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Jennifer Aniston's New Rachel

January 20, 2024

Jennifer Aniston's New Rachel

Does Jennifer Aniston worry about being typecast? Every hairstyle she has is called a Rachel after her Friends fame. But which Rachel is it? There were so many different looks. One person’s Rachel maybe be different to another’s.

The fanfare around Jennifer’s new look shows that nothing, except maybe a sex change, gets more attention than a new haircut. Popular post-divorce, to notify the world that you’re showing up differently, requests for radical change also surge in the Spring months.

When Jennifer says she never liked her Rachel look, this will be the one she’s talking about. Technically it’s a bit of a mish mash that starts as a Bob then gets way too layered, sending far too much energy into her wavy roots and crown area and giving a look that’s too big, stiff and mumsy for a young girl. Too mumsy for her mother too in my humble opinion. 

The haircut she has now is unlike most earlier ones and will need a lot of styling. It is of the age in looking loose, languid and effortless but will require a lot of effort to achieve the not-tried-hard look. It’s an A-line Bob where the front is longer than the back with a little graduation around the face and a few step-layers cut in. Because the cut doesn’t fully support the style it will be too unpredictable and require a lot of fiddling; it won’t naturally fall into place.

This picture above shows a slightly longer but similar haircut from five years ago but it's left natural and the second bob sitting as a heavy layer on top of the outline bob is more revealed.

Luckily as she has an attractive face, strong presence, and an army of groomers in her retinue she can compensate more than mere mortals. But if you look closely at enough photos, the hair will look great in some and not so great in many. Some of her earlier long haircuts like those below were technically better, more fluid and timelessly flattering. 

If you want to achieve the new Rachel look then the haircut must be refined to match your features and hair type. A bog-standard Bob will likely disappoint. Products will depend on hair texture but for all, a great heat-protector that gives body and eliminates frizz is our Eureka Blowdry Balm (vanclarke.com £19.50) and if the hair needs body, Thicker Quicker and Volumising Mousse will do the trick. With the right haircut this will be wash-and-leave for some and take more styling effort for others to achieve the effortless look. A competent stylist will advise.

Some people still cling to the notion that a woman in her 40s should cut her hair short, go grey, and humbly disappear into her declining years. It’s so outdated. We have the technology in haircare and there are enough glamorous older role models sporting beauty, health, and vitality well into their 60s and 70s.

Jennifer’s hair has always needed special attention. Back in the late 80s a stylist called John Barrett spent a year or two with us. Sassoon (though past its heyday) still dominated the industry and clung to the simple restrictive methods that built its 60s and 70s success. Blowdrying was only done with a flat Denman brush on soaking wet hair into a flat Bob. Curly hair wasn’t welcome. Round brushes were not allowed, and diktats went out to the industry warning against heretic attempts to challenge this.

We ignored it all but were ridiculed – ‘they only do 'Dallas' hairdos’, they jeered. John Barratt learnt our round brush methods which were useful when he joined Frederick Fekkai’s grand salon in New York. Jennifer Aniston struggled to tame her thick curly Greek hair (George Michael too) in this pre-GHD, pre- Brazilian straightener, pre-effective defrizzing products era, when 99.9% of hairdressers didn’t know how to use a round brush and couldn’t smooth frizzy hair.

John now could and even though he wasn’t cutting her hair initially, his success with blowdrying Jennifer’s hair, catapulted him to fame as Friends became the No.1 TV show, and John took over Fekkai’s Bergdorf Goodman salon.

 Michael Van Clarke





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