Of all the men’s hairstyles out there, the mohawk is probably one of the most infamous and controversial. Today, we’re examining a variation on this radical cut: the mohawk fade haircut.

You might consider the mohawk an extreme haircut with the hair pointing up in long spikes. However, the traditional mohawk is much more subtle than its punk-inspired variation. A classic mohawk features a crest that varies in length, and it can even be less than an inch in height.

On the other hand, the mohawk fade haircut combines––you guessed it––a mohawk and a fade. This gives the cut a much gentler appearance, but there’s still a high visibility factor. In some mohawk styles, the sides of the head are completely shaved. With the mohawk fade haircut, the sides are faded to give a tidier look.

Faded Mohawk + Hair Design + V-Shape
Faded Mohawk + Hair Design + V-Shape, by @shrunknheads / Instagram

So if you’ve always liked the mohawk look but were afraid to commit to the style, try the mohawk fade haircut on for size.

The height of your mohawk crest will depend on how long your hair is. For best results, your hair should usually be at least an inch long. This will allow for a good crest with volume.

How to Get the Mohawk Fade Haircut

While you can probably get a decent undercut or Caesar cut by telling your hairstylist what you want, you’ll want to bring good pictures of the exact mohawk fade haircut you want to have. This is a trickier style to get right, so we highly recommend taking in pictures.

You’ll most likely want to start with the fade. Decide how wide you want your mohawk crest to be, and fade up to that point. So if you want your mohawk to reach to your temple lines, fade your hair until the temple lines.

Asian Mohawk with Side Lines

Use a short clipper setting for the sides. Anywhere from a #1 to a #3 or so will work nicely, depending on how drastic you want the fade to be and how short you want it.

If you want your mohawk to go all the way down the back of your head, make sure not to fade the entire back of your head. Instead, only fade the sides of the back, leaving an un-faded strip of hair for the mohawk.

You can choose any neckline style you want for a mohawk fade haircut. Since the entire cut is faded by nature, a tapered neckline will work the most seamlessly.

The mohawk crest itself is up to your liking. It can be flat or wildly shaped. For a more subtle crest, ask your stylist to simply trim the hair that will become the mohawk to give it a tidy look. The sky is the limit, and you can request any sort of mohawk style you like.

To get a more defined mohawk look, ask your hairstylist to taper the hair upward into a crest. They may do this by either cutting or buzzing your hair; it’s up to your or your stylist’s preference. The hair should form a triangle shape, going up toward the middle.

How to Style the Mohawk Fade Haircut

Your mohawk fade haircut will require a unique level of styling based on the type of cut you have. Naturally, milder styles will require less styling, while bolder styles will demand more.

A good quality wax, gel, or pomade will help you tame your mohawk crest. If you have a large mohawk crest, you might need a product with a strong hold. For smaller crests, any good hair product will work.

Apply enough product to make sure your crest is staying up. If you like, you can manipulate it when you add the product to give it a bit of flair.

For the best mohawk fade possible, you may need to make occasional trips to your hairstylist to keep it trimmed and neat. If you trim your own hair, it’s even more convenient. Either way, make sure to give this style the care and attention it needs.

1/20
Dread Mo-Hawk Hairstyle
@nellynelthebarber

Braided Mo-Hawk

A very inventive version of the mohawk, from the slanted tier skin fades to the nappy natural taper, this baby is going to garner you some attention.

If you’re presently sick of the upkeep of your frohawk, but wouldn’t dare shave it off for good, these tight longitudinal braids may be the respite you’re looking for. At this length, they’re unlikely to come out quickly and can provide a rejuvenating spark to your personal style.

2/20
Hardcore Mo-Hawk
@cuttyfresh

Undercut Taper Fade

By definition, all mohawks are undercuts, just with their top length extending down the back of the head as well.

What makes this particular look special is the low burst fade that almost makes the side of your head appear to be glowing. Sharply defined edges, a little bit of product and a subtle nape design make this sleek style a real winner.

3/20
Dyed Frohawk
@rockstarsbarberscradleyheathr

Dyed Frohawk

At its aesthetic core, the Mohawk is all about contrast. However, it need not only come from the difference in hair length. This version adds a dimension of gradual color gradation. The transformation from the natural dark to brilliant bright blonde adds dynamic pop. Leave a little extra length at the base of the burst fade to allow for fun shaved designs at the nape.

4/20
Curly Mohawk and Lineup
@jose.crespo_

Curly Mohawk and Lineup

A tight mid skin fade with precisely edged temples and hairline serves as an excellent perimeter containing this wild explosion of curls. A return of the concept of contrast, this look creates a feeling of barely controlled energy.

5/20
Thin Hard Part with Sharp Undercut
@ fleetwoodthebarber

Thin Hard Part with Sharp Undercut

If a hard part is an effective borderline between dissimilar hair lengths, the shaved version is a demilitarized zone. It’s an extreme measure that suits the nature of the mohawk. Here, the fairness of the hair only requires a relaxed low fade, which keeps the focus on the textured crest and its boundary, where it should be.

