A: The Mohawk is a hairstyle that was copied from historical referents in Native American (and other tribal) cultures. Its defining traits were
a wide (or narrow) strip of hair down the center of the scalp from forehead to nape that was kept long while the hair on either side of the
strip was shaved to the scalp. The central strip of hair was usually styled with plant and animal derivatives to cause it to stand, presenting a striking impression.
The style was popular among the punk adherents and was often taken to extreme dimensions as styling
products and techniques became more advanced. Some Mohawk styles were seen as multi-colored spikes in a row down the center of the scalp as much as 12-18 inches in length.
In the 80s the television series "The A-Team" and the actor, Mr. T, made Mohawks popular in mainstream
among younger men. The Mohawk of this era was generally shorter in length and as likely as not featured an anchoring patch of hair at the nape
of the neck to balance the look. Because Mr. T, and the character he portrayed, were considered very masculine and touch, the Mohawk was
likewise adopted by those wanting to present that image themselves.
(click to enlarge)
Today, there is a Mohawk variant that has become increasingly popular. Rather than having a single strip
of hair with the rest of the scalp shaved, this "Fauxhawk" has a slightly (or more) longer strip of hair down the center and the rest of the
hair cut to a shorter length. It can be styled so as to minimize or maximize the effect depending on the length of the center strip, making
it more versatile and suited to wear in business environments as well as giving the individual a sense of personal identity.