Mohawks v Fohawks

Here at Afrotherapy in Edmonton we’ve seen an increase in women asking us to cut and style their hair into fabulous mohawks or fohawks (faux hawks). Today’s mohawks are both edgy and glamorous and can be achieved using a variety of techniques including shaving, plaiting, applying cornrows and plenty of styling and fixing products. With celebrities such as actress Vanessa Simmons and singers Rihanna and Kreesha Turner all embracing the mohawk in some shape or form, this is a look that is increasing in popularity.   You can have fun with giving it your own interpretation – add a shock of hair colour to the mohawk, or style it in numerous ponytails, curls or hair buns.

The history of the Mohawk

The traditional mohawk or mohican  is a hairstyle where both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of longer hair in the centre.  It takes its name from the people of the Mohawk nation, an indigenous people of North America, who pulled the hair out in small tufts rather than shaving their heads. There is, however, evidence that the mohawk may have been around for thousands of years!  A 2000-year-old male body was discovered near Dublin in 2003 wearing a mohawk styled with plant oil and pine resin. Paratroopers from WW 2The mohawk has strong associations with warriors.  Artwork dating back to 600BC shows Scythian warriors wearing mohawks, Ukrainian Cossacks shaved their heads in the 16th century when going to war, and American paratroopers wore mohawks to intimidate their enemies in World War Two (pictured left). It wasn’t until the early 1950s that the hairstyle became more of a fashion statement when jazz musicians, including a few teenage girls, began wearing mohawks.

Punk rockers, Mr T and David Beckham

The mohawk really came into its own in the 1970s when punk music and fashion came to the fore.   Punks wore liberty spikes – spikes of hair in the mohawk instead of in a row – dyed an array of bright colours.  It faded into obscurity in the 1980s with the exception of the character known as Mr T in the hit TV series The A Team… and came back into popularity in 2002 when footballer David Beckham hit the headlines with his mohawk hairstyle. 

Mohawks and Fohawks for afro hair

In 2014 we are much more adventurous when it comes to our hair.  While in the 1970s punk rock era you’d only see punks with mohawks, today this is a style that is embraced by the modern woman.    Natural afro or mixed race hair is the perfect texture for creating a mohawk or faux hawk.  If you don’t want to go as far as shaving the sides of your hair to create a mohawk, let us add hair twists or cornrows on the side, or pin it back, to create a ‘fake’ or fohawk (faux hawk.) Sometimes the top of the hair is long enough to cover up the shorter sides when combed down which gives this style versatility.   With long hair on top you can create a ponytail mohawk with a row of ponytails down the middle of your head, or even add numerous hair buns or curls.  Or add dreadlocks for a more edgy dreadhawk look.

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