The Faux Hawk Hairstyle – For Stylish Men with Curly Hair!

The Faux Hawk hairstyle is a great hairstyle for men with curly hair and is not the first time I blog about it. It is so useful that even curly balding men can use it to their advantage and it is a hairstyle that fits in pretty much any sort of environment, unlike its conventional form, the Mohawk hairstyle. Cristiano Ronaldo helped popularize the Faux Hawk hairstyle among metrosexual curly men while it was the likes of David Beckham, who he himself has straight hair, who catapulted the Faux Hawk into a hairstyle that was cool and modern.


An extreme version of the Mohawk hairstyle

The Mohawk hairstyle is not the most convenient to turn to work with


Cristiano Ronaldo with a curly faux hawk hairstyle

The Faux Hawk hairstyle, on the other hand, provides a pseudo form of the Mohawk that is more suitable for curly non-anarchist men!


The word faux means fake in French, thus a Faux Hawk comes to mean a fake Mohawk hairstyle that is not done via the traditional form of shaving most of the head while leaving a long crest running across the top of the head. Instead, the Faux Hawk hairstyle relies on the individual styling the hair in a manner that emulates the Mohawk, without having to do any extreme hair cutting or growing. With the Faux Hawk, a short or medium length crest of hair is left running on the middle of the top of the head while the hair running on the laterals is styled directed towards the crest.


David Beckham with a faux hawk hairstyle for straight hair

Straight haired David Beckham popularized the Faux Hawk among urban men in the early 2000s


A Faux Hawk for curly hair is best done with 1/2 inch to four inches of hair around, that is, it is best done on short and medium curly hair lengths, with the best length depending on several factors such as your curly hair type (the tighter your curls, the more length you will need) or personal preference.


Mario Ballotelli with a Faux Hawk curly hairstyle

A “cool as” Faux Hawk with Type V curls!


To do a Faux Hawk, you can start with your hair with even length throughout the top of the head or you can do with different lengths too. I will explain how to do a Faux Hawk with even hair length now, and later on explain how to do the haircut for a Faux Hawk with different hair lengths.

As mentioned before, your curly hair length should already be, ideally, from 1/2 inch to 4 inches, with the same hair length evenly throughout the top of the head. If you don’t have this curly hair length, then either wait for it to grow to the minimum 1/2 inch or cut it all evenly to a maximum of 4 inches.

Once you have satisfied the above, the instructions to style your curly hair in a Faux Hawk style are as follows:

1) Wet your curls.

2) Put some gel or preferred hair grooming product on the tip of your fingers.

3) Gently pull up all of the curls, on top of your head, with your fingers as if trying to spike them.

4) Now, look at yourself in the mirror from the front and visualize three imaginary segments running parallel to each other, from the hairline of your forehead to the back of your head (vertex). The middle segment, should be only an inch wide and visualized right in the center of the top of your head. This middle segment is regarded as your “crest of hair”, which is the defining element of the Faux Hawk.


Cristiano Ronaldo illustrating a curly faux hawk hairstyle

Divide the top of your head in 3 segments running from the forehead to the back of the head. The middle segment is the “crest”


5) Leave the middle segment (crest) alone for now and style, with your fingers, the hair in the remaining lateral two segments. Run your fingers softly through the curly hair from the laterals to the center, so that the hair is flattened and directed towards the middle segment. As you run your fingers through these two hair segments, try to also flatten them until the height of the hair is reduced substantially (1/4 to 2/3 inch in height).

6) Now use your fingers on the crest (middle hair segment) to style the hair up. Emphasize the upright motion of your fingers, starting at the root of the hair and running your fingers up throughout the whole hair length.

7) Retouch here and there as desired (more flattening curls on laterals/further spiking curls on crest). Your Faux Hawk hairstyle on your curly mane should look something similar to this:


Zack Efron with a curly faux hawk hairstyle

Zack Efron, a Type I curly guy, with a medium length Faux Hawk


For those wanting to add a haircut element to the Faux Hawk hairstyle, you can clip the sides and back of the head to a #2 or #3 guard length, and the lateral segments of hair on top of the head can either be done with a #4 or trimmed with scissors. I recommend you to have a maximum of one inch difference in length between the curly hair on the lateral segments and that in the crest. This way you avoid turning the Faux Hawk into a conventional Mohawk hairstyle and you can easily undo the Faux Hawk at any time with your fingers and style your curly hair with another hairstyle.


