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Mohawk Vs. Fohawk: What’s the Difference?

People wanting to try a unique hairstyle might waffle between fohawk vs. mohawk. Knowing their distinct characteristics can help you get that standout style and determine how best to maintain it.

So, if you want to learn more about the difference between fohawk and mohawk, read on!

What Is a Mohawk?

mohawk cut

Mohawks are a hairstyle that gets its name from the Iroquois Indian tribe in the area now known as northeast New York State and southern Canada. The braves in the tribe shaved the sides of their heads, leaving a strip of hair down the center. They then spiked that strip to make it stand tall, giving them an imposing silhouette.

In the 1970s, mohawks became a sign of counterculture. Musicians in punk bands shaved their heads except for a strip for a tall mohawk. Some people wore a style called liberty spikes to make a more extreme statement.

You’d often see mohawks dyed in unnatural colors to add to the fierce look. The mohawk became mainstream in the 2000s. A new generation appreciated the attention-grabbing hairstyle that could make you stand out from a crowd.

Depending on the style of mohawk you choose, you can comb the hair down instead of spiking it up, making it more suitable for fancy occasions.

Since you only have hair in the center of your head with a mohawk, you need to use an industrial styling product to keep it in shape.

There are strong-hold waxes that deliver the definition you need without making your hair look like it’s glued into place—though punks historically used glue on their spikes.

Who Should Try a Mohawk?

Anyone can try a mohawk if they want to make a statement with their hair, though it looks best with square or thick faces. The tall hair gives your overall look more height, which gives the impression of a thinner face.

You might think this hairstyle is easy to maintain since you don’t have much hair. It’s true, shaved sides don’t require much work beyond buzzing it when it gets too long.

However, since you only have one strip of hair in the center of your head, you’ll have to spike your hair daily to rock a true mohawk.

Make sure you choose products for your mohawk that keep it spiked up all day yet don’t damage your hair. You want to clean out the product after each use and condition your hair to keep it soft and healthy.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time styling your hair or don’t want all eyes on you when you go out in public, a mohawk might not be the ideal solution. In that case, you should consider a fohawk.

What Is a Fohawk?

fohawk haircut

A fohawk has longer hair in the center of the head, like a mohawk. However, the sides aren’t shaved. This hair is shorter than on top, but it’s often cut like an undercut or fade, where it’s longer near the crest of your head and shorter around your ears and neck.

A fohawk is a more acceptable hairstyle than the mohawk, especially for people with traditional jobs who need a neutral appearance. Depending on how you style your hair, a fauxhawk can look like a typical hairstyle or get spiked up into something that gives the mohawk a run for its money.

Many people choose a fohawk because it looks more sophisticated than a mohawk. There are countless ways to style this cut compared to a mohawk, which limits you due to the lack of hair coverage.

You can choose to leave long hair at the crest of your head to make a dramatic statement when you spike up your fohawk.

Who Should Try a Fohawk?

Anyone who isn’t ready to commit to a full-on mohawk should try a fohawk first. This style doesn’t differ much from a more common haircut, so you can wear it any way you choose.

When you want to make a statement, you can use hair products to make the longer section stand tall, giving the overall vision of a traditional mohawk.

People with oval faces can best pull off the fohawk style. Since there’s still hair on the sides of your head, you get a fuller look compared to the stark shaving of a mohawk style. You can also spike the crest of the hair as you see fit, which gives you more power over your look.

You can ask your barber to give you the right fohawk cut for your face shape. If you have a wider face, you want to keep the hair on top longer while cutting the sides shorter.

Key Differences Between Mohawk and Fohawk

Mohawk vs Fohawk
Mohawk vs Fohawk

There are several major differences between a mohawk and a fohawk.


The most noticeable distinction is that a mohawk includes shaved sides, while a fohawk has more hair overall. This length makes a difference in how much maintenance it takes to keep the style looking great.


A mohawk typically looks more extreme, while you can make a fohawk look casual and professional.


Mohawks require fairly constant upkeep to maintain the shaved sides and some trims of the top. Fohawks require slightly less upkeep because there’s more room for growth, and it’s easier to leave the top down to cover the sides if necessary.

Face Shape

While anyone can try either hairstyle, people with square faces look better with mohawks since it adds so much height to their look. More people can pull off a fohawk because your barber can customize the length to best suit your face shape.


You can comb down the longer hair at the crest of your head with a fohawk and achieve a typical style. However, when you spike it up, you get a look similar to the mohawk, making the fohawk a versatile choice.

ShapeSides are shavedSides have longer hair, typically a fade
AppearanceLonger hair is a stripe down the centerCenter of the hair is only slightly longer than the rest
MaintenanceRequires maintenance to shave sides and keep the mohawk stripe cleanLooks like a traditional haircut as it grows out and gets shaggy
Face ShapeLooks best with a square or thick face shapeLooks best with an oval face shape
StylingSpike it, use different colors, slick it backCreate the appearance of traditional cut by wearing it down, spike it up or slick it back for a more extreme look

Are There Any Similarities Between Fohawk and Mohawk?

similarities between fohawk and mohawk

The mohawk and fohawk look similar overall since the focal point is the tall hair at the crest of your head. Both styles feature more hair at the top than on the sides.

You can make your fohawk more closely resemble a mohawk by cutting the sides of your hair closer to the scalp while leaving more length on top.

You can also use the same products for your hair when you have a mohawk or fohawk. While a fohawk doesn’t require a strong product like the mohawk, you can still use a strong-hold wax to give your long hair more volume.

So, Mohawk vs. Fohawk – Which One Should You Pick?

Consider your aesthetic and everyday life if you’re stuck between mohawk vs. fohawk. People who need to look professional for work might choose a fohawk since they can style it into a more casual look.

People who want to make a statement with their hair will love the look of the mohawk. When it comes to mohawk vs. fohawk, there’s something for everyone.

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