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The Rachel” Is the Best Worst Haircut I’ve Had

So I decided to try it on. I sat in the salon chair with great anticipation as my practical, soccer-player lob was sliced and razored. I watched the chunks float down to the floor. With phase one of my reinvention complete, all I needed was a slinky slip dress, rhinestone choker, and mini bag hanging from the crook of my elbow. Rachel Green’s self-assured coolness was mine for the taking. But the truth is, it didn’t suit me. Not the moxie, not the fake ID, and not the haircut. That night on South Beach ended without much fanfare.

We slipped the Jag back into the garage, giggled like the bratty, confidence-faking teens we were, and settled into the kitchen for some Shake ‘n Bake chicken. In the days that followed, I began to understand the gravity of my situation. For me, “the Rachel” was anything but effortless. It was not a wash-and-go style; it required a blowout with a round brush to help define all those flicks. But my hair was thick and the humidity in Miami was thicker, so even that wasn’t enough. The shaggy layers poofed up in all the wrong places. They couldn’t be held back for a soccer game, and no amount of bobby pins could control the mound of frizz on my head. As I grew out that cut, I discovered that my truest effortless hair was long, wavy, and actually quite beautiful. My most self-assured hairstyle? A no-nonsense ponytail. To this day, it’s still how I wear my hair. But trying on “the Rachel” was good for me. Ultimately, it served its purpose because, after all, part of learning who you are is learning who you aren’t.

The Mastermind

Hairstylist Chris McMillan (below, with his longtime client on the set of her January 2015 Allure cover) sounds off on creating a cut that defined an era.

Thompson Michael

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