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The Worst Haircut Spencer Reid Ever Had In All Of Criminal Minds

Matthew Gray Gubler's "Criminal Minds" character, Dr. Spencer Reid, is hands-down one of the fan-favorites of the series. He's quirky, compassionate, and extremely smart, and some fans on Reddit even find in him some much-needed representation of neurodiversity and queerness. With all this going for Reid, it's no wonder why he's in every episode of the show.

For a series that has spanned 15 seasons in its original run, viewers are bound to see some variation in its actors' looks, and Gubler is no exception. For the first four seasons of "Criminal Minds," Reid has mid-length hair in a sort of effortless style that matches his character: It's not too fussy, and it shouldn't be, as he's got bigger things to worry about. He often tucks his hair behind his ears to maximize his field of vision (or so we imagine it), and everything about the style screams practical, even as it's cute in that nerdy kind of way. Season 5 witnesses Reid's hair getting longer — about shoulder-length, as pictured above — in what is perhaps his most iconic look, which again fully matches his character. Then Season 6 came, and things changed dramatically.

The sixth season of "Criminal Minds" opens with Gubler's hair in a more closely cropped style, but while this definitely was a significant change from prior seasons, his new look still didn't alter the overall feel of his fashion too much, as his stylist left his hair pretty disheveled, keeping with the somewhat effortless look. But someone — whether it be Gubler or the "Criminal Minds" hair and makeup team — must have not liked this shorter cut for Reid, as he soon grew his hair back out. Maybe this look wasn't the best fit for Reid's character, but if we're talking about the worst Reid hairstyle in the aesthetic sense of the word, Season 6 has nothing on this cut.

Reid's overstyled look from Season 9 is the worst in all of Criminal Minds

Season 8 of "Criminal Minds" ends with Reid looking completely like himself — back to the same haircut as he had at the show's start — but when the Behavioral Analysis Unit returns for Season 9, he's like a whole new person. The back of his head is buzzed, the sides are tapered, the top is fluffy with little curl definition, and — perhaps the worst part — there are a couple of way-too-long tendrils framing his face. Even more importantly, the hairstyle looks like it requires a lot of effort, and this conflicts with Reid's characterization. Overall, the cut is BAD, and none of his co-workers even mention the big change. ("If you don't have anything nice to say...")

Watching the series, you get the feeling that this is an open secret: He's clearly growing it out over the course of the season, and by the time Season 10 rolls around, his hair is approaching its original look again. But why did Matthew Gray Gubler ever change his hair to a style reminiscent of the notorious Can-I-Speak-to-the-Manager cut in the first place? Well, it could have been a conflict with another project. That's why his co-star Kirsten Vangsness, who plays Penelope Garcia, abruptly dyed her hair red in the middle of Season 5. 

Over the 16 years that "Criminal Minds" was in production, Gubler not only acted in over 20 other projects (via IMDb) but was also working as a model, a career in which this (to put it nicely) experimental cut might be more appropriate. Whatever the reason for the change, let's all just be thankful that this phase of Reid's style was short-lived.