Mohawk hairstyle

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The famous Mohawk leader Joseph Brant wearing a scalp lock.
The famous Mohawk leader Joseph Brant wearing a scalp lock.

The Mohawk or Mohican is a hairstyle which consists of shaving either side of the head, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair. Mohawks became common in youth subcultures following their adoption by the punk subculture in the late 1970s. Throughout the 1980s, they were modified by subcultures within and derived from punk and adopted by various other groups, becoming more diverse in style in the process. Today, mohawks are still associated with the punk subulture, but have become a part of mainstream fashion and are also shared by many other subcultures.


[edit] History

The Clonycavan Man, a 2300-year-old male bog body found near Dublin, Ireland was found to be wearing a Mohawk, held together with plant oil and pine resin imported from southwestern France or Spain.[1]

Many Ancient Greek war helmets have a stripe of "hair" down the middle, in the shape of a mohawk, as shown in the recent film 300.

The Mohawk is often thought to have been worn by the Mahican and Mohawk tribes, but the name is in fact a misnomer; it is believed that the Wyandot were in fact the first Native American tribe to wear the hairstyle, but early French explorers mistook them for the Mohawk tribe. In French the hairstyle is called Iroquois.

During World War II, members of the Allied Airborne soldiers (specifically the 101st Airborne Division - the "Screaming Eagles") shaved their hair into Mohawks.[2]

[edit] Modern Mohawks

A modern Mohawk
A modern Mohawk

In modern times, both sides of the head are shaved or buzzed and the remaining hair is long and often spiked in the middle. The hairstyle is generally known as a Mohawk in the United States and a Mohican or Mowie in the United Kingdom. In punk fashion, the Mohawk is often dyed brilliant colors and the center strip of hair worn so that it points straight up (often referred to as a "charged" mohawk), often to impressive height. The Mohawk also appears in the goth subculture, a descendant of punk, with the remaining hair spiked or long.

Besides punk fashion, the Mohawk became known with the popularity of Mr. T, the actor who first became famous playing the boxer Clubber Lang in the movie Rocky III and later as Sgt. B.A. Baracus in the television series The A-Team. In the 1980s this type of African Mohawk was called Mandinkan or Mandinkan Mohawk after the Mandinkan Warrior haircut.[citation needed] Another well-known popular culture depiction of the Mohawk came from Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver.

In the famous "Punk On Bus" sequence in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, associate producer Kirk R. Thatcher was shown dressed as a punk with a bright orange Mohawk.

[edit] Varieties

A variety of different styles of Mohawk exist, often associated with different subcultures or with different motivations behind them.

An example of a Liberty Spike Mohawk
An example of a Liberty Spike Mohawk

[edit] Liberty spikes

Liberty spikes are so named because of their resemblance to the spikes on the crown of the Statue of Liberty, though they first popped up in the London scene. In this style, the unshaven parts of the hair are formed into thick or thin spikes that may radiate outwards in all directions or all point up in the same direction. They are favored for their durability in extremely long hair.[citation needed] Liberty spikes are not only a Mohawk style, though they are commonly created by non-Mohawk-wearers; liberty spikes may be created all over the head, and shaved sections of hair are not required to create the look.

[edit] Dreadhawk

A dreadhawk is a Mohawk where the hair is dreadlocked instead of being spiked upwards. The hair style itself is very diverse; it can be worn up like liberty spikes depending on the length of dreads; it can be braided, pulled back, tied but it will still remain dreadhawked. Dreadhawks appear most on Jamaican punks.

An example of a fanned mohawk
An example of a fanned mohawk

[edit] Fanned

Fanned Mohawks are so named because they resemble a fan: all the unshaven hair is fixed upright in an even fan shape from the front hairline to the nape. They are the most common kind of mohawk, probably because they are the easiest to form. An early user of the style was Wattie Buchan of The Exploited. Another term for such a style, originating from Britain, is "charged". For example, punk rock veterans GBH officially referred to themselves as "Charged GBH" to avoid confusion with another band who used the GBH moniker. The term is still in use today in many punk circles. Another notable person to have the "fanned" hawk is ex-band member of United We Stand, Tim Letizia

[edit] Slanthawk

A diagonal mohawk that crosses from one side of the neck to the opposite side of the brow. One notable wearer is Canadian R&B artist Shawn Desman.

Chelsea Hawk
Chelsea Hawk

[edit] Chelsea-Hawk

The same as a mohawk but the fringe is left in the front to frame face. Usually the female version of a mohawk. Comes from the Chelsea hairstyle, which is a completely shaved head with only the fringe left at the front.

[edit] 270˚ Hawk

A 270˚ Hawk is a fan mohawk that extends from the back of the neck to straight out from the forehead. It gets its name because it forms a 270˚ angle. This often requires a thicker strip of hair to extend the hair in front. Such a mohawk has been worn by members of the band A Global Threat in their earlier days as well as Gabe Sex, drummer of the band Cheap Sex.

[edit] Beaver

A beaver mohawk is a mohawk that has a short thick strip of hair in the middle with the sides skinned down. It is more often worn by athletes.

An example of a bi-hawk
An example of a bi-hawk
An example of a Tri-hawk
An example of a Tri-hawk

[edit] Bi-hawk (Twin Fins) & Tri-hawk

While a traditional Mohawk has one center strip of long hair, bi-hawks and tri-hawks have two and three respectively, with shaved portions between. Keith Flint from The Prodigy wore a bi-hawk in their videos "Firestarter" and "Breathe". Bi- and tri-hawks can be worn in any of the variant styles.

