Know any males ages 16 to 24 caught sans sideburns in September 1992? Didn't think so. As Beverly Hills, 90210 was overhauling American style (not to mention mall culture), the root of the show's popularity became clear: It wasn't the Minnesota fish-out-of-water story line. It wasn't the condoms-in-school plot. It wasn't even the various love triangles. What has kept loyal viewers addicted to the show for four years is hairstyles. They are the silent players in our obsession with the trials and tribulations of television's trendiest teens. Herewith, a hair-ography of the BH gang as they have matured from high school's flunking 'dos to their collegiate coifs.
BRANDON WALSH (JASON PRIESTLEY)
Granted, he was from Minnesota, but Brandon's '80s-style SOSLIB (short on sides, long in back) cut was too nerdy for the sideburned stud who would later emerge. Note the evolution to the short gelled look, which allows him to look cool and still be involved in student government.
KELLY TAYLOR (JENNIE GARTH)
After debuting with bangs and stringy blond locks, Kelly, the show's beacon of $ style, reinvented her look from week to week from Grace Kelly to Pippi Longstocking. Now she sports a beautifully short, smart, layered style almost professional enough for the shrink she thinks she is.
DYLAN McKAY (LUKE PERRY)
Dylan's hair, seemingly unchanged since the show's premiere, can best be charted by height. At his mall-magnet apex, his 'do was depleting the ozone layer (and check out those near-Elvis-length 'burns). This season, his hair tends to be longer, shaggier, and matted, reflecting the new dark, off-the-wagon Dylan.
DONNA MARTIN (TORI SPELLING)
Donna once suffered from what many Southern Californians describe as ''New Jersey hair'' (i.e., big and body-waved). Her current look, when not back in baby barrettes, too closely resembles an ancient Roman helmet, only further drawing attention to her surgically enhanced features.
DAVID SILVER (BRIAN AUSTIN GREEN)
Fans have watched David go through a painful puberty from his slicked-back Dracula look to his ''I'm a b-boy'' statement. Fortunately, he's now somewhere in the middle, styled just enough to be one of those drug-rehabilitated musician wannabes who turn to producing college television.
ANDREA ZUCKERMAN (GABRIELLE CARTERIS)
In high school Andrea always looked like she spent too much time in the newspaper office until she glammed out in her senior year after rocking the SATs. Alas, the new wash-and-go mom (she's Mrs. Jesse Vasquez now) is spending too much time with baby Hannah and too little on her hair.
STEVE SANDERS (IAN ZIERING)
Steve doesn't have too many options with his curly blond Brillo-pad hair and evident SOSLIB tendencies. Mercifully, the KEG frat boy extraordinaire has cut the back shorter than it was the first couple of years in an obvious effort to look more like a rave organizer than a pimp.