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The Mohawk or Mohican is a hairstyle which consists of shaving either side of the head, leaving a strip of noticeably longer hair. Mohawks were a short-lived fad in the mid 1960s. Mohawks became common in youth subcultures in the late 1970s. Throughout the 1980s, they were modified by subcultures within and derived from punk and adopted by various other groups, becoming more diverse in style in the process. Today, mohawks are still associated with the punk subculture, but have become a part of mainstream fashion and are also shared by many other subcultures.


Modern Mohawks

In modern times, both sides of the head are shaved or buzzed and the remaining hair is long and often spiked in the middle. The hairstyle is generally known as a Mohawk in the United States and a Mohican or Mowie in the United Kingdom. In punk fashion, the Mohawk is often dyed brilliant colors and the center strip of hair worn so that it points straight up (often referred to as a "charged" mohawk), often to impressive height. The Mohawk also appears in the goth subculture, a descendant of punk, with the remaining hair spiked or long. Guinness World Records lists Aaron Studham as the person with the tallest Mohawk.

Besides punk fashion, the Mohawk became known with the popularity of Mr. T, the actor who first became famous playing the boxer Clubber Lang in the movie Rocky III and later as Sgt. B.A. Baracus in the television series The A-Team. In the 1980s this type of African Mohawk was called Mandinkan or Mandinkan Mohawk after the Mandinkan Warrior haircut. Another well-known popular culture depiction of the Mohawk came from Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver.

Inspired by Robert DeNiro in Taxi Driver, Richie Stotts of the New York punk band The Plasmatics got a blue Mohawk in January 1979, followed by bassist Jean Beauvoir in September 1979 and singer Wendy O. Williams on November 30, 1980, who got a black Mohawk with cropped blond hair at the sides. The Plasmatics appeared on the American comedy TV show Fridays on January 16, 1981, which introduced the Mohawk to USA pop culture, while the band's albums and tours popularized the hairstyle in the UK and Europe.

In the famous "Punk On Bus" sequence in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, associate producer Kirk R. Thatcher was shown dressed as a punk with a bright orange Mohawk.





Mohawk Maintenance

The Mohawk, by its nature, and depending on the type of hair the wearer has, is typically a high-maintenance style, although after practice can become quite routine for the wearer and done in a much shorter amount of time. Depending on the specific look desired by the wearer, regular, careful shaving may be required to maintain a clean line between the shaved and long parts of the hair; this can be especially complicated in bi- and tri-hawks.

If the hair is to be worn up, twenty minutes or more of laborious styling, including brushing, backcombing (teasing), twisting and so on, may be required. Some styles are particularly difficult to put up, requiring the use of very strong-hold hair gels and sprays, and in some cases other holding agents like shoe polish, tooth paste, white glue, egg whites, cornstarch or gelatin. The amount of time required for styling may increase considerably with longer hair or styles that require even spikes and lines.

Depending on the method used to spike a Mohawk it can take much less than 20 minutes. The use of glue and a blow dryer cuts down considerably on the time needed.

However once the mohawk is up it can be easily maintained for an extended period. By sleeping on the side of the head and mohawk extending in air, daily maintenance takes only a few minutes of reinforcement touching up. Depending on what is used to put the mohawk up and the conditions it endures, a mohawk can stay erect for several weeks.

Some wearers enhance the look of their Mohawks using 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.

In 2005, the Mohawk seemed to receive a brief and small revival among the mainstream, as claimed in Eric Wilson's Sep 1, 2005 article in The New York Times, "The Mohawk Becomes, Well, Cute." In it, Wilson argued that part of the revival was caused by Angelina Jolie's adopted son, Maddox Jolie.






Long Hair

Long hair, sometimes written as longhair, is any hairstyle which is relatively long. Exactly what constitutes "long hair" can change from culture to culture, or even within cultures. For example, a woman with chin-length hair may be said to have short hair, while a man with the same length of hair would be said to have long hair.

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