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Mohawk Haircut Style Guide | 15 Ways to Wear a ‘Hawk

Looking for mohawk haircut inspiration? We’re experts on all things hair, so you can bet we’re coming at you with the edgiest mohawk hairstyles of this year. Read on to see them and why we love each one.

What Is the Mohawk Haircut?

Image titled Styled Guide Mohawk Haircuts featuring a woman with such a cut in a cutout image plastered to a blue square graphic background

Is there any haircut that is as iconic and recognizable as the bold and edgy mohawk? Featuring longer hair down the center of the head and short or shaved sides, the mohawk haircut is a refreshing change of pace in a sea of crew cuts, fades, and buzz cuts. 

The mohawk haircut has been a style staple for centuries, but only in more recent years has it been associated with punk rock culture and alternative style. 

Historically, the mohawk hairstyle has been used to signify strength and worn by warriors to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Central Asian, European, and Native American people all sported mohawk hairstyles thousands of years ago. 

In fact, the now-famous 2,000 year old body of the Clonycavan Man discovered in Ireland in the early ’00s was wearing an incredibly preserved mohawk styled with pine resin and plant oil.

When it comes to humans and mohawks, it’s safe to say we go way back. If you’re thinking about getting a mohawk, this style guide will help you gather inspiration and learn all you need to know about this iconic hairstyle.

We’ve got examples of trendy mohawk styles, tips on styling your ‘hawk, and a list of things to consider before you pick up the clippers and start shaving. 

From wild, spiked styles to lowkey ‘hawks that are more subtle than shocking, we’ve got options for every guy and a range of hair types. Check out the mohawk haircut style guide to find your new look! 

15 Mohawk Haircut Styles Trending Now

Whether you’re thinking about sporting a traditional mohawk with clean-shaven sides or want to try a modern twist on the classic, we firmly believe there’s a mohawk haircut out there for every guy. Check out the versatility of this iconic style below! 

1. Thick Tapered Mohawk Haircut 

Thick Tapered Mohawk Haircut 

Kite_rin/Shutterstock

This modernized mohawk is tapered in length at the back so the ‘hawk ends above the neckline. Both sides are clean-shaven to create the most contrast for the bushy, styled-up mohawk running down the center of the head.

Style it with firm-hold or medium-hold gel in your fingers and loosely gather the hair up and toward the center for this casually cool look. 

2. Wide Spiked Mohawk

Wide Spiked Mohawk Haircut on a guy in a white button-up shirt

SOK Studio/Shutterstock

Basic mohawks are fun, but for a different look that is sure to turn heads, try this wider version. The mohawk here is a thick, rectangular wedge of hair running from the front hairline to the neckline.

The mohawk is styled traditionally with both sides pushed toward the center to create that signature height. It’s even better in a brilliant, vivid red color! 

3. Multi-Colored Mohawk With #2 Shaved Sides

Multi-Colored Mohawk Haircut With #2 Shaved Sides

Pikselstock/Shutterstock

Another mohawk trend we’re seeing has to do with the length of the hair on the sides. Instead of going for the clean-shaven look on the sides, try shaving them with the #2 clipper guard to leave some length.

The look is less dramatic than a traditional mohawk, but adding some vivid color like the guy shown here will take care of that! 

4. Long Partial ‘Hawk With #5 Shaved Sides

Long Partial ‘Hawk Haircut With #5 Shaved Sides

Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock

For guys who’ve been growing out their hair for a while and aren’t quite ready to lose all that length, the long ‘hawk is our recommendation. This unique style can work with hair up to around 6 inches long if you leave it much longer, it becomes heavier and difficult to style upward.

It’s a partial mohawk that ends above the neckline. To style it, you’ll need a good amount of firm-hold gel with good staying power. Try slicking the length back for a different look! 

5. The Trojan Mohawk

Side profile image of an image titled The Trojan Mohawk

Anton Watman/Shutterstock

Ancient Trojan war helmets are the inspiration for this take on the mohawk. Just like the horse hair plume of the Trojan helmets, this kind of mohawk is longer in the front and gradually shortens in length toward the back.

This kind of mohawk should be styled straight up rather than leaning in toward the center like traditional mohawks.

