Limp, frizzy or greasy: Bad hair days happen to good people. Sure, you can pull your tresses back into a plain-Jane ponytail, or you can turn a bad hair day into a fun 'do that gets noticed.
What's a faux-hawk ponytail?
A faux-hawk pontytail gets its name from the classic punk-rock hairstyle of choice: the mohawk. While a true mohawk involves shaving the sides of your head and gelling a stripe of hair down the middle into spikes, the faux-hawk doesn't command as much commitment or bravery.
By smoothing down your hair along the sides and backcombing sections at the top for height, a faux-hawk mimics the mohawk in a softer, more wearable style that lets you keep the clippers away and hold on to your hair. The result is a playful and stylish 'do you can wear at work or at play.
Who is wearing it?
Whether your hair is layered or one length, you can have fun with this versatile look and tailor it according to your personal style. "The faux-hawk has continued to be a popular style for its variations from rock-and-roll flavour to chic elegance," says Chad Taylor, hairstylist and co-owner of Vancouver's Moods Hair Salon. "Variations can be seen on the runways from Doo.ri to Baby Phat and on celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Mischa Barton."
5 steps to a faux-hawk ponytail
Taylor has been styling hair for 15 years and he is the artist behind several of the cool hairdos you see on the runways at New York Fashion Week. Follow his simple instructions to get the perfect faux-hawk ponytail at home:
1. Apply a volumizing styling product on damp hair, from roots to ends, and blow-dry hair back, away from your face.
2. Using the tail of a fine-tooth comb, section a rectangular shape on the top of your head, from about the outer corners of your eyes, back to the crown.
3. Using a flat bristle brush such as a Mason Pearson brush, brush the nonsectioned hair back into a smooth, tight high ponytail. For more hold and great shine, apply a medium-hold hairspray. For a softer, more natural finish with no flyaways, use a smoothing serum. Secure hair into an elastic just below the crown.
4. You can leave the top, sectioned piece smooth or piece-y, but volume is key. Using your fine-tooth comb, take sections across the top and backcomb the roots at about two to three inches from the scalp.
5. Lightly mist the top with hairspray and, using your brush, smooth your hair back. Make sure that the backcombed hair is smooth on the surface so there's no evidence of backcombing. Push the entire section forward to achieve your desired shape. If your hair is long enough, wrap the ends of this section around the ponytail band and secure with bobby pins. Otherwise, tuck the ends of your hair in toward the ponytail and secure with bobby pins. "Leave the texture loose and static-y in feel and finish with a strong hairspray," says Taylor.
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For a more rocked out, looser, punky version, Taylor suggests using your fingers and breaking up the top section. Remember to wear the look with appropriate outfits like slim-fit jeans and a basic black T-shirt. "This look is great paired with stilettos for a night out," says Taylor.
If you're bold and daring, go for maximum height at the top like songstress Gwen Stefani, but, Taylor warns, "Make sure that the height and shape balance your face shape -- bigger isn't always better!"
Tamer variations: smooth and sleek or an elegant chignon
If you're not quite ready to wear a drastic faux-hawk, go for a classic, preppy look by following the five steps above, but leave the top section smooth and sleek rather than high and backcombed. "Using a large-barrel curling iron, curl the ponytail section for a loose, bouncy texture," Taylor suggests. "This is great for the office or a dinner party." You can also twist the ponytail into a chignon for another office-appropriate look.
The faux-hawk ponytail may seem like an intimidating 'do to wear at first, but yes, you can wear it and no, it's not a look that's reserved for those with excessive tattoos and multiple body piercings. The next time you're faced with a bad hair day, resist the urge to wear another boring ponytail. Instead, have some fun with your hair by styling it into a fabulous, fierce faux-hawk ponytail.
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