Tutorial: Vintage Half Up Hair for Day to Night

Easy to recreate and environmentally-friendlier than the original, we promise!

We’re never not here for a great throwback, and this pretty, ’60s-era vintage half up hair look definitely makes the list. A half-updo is both a stylish and practical day-to-night look (especially in muggier weather!), and with the beehive also being a buzzy micro-trend we’re loving this season, it just makes this hairstyle a clear yes all around.

natural-looking vintage half up hair
A sexier take: Our fave beehives of today are softer and look more natural.

A quick background on the beehive: We first enjoyed this iconic look back when it initially shot to popularity in the 1960s. A definitive hairstyle of the mod era, it was a look created by a Chicago hairstylist as one best representative of the coming decade, as well as something that didn’t leave her with hat hair (she modeled the bump after fez hat she owned, and tailored the height of the “hive” to fill in the void inside it). It entailed a lot of backcombing to create that telltale bump… and a lot of hairspray to hold everything together. The result was a shellacked, somewhat high-maintenance hairstyle that was quite the production to recreate, which is why a lot of women had it professionally done and even slept on it for days to maximize its payoff.

You’d think this highly elaborate look wouldn’t stand the test of time, what with modern life requiring us to be done and ready in as short an amount of time as possible. But vintage half up hair, just like most success stories, has evolved to fit the times: This lower-maintenance, more natural version is one that doesn’t need a glam squad—or have you be at risk as a walking fire hazard—to make its point. Scroll on below for an easy-to-wear version of the ’60s bumpy half-beehive:

Tutorial: Vintage Half Up Hair


Start on clean, freshly washed hair.

With a beehive hairstyle, you need as much height and body as you can get—buildup and residue works against that, and can even cause hair to fall limp and flat. Make sure you’re working on clean, bouncy hair by washing hair with a volumizing system, such as Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo and Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner. Rinse well and gently dry till 90% dry.



Apply a serum.

A styling serum or hair oil, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Smoothing Serum, helps to control frizz before heat styling and provides locks with a smoother, shinier finish. Run through from lengths to ends.



Curl your hair.

Using a medium to large-barreled curling iron, twirl your hair around in sections to create loose, sexy waves on your ends.



Create a center part.

Use the end of a fishtail or rat-tail comb to part your hair in the center.


Separate the front hairline.

Take a few wisps of hair at your forehead/fringe area and keep them separate from the rest of your hair. Proceed to brush the hair behind this line straight back with a fine-toothed comb.


Refresh with dry shampoo.

Spritz some dry shampoo on the crown line to refresh your scalp and sop up any grease or oil. This will help prep your locks for a fuller beehive. We like the oil-absorbent and mega-volumizing properties of Bed Head by TIGI Oh Bee Hive! Matte Dry Shampoo.



Backcomb the crown from ends to roots to create your beehive. For best results, work in short bursts from the midlength to your scalp.


Pin it in place.

To form your vintage half up hair look, use a very light touch to gently smooth your beehive over and pin the ponytail in place.


Comb the base.

Smooth the base over with a fishtail comb. Be careful not to deflate your bump!


Pin your hairline back.

Take your loose fringe area and proceed to pin it back.


Secure into the original knot.

Pin it back onto your ponytail, tucking the seams into the main knot.


Finish with hairspray.

And, of course, no vintage hair up look would be complete without some good ol’ hairspray! Dispense a few pumps of Bed Head by TIGI Flexi Head Strong Flexible Hold Hairspray onto your beehive for strong control without the crunch.



You’re all set! Accessorize with some winged liner, a mock turtleneck and graphic earrings for the full mod effect.

Loved this mod-inspired vintage half up hair look and looking for more cool throwbacks? Check out some grunge-inspired looks we love from the ’90s.