Beehive Hairdo

Modern beehives can be casual.

A beehive hairdo is a classic retro look, but modern flair can be added to this updo style to make it fashionable for any occasion today.

About the Beehive

The beehive is so named because its smooth, conical shape is reminiscent of the shape of a natural beehive or wasps' nest. Another name for the style is also the B-52 because it resembles the smoothly curving, bulbous nose of the classic bomber. First created by Margaret Vinci Heldt in the mid-1950s, the beehive style was wildly popular throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s when big, elaborate styles were glamorous and elegant. Women would routinely sport coifs reaching several inches tall or even greater than a full foot in height, often using hairpieces to add even more volume to their locks.

Modern Beehive Hairdo Styles

The most familiar modern beehive is the wildly exaggerated style worn by Marge Simpson. While this is an extreme style and rarely worn today, modern beehives can be sleek and trendy. The idea of the beehive is to add subtle height to a woman's head without seeming fake or overdone, and these styles are elegant and sophisticated. Modern variations of a beehive may include:

  • Height Differences: Contemporary beehives rarely reach more than three or four inches higher than the scalp. Taller styles may be sculpted from braids or elaborate curls, but are rarely considered beehives.
  • Partial Beehives: Leaving the back of the hair loose to fall about the shoulders or deliberately leaving tendrils of hair loose to frame the face can help soften the severity of a beehive hairdo.
  • Sculpted Bangs: Elegant beehives may have bangs sculpted in waves, curls, or swoops either along the side of the style, on the forehead, or even reaching onto the cheeks.
  • Accessories: Hair accessories add sparkle and flair to a beehive. It is a popular [[Images of Wedding Hair Styles | wedding hairstyle]] when accentuated with a tiara, flower, or veil, or a beehive may be studded with gems or ribbons for a prom updo.
  • Combination Styles: Beehives may be combined with elaborate braids, funky colors, French twists, or other styles to create a blended look with added height.

Creating a Beehive

Creating a beehive hairdo requires great care, patience, and skill to ensure the style is balanced and stable. Many women choose to visit a hair salon to sculpt a beehive, but with a bit of practice it is possible to arrange a casual beehive look at home.

  1. Wash hair and towel dry.
  2. Set hair in curlers or use a curling iron - the curls will add additional height and volume. Do not brush the curls out.
  3. Add hair gel or hair spray to the roots of the hair to give it initial volume and a strong base to build on.
  4. Clip the hair from the forehead to the crown out of the way - this hair will be styled last to give a polished, finished look to the beehive.
  5. Starting in the back, bring hair up to the back part of the crown in sections. Secure each section with bobby pins and hair spray and pile each successive section progressively higher to build height. Use a rattail brush to tease for more volume if desired.
  6. When the back height-building is complete, style the front section of hair by adding more height, building it around the sides of the beehive, or swooping it across the forehead.
  7. Add a final blast of strong hair spray for extra hold and durability.

What to Avoid


Beehives are not for everyone. Individuals with long, angular, or oval face shapes may want to avoid adding extra height to their style because it could make them appear unbalanced. Furthermore, it is important to remember that height is less important in today's styles, and the elegance and uniqueness of the style will be glamorous while still being low-key. Balance is essential, and women interested in this vintage look should find a height and style that complements their features and overall look rather than simply making an extravagant statement with just their hair.

A beehive hairdo is a classic retro look that can be elegantly coiffed with modern flair. Perfect for both formal and casual occasions, a beehive is sophisticated and fun simultaneously, making it ideal for women who want to make a statement.

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