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The Truth About Hawk's Hair On Cobra Kai

Contains spoilers for Cobra Kai season 3

Of all the interesting characters in Netflix's smash-hit Karate Kid spin-off series Cobra Kai, none are quite so unpredictable as Eli "Hawk" Moskowitz (Jacob Bertrand), the undisputed wild card. Introduced in the first season as an introverted, nerdy teen who's relentlessly bullied, Eli joins the ranks of Cobra Kai, led by Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), after he witnesses the dojo's star student Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) beating up a group of bullies in the middle of their high school cafeteria. Hawk quickly becomes one of Johnny's prize pupils himself, morphing into a mohawked, tattooed terror with a king-sized chip on his shoulder who thinks nothing of alienating — and even pushing around — his former best friend Demetri (Gianni Decenzo). 

Without spoiling anything, the third season of Cobra Kai only further proved how unpredictable Hawk is — and it's safe to say that the character has a few more surprises in store in the show's upcoming fourth season. Fans will certainly be along for the ride, thanks to actor Jacob Bertrand's committed performance as Hawk. Just how committed is it, you ask? Well, for starters, there are no wigs, weaves, or other appliances involved in the creation of Hawk's signature 'do; that's his real hair. 

"It takes about an hour to put up and it's almost all hair spray, which is pretty nuts," Bertrand revealed in a recent interview with TVLine. "I take about a good hour-and-a-half to two hours in hair and makeup with the back tattoo and the lip and the mohawk."

Real hair, real killer moves

Bertrand also revealed that when it comes to Cobra Kai's bone-crunching fight sequences, roughly 90 percent of the time, he and the rest of the cast are actually doing the kicking, punching, throwing, and body-slamming themselves. "Our stunt coordinators, Hiro Koda and Jahnel Curfman, train us so that we can do as much as we're able to," he said. "I'm always begging them to let me do more. [...] We get in the dojo and train for a couple hours a day. Whenever we're not filming, they ask us to train."

That all heightens those scenes' air of down-and-dirty immediacy and ensures that Cobra Kai's cast inhabits their respective characters to the fullest possible extent — something Bertrand seems particularly skilled at. It's obvious that the young actor is fully invested in his multi-faceted, complex character, but as to whether Hawk's allegiance switch that came at the end of Cobra Kai season 3 will stick, he's not at liberty to say. 

"I think [Hawk will remain a good guy], but it's hard to drop something cold turkey, especially a crazy lifestyle choice like Hawk's," Bertrand told TVLine. "There's still going to be a bit of bad guy in him, but he realizes that his friends are more important than [Johnny's nefarious ex-sensei and current Cobra Kai leader John] Kreese and the creed at Cobra Kai. [Hawk will] be a good guy, but it might take him a little while to get there."

We certainly hope so — if for no other reason than that Johnny and Daniel's Miyagi-do students will need all the butt-kicking help they can get against Kreese and the ruthless band of fighters he's certain to field at the next All-Valley Under-18 Karate Tournament. 

All three seasons of Cobra Kai are currently available for streaming on Netflix.