Remembering Margaret Vinci Heldt, the creator of the beehive hairdo

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably never thought about the origins of the beehive hairdo. It must have always just existed, right? Kind of like ponytails. The truth is, styles don’t just come out of nowhere, especially styles as complex and labor-intensive as the beehive. As for who first came up with the beehive? That honor goes to a woman by the name of Margaret Vinci Heldt, who died last week at the age of 98.


The beehive — which we have seen for decades on stars from Adele, to Brigitte Bardot, to Amy Winehouse, to Audrey Hepburn, to Marge Simpson — was invented in 1960 by Heldt, who was already an award-winning hairdresser.


The style, which involves a lot of hairspray, was a bit of a cultural sensation. As Heldt told the Toronto Star in 2011, “It made women feel taller and more elegant, refined and glamorous.”


Heldt told the story of the hairstyle’s invention at a beauty show in 2012, saying that the beehive was really born out of a hat. “I remembered a little hat I owned, sort of a fez, which was really popular with Jackie O., and I really loved it. I’d always thought, ‘Someday I’m going to invent a hair style that’s going to fit right under that little hat.’” And so she did.


Margaret, your legacy will live on. As will the beehive, in all its elegant, piled-high glory.

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