The creator of the beehive hairstyle, worn by countless singers from the 1960s through to the 2000s, has died aged 98. Margaret Vinci Heldt was the first to use a combination of backcombing and hairspray to lift hair into a sculpted style that became instantly popular. Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn were among the famous faces who wore one in the swinging decade. More recently it saw a return to the pop scene thanks to Amy Winehouse and Adele.
The opportunities opened to me and I said, ‘Now it’s up to me. I have to make it work.’
Margaret Vinci Heldt
Made possible by the cheap availability of aerosol hairspray, the beehive was first seen in February 1960 in the pages of a beauty trade publication called Modern Beauty Shop. The editors had been looking for a new style as the 50s came to a close and turned to Ms Heldt - already an established and award-winning stylist in Chicago - for something new. Inspired by the desire to create a style that looked like her favourite hat - a black fez-like cap - she combed a mannequin’s hair into a neatly-wrapped package and applied sufficient spray to make sure it didn’t fall down. The name came from a hat pin that she added to the hair of the model who first wore the style in the magazine, which was shaped like a bee.