Buzzing for this new trend? Why the modern beehive is THE look to try

The beehive is BACK in a big way, with some subtle adjustments to make it modern. We asked some expert stylists how to create the 2021 take on the sky-high do.

From the swinging ‘60s to the early noughts, the beehive has cropped up time and again to capture the glamorous mood of the moment. With nights out in full swing and Christmas parties on the horizon, we’re reaching for our hairspray and pins to recreate this timeless classic that has been brought bang up-to-date.

Session stylist Emmanuel Esteban is just as obsessed with the look as we are, “and all my clients want it as well,” he smiles. “It’s funny because I just did a shoot with a more editorial twist on ‘60s hairstyles, and I have to say that for a modern beehive you need to try the Diva Pro Styling digital 32 mm hair tong.” It’s his favourite tool to give a wave and a bit of volume to your hair. “Always make sure to direct the waves out of your face for a natural flick,” he advises.

Curling the hair isn’t a traditional step in creating a beehive look, but it’s something that Terri Gilham, bridal expert and founder of Terri Gilham Hair Spa, has been doing as well. “Unlike prep for a ‘60s beehive, I would actually curl the hair. It doesn’t need to be neat curls, but curls in different directions help give you the texture needed. Backcombing is a must – you do need height to recognise it as a beehive! – but you don’t need to go crazy. Keep it modern by leaving some face framing bits down to personalise it.”

According to Suzie McGill, Schwarzkopf Professional UK ambassador and international artistic director at Rainbow Room International, the trick is to knock everything down a notch to keep it from being too traditionally ‘60s. “The beehive is such a recognisable style. The modern take on trend sees everything looking a lot softer and subtle, with pieces of tousled hair left out around the face to create softness and to help frame the face. It’s about looking a lot more effortless and not as ‘set’.”

Suzie recommends OSiS+ Refresh Dust Dry Shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional to give the hair added texture, as well as grit and hold to help create the style. “Prep for this look is key to ensure it’s long-lasting,” she insists. “If you don’t have a dry shampoo, a mousse is also a great product to use to prep this style and give the hair shape. Try to avoid over-teasing for a more natural looking style.”

One thing that’s clear? Step away from the padding. “You don’t want to be packing in doughnuts because it can make the look seem dated,” insists Andy Smith, global ambassador for Indola. Instead it’s all about using products that help to elevate the hair. “The ones that I love are the ACT NOW! Volume powder and Setting Spray from Indola. If you layer these into the hair you will be left with a nice, pliable texture to work with. Keep the front nice and flat to give it that contemporary edge. Half up/half down also works nicely to help build a nice shape to build on top of, and detail with hair accessories.”

Karen Thomson, owner of KAM Hair and Body Spa, has seen demand jump ever since Dua Lipa stole the show at the Brit Awards. “Models and celebrities have been wearing the style with fringes to give the look an instant update,” she explains. “With curtain fringes, we have noticed a lot of celebrities wear these flicked out with the help of heated styling irons too, giving their beehives a more glamorous and elegant finish.”


“One of my favourite tools is my hands. We have so many teasing brushes and combs in our kit, but working and moulding the hair with your hands and fingers feels very natural to me” adds bridal expert Tabitha MacCurrach-Paine. “The more tactile approach means you can create great hair with an organic feel. No visible brush strokes or teeth marks from a comb, stopping any volume from being flattened or losing any depth in the finished texture.”

The easiest way to keep the look modern and forward-thinking? “Don’t think about it,” says Matthew Sutcliffe, owner of Tint salon in Leeds. “You end up over-doing it, just get your hands in there. I can’t remember the last time I used a brush at a Fashion Week show!”

Want to know what other styles we can’t get enough of? Click here >>