Thursday, February 9, 2012
The mohawk (referred to in British English as a mohican) is a hairstyle in which, in the most common variety, both sides of the head are shaven, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair in the center. Though mohawk is associated mostly with punk rock subculture, today it has entered mainstream fashion. The mohawk is also sometimes referred to as an iro in reference to the Iroqois, from whom the hairstyle is derived - though historically the hair was plucked out rather than shaved.
Depending on how it is worn, the mohawk can be a high maintenance style. Regular, careful shaving or trimming is required to maintain a clean line between the shaven and unshaven (or short and long) portions of the hair; this can be especially complicated in bi and tri hawks.
If the hair is to be worn up, brushing, backcombing, blow-drying, and twisting are required, as well as the application of sprays and in some cases other holding agents like white or clear glue, eggwhites, cornstarch, or gelatin. The amount of time required for styling may increase considerably with longer hair or complicated styles such as liberty spikes (sometimes known as a libertyhawk).
Some wearers enhance the look of their mohawks with hair dyes. This too can require a great deal of initial effort and maintenance, especially in styles where the color(s) form an integral part of the style. In some cases, for example, mohawk-wearers who normally wear their hair up in a fan style dye the hair in even lines or stripes of color, either horizontal or vertical.