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 fauxhawks 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: our two experts agree.
“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 Durham. “Fauxhawks can be so versatile. Braided and puffed, the side-braided fauxhawk or the classic slick and pin are all fun and protective styling options without the commitment.” 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,” says Durham. “All great hairstyles begin at the shampoo bowl, and since wearing a curly mohawk/fauxhawk 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.” Durham 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 25 styles 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 loose updo gives us mohawk vibes with cool-girl, lived-in energy.
Braiding the sides of the head to create a mohawk silhouette adds texture to the edgy style. If you find your scalp gets itchy or irritated, add a few drops of your favorite oil to your fingers and rub it onto your scalp.
A mohawk doesn’t mean versatility is out, and this puff topknot shows us just that.
“When styling the hair for a fauxhawk, I always pin the hair horizontally, so the pins get lost in the texture,” says Edmonds.
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 coconut extract, 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.”
To recreate these bouncy curls, try a flexi rod set.
In addition to the thin braid, the 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 fauxhawk.
Money Piece Mohawk
Add a few pieces to the front of your hair tapered mohawk to add a touch of personality.
Mohawk Blow Out
This blown-out mohawk is giving us rockstar 101-vibes. When stretching coils, a heat protectant should be in the mix. Flawless by Gabrielle Union 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 Color Charm Paints ($11) offers both of these bright hues and, best of all, the semi-permanent, gentle acidic PH color that lasts up to 20 washes.
Jodie Turner-Smith’s take on the mohawk isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is truly a coily hair masterpiece.
If you look closely, you can see the beads adorning these beautiful mohawked curls. Let your creativity be your guide.
Adding a holding finishing spray can ensure your style keeps its shape for stretched hair or loose curl types.
Twist Out Mohawk
To recreate this texture, you can opt for a twist or even a wash-n-go, depending on your curl type.
We’ve all heard the myths about 4 type hair, but Danai Gurira always shows us there is 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.
Sleek sides and twisted lengths make this fauxhawk 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 washday.
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 frizz-free and 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).