The Beehive originated in America in the 1950’s, though it was in the 1960’s where it got global interest and became iconic largely thanks to Audrey Hepburn’s 1961 film‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’. The name ‘Beehive’ was inspired by a large black velvet cap that had two decorations on that looked like bees.
The style was picked up by numerous celebritie’s, mainly Brigitte Bardot who made it her own. This made it particularly popular in the 60’s, especially throughout the United States, where it was common to style your Beehive with a fork!
Bardot wore her Beehive different, it was a beautiful blonde more distressed and unkept appearing more relaxed yet still elegantly full of volume. Brigitte Bardot made the Beehive more wearable, often leaving the back down and coupled with her statement dark eye make-up that said attitude and sex appeal.
The Beehive got more public coverage and reached new heights(quite litteraly ) when it was the look that defined the band The Ronette’s. More recently Amy Winehouse went for something more overstated and avant-garde that ultimately propelled her into the forefront of media coverage.
Classically the romance and timelessness of the Beehive hair style is it’s Versatility. It can be dressed up or down at such ease. I associate it with the Uptown woman from the upper east side in manhattan, High Glamour and at it’s most seductive.
The Beehive has now been able to move on, variations seen on the runway at Lanvin, oversized top knots full of texture. Jennifer Lopez wore something similar for her premiere of movie ‘The Back Up Plan’ and went for a more traditional beehive recently which she executed perfectly keeping it classical with a modern twist. Drew Barrymore wears the beehive very well, it’s still glamorous and dressy yet look (see attached images)
GET THE LOOK
To achieve the Beehive hair needs to prepped with products that create Volume and give hold. Look out for products that contain the following ingredients: Wheat proteins, panthenol, polyquaternium 10 and amino acids. Nicky Clarke Hairaising is great, excellent hold and really controls backcombing and is a product I often see backstage at Fashion week and my favourite product I use on shoots.
Decide on how you want to wear it, down the middle, off to the side, subtle volume, impact height, all up or half down and comb into place. Visualise the style.
With the product now dried into the hair proceed to tease the root and mid lengths, focusing more at the crown area. If you find your hair doesn’t take to backcombing well or you just want extra hold try a ‘clamping’ technique I use. Take a section of hair, backcomb it, spray with hairspray then run the straighteners over the section-allow to cool then brush out. To create the beehive use a hair mesh or large doughnut to ‘pad’ the hair out, brush the hair over your pad and pull into a pleat at the back to secure. Alternatively a quicker way is to pull the hair into a high pony tail backcomb and wrap around itself.
Lastly, Hairspray is a must to keep shape and hold.
Warren Holmes, International Creative Director, Nicky Clarke
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Warren's impeccable attention to detail and creative vision have made him one of the most in-demand hair stylists. Warren divides his time between the Photographic Studio and Salon, currently working out of the Nicky Clarke salon in Mayfair, London, on Saturdays and selected weekdays and also at the Nicky Clarke Birmingham salon on selected Fridays (please call your preferred salon for more details on Warren's availability).