Beehive (hairstyle)

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This article is about the beehive hairstyle. For other uses, see Beehive.
Amy Winehouse in her signature exaggerated beehive.
French actress Brigitte Bardot sporting a beehive in 1962.

The Beehive is a woman's hairstyle in which long hair is piled up in a conical shape on the top of the head and slightly backwards pointing, giving some resemblance to the shape of a traditional beehive. It is also known as the B-52 due to a resemblance to the distinctive nose of the Boeing B-52 airplane. It originated as one of a variety of elaborately teased and lacquered versions of "big hair" that developed from earlier pageboy and bouffant styles. It 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.[1][2] She originally modeled it on a fez-like hat that she owned. In recognition of her achievement, Cosmetologists Chicago, a trade association with 60,000 members, created a scholarship in Heldt’s name for creativity in hairdressing.[1] The beehive style was popular throughout the 1960s, particularly in the United States and other Western countries, and remains an enduring symbol of 1960s kitsch.


The beehive was formed using a comb and running it back and forward down the hair to create a knotted effect which was lightly combed over to smooth down the effect. The longer the hair the higher the beehive.

Notable examples[edit]

  • The popular girl group, The Ronettes, helped popularize the hairdo. "We came from Spanish Harlem", recalls the group's veteran lead singer, Veronica "Ronnie" Spector, in a Village Voice interview. " 'We had high hair anyway.' So the Ronettes made their hair still higher—'We used a lot of Aqua Net' ".[3]
Woman with a beehive at work in the 1960s.
  • The B-52's, a new wave rock band took their name from the hairstyle which was worn by members Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. Their music company also plays on the style with the name "Boo-Fant" Records (a parody of bouffant).
  • From the 1970s on, Coronation Street character Bet Lynch wore a platinum blonde beehive. The Manchester Evening News dubbed this the "worst haircut in soap history" even while acknowledging that it made her one of the series' most memorable characters.[4]

Amy Winehouse is the most recent to sport the Beehive in which she was emulation Ronnie Spector from the 60's group, the Ronette's. "Ronnie Spector—who, it could be argued, all but invented Winehouse's style in the first place when she took the stage at the Brooklyn Fox Theater with her fellow Ronettes more than 40 years ago—was so taken aback at a picture of Winehouse in the New York Post that she exclaimed, "I don't know her, I never met her, and when I saw that pic, I thought, 'That's me!' But then I found out, no, it's Amy! I didn't have on my glasses."[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mannion, Annemarie (2010-12-30). "Beehive style lands Elmhurst woman a place in fashion history — Elmhurst news, photos and events —". Retrieved 2012-02-29. 
  2. ^ Daily Mail: Meet the woman who created a buzz by inventing Sixties hairdo, 3 January 2011
  3. ^ Yaeger, Lynn (22 May 2007). "Winehouse Rules: Amy channels Ronnie Spector's high hair and Cleopatra eyes". Village Voice. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Hair-raising truth about Coronation Street", Manchester Evening News. Retrieved on 2007-10-30.
  5. ^ Yaeger, Lynn (22 May 2007). Winehouse Rules at the Wayback Machine (archived 6 March 2012). The Village Voice.

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