daring mohawk is combined with a simple but fresh fade, the result is a modern haircut that is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. If you’re ready to take a walk on the wild side, or at least look like you are, you’ve come to the right place.
This style guide will spill all the secrets of the up-and-coming mohawk and fade haircut. We’ll talk about what makes this type of haircut unique, what you should know before getting it, and share the trendiest photos of this cut on real guys like you. This guide is here to get you up close and personal with the mohawk-fade. Let’s check it out!
What Is a Mohawk Fade?
Before we get into the example photos, let’s talk about what a mohawk fade actually is. Mohawk fades are partial fades that feature shaved sides with a longer section of hair that runs from the front hairline to the neckline.
Instead of ending abruptly and giving way to the shaved sides, the ‘hawk fade seamlessly fades and blends the hair in the mohawk with the shorter length of the sides. There are usually no stark or defined lines in this type of fade (but as you’ll see, exceptions do apply).
The hair in the middle – the mohawk – can be any length, but it must be longer than the shaved hair on the sides to be a true mohawk. When you look at a ‘hawk fade from the sides, it looks a lot like our old friend, the mullet. They do have features in common.
But what makes them different from mullets is the lack of shorter hair on top (business in the front) and longer hair down the back (party in the back). That said, we have seen some cool style mashups that are part mullet, part mohawk, part fade!
Another type of cut the ‘hawk fade resembles is a burst fade. Since they both feature very short hair seamlessly blended out around and behind the ears, it’s easy to confuse the two.
But burst fades only refer to the way the hair is cut around the ears. They don’t necessarily contain a long strip of hair down the middle like a mohawk fade does. While this type of fade is often confused with mullets and burst fades, the most common question people have about it is “What makes it different from a mohawk?” We’ll answer that next.
Mohawk vs. Mohawk Fade: What’s the Difference?
What’s the difference between a mohawk and a mohawk fade? The two seem very similar, but upon closer inspection, you can easily tell the difference. Typically, a mohawk is cut into a bar shape with straight, parallel lines on each side.
But a mohawk fade doesn’t have those clear, defined lines. Instead, it features a subtle fade so the longer hair in the middle gradually joins up with the shaved sides. There’s no clear line of demarcation with a mohawk fade.
There is with a mohawk. So a mohawk fade is just a mohawk that is tapered or faded in length to meet up with the shaved sections on the sides of the head. Easy, right? Now let’s take a look at the trendiest examples of this cut.
10 Mohawk Fade Looks We Love
We think you’ll agree that these 10 people are absolutely killing it with their unique versions of the trendy ‘hawked out fade. Keep scrolling to see the best examples and get your photo inspiration before you head to the barber shop!
1. Mohawk Quiff Fade With Line-Up
If you’re a man who likes to look good and doesn’t mind spending extra time styling your hair in the mornings, this is a look to consider. Leave the top long enough to create a quiff you can style according to your mood.
Wear it spiked up, slicked back, or pushed over to the side. The length on top runs all the way down the back of the head and the sides are gradually faded in length to give a burst fade effect.
2. Youth Pointed Mohawk Fade
When it comes to looking good, age ain’t nothing but a number! This eye-catching cut works for young and old alike with the shaved sides, clean mohawk, and cool point design in the back.
3. Bleached Mohawk Burst Fade
If you want to make your mohawk stand out without spikes or vivid colors, bleached blonde is a perfect option. This mohawk is paired with a high #2 fade on the sides and #1 burst fade around the ears.
4. Short Mohawk Fade With Shaved Designs
Keep the top short (cut with scissors if you want it longer than an inch) and have the sides faded with the #2 clipper guard to leave a little length. Then, have your skilled barber-slash-hair artist carve designs into the sides without a clipper guard for cool, distinct art you can wear.
5. Mohawk Pompadour Skin Fade
Looking for a fade/mohawk combo that won’t get you written up at work? This suave version of the popular cut features a gelled and styled pompadour with the long hair down the top and back. The sides are faded down to the skin in a bald fade, making this a great choice for round or square-faced guys.
