If there’s one thing the ‘60s taught us about hair, it’s that volume is a must. The iconic era gave us styles that were sometimes comically voluminous, but from great (big) things comes ample inspiration. Enter modern beehive hair, a sophisticated and very wearable spin on the 1960s beehive hairstyle that can be worn by so many people and in so many ways.
We’ve seen this popular 2022 hairstyle make a comeback not just on the red carpet and catwalk but also on sidewalks and Instagram feeds. From its origins to more modern adaptations, we’re delivering the buzz on everything you need to know about beehive hair—plus photos to inspire your next look.
When Was The Beehive Popular?
As you probably surmised from the looks of the iconic ‘60s beehive hair, the cone-like style gets its name because of how closely it resembles an actual buzzing beehive! (Technically, it looks more like a hornet’s nest, but that doesn’t sound quite as lovely.) The predecessor hairstyle was a classic bouffant, but the beehive went bigger and bolder than what had ever been done before.
Created by famed stylist Margaret Vinci Heldt, the lofty style rose to fame in the 1960s after being worn by some of the biggest celebrities of the time and showcased on glossy magazine covers. Even a certain (very influential) first lady often wore a beehive!
Its popularity waned in the ‘70s when hairstyle trends shifted to favor loose, textured, shag-like styles, but variations on beehive hair have been a consistent go-to for updos and retro-inspired looks. Today, we’re seeing quite the resurgence of the 1960s beehive hairstyle, only with a chic spin that brings it into modern territory versus straight-up vintage nostalgia.
How Do They Do Beehive Hair?
The ‘60s beehive hair was all about that sky-high volume, which required lots of hair teasing as well as the right products. To recreate that classic silhouette, follow these instructions:
Step 1: Blow Dry With A Round Brush.
Apply a volumizing product that doubles as a heat protectant—like Matrix Vavoom Height of Glam Volumizing Foam—to clean, damp hair from the mid-length to the ends. Then, blow dry your hair in sections using a round brush to promote volume. If your hair is already washed and dried, you can skip this step. Sometimes it’s easier to create volume on day two (or older) hair.
Step 2: Divide Hair Into Top and Bottom Sections.
Using a comb or your fingers, divide the top section of your hair (ears up) from the bottom. Clip the top section up. For the bottom section, you can either leave it down as is, style with texture or waves, create a low chignon, or pin it up completely.
Step 3: Grab Your Hairspray.
Now for the beehive. Reserve another section of hair at the front of your head, then apply a texturizing hairspray to the roots of the remaining top section. We recommend Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Root-Lifting Finishing Hairspray, an easy-to-use spray that offers a textured matte finish without feeling sticky.
Step 4: Tease, Tease, Tease.
Liberally backcomb the section you just sprayed to create volume, then gently place the front (non-teased) section over the teased area to create your beehive. This part takes trial and error, so experiment with the shape of the teased hair and don’t feel like you have to get it right the first time.
Aim for a balanced shape and, once you’re satisfied, give your hair one final spritz of hairspray to lock everything in place. (Psst. Here’s a more in-depth guide to teasing hair).
How Do You Style a Modern Beehive?
The 1960s beehive was very voluminous and sometimes even required faux hair to achieve that iconic height. Today’s beehive hair isn’t quite as dramatic; instead, it feels more like a subtle nod to the style. A perk is that you truly put your own spin on the look. The key is to focus on creating volume at the front of your head!
7 Beehive Hairstyles To Try Now
As we mentioned, modern-day beehive hair is open for interpretation. Here are a few ideas to inspire your take on this buzzy look.
Perfect for formal events (and even weddings!), this updo features soft height at the crown and a loose, romantic style. The silver hair accessories and wavy tendrils in the front add to the romance of it all.
Bigger Better Beehive
This year is all about going big, and this spin on beehive hair totally fits the bill. The teased and heightened section at the front feels sculptural, and there’s zero holding back on the remaining hair’s volume.
We love how this braid and scarf duo perfectly channels the essence of that classic beehive silhouette.
Loose and Layered Beehive
For a sweeter feel, keep your beehive less structured and focus on creating loose volume at the crown. The sporadically placed bobby pins and a hint of imperfection make this variation on the beehive feel cool and lived in.
We dig a good headband moment, especially when it comes with this kind of volume! The height of this style has a subtle retro feel that is totally reminiscent of a classic beehive hairstyle.
Low Ponytail Beehive Hairstyle
Instead of a more expected updo, consider creating a bouffant at the crown and then sweeping the rest of your hair back into a voluminous ponytail secured at the nape.
Deep Side Part Beehive
Here’s a way to keep your hair down while still achieving that beehive-like volume in the front. A deep side part and a cool hair accessory bring this look into glam territory.
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