A short history of the beehive hairstyle
First created in 1960 by a stylist in Chicago, the beehive was intended to neatly fit under the pillbox hats that were fashionable at the time. Bringing hair on top of the head, backcombing it and pinning it there, the aim was to offer height and volume that was accentuated by a hair-free neckline. In no time this forward-looking style took off and would become one of the quintessential 60s hairstyles that would define the decade.
The A-list look of choice
From Bridget Bardot to Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, and Audrey Hepburn, throughout the 20th century there was barely a single starlet who didn’t step out wearing a beehive haircut. One of the keys to the beehive’s success is just how versatile it is: wear the look smoothly pulled back from the forehead for a classy and controlled look (as seen on Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) or opt for a heavily backcombed and high volume look that oozes glamour. This style can be incorporated into a half up-half down hairstyle, whereby you let gently curled hair fall down your back to complement the tousled beehive on top.
In recent years the beehive hairdo has once again shot to the top of the list of most-wanted hairstyles in Hollywood. Thanks in part to the success of shows such as Mad Men and artists like Amy Winehouse and Adele making the style part of their signature look, this high-impact cut is still making waves.
How to do a beehive hairstyle
Creating a beehive hairdo at home is fun and relatively easy. The style works on almost any hair type, as long as it has enough length to reach to the back of the head and be pinned there. Before getting started you will need the following:
- Hair pins
- A teasing brush
- Curling wand (optional if you want to add some face-framing wisps)
- A higher-hold fixing spray, such as göt2b Glam Force Hairspray
With your tools at the ready, you simply need to decide what type of beehive style to go for. If you have bangs, it's also worth deciding whether you want to incorporate them into the beehive, style them to the side, or opt to add a more pronounced curl to them in order to accentuate the volume of the final look.
Follow these simple steps to find out how to get the ultimate 60s beehive hair:
- Creating volume in hair is easiest when there is a little bit of natural friction in it, so it's best not to try and work with freshly shampooed hair. If your hair is straight-from-the-shower clean, try adding a little bit of sea spray or hair mousse for better texture and hold.
- Take the hair that you want to use for your beehive and section it off: typically this will extend from your front hairline back to just behind the crown of your head, and may or may not include bangs or shorter-cut pieces at the front.
- Tip your head forward, hold your hair taut and use a teasing comb to backcomb a small area of the strands back towards your scalp. Depending on the length of your hair, it's generally best to start somewhere in the middle section where you have the greatest amount of hair volume.
- Continue working in small sections across your head until you get the hair right on your hairline. Be more gentle with this hair and don’t backcomb it as close to the scalp as you did with other areas: you will want this hair to be smoother for the finished look.
- Once complete, tip your head back up and assess the results. You should have a large, bouncy pile of hair at the top of your head. If you need more volume, try backcombing the flat areas a little more.
- Lightly backcomb or curl the hair from the bottom half of your head as you like. Depending on how you want to wear the style, this hair can be incorporated into the beehive or worn loose.
- Create the beehive by pulling the strands from the top and sides of your hair back, and pinning them an inch above the middle of the back of your head. Try to maintain your hair volume at the top of the head and not at the sides by pinning the side strands tightly.
- Once you have the shape and volume you desire, use the comb to smooth the front part of the head so there is less frizz and no flyaway hairs. Finally, use a setting spray to ensure the hair remains plump and doesn't fall flat after a few hours.