6/20
Curly Thick Mohawk and Side Lines Design_
@alonsoclipperhands

Curly Short Mohawk with Faded Design

The mohawk middle strip is the handsome top-billed star getting all the attention, and the shorn sides are there in supporting roles. But with the right director…er, barber… they can be elevated to the true star of the production.

Going with a subdued crest and intricate faded designs over the entirety of the sides can produce Oscar-worthy results. Heath Ledger’s Joker or Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Lecter would be proud.

7/20
mohawk
@electricbarbering

Thin Spiky Blonde Hair

Like a supportive friend, a mohawk can be there for you when your defeated hairline begins its slow retreat. Since the style normally does away with all hair from the temples down anyway, thinning in those areas can be made much less noticeable.

Strategic coiffing and tapering can be used for as long as you want to keep fighting the good fight.

8/20
Mohawk Plus Braids
@did_by_kid

Mohawk Plus Braids

One of the best things the top length a mohawk provides you is the options it comes with. Don’t want it blown out and charged up? Try a Viking inspired French braid to keep it under control while you get your edges and bald fade in order.

9/20
Black men mohawk hairstyle

Low Fey Top with Shaved Side

It may look simple, but achieving an immaculately smooth skin fade such as this is anything but easy. Here the central ridge is barely more than the meeting point for the sides’ pristine tapers. Like a magma bulge at the fault line between two tectonic plates. The subtlety is deliberate, yet powerful, giving it an air of regality.

10/20
Jude Law mohawk
BAKOUNINE / Shutterstock.com

Jude Law's Mohawk

Who said mohawk always had to be very intense with pocky strands on top, look at this one, a very mature version of mohawk with nothing but good old brush up techniques. The sides are tapered slightly to keep the focus on the top, with that small quiff on the front.

11/20
mohawk
@ruben_dabarber

Fancy Mohawked Style

This mohawk is what one needs, I mean just glance at it. The top is slightly curled with sides undercut taper. All of that is quite the generic but those shaved slits are what makes this one a unique one. And not to mention, the drop fade is a good touch to it.

12/20
Thick Afro Mohawk
@cuttyfresh

Thick Afro Mohawk

Working on more not so generic styles, this one is quite a fancy one. The afro hair sits perfectly on top with the volume being so nicely taken care of. The brush-up texture on top makes it look so fancy with those sides being so well maintained in spite of the volume.

13/20
Curly Medium Mohawk
@level_137

Curly Medium Mohawk

If you thought that curls cannot be mohawk-ed then take another look with those dense thin hair yet short curls make a perfect combination. The sides are well maintained with an undercut and a taper fade that follow to make it look all controlled and classy.

14/20
Temple Taper Faded Subtle Mullet
@nick_kinsley

Temple Taper Faded Subtle Mullet

That temple taper faded touch is something that separates this from other mohawks especially due to its curly nature. The best part is the volume that is in control due to tapered texture with brush up on top.

15/20
Peacocked Mohawk
@victorycrownbarberco

Peacocked Mohawk

Mohawk doesn’t always have to be serious with its intense look. Sometimes some playfulness can make the look quite lighthearted. The candy floss pink dye makes it very chill plus the high fade makes it clean!

16/20
Not Normal MoHawk
@thebarbercole

Not Normal MoHawk

Not your usual Sunday hairstyle that you can pull out of your closet and rock on. The key here is volume and it is quite thick both on the tp and in the back. The drop fade also adds another layer of panache with that paired beard is just impeccable.

17/20
Subtle Mohawked Pyramid Brush Up
Kiselev Andrey Valerevich/ Shutterstock.com/ Shutterstock.com

Subtle Mohawked Pyramid Brush Up

Not all the mohawks are biker-inspired, some are like this; quite subtle with a lot of class. This is also a brush-up in the front with sides being tapered for that volume maintenance on the top. The key is slightly tapered on the sides.

18/20
Short Curled Mohawk with Undercut Drop Fade
@jakeyjim

Short Curled Mohawk with Undercut Drop Fade

This is quite a good mix of different elements with the top being all curly with fluff to it. The sides are undercut with a slit shave and drop fade that goes with it. The dye is quite neat with its highlight rusty brown color.

19/20
Waved Mohawk with Drop Fade
@ virgiltb

Waved Mohawk with Drop Fade

A thick and neat look at the same time. The hair on top is wavy but haircut is mohawked with a density as thin hair doesn’t require much volume. The lineup is tapered so that it is still there with a semi van dyke beard to balance it off.

20/20
Intense MoHawk with French Crop
@brodiethebarber_

Intense MoHawk with French Crop

The mixture of different elements here makes it one decent combination of a look. The top is french cropped with sides being high fade. The rest is mohawked with a clean shave so that the neat look stays consistent all over the top.