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Beehive Hairstyle Creator Margaret Heldt Dies

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The creator of the beehive hairstyle, worn by countless singers from the 1960s through to the 2000s, has died aged 98.

Margaret Vinci Heldt was the first to use a combination of backcombing and hairspray to lift hair into a sculpted style that became instantly popular.

Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Brigitte Bardot and Audrey Hepburn were among the famous faces who wore one in the swinging decade.

More recently it saw a return to the pop scene thanks to Amy Winehouse and Adele.

Made possible by the cheap availability of aerosol hairspray, the beehive was first seen in February 1960 in the pages of a beauty trade publication called Modern Beauty Shop.

The editors had been looking for a new style as the 50s came to a close and turned to Ms Heldt - already an established and award-winning stylist in Chicago - for something new.

She recalled in a 2014 interview with Modern Salon: "They called me and they said, 'Margaret, hairstyling has gone dead, there's nothing exciting'."

Inspired by the desire to create a style that looked like her favourite hat - a black fez-like cap - she combed a mannequin's hair into a neatly-wrapped package and applied sufficient spray to make sure it didn't fall down.

The name came from a hat pin that she added to the hair of the model who first wore the style in the magazine, which was shaped like a bee.

She recalled a magazine writer said: "Margaret, it looks just like a beehive! Do you mind if we call it the beehive?"

The hairstyle's eventual success was boosted by its widespread use among female pop stars from the burgeoning R&B scene, including artists like The Ronettes and The Shirelles and several on the Motown label.

Her husband died in 1998 but she is survived by a son and daughter, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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