photo: Karl Walter/Getty

photo: Karl Walter/Getty

Subtle, natural hair is not for me. You can have your choppy Kate Moss layers and pixie cuts, I will continue to worship at the altar of pageant queens and 1950s pinups. Especially on New Year’s Eve, bigger is always better.

The beehive is a power hair-do. Is it because of Marie Antoinette? Or the Supremes? Or because you can quite literally hide a shiv inside it and no one will be the wiser? ALL OF THE ABOVE. This version is a playful take on the massive beehive, falling somewhere between 2007 Amy Winehouse and a 1960s diva.

Beehives involve a heavy amount of teasing, but a beehive is a special occasion hairstyle and treating your hair like your evil ex’s favorite tee shirt every once in a while is not going to kill your hair. To minimize damage, always, always, always start your tease at the root (1 inch from your scalp) and slowly work your way up the hair shaft. Never start in the middle of the strand. Second, once you’ve shellacked your head with hairspray, do not attempt to comb out the tease. Wait until your next shower, and massage out the knots with a dab of conditioner, now moving from the ends toward your roots.

dirty bird

As always, start off with dirty dirtball hair for grip and texture. Spray dry shampoo throughout your roots. I like to start at one ear, part my hair, blast dry shampoo, and then create a new part a few inches up and repeat.


Separate the front, face-framing section of your hair. To do this, part your hair horizontally from ear to ear with a teasing comb. Twirl this section out of your way and secure with a clip.

Now, we tease. I like to start from the back and move up toward the hairline so you can see how much height you have as you go.

Use your fingers to section off a piece of hair at the back of your head, right where you’d sit a ponytail for the gym. Pull the section straight up, blast with hairspray, and backcomb starting 1 inch from the root. Continue to pull up sections, spray, and tease moving forward to the part you created. Next, pull a few sections out at the sides, spray, and tease.


When you’re finished, you should have a hairy, frizzy, Skid Row style rat’s nest.

Next, use your thumbs to section off 2/3 of the remaining hair at the nape of your neck. Gather everything from your ears and up as if you’re smoothing a ponytail, and secure it in a half ponytail with bobby pins. As you pin, push the section upward for even more height.

section and pin

When the bulk of your hair is secure, release the crown section. Smooth the unteased hair over your bouffant and secure with bobby pins. Now is finally the time to shape it into something pretty. Teased hair is moldable, so just pat and shape and pin until it’s a shape you like.

finished back

Lastly, deal with the hair at the nape of your neck. I pulled out small sections and wrapped them around a 1 inch curling iron for retro spiral curls. Wind any remaining hair into a small bun, stick it right on top of the pile of bobby pins at the back of your head, and secure it to hide any messy pins.


I wanted a full sixties look ala the Supremes, but you can make it more modern. The key to making a beehive look fresh is a little messiness (see: Amy Winehouse). Skip the spirals and gather all of your hair into the pin-covering bun. Rough up the sides with your hands, tease out a few tendrils, and tug on the bouffant so that it’s not too perfect if you don’t feel like busting out the girdle and shell pink lipstick.