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The faux hawk (also spelled "fauxhawk" or "faux-hawk"; who knows the correct way to spell ephemeral trends?) is the currently ubiquitous rage in male hairstyles. Sported by the annoying celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the talented but also annoying footballer David Beckham (who debuted it at the World Cup 2002), and one of the Fab Five, the 'do is well on its way to obsolescence by now, but it will almost certainly mark the early 00's in the same manner that muttonchops marked the early seventies and the A Flock of Seagulls New Wave 'do defined the early eighties. It will also very likely be as silly in retrospect as those erstwhile trends, so take that into account before you let Inge style your hair this way, lads. The faux hawk consists of what appears to be a normal, conservative cut, but the middle portion of the hair is left slightly longer. With a little molding clay or other product the center strip can easily be coaxed into a sort of "mohawklette". This is not necessarily a good thing; very often it gives the wearer the rather cone-headed look of a forceps baby.

It's sort of the perfect haircut for the male metrosexual (that is, a young professional man who is unafraid of salons and/or the Clinique counter), because it allows its owner to have a cut that presents well at the office but can easily be sculpted into a "bad boy" look for nights. Plus, it has an Ironic Moniker That Proves One To Be Arch And Hip, which is ever so much better than a regular old trim at the barber, which is neither ironic nor particularly hip. It has very little in common, however, with its faux namesake, the mohawk. Where the true mohawk of the punk era signified a truly countercultural aesthetic (at least for the first 3.2 days of the punk rock movement), the faux hawk is but a sad and puny cousin to the proud and defiant mohawk. Its pitiful fringe signifies nothing more than the wearer's pretention to being all countercultural and cutting edge - unless you count his willingness to pay upwards of a hundred dollars for a silly haircut.

I find it interesting when a male hair trend really gets off the ground (remember the Clooney from a few years ago?), because I think it goes a long way to expose the truth: that an enormous proportion of young men with more money than sense are as driven by Madison Avenue and company as all those Sex and the City and Friends-addled women out there. On the other hand, it is sort of sweet to see so many men taking good grooming into account these days. And I am a little grumpy tonight, so I have to grudgingly admit that the faux hawk, as haircuts go, isn't all that bad. Certainly much better than the Clooney was, anyway.

If you absolutely (sigh) must get this haircut, fear not: GQ magazine's senior editor, Adam Rapaport, says that greasing up your locks to a gentle peak is "not that much of a commitment". But don't forget: a faux hawk wouldn't be a faux hawk without a few highlights, boys.

Besides, all the cool kids are doing it.

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