An Ode to Jennifer Aniston's Hair Journey on Friends

In honor of Jennifer Aniston's birthday, take a closer look at the Friends star's many hairstyles on the beloved sitcom.

By Alyssa Ray Feb 11, 2023 11:00 AMTags
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The most iconic 'do on television.

We're, of course, talking about Jennifer Aniston's signature "Rachel" hairstyle on Friends. In fact, the haircut became so wildly popular that it practically became a character in its own right. So, with the superstar turning 54 Feb. 11, we felt it was only right to take a closer look at "The Rachel" and her other notable hair moments on the popular sitcom.

For starters, did you know that Jennifer, who played Rachel Green for 10 seasons, didn't necessarily love the famous haircut? Back in 2014, The Morning Show star told ABC News that the look was "one of the hardest hairstyles to maintain."

"Me and the blow dryer and the hairbrush weren't meant for each other," she explained. "It really was a 'hairdo.'"

Regardless, Jennifer is still a huge fan of hairstylist Chris McMillan, who invented the look. "When Chris would style it my hair would be great, it would look gorgeous," she shared at the time. "But then when I was left to my own devices, it wouldn't look the same!"

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Despite the cut's devoted following, Jennifer was able to seamlessly transition to new looks from season to season. Case in point: Jennifer rocked a bold bob in season seven of the NBC show. Can she be any more versatile?!

For her full transformation, keep scrolling...

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: The Reunion is streaming now on HBO Max.

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