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Mariska Hargitay’s Hair Evolution on Law & Order: SVU

Over 23 seasons of Law & Order: SVU, one thing has remained the same: Mariska Hargitay.

But some things have changed for the Emmy-winning star, including her hair. Yes, Hargitay’s Olivia Benson has been put through the wringer over the years—sometimes by perps, other times by haircuts.

Throughout her two-plus decades playing Benson, Hargitay has rocked many hairdos (and only one real hair don’t—she’s said her season three haircut almost got her fired). There have been enough changes that you can play “Guess the season the USA Network rerun is from” just by her hairstyle. (It’s truly magical and we highly encourage you to try playing soon.)

“We all know what the cornerstone is of any show’s creative direction,” Hargitay jokingly told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015. “Hair.”

And, with our favorite officer returning for SVU season 24—which premieres Thursday, Sept. 22 on NBC—we’re looking back on all of Benson’s hairstyles over the years. That’s right, it’s an ode to our favorite Captain’s luscious locks—and it’s safe to say that Detective Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) has seen most of these styles.

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