Vidal Sassoon’s precision cuts aside, the beehive has to be the most famous hair do to emerge from the Sixties. But where did it originate and what actually is a beehive?

The up-do was developed in 1960 by Margaret Vinci Heldt of Elmhurst, Illinois, owner of the Margaret Vinci Coiffures in downtown Chicago, who won the National Coiffure Championship in 1954, and who had been asked by the editors of Modern Beauty Salon magazine to design a new hairstyle that would reflect the coming decade. Her inspiration was apparently a fez-style had she owned!

Her creation was essentially a conical up-do, in which hair is teased to stand tall on the head with a little round dip on top. It was also known as the B52 as it resembled the nose-cone of the famous bomber plane.

The beehive almost immediately developed into a variety of other ‘big hair’ styles, like bouffants and half-beehives, where only parts of the hair are worn up.

Iconic early adopters were girl group The Ronettes, who were practically never spotted without a beehive variat


ion. Audrey Hepburn also famously sports a take on the beehive while window shopping in the opening scene of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, and singers Aretha Franklin and Dusty Springfield made the beehive their signature style during the Sixties.

In later decades, the B-52s, brought back beehive hair in the early Eighties, while in recent years it was most famously made popular again by singer Amy Winehouse.

The beehive is also my own go to up-do. I love how it’s both elegant and just a little bit over the top out-there. Plus it lasts about four days when put in properly. To me, it’ll never go out of fashion!

The Ronettes