- Jennifer Aniston has been inspiring hair envy ever since the debut of “The Rachel,” her highly coveted “Friends” haircut in the early seasons of the show’s run.
- Though she’s said how much she hates that particular cut, every style she’s showed off in the years since continues to inspire trends.
- Aniston and her longtime stylist, Chris McMillan, have both opened up numerous times to discuss her famous mane, sharing their favourite tips and go-to products.
Ever since the debut of “Friends” in 1994, Jennifer Aniston’s glossy, healthy hair continues to inspire trends everywhere. And though her signature style has evolved over the years, the actress knows what works for her, rarely making any major switch-ups when it comes to her cut and colour.
From “The Rachel,” which became one of the most iconic celebrity hairstyles of the ’90s, to the beachy waves she’s known for sporting in recent years, plenty of women the world over have taken Aniston’s photo to their stylists in the hope of recreating her effortless look.
Both Aniston herself and her longtime stylist Chris McMillan have dished about her ‘do many times throughout the years, sharing their favourite tips and go-to products for her shiny, sleek strands.
The “Dumplin'” star has trusted McMillan with her tresses since she began shooting “Friends,” and it seems neither of them realised how legendary that choppy, layered cut would become.
In 2015, he told Allure magazine that he’d been working with fellow “Friends” star Courteney Cox, sharing, “The manager recommended that Jennifer come to the salon where I was working. I cut Jennifer’s hair for the ‘Friends’ pilot, and the next thing I knew, the show was taking off, magazines were referring to my haircut as ‘The Rachel,’ and People [magazine] was calling me for an interview. And I really don’t think anyone knew I was using the whole time.”
Aniston didn’t love the “Rachel” haircut as much as the world did
Apparently, Aniston hated the trendy cut, telling Allure in 2011 “it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen.” She said, “I love Chris, and he’s the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look.”
Though she only sported the sleek, shaggy haircut for about six months, she told Allure she didn’t quite understand its “never-ending legacy,” because “because it just was hard to do. I loved it, but I couldn’t style it on my own.”
Still, that “big, horrible mistake” was the cut that put Aniston’s strands on the map, and women everywhere have coveted her look ever since.
In 2009, McMillan revealed some of her hair secrets in an interview with Elle magazine, sharing that Aniston naturally has enviable hair because it’s easy to work with, saying, “She has naturally wavy, medium-texture hair … it goes curly really easily if you scrunch it, and if you blow-dry it straight, it stays straight but with body.”
At the time, it seems that the one-time L’Oréal Paris spokesmodel was a fan of a daily wash and condition, because McMillan said, “She loves having her hair shampooed fresh and clean. She shampoos and conditions pretty much every day – if she’s going for the day-old-hair look, she prefers to create it using products.”
She told Glamour magazine in 2016, “If I’m working then I usually do wash it, because it has to have continuity, but if I’m not working I try to give my hair a break for as many days as possible.”
As for how she keeps her hair healthy between visits, McMillan told Elle, “I cut her hair religiously every six weeks, but between visits, she takes care of her hair, she really does – she doesn’t rip through it when she brushes it after a shower. And she lets her hair dry on its own when she’s not working. She likes to wear her hair natural, and she’s good at styling it on her own.”
She often embraces her natural hair
Aniston co-signs on her overall unfussy vibe when it comes to those lazy hair days, telling Allure in 2015, “Yesterday it took me 15 minutes to get up, get my hair done, and go,” adding, “I honestly just blow-dry it with my fingers around my hairline, and then I get the roots set, and then I’ll let the rest of the hair air-dry.”
On days when she does go for the full blowout, Aniston told Glamour that “Hot water is never good for your hair or skin, so I wash in warm water.” Then, she breaks out the big guns – a “big, round brush” and a blow dryer – joking, “I’ll whip that out and get a really good arm workout at the same time.”
As for those undone, beachy waves, we’re sorry to say, but you can’t get ’em from a curling iron. McMillan told Elle, “If you look at her hair, it looks like it grew out of her head like that – it doesn’t look like a curling iron touched it. We never use curling irons or flatirons on her hair. We always try to work with her natural texture and use round brushes to give a soft curl.”
Since he’s not using an iron for those loose waves, McMillan does what he calls a “bad blow-dry” using different sized round brushes depending on the hair’s length, telling Elle, “I always blow-dry the roots straight – about two inches – and let the ends be a little curlier. I also like to blow-dry the hair around her face with a few strands tucked behind her ears. When you un-tuck the hair, a nice frame is created around the face.”
For her InStyle magazine cover shoot in 2018, McMillan used Sebastian Whipped Cream Mousse, a cult-favourite $US10 product to give her waves that perfectly undone look, defining them with a dab ofMurray’s Superior Hair Dressing Pomade, which retails for less than three bucks.
She’s not a stranger to switching up her hairstyles and cuts
And her style choices vary based on the day’s events, too, as he revealed. On the red carpet, the “Office Christmas Party” star “likes ponytails or really quick natural-looking buns – ones that look like she did them herself. And, you never see this, but off the red carpet, she really likes wearing low, loose braids on both sides of her head. She’s a real down-to-earth girl.”
When it comes to cuts, she’s tried plenty, from blunt bangs to a straight-and-sleek bob. As McMillan told Elle, “she likes to chop her hair off about every five years. We’ll even her hair up and lop off a few inches,” but though the actress is known for starting hair trends, it seems she’s not one for following them. Over time, her look has “changed slowly, via texture and length. I know that it appears as though her hair hasn’t changed much over the years, but if you look at a timeline of her hair, you’ll notice that she’s always on trend.”
Though she’s tried variations of her signature sun-kissed highlights
over the years, she largely remains true to her California girl roots
In 2017, she told Vogue magazine, “I’m a creature of habit. A weird creature of habit. I don’t fix what’s not broken and I don’t care what people think and I don’t care if people want me to change my hair. I like Californian blonde highlights. It’s just cosy and it makes me feel better.”
And, yes, she’s had plenty of hair regrets that have nothing to do with “the Rachel.” Though she looks pretty flawless with a bob haircut, she claims, “I’ve never liked the bob,” telling Allure in 2017, “I always want them, and then when I get them, I’m like, ‘What? Why did you let me do it?’ Because my hair is so curly – I have naturally wavy hair – when it’s short, it just turns into an Afro I can’t really control. I just don’t know how to style it very well. So hence me having to say, ‘Chris, please come help me with my hair.'”
Overall, she tries to keep her hair routine low-maintenance
She’s also tried the old mayonnaise hair mask and used plenty of questionable products in her younger years, but now, it’s all about a low-maintenance, less-is-more routine for this hair icon.
And the number-one beauty lesson she’s learned from working with McMillan for so long? She told Glamour in 2016, “His big advice is the less you mess with your hair, the better. Less is more, don’t touch it, don’t wash it every day, and just let it be. … It’s really just about doing less and using good products to maintain its health.”
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