Bringing back the beehive: how to create this retro classic

Hair Ideas & Inspiration

Bringing back the beehive: how to create this retro classic

14 Sep 2017

Image credit: By Robin Atzeni /

The classic beehive was created by an American hairdresser Margaret Vinci Heldt way back in 1960. Inspired by the popular fez hat of the time, the idea was that the beehive would sit in the hollow of the fez preventing you from getting that dreaded hat hair.

Nearly 60 years on and the style has endured with a fresh, modern take. Who can forget Amy Winehouse whose leopard print pumps and giant beehive were iconic? Today you’re guaranteed to spot at least one beehive strutting down the red carpets. So we thought we’d give you the lowdown on how to achieve this retro style.

A flexible look

Don’t worry about looking old fashioned, or that the style won’t suit your look. Modern beehives are more adaptable and edgier than the classic so there’s no risk of you looking outdated. The advantage to this style is that it can easily be sculpted to suit all face shapes and hair types.

The beehive adds height and can give the appearance of a longer face. This means it looks great on those with round, oval, heart and triangular shaped faces. Take pop star Adele who has a rounder shaped face: she generally goes for a large backcombed beehive which is then softened with a face framing wavy fringe.

One of the most popular beehive looks at the moment among celebs is the half up do. It lets you try out the style without having to completely commit to it. The idea is that the top half of your hair is styled into a beehive while the lower half is left down falling in beautiful curls. For a finishing touch, try a deep side fringe which softens angular features and longer face shapes. To help you achieve this 2017 take on the retro classic, follow our step by step guide below.

Getting the beehive

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You can try this style regardless of the texture of your hair, so don’t rule this style out. To get the much desired smooth finish, it’ll be best to blow dry your hair beforehand. If you have particularly thick or coarse hair after blow drying set your hair in rollers. When you remove the rollers you can then curl your hair in sections as much as you prefer.

If the beehive style is famous for one thing, it's the volume. For those with finer hair, you may find it beneficial to add hair extensions to your own hair depending on just how big and bold you want to go with the look. The length of your hair with this style isn’t important. However, you do need enough hair at the sides so that you can section it and pin it back.

The products and tools you’ll need for this look are pretty simple: texturising spray, a tail comb, hair pins and strong hold hairspray. The texturising spray will help to create a good foundation before backcombing so that you get maximum volume with minimal damage. The tail comb is just the thing for perfecting the look, and gently combing through your hair before starting will help to minimise tangles. Hair pins and hairspray are essential for giving the style staying power.

Step by step

The beehive is easy enough to create at home. To prove it to you, we’re about to walk you through a step-by-step to the number one voluminous style. First things first: separate the crown section of hair then mist it with texturising spray before back-combing it using the tail comb. If you have a fringe make sure you leave this out of the backcombing business. You want to make sure you only back-comb the underneath side of the hair so the top stays looking smooth.

To ensure you don’t cause too much damage while you’re backcombing push the tail comb down the hair in smooth strokes from the middle to the root. This will create a full even effect rather than roughed up texture. Now take the sides and backcomb them slightly. Hairspray the centre section and lightly brush over the top making sure that the hair is sleek on the outside without removing the volume you have just put in.

Once you have done that gather the hair together and push up the back area making sure it stays even. Secure with pins first one way, then the other so they stay in place. After you’re all strapped in, it’s time to take a section from the side down to the ear which you have previously back-combed and brush it back to pin at the back.

Give yourself one last once over with your trusty hairspray again to ensure the style stays securely in place. Et voila! Your look is complete.

If you fancy experimenting with the beehive or if you have a special occasion coming up and fancy getting your hair styled for you, then why not visit The Chapel? Check out more of our blog for the latest trends and styling tips.