It’s helpful to work a little firm-hold gel into your damp hair, then use a brush and blow dryer to direct and style the hair upward. Finish with hairspray to really nail this historical but modern look.  

6. #4 Buzz Cut Mohawk

#4 Buzz Cut Mohawk Haircut on a guy pictured in a side profile image

Valerka Stepankov/Shutterstock

This mohawk embodies the normcore aesthetic with that bold, edgy twist only a mohawk can provide. The shape of the mohawk is wide and ends above the neckline which gives it a modern spin.

The top is cut short with the #4 clipper guard, but the sides are shaved with the #1 guard to leave a hint of stubbly length that gives this cut a casual and lived-in look.

Read Next: Buzzcut Hairstyles

7. Pompadour Mohawk With Burst Fade

Pompadour Mohawk Haircut With Burst Fade

Viorel Sima/Shutterstock

This mohawk fade is one of our favorite looks on this list, and it’s also one of the most versatile. The addition of the burst fade cut in around the ears makes it stand out!

Instead of slicking this pompadour back, use medium-hold or firm-hold gel to make it stand up. A comb and blow dryer will help you shape the mohawk. Make sure you’re directing the hair in front toward the back, while styling the sides in toward the center. 

8. Traditional ‘Hawk With #3 Shaved Sides

Traditional ‘Hawk With #3 Shaved Sides on a guy in a 1/4 zip knitted sweater

Epov Dmitry/Shutterstock

Traditionalists will appreciate this basic mohawk with a single but important twist: Instead of sides shaved down to the skin, the #3 clipper guard is used to leave a little length on either side of the thin mohawk.

To style it, put a little firm-hold gel in your palms and push your palms together as you lift the hair up. Firm hold gel is key for rocking your mohawk all day long! 

9. Mohawk With Straight Spikes and #4 Sides

Mohawk With Straight Spikes and #4 Sides

Iofoto/Shutterstock

Spikes and mohawks go together like peanut butter and jelly. If you’re rocking spikes, try styling them straight up to create an edgy look that’s bold but somewhat uniform.

The sides are cut with the #4 clipper guard to leave about 1/2” of length on the sides. That’s short enough to leave the mohawk as the focal point and might make it easier to try this style if you’re unsure about shaving the sides bald. 

10. Crescent Mohawk 

Crescent Mohawk Haircut on a guy with shaved sides and wearing a black cutoff shirt that shows his tattoos

Dreamerve/Shutterstock

While you’re browsing different types of mohawk haircuts and styles, you’ll come across a range of options at different lengths. This crescent mohawk features medium-length hair along the central ridge with #1 shaved sides.

We call it a crescent ‘hawk because the hair creates a crescent moon-like shape when it’s styled upward and slightly curved backward as shown. Rock with the help of some medium-hold gel that leaves your hair with a little give so you can perfectly tailor the style. 

11. Coiffed ‘Hawk With Line-Up

Coiffed ‘Hawk With Line-Up as inspiration for mohawk haircut ideas

Weexp/Shutterstock

If you’re polished with a touch of punk, this style is going to be just right for you. A perfectly coiffed and styled mohawk is the central point of this balanced hairstyle.

But the precise line-up at the hairline and sleek, tidy texture really add something to it. Wear the mohawk styled up as shown, or slick it backward for a more work-friendly look. Firm-hold gel is key for this perfectly-styled look. 

12. Ridge Mohawk With #2 Shaved Sides

Ridge Mohawk Haircut With #2 Shaved Sides

Alexander Image/Shutterstock

A variety of hair textures and types can successfully rock a mohawk haircut. We love the way coily texture looks cut into a ridge mohawk with short sides! Leaving a little length on the sides using a #2 clipper guard is key here.

The hair on the sides helps balance the height and messy texture of the mohawk. Moisturize first, then use medium-hold gel to style the longer center upward. Use your fingers to create a messy texture in the tips. 

13. Punk Mohawk With Shaped Hairline

Punk Mohawk Haircut With Shaped Hairline

Maffi/Shutterstock

This punk-inspired style is punctuated with shaved sides that reshape the hairline in a unique way. Leave the center long, tapering the length toward the back to make it easier to manage and style.

