Building the Beehive

Born on this date in 1918, Chicago beautician Margaret Vinci Heldt is responsible for the creation of the beehive hairstyle. The rounded bouffant hairstyle first made its appearance in the February, 1960 issue of Modern Beauty Shop. 

Quickly becoming a fad, the stylish updo was made even more popular by celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, and Brigitte Bardot. It is a durable coiffure that remains a fashion statement today.

Audrey Hepburn in scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's showing beehive hairstyle
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Made possible by backcombing or teasing the hair for volume and piling it high on the top of the head, the beehive is held in place with the liberal application of aerosol hairspray. The longer the hair, the higher the beehive.

If properly sprayed and wrapped nightly, the elaborate hairstyle can be maintained for a week. While a chiffon scarf was the recommended method for keeping the beehive's shape at night, some women used bathroom tissue to wrap their head in a somewhat mummy like fashion.

A look through 1960's yearbooks indicates how popular the beehive hairstyle was.

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