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NBC Insider Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Olivia Benson's Had So Many Legendary Hairstyles on Law & Order: SVU

"I stand behind all my hairdos, except maybe three," Mariska Hargitay said. 

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe
Split image of three photos of Olivia Benson

It's an understatement to say that Law and Order: SVU's Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has earned our respect. For the last 23 seasons (with a 24th on the way), the formidable fan favorite has helped solve some of the SVU's most heinous crimes. But aside from her professional prowess, one other Liv trait we just can't help but admire is her hair.

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Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursdays on NBC and next day on Peacock.

Yes, from layers and lobs to dramatic chops and middle parts, the officer's ever-changing 'do has consistently caught our eyes for more than 20 years.

"Like any woman, Olivia is trying to find the hairstyle that fits her life," Hargitay told TV Insider. "I stand behind all my hairdos, except maybe three."

Below, we look at Benson's hairstyle evolution from over the years.

Season 1: When we first met then-Detective Olivia Benson, she was rocking a chic chocolate brown lob that was a '90s go-to.

Olivia Benson with medium length hair that's curled at the ends


Season 2 : For the next season, she changed it up with an edgy cropped cut.

Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler stand together

Season 3: Then, the detective went even shorter with a daring pixie and blonde highlights.

Olivia Benson with a short pixie haircut

Season 5: When it was time to grow out her pixie, Liv styled her locks with honey-toned side-swept bangs.

Olivia Benson with short, strawberry blonde hair

Season 6: Next up was a breezy feathery short 'do.

Olivia Benson growing out her pixie cut


Season 7: This season, she donned a new straightened version of her '90s lob.

Olivia Benson with light brown hair

Season 9: Liv showed us yet again that she isn't afraid of the "Big Chop." 

Olivia Benson with a short dark brown haircut

Season 14: She looks effortless with a simple side part and tousled waves.

Olivia Benson with shoulder length dark brown hair

Season 16: Benson cut off a couple inches for this shoulder-length lob.

Olivia Benson with layered brunette hair

Season 17: Sleek locks and a middle part gave the detective's look a modern edge.

Olivia Benson with long, dark brown hair

Season 21: She switched it up with a low ponytail and loosely-curled tendrils.

Olivia Benson with her hair pulled back into a low ponytail and tendrils framing her face

Season 23: During the latest season, Liv brought back her effortless waves, combining them with a timeless middle part.

Olivia Benson with long, golden highlighted hair

Season 24 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Season 3 of Law & Order: Organized Crime return this fall to NBC on September 22. Watch both shows (SVU and OC) on Peacock now.