Shave the sides with the #2 clipper guard, then remove the guard and use the clippers to reshape the hairline into a gentle slope that runs from the front of the mohawk to just behind the ears. 

14. Half and Half ‘Hawk

Half and Half ‘Hawk Haircut with bleached tips and a mid fade on the sides in a side profile image

Iofoto/Shutterstock

Should you bleach your mohawk so it stands out more, or leave it your natural color? Why not do both with this half and half ‘hawk? The roots are left unbleached while the tips are frosted to create a look that reminds us of an optical illusion.

The hair is slightly longer in the front of the mohawk to create some additional height in the front. The sides are cut with the #2 clipper guard instead of shaved as is traditional. You don’t need the contrast of skin against hair when you’ve got the contrast between dark brown and white-blonde! 

15. Psychobilly Wedge Mohawk

Psychobilly Wedge Mohawk Haircut on a guy in a cutoff grey tshirt in a field of trees

Sarah J Lee/Shutterstock

This type of mohawk, the psychobilly wedge, infuses old-school punk with vintage rockabilly style. If you like the idea of a mohawk but don’t want to repeat the same style everyone else is wearing, the wedge is perfect. The length is longest in the front and tapers down at a steep slope to create the wedge effect. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Mohawk Haircut

Before you decide to get a mohawk, it’s wise to weigh your options and consider a few things first. Make sure you won’t end up regretting your new haircut by reading through this checklist first! 

  • DIY or barber? Will you be cutting your own mohawk or going to a barber or stylist to get it done? Before you settle on this haircut, think about who’s going to do it. If you’re cutting your own hair, make sure you’ve got a quality set of clippers and guards so you can do it right. If you’re going to a barber, be sure to bring pictures and examples of the type of mohawk you want. Make sure to point out any special features you want, like a fade, tapered length in the back, or leaving a little length on the sides. 
  • Consider your workplace and obligations. Your workplace, school, church, and other commitments should be on your mind before you officially decide on a mohawk. How will this stand-out hairstyle go over in these places? Are there any rules or regulations that prohibit bold hairstyles like the mohawk? It’s better to ask about policies upfront than to get the mohawk and find out you’ll have to shave it for work. 
  • Get your styling supplies in order. Styling your mohawk is one of the most important parts of this haircut. You might rock your natural texture one day, spikes on another, or even slick it back for a different look. You’ll need a good medium and firm-hold gel (medium for softer, more subtle styles and firm for spikes or straight-up styles) to style your ‘hawk. A comb is helpful for styling, and if your mohawk is long, you may need a hair dryer to get enough volume and height. 
  • Length matters. While you might love the look of a longer ‘hawk, know that additional length makes a mohawk harder to style. The longer your hair is, the heavier it is and the more you’ll struggle to style it upright. If you’re planning on rocking a pompadour mohawk or slicking the mohawk back, length shouldn’t be an issue. But for spikes and upright styles, you might prefer a shorter mohawk that will be easier to style. 
  • Think about the haircut transition. Most people choose to sport a mohawk haircut for a limited time, then return to a more traditional style or try another bold and edgy look. It’s wise to go ahead and consider how you’ll transition the mohawk into your next haircut. If you don’t want to shave your head once you’re done with this cut, think about leaving some additional length on the sides and keeping the mohawk itself medium-length or shorter. After it has time to grow out a bit, you’ll be able to easily transition the ‘hawk into a fade or buzz cut easily.

Is the mohawk haircut for everyone? Definitely not, but we believe there’s a mohawk out there for every style and hair type.

Which Mohawk Haircut Is Your Favorite?

Guy in a barber's chair getting a mohawk haircut from a gloved and masked barber wearing a blue and red plaid shirt

Anton Watman/Shutterstock

After you’ve browsed through the trendiest types of mohawks, you probably have a good idea of whether or not this standout style is right for you. From subtle and trendy to shocking and bold, the versatile mohawk is one of those rare styles that can morph into something different depending on how you style it.

With the right firm-hold gel in hand, you’ll be able to wrangle your new mohawk into the style you like best and occupy the spotlight in every room you enter. If you’re bold, fearless, and better at setting trends than following them, we think the mohawk is the perfect haircut for you to try next. 

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