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Published on 28th May 2007

Spiked hair has been popular for decades but how is it done? Maybe you already spike your hair and you’re looking for some ideas. Here are a few different styles to try and instructions on how to do it.

Spiking basics & tools:
To get a good strong spike you need the right hair product. There are lots of different products you can experiment with from wax, hair spray, gel and fibre putty to water soluable glue* and bar soap. Your hair doesn’t have to be particularly short to get a good spike – you just need the right product and a lot of patience.
If your hair is short you can use a variety of styling products to spike it. You’ll get good results with gel on hair up to about 3 inches long but when combined with hair spray you can use gel on hair up to about 5 inches.
Wax is good on most hair lengths for messy looks that don’t require the hair to be held in a particular position. You can also use fibre putty for this, which is also useful for softer styles.
If you’ve got hair up to about 9 inches long glue might be the best option for you. *Don’t be silly when using glue. If it’s safe for kids it’s usually water soluable and non-toxic. Don’t use use anything that isn’t both water soluable and non-toxic. PVA (polyvinyl acetate) has worked well for me and dries clear though do expect to spend 30mins + rinsing it out.
If you’re all out of hair products you can try using bar soap. Make a thick lather and apply to your hair while spiking. It’s a cheap way to do it and works pretty well but keep in mind that if your hair is coloured it’s going to suck the colour out and you’ll also find soap will make your hair dry.

The basic principle of making a spike that stays up is the longer the spike the larger you need to make the base. So if you’re making a an 8 inch spike you should make the base of the spike about 1.5-2 inches in diametre so that the spike doesn’t flop with the weight of the hair. With any kind of spike the key to making it stay up is not saturating your hair with the styling product, especially the wetter ones like gel. When you add a wet or heavy product to your hair it adds weight to the spike so it falls over more easily. Start with a small amount on the tips of your hair and add more if you need to. A good coating of hair spray at the end will help keep it in place.

Now, for the techniques…

The first pic below shows a basic spiked ‘do. It’s pretty simple, especially on short hair. Put a small amount of firm hold gel on your finger tips and grab small clumps of hair and point them into spikes. The end result will be something like http://haircrazy.info/Adams/6-neon-blue/. If you think it’s going to rain finish off with a good spray of hairspray.
If your hair is particularly long you may need to try using PVA glue to keep the spike solid. This makes a particularly durable and flexible spike that can last a couple of days. Remember what I said about the base of a spike being proportionate to the length? Keeping that in mind make some large spikes. Brush PVA glue on to the hair leaving the first inch or so of hair untouched. Point into a spike and hold the tip while you blow dry the spike. When it’s completely dry it’s safe to let go. Do not use any kind of glue that isn’t water soluable.

Pic 2: The Messy Look
Messy hair is really easy to do and looks best on hair that’s 2-5 inches long. You can use gel, wax or a cream styling product. Put a small amount on your finger tips and using your finger tips only rub in all directions across your scalp. Your hair should now look pretty messed up. If you’re not happy with that you can use a tiny bit more styling product on your fingers to tease out small pieces of hair.
Fibre putty is great for this kind of style because you can continue to mess your hair up without it setting solid but it has a firmer hold than wax. Wax is great for a more natural out of bed look.
For a variation on the messy look try pulling the messed up hair into loose clumps and fixing with gel.

All over spikes

Messed up look

Mohawks are surprisingly easy to spike since there’s much less hair to worry about. When putting up your mohawk it’s useful to have a comb and some strong hold gel depending on the length. Comb some gel through a chunk of your hair and away from your head. You might find blow drying your hair at this point will make it easier to get your hair straight and even. Continue until all the hair is spiked away from your head. It’s a good idea for finish that off with some hair spray in case of rain or morons.

If you have a thick mohawk you can also spike it for a different look. Just take chunks of your mohawk and spike according to the instructions above. Either one or multiple rows of spikes look good.


Spiky mohawk

Spikes don’t have to be regular. You can do all all sorts of styles using pomades and fibre putty. To get something like the picture below is easy. First make sure your hair is freshly washed and if possible blow dry it away from your head to get it big and fluffy. Next take some fibre putty and rub a small amount between you hands. Grab large sections of hair and pull upwards and outwards. The end result might be something like http://haircrazy.info/Adams/20-experimental-red-purple/

If you have a spiking question, why not ask about it in the forum? http://haircrazy.info/forum/forum/6/

Hair sticking upwards

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  • Using too much of a styling product will make your spikes flop
  • A hair dryer comes in useful if your spikes are drying slowly. Use the concentrator nozzle.
  • Finish with hairspray for durable spikes.