As decades pass, many things evolve: art, architecture, fashion, and not the least of all, hair. Often hairstyles offer a historic look at the overall attitudes of the day; for example, the innovative 1920s bob was worn by progressive women rebelling against the Victorian-esque Gibson girl style of the previous decade. And the big hair of metal giants is as iconic as anything else in the ’80s.

To illustrate this hair importance, Laughing Squid reports that the helpful fashionistas at Vanity Fair have posted a time-lapse video of each decade’s most important extreme hairdo, from the 1910s’ Gibson to the undercut a century later. The key element to most of these is volume: Defying gravity is crucial to the hair-raising efforts of the pompadour, afro, beehive, high flat top, and mohawk. Shaving is also important, though color only makes its appearance in the electric-blue strands of the 2000s slouchy emo cut.

The handful of hairstyles illustrated here offers a brief picture of decades of hair history, and the extreme efforts to make them happen are certainly eye-opening. But maybe the most puzzling question the viewer walks away with is this: Did these people get paid to get inches of their hair lopped off and their heads shaved for a Vanity Fair video? And if so, how much?

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[via Laughing Squid]