[edit] Reverse Mohawk

Reverse Mohawks are Mohawk haircuts in reverse (the opposite of a Mohawk), essentially a shaved straight line (usually wide enough for a disposable razor or electric hair clippers) from the forehead to the nape of the neck leaving hair on either side of the line. This haircut is also known as an Antihawk, HawkMo, Skunk, Highway, Nohawkand Polish Mohawk. Famous Reverse Mohawk wearers include Road Warrior Hawk, one half of The Road Warriors, and Keith Flint, vocalist for The Prodigy. It was also sported by the fictional character Fraker in the movie Death Wish III. Alien Ant Farm singer Dryden Mitchell sported a less dramatic Reverse Mohawk, where he had a thin, long triangle shaved into the middle of his head, reaching to his crown.

[edit] Sidehawk

The sidehawk is a rather rare hairstyle where the back of the head is shaved, and a strip of long hair goes horizontally frrom ear to ear across the head, rather than from forehead to nape. Bangs are often left on, especially by female punks. The hair is generally fanned or spiked giving a very distinctive halo or peacock effect. Sidehawks are often associated with The Devotchkas.

An example of a typical Blowhawk
An example of a typical Blowhawk

[edit] Blowhawk

A modified version of the traditional mohawk where the spikes appear to be blown backward; hence the name. The blowhawk is often utilized to add variety to the long-time mohawk wearers appearance and is versatile in nature as it is merely a modification of other varieties of mohawks. This style is generally achieved by forming straight spikes and then blow drying them to the point of slight dampness, which gives them a plastic-like quality. The spikes are then bent backwards; toward the rear of the wearers head.

[edit] Crosshawk

The crosshawk is a combination of a traditional fanned mohawk and a fanned sidehawk that come together to form a cross on the wearer's head.Variations of this with bihawks are sometimes know as H hawks because the sidehawk crosses through the bihawk and form an H shape. Another variation of the crosshawk is a bihawk that connects to together in the back and a sidehawk that crosses through forming an A which has come to be known as the A hawk.

Jonny Slut with his signature deathhawk.
Jonny Slut with his signature deathhawk.

[edit] Deathhawks

Deathhawks are wider-than-average Mohawks that are often worn in a looser style, frequently backcombed but not often formed into stiff fans or spikes. They may feature long, loose tendrils. Deathhawks are associated with deathrockers and goths. Sometimes referred to as a goth hawk.

[edit] Mollet

A Mollet is a Mohawk that is worn in the front, then branches out into a mullet in the back. The only notable person to have ever had it is Maynard James Keenan of Tool, though he is not credited as its creator.

[edit] Mini-Mo

A Mini-Mo is a mohawk that does not extend from the back of the neck to the forehead. It usually rests in middle of the head. Its name is a portmanteau of miniature and mohawk.

[edit] Glowhawk

A Glowhawk is a brightly dyed mohawk.

[edit] Maintenance

The Mohawk, by its nature, and depending on the type of hair the wearer has, is typically a high-maintenance style, although after practice can become quite routine for the wearer and done in a much shorter amount of time. Depending on the specific look desired by the wearer, regular, careful shaving may be required to maintain a clean line between the shaved and long parts of the hair; this can be especially complicated in bi- and tri-hawks.

If the hair is to be worn up, twenty minutes or more of laborious styling, including brushing, backcombing (teasing), twisting and so on, may be required. Some styles are particularly difficult to put up, requiring the use of very strong-hold hair gels and sprays, and in some cases other holding agents like shoe polish, tooth paste, white glue, egg whites, cornstarch or Knox gelatin. The amount of time required for styling may increase considerably with longer hair or styles that require even spikes and lines.

Depending on the method used to spike a Mohawk it can take much less than 20 minutes. The use of glue and a blow dryer cuts down considerably on the time needed.

Some wearers enhance the look of their Mohawks using hair dyes. This, too can require a great deal of initial effort and maintenance, especially in styles where the color(s) form an integral part of the style. In some cases, for example, Mohawk-wearers who normally wear their hair up in a fan style dye the hair in even lines or stripes of color, either horizontal or vertical.

In 2005, the Mohawk seemed to receive a brief and small revival among the mainstream, as claimed in Eric Wilson's Sep 1, 2005 article in The New York Times, "The Mohawk Becomes, Well, Cute." In it, Wilson argued that part of the revival was caused by Angelina Jolie's adopted son, Maddox Jolie.

[edit] The fauxhawk

Main article: Fauxhawk
A very Short Fauxhawk
A very Short Fauxhawk

The Mohawk hairstyle inspired the fauxhawk hairstyle, an approximation of a Mohawk made without buzzing or shaving the sides of the head, allowing an imitation of the extreme look of a true mohawk without having to commit to it by shaving the head. The fauxhawk is typically worn with a small but noticeable spike in the middle, though usually considerably shorter than many traditional Mohawks. In most punk circles this hairstyle is frowned upon and considered a form of selling out, mainly because it allows the wearer to blend in with mainstream society when not gelled up, something that cannot be done with a true mohawk.

[edit] Notable Mohawk wearers

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver sporting his iconic Mohawk.
Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver sporting his iconic Mohawk.
Mr. T sporting his trademark mohawk
Mr. T sporting his trademark mohawk
Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM with a fanned mohawk dyed blonde
Sascha Konietzko of KMFDM with a fanned mohawk dyed blonde

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Ireland Bog Bodies. Yahoo! News. Retrieved on January 2006.
  2. ^ Answers From The Colonel - Issue #1

[edit] External links

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