Hairdo How-to | Oh beehive!

I can’t get up in the morning and, legally, use heated style tools. I’m pretty sure there’s a mandate somewhere that would disallow it on account of the inevitable fatality that would happen. So in a ‘needs must’ do or die situation, I’ve mastered a ridiculously simple but devastatingly stylish do à la Mad Men — the beehive.

hairdo-howto-beehive-beautyThe beehive has a long and illustrious history from the bird out of the B52s, Marge Simpson through to Amy Winehouse — but don’t let that put you off. Think Joan Holloway, Betty Draper, Beyonce and J-Lo; big ass hair with big ass style, and in most cases, a big ass to boot(y). So for a little touch of vintage glam, have a bash at a beehive and see how you get on.

Trisha’s big beehive how-to guide

Large ceramic barrel curling brush
Comb with pointy end for sectioning
Lots and lots of bobby pins
Hair grips for hair sections
Hair accessories to finish your look

Before you start: Ideally your hair should be around shoulder length and should not be freshly washed — it’s easier to style a day or two old.
1. If you have a fringe, leave it where it is, otherwise, make a side parting and sweep your hair to the side.
2. Section your hair — make a line between your ears, about 180 degrees from your nose to the back of your head. Make another line about 3 to 4 inches from your hair line at the front — this is the main section of hair you’ll be working with, let’s call it Section A.
3. From Section A, take about a half inch all across the front and clip it to the side — this is basically the beehive cover and you’ll be using this hair, Section B, at the very end.
4. Now comes the fun part: the backcombing. I find a comb doesn’t give the same volume and can be murderous to brush out later, whereas a curling brush with its small bristles is very effective for this do. 
At the bottom of this section, take a brush to the underneath of your hair at the root, start to gently brush your hair backwards, and while doing this, building the backcomb from the root to a few inches from the tip. Don’t be shy, remember we want big here.
5. Once you’re starting to build up volume, or what we in the business call ‘fuzz’, use your fingers to work through up hair, line by line, to the top of the section. Once you’ve backcombed all of Section A, grab some hairspray to give it some hold.
6. Now comes the shaping part; by this stage, the top of your hair should look a little like a bird’s nest — don’t worry, that’s a good sign, and besides, there’s no backing out now. The main part is understanding the shape that you want to achieve, which is basically a beehive or cone shape on the top of your head. You’re going to be creating your do from the bottom up, so start pushing up your hair from either side from the nape of your neck — you’re basically making a twist underneath the beehive. Push in your hair with your right hand, and then fold over the hair with the left hand, while leaving the backcombed section on top, and secure with pins. Start shaping the backcombed part in to a rounded/cone shape on top of your head, over the twist, and secure with bobby pins. At this point the shape should be coming together for you.
7. Take Section B and lightly backcomb the roots, this will help with staying power, and then fix over the fuzz/beehive shape. Et voilà! You should have your beehive. Once you’re happy with the shape — and remember, the bigger, the better — use as much hairspray as you can without becoming a fire hazard.

Quick fixes

For a casual look, fold a bandana into a strip or wrap a scarf (keep the style retro) around your beehive. Place at the nape of your neck, around your ears and fix with the tie to one side of the top of your head. All of this may sound insane but it looks great. It can also help hide any bumpy or unruly bits (and any unsightly roots!) and puts a little vintage cute with a jeans, tee and cons combo.


None of your nampy bampy easy to brush out gear here. I have a friend that swears by Elnette but she doesn’t do any of the gravity-defying acrobatics I put my locks through. My personal favourite is Tresemme Smooth and Silky Finishing Spray. It’s hardcore without as much breakage as you’d expect, and yes, brushing out ain’t fun — you’ll start to want to welcome the little furball of hair that’s nestled comfortable in at the back of your neck — but it holds it all in and keeps shape, like your very favourite pair of control pants.

Happy hairdoing!

Trisha Doyle for

28.01.11 / 6pm

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