Nobody messes with Olivia Benson—or her hair, for that matter. For more than 17 years, Mariska Hargitay has played the most badass detective in recent memory on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Sure, Benson—who now serves as a lieutenant at the department—has experienced her share of ups and downs since we first met her, but the character's fierce dedication to her job has never wavered. And neither has her willingness to try out a new 'do.
As anyone who’s ever spent a day watching an SVU marathon can tell you, Benson’s hair has gone through an evolution all its own over the course of the series. From pixies and layers to bangs and center-parts, there’s nothing this detective shies away from when she’s ready to switch up her look. You can practically pinpoint the year an episode aired just based on Benson’s hairstyle alone, which leaves us wondering when she even has time to hit the salon. Seriously, catching bad guys is a full-time job—and it’s one that she does without so much as a single hair falling out of place.
Scroll down to see 17 times that Olivia Benson’s hair was the true star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.