6. Slick Mohawk Burst Fade
This style perfectly illustrates how this type of fade really encompasses the burst fade, skin fade, and mohawk all in one look. A short mohawk runs the length from the hairline to the neckline. It’s gradually faded down to the skin to keep the sides tight while blending the mohawk out so there are no defined lines.
7. Wide Mohawk Fade With Undercut
Shake up your mohawk and fade with a defined undercut that follows the same line as a burst fade (above and behind the ears). Here, the wide mohawk is tapered in length as it reaches the sides of the head but keeps the length all the way down the back. Add a bold color and you’re set!
Read Next: What Is an Undercut?
8. Deconstructed Fade With Mohawk
This is such a cool twist on a classic fade! Instead of gradual, seamless shortening of the hair like a traditional fade, this cut features clear, defined lines where the shorter sections of hair begin. Rock this deconstructed fade with a long, spiked mohawk for more edge!
9. Styled Mohawk With Burst Skin Fade
Your mohawk can be styled any way you like, but we love the casual, pushed-over look here. A burst/skin fade on the sides brings the focus to your face. If you like your fade more gradual and seamless, ask your barber to do a 3-2-1 fade on the sides. The #1 guard should be used around and behind your ears to nail this look.
10. Curly Mohawk Mullet Fade
Gen Z has brought the infamous mullet back in a brand-new way. Keep the length along the top and back (love the curls in this ‘hawk), but cut and fade the sides to a shorter length. There’s a subtle #4 to #3 fade shown here, but you can make it more distinct by choosing a skin fade instead.
Things to Consider
You’ve read about this haircut and what makes it unique. You’ve seen the photos of some of the coolest examples of the ‘hawk fade. If you’re feeling geared up and ready to get this haircut, read the following tips first.
A mohawk combined with a fade is definitely one of the trendiest looks right now, but is it going to be right for you? Let’s find out.
- Make some adjustments if you’ll wear it to work. If your workplace, school, or other obligation requires you to dress and style your hair conservatively, the legendary mohawk and fade look probably won’t fly. What you can do is make some adjustments to tame the look a bit. Keep the mohawk short and make sure the fade is gradual and seamless with no harsh lines to give this style a clean-cut spin.
- Pair a long ‘hawk with a skin fade to make it edgier. How do you take a mohawk and make it…edgier? Easy. Just pair it with a skin fade (also called a bald fade) to give the cut a tough yet modern vibe. Experiment with fade heights – low, mid, and high – to see which suits you best. Going longer with your ‘hawk will also add to the edge factor!
- Figure out different styling options ahead of time. There’s nothing worse than getting a new haircut and discovering you have zero idea how to style it. To avoid getting stuck in a style rut, go ahead and browse photos of the ‘hawk fade to see different ways you can style it. Slick the mohawk back, part it to the side, muss it up and wear it tousled, try a man bun, or try classic spikes to switch things up.
- Know how you’ll handle it if you hate the haircut. Even if you have high hopes and the best intentions, sometimes you’ll find that your new haircut just isn’t working for you. Since this type of fade features very short or even clean-shaven sections, your options are limited if you decide you don’t want to rock this cut anymore. You may be able to try a short high or mid fade if there’s enough length to work with. If your hair is super short, you may have to shave your head to get rid of this haircut. Just keep this in mind.
Is the Mohawk Fade Right for You?
For the bold and adventurous among us, the cool combo of a mohawk and fade is an exciting haircut to try. It’s growing in popularity and definitely “in”, but it’s unique enough to be fitting for even the most image-conscious trendsetter.
Even if you consider yourself a regular guy who likes basic, classic haircuts, there are ways for you to rock this cut more subtly. Shorter lengths, seamless fades, and tapering can all make this cut a little more palatable for guys who prefer more conservative haircuts.
Whether you’re planning on rocking the legendary ‘hawk fade or want to try something a little less stand-out, make sure you’re visiting a good barber with the skills and expertise to make your next haircut a success. You’re entrusting them with your look and you deserve to look your best. A good barber will make it happen.