A curly man with a faux hawk hairstyle

Notice, in this Type III curly man, the clipped sides of the head and trimmed laterals on top of head working towards the crest.


Just like with the Jim Morrison hairstyle, the Faux Hawk is a great hairstyle for those men with curly hair who want to add a rebellious yet stylish tone to their image. It is a low maintenance hairstyle that can be undone at any given moment to opt for other curly hairstyles. Likewise, it goes great with balding curly men and since it is a popular trendy hairstyle, it will fit in both a relaxed and conservative environment. A Manly Curls recommended curly hairstyle!

All the best.


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Rogelio is the go-to guy when it comes to men's hair. Having embraced his natural curly hair for over a decade while living in 5 countries, Rogelio has learnt a thing or two along the way. Rogelio is the author of the two bestselling men's books "The Curly Hair Book" and "The Men's Hair Book", and his motto when it comes to hair is, "Gentlemen, having a good head of hair should not cost us our testosterone".

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10 comments for “The Faux Hawk Hairstyle – For Stylish Men with Curly Hair!

  1. Zach Bittner
    March 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I’m 95% certain the first picture of the giant Mohawk is a girl… But as a balding guy with extremely curly hair I appreciate this article. Will try some of these styles!

    • Rogelio
      March 7, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Zach,

      Yes, that’s a girl! Had to portray it somehow. Keep me updated.

      All the best.

  2. Billy
    August 22, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Under Zack Efron’s picture, that doesnt look like a Faux Hawk to me and actually looks pretty messy…is that picture a mistake or am I wrong?

    • Rogelio
      August 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Billy,

      It is a Faux Hawk. If you look closer at the picture you will be able to see the hair directed towards the centre. The picture of Zac Effron was posted to show that the Faux Hawk itself is open to a range of expression provided the method is followed and to show what it looks on men with different curl types. It does look a bit messy but that’s the cool thing about a Faux Hawk, it can be improvised a bit (plus Zack there doesn’t have the most spectacular haircut as the sides of the crown were trimmed ).

      If you don’t find that picture a good illustration for yourself, use the one below it as a reference.

      All the best.

  3. Gae Miguel
    August 17, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    So, is the section on top of the head from the parietal bone to the crown cut all the same length, then styled toward the center to appear longer in the center top? Or is the top section actually cut into a V on top?

    • Rogelio
      August 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Gae Miguel,

      Yes, in terms of anatomy, it would include the TOP section of both the parietal and frontal bone. Everything is styled towards the centre: if you were to draw a line in the middle of the top of your head, from the forehead’s hairline to the crown, all the hair in each half would be directed towards this imaginary middle line, resembling a pseudo-triangle if you look at yourself in the mirror from the front.

      It is best that you do not do any cutting as of yet and learn to give yourself a Faux Hawk with your current hair length. Then, once you have got the hang of it, do any cutting of the aforementioned halves as you please (they can, indeed, be trimmed to be of a shorter length).

      All the best.

  4. Patrick
    March 15, 2012 at 8:38 am

    How do you cut your hair to do this? any help would be greatly appreciated i think im going to do it tomorrow when i get home from school

    • Rogelio
      March 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Patrick,

      Crop the sides and back of your head to a 2 or 3 and leave the top trimmed with scissors between half an inch to 2 inches. Then styled as outlined.

      All the best.

  5. myrongaines
    February 29, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    could this work for a brah with dat dere straight-as-a-needle thick asian hair ? fuaaaaaarkk

    • Rogelio
      February 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Yes, The Faux Hawk can be done for straight hair too. Follow my steps and advice as per the article. The most important thing is getting the right haircut and length as I explain.

      All the best.

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