Mom Wears 'Beehive' Hairdo for 37 Years, Her Makeover Takes Oprah's Breath Away


It was 2003 when Joan Irvine’s daughters finally succeeded in ushering their 63-year-old mother out of the hairstyle she’d been stuck with since the 1950s.

Irvine was famous for always wearing her hair the exact same way — up in a tight twist, held together by a gazillion bobby pins and a thick layer of hairspray. Her daughters called it “the Beehive.”

Once a week, usually on Wednesday at dawn, Irvine would do her hair. The four-hour process involved removing all the bobby pins and combing out her hair, which naturally wanted to remain in its tightly-woven beehive state.

Irvine would give her hair a wash and then complete the process of putting her hair back up to how it always looked.

Irvine’s daughters, Cindy and Christine, felt that their mom could really benefit from a makeover, according to Little Things. Between her hair and her outdated wardrobe, Irvine looked a lot older than she was.

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Cindy and Christine put together a hilarious video and sent it to the folks at “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” They were relieved and delighted when Irvine was chosen for a complete makeover.

Finally, the day of Irvine’s big reveal arrived. Her daughters sat in Oprah’s audience, on the edge of their seats in anticipation of seeing their mother.

Were you shocked by this transformation?

The audience cracked up as Oprah described just how much of Irvine’s life revolved around her hair.

She worried that her hairpins would set off the security alarm at airports. When she went swimming with the family, it was imperative that Irvine’s hair stayed above water.

So when Irvine walked onto the stage looking at least ten years younger, the audience was thrilled. Cindy and Christine rushed the stage, embracing their mother with huge grins and excitement.

In 2016, Oprah caught up with Irvine to answer a very big question: did Irvine keep her new hair, or go back to her old school style?

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In the video, Irvine shared what it felt like to walk onto the stage of The Oprah Winfrey Show with a newfound confidence.

When she returned home, she said many people didn’t even recognize her without her signature hairdo.

Irvine grinned as she told the camera two important things she gained from her new hair: confidence and hours upon hours of time back now that she’s accustomed to managing short, cute hair.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
Page, Arizona
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Phoenix, Arizona
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