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A Definitive Ranking Of Olivia Benson's Hairstyles

The dos and don'ts of Benson's 'dos over the years.

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14. The Kate Gosselin (Season 3)

Craig Blankenhorn / Craig Blankenhorn / NBCU Photo Ban

Even Mariska Hargitay agrees that this is far from her best look. In fact, she reveals the haircut almost got her fired. Yikes. It's okay, girl, not everybody was born to rock the spikes.

13. The Pre-Puberty Justin Bieber (Seasons 4 and 5)

NBC

This cut takes place in the recovery period from the tragedy that was season 3. Although it's a slight improvement from its predecessor, it's still rather subpar.

12. The Rockstar (Season 2)

NBC
NBC

Benson decides to go a little edgier for season 2. While you gotta admire her for being bold, the uneven lengths end up looking a little awkward. (Eyebrows on fleek, though.)

11. The Flip (Season 6)

This style is very similar to that of seasons 5 and 6, but it's slightly longer, so it's often flipped back a bit. It's an unusual style, but it surprisingly suits Benson rather nicely.
NBC / Via lawandorder.wikia.com

This style is very similar to that of seasons 5 and 6, but it's slightly longer, so it's often flipped back a bit. It's an unusual style, but it surprisingly suits Benson rather nicely.

10. The Repeat Offender (Season 9)

This cut is similar to season 2's look, but is styled better, which makes all the difference. The shorter 'do gives Benson a modern-chic vibe.
NBC / Via smh.com.au

This cut is similar to season 2's look, but is styled better, which makes all the difference. The shorter 'do gives Benson a modern-chic vibe.

9. The Spontaneous Snip (Season 15)

This cut is interesting considering the audience actually sees it happen. Benson trims it herself on camera after being held captive in a powerful, horrific scene. It's not a bad look by any means, but the change is kinda disappointing considering how fab it looked before the chop.
Michael Parmelee / Via NBC

This cut is interesting considering the audience actually sees it happen. Benson trims it herself on camera after being held captive in a powerful, horrific scene. It's not a bad look by any means, but the change is kinda disappointing considering how fab it looked before the chop.

8. The Short and Sweet (Season 10)

Reminiscent of season 7 and a solid lead-in to the amped-up styles that seasons 11 and 12 will bring, it's nice, but nothing too exceptional.
NBC / Via pinterest.com

Reminiscent of season 7 and a solid lead-in to the amped-up styles that seasons 11 and 12 will bring, it's nice, but nothing too exceptional.

7. The Center Stage (Season 17)

NBC
NBC

Olivia's current look, while pretty, isn't the best she's ever had. She's wearing that middle part with pride, and while she can pull it off, it just feels like a bit of a letdown considering we all know her true hair potential.

6. The Baby Benson (Season 1)

NBC
NBC

When we first meet Benson, her hair is in a dark bob. Although it can look slightly bowl-cutty at times, it has become iconic, since this is what started it all. It's cute and fitting for Olivia in her rookie stage. Plus, it was the 90's. It could've been much, MUCH worse.

5. The Golden Age (Season 7)

I refer to this one as the golden age for two reasons: 1) she's got a little blonde in there and 2) this was the season Mariska won her Emmy. It's light and fun and feels like a gateway from the season 1 bob to the season 10 style.
NBC / Via fanpop.com

I refer to this one as the golden age for two reasons: 1) she's got a little blonde in there and 2) this was the season Mariska won her Emmy. It's light and fun and feels like a gateway from the season 1 bob to the season 10 style.

4. The New Mom (Season 16)

Benson becomes a foster mom this season, and this look suits her new role perfectly. It's simple and professional, a wonderful choice for the working mother that she is. Tasteful, yet sexy: a look that says, "I'm not a regular mom, I'm a cool elite squad mom."
NBC / Via netflix.com

Benson becomes a foster mom this season, and this look suits her new role perfectly. It's simple and professional, a wonderful choice for the working mother that she is. Tasteful, yet sexy: a look that says, "I'm not a regular mom, I'm a cool elite squad mom."

3. The Shampoo Commercial (Seasons 11 and 12)

Nbc / Getty Images
NBC
NBC

NBC

Although this style gets slightly repetitive considering she wears it almost exactly the same way for two seasons in a row, you can't deny it looks healthy and shiny af. Throughout this era, there is scarcely a hair out of place, its sleek and luxurious nature never failing. She's basically the hair flip emoji come to life.

2. The Bangin' Bangs (Season 8)

Virginia Sherwood / © NBC Universal, Inc.
NBC
NBC

Benson takes a risk this season, sporting something unlike we've ever seen before, and it pays off big time. Though the length and bangs can be a potentially dangerous combination, it works extremely well for Olivia here. It projects a mature, hot soccer mom vibe, and it slays.

1. The Goddess (Seasons 13 and 14)

To put it plainly, these seasons are an absolute gift. Instead of just the straight locks that had become her trademark in the seasons directly previous to this, Olivia switches it up a bit. She discovers a curling iron and hair ties, which leads to majestic waves and the legendary ponytail of justice. Absolute. Perfection.

No matter what season, though, one thing is clear:

Via tumblr.com

Nobody's hair game is quite as diverse or strong as Olivia Benson's.

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