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How to Style Your Hair into a Mohawk or Liberty Spikes

Before you make a wild hair style change, read this!

If any of the following apply to you, please cease contemplation of this hair style immediately!

  • Employed at a Fortune 500 company as anything other than a janitor
  • Under the age of 16, or rebelling against your parents (If you want something, especially if you want to drastically change your own personal image, the best idea is to be honest with your family.)
  • Traditional Muslim (I've been told that you'll get in a heap of trouble if you cut your hair for anything other than medical reasons.)
  • Lumpy headed - Mohawks are a high profile hair style. If you have a lumpy, ridged head and may be self-conscious about it at all, leave here now!
Bleached tips on a fine set of liberty spikes.

Bleached tips on a fine set of liberty spikes.

Anyone left?

Alright, so let's talk 'hawk.

There are two common styles of mohawk. The first is the fan mohawk, which is a simple stripe the width of the space between your eyebrows. The rest of your head is shaved down to the skin.

The other kind of mohawk is called 'liberty spikes.' These spikes are so named because they're spaced and shaped like the spikes on the crown of the Statue of Liberty. It's a visual analogy symbolizing a free mind. This style is similarly shaved, however the process of styling liberty spikes is a bit more complex.

Instructions for a simple mohawk:

  1. Before shaving, make a plan of attack. Grab a friend and have them help you part your hair evenly. This is often a difficult task when alone because you're relying on your own depth perception and mirrors to help you out. Separate the soon-to-be-shaved hair from your hawk stripe by wetting down everything but the stripe.
  2. Shave the undesired hair off. Whether or not you leave some hair length on the sides of your head is all up to you.
  3. Wash away all excess hair, check to make sure you didn't miss any spots. Now that you've shaved your head, one little patch of hair on an otherwise bald head will stick out worse than if Hilary Clinton sported a 'hawk.
  4. Now, you're ready to style. Make your stripe damp so that you can get a bit of hardness from the first coat of gel. If your stripe is relatively short, this will be pretty easy. Simply run gel through your hair and comb the strip upwards.
  5. Keep coercing your hair up with full strokes of the comb.
  6. Keep going.
  7. As the gel dries slow down the combing motions. This will give the gel time to dry with the hair pulled tight and aimed straight up.
  8. Now liberally apply hair spray. Give some poor kid on the other side of the world lung cancer with all the aerosol you go through. Just when your stripe gets nice and wet again, take both hands and guide your hair to standing on end once more. The hair spray will dry pretty fast, depending on the brand.
  9. If your hair is still droopy at this point, use the trick of the trade. Elmer's glue is easy to use, dries fast and comes out easily also. Use the glue just like it's a normal gel, and keep fiddling with your 'hawk until the glue gets tacky.

At this point you should have a pretty groovy fanned mohawk, you rebel you. Now put on your Operation Ivy jean jacket and your Hot Topic strapped pants, some butt-kicking boots and a chain wallet, and go beat up some emo kids at a show.

Now that's punk rock.

Mohawk Tips and Tricks

Putting your hair up in a mohawk is pretty simple, especially if you're patient with your hair. Use a product (hairspray, gel, pomade, clay, crazy glue) that you are sure is going to actually hold your hair up - this is the most important tip I can give you.

For the liberty spikes style, you'll be separating your mohawk cut into sections, and the best way to achieve circular shaped spikes is to:

  1. Separate your 'hawk into sections that are square-ish at the scalp. The more even the square, the better off you'll be in terms of a cylindrical shape that tapers off into a fine point.
  2. Use rubber bands to hold your spikes in sections while you treat each spike with product and blow-drying.
  3. Keep good posture (this goes double for normal 'hawks) so your hair points straight up/out.

Mr T.'s Night Elf Mohawk

DIY Mohawk Video


George on August 25, 2012:

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Cool I am going to ask my dad and he will say yes. I am going to have short hair on the side.

the dude on July 27, 2010:


i lived in FL. a few years ago adn being a Rays fan at that time ment one thang, you got a mowhawk. wish i wude have read this back thin, it's not realy my way to spend 50 bucks at supercuts wich i did :( nice job!

Kiz Robinson (author) from New Orleans, Louisiana on August 22, 2008:


Priceless Sam on June 24, 2008:

This is so funny! I love it. My 5 year old son BEGGED for a week for a mohawk. At first I didn't think it was a good idea, but school let out and I figured, 'it's just a haircut, right?' So we cut it! I swear to you he walked around for days thinking he was the coolest person in the world. It was funny.

donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on March 29, 2008:

Don't know that I will be doing it anytime soon but, good to know that it is here should I get the urge. Thanks.


Mystic Biscuit from Phoenix, AZ on February 20, 2008:

I have always wondered how this is accomplished! Nice job, Gamegirl :-)

RFox on February 19, 2008:

I used to give dogs mohawks in my previous profession as a dog groomer. I loved those days and the dogs loved the extra attention.

My boss gave her friend's super mellow cat a mohawk that went all the way down his back (the cat was always shaved in the summer because of shedding.) She then died it blue with this really cool organic, non-toxic pet dye. Spike was one punk rockin kitty! :D

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