ELLECyclopedia: The Rachel Haircut Spawned A Thousand Versions And Has A Separate Fan Base

The Rachel Haircut

We would all be waiting a long time if we were asked to identify another haircut that has managed to gain as much notoriety as The Rachel Haircut. And we’re sure that millennials who grew up in the 90s would reach a common consensus regarding the supreme reign of the mane, aka The Rachel Haircut. Easily at the top of the list.

Some context for people unfamiliar with the Friends saga: When Jennifer Aniston debuted on screen as Rachel Green in the hit television series Friends, her short voluminous hairstyle caused quite a stir. Salons with a huge waiting line with customers demanding the ‘exact same look’ type of a frenzy.

History Behind The Rachel Haircut

As the popularity of the series grew increasingly, she chose to sport the haircut throughout the second season as well. Rachel Green was who she was because of her hairdo. And her impeccable sense of style. And maybe Ross, a little bit. No no, strike that down.

The shoulder-length haircut was characterised by multiple separate layers that framed the face turning downward in direction. While most people might assume that the style may have been a by-product of intense look tests and experiments, The Rachel Haircut was funnily created by Aniston’s hair stylist Chris McMillan, to repair her damaged hair and grow out her fringe. Yes. A happy accident, if I may.

Having been compared to a cross between the bob and shag hairstyles, Jen’s classic 90s haircut unsurprisingly developed a devoted fan base. Tyra Banks, Christine Aguilera, Lily Allen, Rihanna, and Jessica Alba rocked their own versions of The Rachel Haircut. Perhaps it was because of those choppy layers and silky ends, or maybe the gravity-defying bounce with the caramel highlights. Could’ve also been a concoction of them all, which seamlessly seemed to complement most skin tones and face shapes.

The Fandom

The Te Amo hitmaker Rihanna in a short, shaggy iteration of Miss Green’s haircut.

The center parting makes the cut for actress Rachel McAdams.

Priyanka lends a layered spin to the famed 90s hairstyle. The colouring sure is on point.

Now this one’s a modern interpretation by singer and actress JLo. A hybrid between The Rachel Haircut and a long choppy bob of sorts.

And here’s the woman who started it all. Jennifer Aniston recreated her then (and to quite an extent still) viral haircut for the 2024 Golden Globes. Love to see it.


Since its introduction more than 20 years ago, millions of women have continuously tried recreating the The Rachel Haircut – easily one of the most well-known hairstyles in history. Aniston has openly expressed her distaste for the hairdo despite its widespread appeal, because it’s hard to keep up and duplicate without McMillan’s help. Yeah, a blow dry doesn’t abide by the long term cooperation contract, you see. The disdain is understandable.

With ELLECyclopedia, we aim to demystify terms from the world of fashion, beauty and pop culture. If such deep dives pique your interest, stay tuned as we’re exploring the origins of many such interesting words. In the meantime, you can also read about Sabyasachi’s Royal Bengal Tiger motif.

- Digital Fashion Writer


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