How to Wear the 'Rachel' Haircut—According to Stylists

Want to try a new hairstyle? Give the iconic 'Friends' haircut a try.

Ask anyone about the most iconic hairstyle of the '90s, and the "Rachel" haircut is sure to be mentioned. During the height of the show's popularity, salons worldwide were inundated with requests for Jennifer Aniston's fluffy, feathered haircut from the TV show Friends. See why this hairstyle is still popular and learn how to style your hair just like "Rachel."

Jennifer Anniston as Rachel from Friends, in triplicate, wearing a sleeveless black dress
Getty Images

Why the 'Rachel' Cut is Loved

It's not hard to see why the hairstyle is so popular; it's just long enough not to feel too risqué, and you get a shaggy volume look without chopping all your hair off. With many past beauty and fashion trends reemerging, it's easy to understand why searches for "the Rachel haircut" increased a whopping 174% since Friends: The Reunion (according to beauty retailer Justmylook). Even celebs like Bella Hadid, Mariah Carey, and Selena Gomez have sported the iconic look.

With the resurgence, influencers are going to extreme lengths to replicate the style, steaming their hair with curling irons and pinning strands back with rollers. But fans of the haircut are quickly discovering that the look is not exactly easy to recreate.

Jennifer Aniston even shared about the style's challenges in a Marie Claire interview: "The Rachel was high maintenance. I'd curse Chris every time I had to blow dry. It took three brushes—it was like doing surgery!"

The Modern 'Rachel' Style

So what does the modern "Rachel" style entail? Luckily, less heat damage, thanks to modern blow dryers and brushes that make the famous flick 10 times easier.

While the original Rachel cut was much shorter (shoulder-length) and styled with maximum volume and hairspray, the modern version is slightly longer, softer, and has more movement, says hairstylist Luke Williams. However, it still adopts the face-framing flick from its predecessor.

"The 'Rachel' works best on hair with a lot of layers as it will give your hair more body by surrounding your face in a heart shape and framing it perfectly," explains Williams. Some stealthily placed highlights, like the money piece, can also create depth and complement the cut nicely.

How to Recreate the 'Rachel' Haircut

For a little extra guidance, the beauty experts at Justmylook shared three simple steps for styling the "Rachel" at home.

Step 1: Use a Volumizing Shampoo

Volume is essential for this hairstyle. "It's key to make sure your hair is light and fluffy—oil can weigh your hair down, so avoid leaving your hair too long between washes. Using a volumizing shampoo in the shower will be your best bet," say the stylists.

Step 2: Apply a Serum

Next, moisturize and nourish your locks with hair oil or serum. "After washing and while your hair is still damp, apply a couple of drops of oil or serum to give your hair a smooth texture for styling," suggest Justmylook experts.

Step 3: Blow Dry With a Round Brush

Finally, style your hair with a blow dryer. "To finish the look, blow-dry your hair over a rounded brush or with a blow-drying hairbrush," say the experts.

Start with a bouffant style at the roots, drying hair upward and away from your face and creating volume as it dries. As you move down, curl your hair inwards at the ends to frame the face. Avoid straightening it, as this will undo the volume you've created.

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