Natural hair can do it all. Cropped, long, braids, straight, and beyond, natural hair continuously reminds us never to underestimate what our curls and coils can do. We know our coils defy gravity, and mohawks and faux hawks take out curls to new heights. The best part about this iconic style is if you're not ready to make a permanent commitment to the mohawk in the traditional sense, faux hawks are an excellent option, and our two experts agree.
Meet the Expert
- Rashuna Durham is a master hairstylist, Amika Pro Educator, and owner of Shuna’s Hair Studio.
- Jamal Edmonds is a DC-based celebrity hairstylist, Mizani Artist, and owner of Lamaj in the City salon.
"If you aren't ready to commit to a full mohawk, pick up a soft brush and some bobby pins and get to work," says master hairstylist Rashuna Durham. "Faux hawks can be so versatile. Braided and puffed, the side-braided faux hawk or the classic slick-and pin are all fun and protective styling options without the commitment." DC-based celebrity hairstylist Jamal Edmonds agrees: "If you're are not quite ready to cut your hair in a mohawk, you can always add braids to the sides of the head to create that tapered silhouette."
Whether you opt for a traditional mohawk or a temporary version of the style, Durham recommends starting with a clean canvas. "When considering any style, the best thing to do is start with a clean, healthy scalp," she says. "All great hairstyles begin at the shampoo bowl, and since wearing a curly mohawk/faux hawk requires hair to be short on the sides or brushed up against the scalp, making sure that you're starting with a deep-cleansed and moisturized scalp is key."
Shampooing the hair is a given, but scalp exfoliants are the latest addition to the haircare industry that can help ensure your scalp is healthy. If you're considering adding color to your new tapered style, Durham says moisture is a must: "Because of the shorter sides of this trendy do, color on the top is really a statement-maker. Therefore, you want to be sure to keep your color vibrant and healthy." She recommends using a leave-in conditioner with color-protecting properties as it can help detangle, soften, protect vibrancy, and keep color from fading.
Now that we've given you the haircare details, here are 23 mohawk and faux hawk ideas for natural hair to spark your next style adventure.
Curly Mohawk With Baby Hairs
No matter the style, adorning curls and coils with baby hairs is always a do.
Trying on a bright color often means bleaching the hair, but hair paint wax has changed that. If you want a temporary change, give the wax a try. However, if you want to try permanent color, consult with a pro to ensure your curls keep their integrity.
Zig-Zag Side Design
The full curls, crisp line, and cool design make this cut a showstopper.
Loose Mohawk Silhouette
Turning a style on its head can give a classic new flavor. This updo on Zazie Beetz gives us mohawk vibes with ultra-cool, lived-in energy.
A mohawk doesn't mean versatility is out, and this puff topknot shows us just that.
"When styling the hair for a faux hawk, I always pin the hair horizontally, so the pins get lost in the texture," Edmonds says.
Copper Tapered Mohawk
Tapered curls can lend themselves to a traditional mohawk while creating an edgy yet chic style.
Gray Curly Mohawk
Tapered silver curls with an edgy undercut? Sign us up.
Refreshing curls, no matter the style, are essential to hair health. If you find your curls are thirsty, give them a spritz of a water-based leave-in or refresher. Edmonds recommends using Mizani's water-based Coco Dew Restyling Spray ($24): "It’s a really good refresher and helps you avoid shampooing, [so] you can stretch your curly style out a few more days."
In addition to the thin braid, Bianca Renee's four puffs add a fresh spin to this classic. To ensure your edges stay healthy, don't secure the buns or braids too tightly.
Cresent-Shaped Braided Fauxhawk
Up the ante with crescent-shaped braids alongside your faux hawk.
Money Piece Mohawk
Add a few pieces to the front of your hair tapered mohawk to add a touch of personality.
This blown-out mohawk is giving us major rockstar vibes. When stretching coils, a heat protectant should be in the mix. Flawless by Gabrielle Union's Smoothing Blow Dry Cream ($10) hydrates, strengthens, and protects hair from heat damage.
These gorgeous orange-red curls are perfect for spring and summer. Hair paint wax can achieve this color but will rinse out on your next wash day. However, Wella's Color Charm Paints ($11) offers both of these bright hues and, best of all, the semi-permanent, gentle acidic PH color lasts up to 20 washes.
Jodie Turner-Smith's take on the mohawk takes both confidence and a talented hairstylist, but it's truly a coily hair masterpiece.
Bead-Adorned Faux Hawk
If you look closely, you can see the beads adorning these beautiful faux hawk curls. Let your creativity be your guide.
Star-Adorned Faux Hawk
Adding a finishing spray can ensure your style keeps its shape for stretched hair or looser curl types.
Twist Out Mohawk
To recreate this texture, you can opt for a twist-out or even a wash-and-go, depending on your curl type.
We've all heard the myths about type 4 hair, but Danai Gurira always shows us there's nothing our hair can't do.
To recreate this sleek, curly do, all you need is a soft brush, bobby pins, edge control, and elastic bands to secure each puff.
Twisted Faux Hawk
Sleek sides and twisted lengths make this faux hawk ideal for even the most special occasion.
Add clips, pins, and any other accessories on long hair that can build the mohawk silhouette.
Silk-pressed curls can get oily fast, but adding a few metallic bobby pins to both sides of the hair can help stretch out the next time you need to schedule a wash day.
Adding a splash of color to the sides of the mohawk gives the look depth and a unique edge, but be sure to pay attention to how your hair feels to combat dryness-induced breakage.
How often should you get a mohawk trimmed?
If you want to maintain a close shave or buzz on the sides, you'll want to get a touch-up every two to three weeks. But the top can go longer, so aim for a touch-up every four to six weeks.
What types of products will you need to care for a mohawk on natural hair?
Moisturizing products are key—so turn to a leave-in conditioner or moisturizing hair mask to keep hair healthy.
How often should you shampoo a mohawk with natural hair?
Natural hair doesn't require frequent shampoos, but consistently washing and conditioning the hair is key to keeping it healthy. Aim for a wash every seven to 10 days (regardless of whether the natural hair is in a mohawk style or not).