Look Back on Jennifer Aniston's Hair Journey on Friends

Did you know Aniston actually hated the iconic "Rachel" hairstyle she rocked for years on the NBC series?

By Tierney Bricker Feb 11, 2021 12:00 PMTags
Watch: Jennifer Aniston's Struggle to Escape "Rachel" Role

We're probably 98 percent happy and two percent jealous when it comes to Jennifer Aniston's hair. 

The star, who is celebrating her 52nd birthday on Feb. 11, has had the most talked-about tresses in Tinseltown for over two decades. Fans' love affair with the actress and her locks began in 1994 when a little show called Friends debuted on NBC. Perhaps you've heard of it?

But it wasn't until she debuted "The Rachel," named after her beloved character Rachel Green, that Aniston's hair became the unofficial 7th friend on Friends and inspired legions of women to run to their hair salons to recreate the look--even if The Morning Show star herself didn't really love the cut.

Because the now-iconic mane makeover from Aniston's longtime hairstylist Chris McMillan wasn't exactly low maintenance.

"'The Rachel' was one of the hardest hairstyles to maintain," Aniston told ABC News in 2014. "Me and the blow dryer and the hairbrush weren't meant for each other. It really was a 'hairdo.'"

But oh, what a hairdo it was—and it was far from the only one she rocked during Friends' decade-long run.

40 Fun Facts About Jennifer Aniston

In honor of Aniston's birthday, check out all ten seasons of Rachel's hairstyles on Friends...

Season 1

Before the infamous cut that inspired a million salon visits, Aniston rocked shorter beachy waves when the sitcom premiered in 1994. And yes, many a banana clip were used during Friends' freshman outing.

Season 2

Here it is: The Rachel. 

One of the most iconic hairstyles in pop culture and celebrity history, the star's longtime hairstylist Chris McMillan went for choppy layers and chunky highlights in the look many women demanded their own stylists try and recreate in 1995.

"Her initial reaction was great, she loved it then," McMillan told The Telegraph of the 'do that made its debut at the end of season one. "It was a really fun cut and different to anything else around at the time."

But Aniston herself has a long history of hating on the cut, even telling Allure, "How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I've ever seen."

Season 3

Rachel continued to rock The Rachel the following season, which probably wasn't fun for Aniston off-screen, as she called her hairstyle "high maintenance" in an interview with Marie Claire

"I'd curse Chris every time I had to blow-dry," she explained. "It took three brushes—it was like doing surgery!"

And clearly, the star was ready for a break—a permanent one—with the look.

Season 4

New year, new 'do. 

Rachel went for a shiny, sleek and straight look for her transition away from the layered style.

Season 5

Similar to the prior season's look, but a little longer and—dare we say—even shinier? 

Season 6

Aniston's role in 2001's Rockstar was the reason for Rachel's particularly lengthy and luscious locks this season. 

Season 7

Her experience with extensions for Rockstar led to Rachel's bob, Aniston revealed to InStyle

"The real reason I cut my hair? My real hair was getting thinned out again from all the extensions," she explained of the chin-skimming chop. "It was starting to look fake."

Season 8

Growing out her hair, Aniston added chunkier blonde highlights and face-framing layers for Rachel's foray into motherhood. 

Season 9

For most of this season, Rachel rocked slightly darker locks that she often wore wavier and more tousled than usual. 

Season 10

Classic Aniston, Rachel's journey ended with her signature length, color and cut, but with a little twist: side-swept bangs. 

Friends is streaming on HBO Max.

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