Who first invented the beehive hairdo?

Introduction: The History of the Beehive Hairdo

The beehive hairdo, also known as the B-52, is a hairstyle that features a high, rounded shape reminiscent of a beehive. It gained popularity in the 1960s, but its origins can be traced back to earlier centuries. This article will explore the history of the beehive hairstyle, its role in pop culture, and the ongoing debate over its origins.

The 18th Century Beehive Hairstyle

The beehive hairstyle has been around for centuries, with the first recorded instance dating back to the 18th century. Women in the Georgian era wore their hair in a high, voluminous style that was often adorned with ribbons, feathers, and even small birds. This hairstyle was known as the “pouf” and required a lot of time and effort to achieve. Women would use a variety of methods, including padding, false hair, and even wire frameworks, to create the desired shape.

The Victorian Beehive Hairstyle

The beehive hairstyle saw a resurgence in popularity during the Victorian era. Women in this era often wore their hair in a tight bun or chignon at the nape of the neck, but the beehive hairstyle was also popular. Unlike the Georgian pouf, the Victorian beehive was a more subdued version of the style. It was created by backcombing the hair and then smoothing it down over a pad to create a rounded shape. This style was often adorned with small flowers or ribbons.

The 1950s Beehive Hairstyle

The beehive hairstyle as we know it today gained popularity in the 1950s. It was worn by women who wanted to emulate the glamorous movie stars of the era, such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. The 1950s beehive was a more extreme version of the style, with a higher, more exaggerated shape. It was achieved by backcombing the hair and then smoothing it up and over a pad or cushion to create the desired shape. This style was often adorned with a scarf, headband, or hairpiece.

The Role of the Beehive in Pop Culture

The beehive hairstyle became a symbol of the 1960s and was worn by many famous musicians and actresses of the era. It was popularized by The Ronettes, a girl group from New York City, and was also worn by singers like Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin. The beehive was also worn by actresses like Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor, who helped to make the style even more popular.

Was the Beehive Inspired by Ancient Egypt?

There is a theory that the beehive hairstyle was inspired by the hairstyles of ancient Egyptian women. The Egyptians were known for their elaborate hairstyles, which often included elaborate braids and knots. Some historians believe that the beehive may have been inspired by the “Nubian wig,” a hairstyle that was popular in ancient Egypt and featured a high, rounded shape.

The Beehive in the Fashion World

The beehive hairstyle has also had an impact on the fashion world. It has been featured in many fashion campaigns and runway shows, and has been worn by models like Twiggy and Kate Moss. The beehive has also inspired designers like Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, who have incorporated the style into their collections.

The Beehive and Women’s Empowerment

The beehive hairstyle has been seen as a symbol of women’s empowerment. It was worn by women who wanted to break free from the traditional gender roles of the time and assert their independence. The beehive was seen as a bold and daring hairstyle, and it helped to inspire a generation of women to embrace their individuality and express themselves through their appearance.

The Beehive in Modern Times

While the beehive hairstyle is not as popular as it once was, it still remains a popular choice for special occasions and retro-themed events. It has also been updated for modern times, with variations such as the “half beehive” and the “messy beehive” becoming popular in recent years.

The Debate over the Origins of the Beehive

There is still some debate over who first invented the beehive hairstyle. Some historians believe that it was the French hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt, who created the style for a hairstyling competition in 1960. Others believe that the style was already popular in the African American community, and that Heldt simply popularized it among white women.

Possible Inventors of the Beehive Hairstyle

In addition to Heldt, there are several other possible inventors of the beehive hairstyle. Some believe that it was created by the African American hairstylist Veronica Lake, while others credit the British hairstylist Raymond Bessone. Regardless of who first invented the style, it remains a popular and enduring hairstyle to this day.

Conclusion: The Enduring Legacy of the Beehive Hairdo

The beehive hairstyle has a long and fascinating history, and it continues to be a popular choice for women today. Whether you prefer the classic 1960s version of the style or a more modern interpretation, the beehive remains a symbol of individuality, empowerment, and creativity.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *