Billie Piper Just Got The Rachel Haircut – Here’s How To Achieve The Original And Modern Versions Of The Style

How the Rachel haircut hit the big time and how celebrities the world over are still taking their cues from the look today

Rachel Cut

by Annie Vischer |
Updated on

The Rachel haircut is one of the biggest Friends legacies to date and it's no wonder. The choppy face-framing layers of the Rachel hairstyle formed one of the most trend-setting hair looks of the 90s and continues to influence the outcome of hair appointments worldwide to this day.


In fact, the style has been so popular over the years it has seen various iterations thanks to TikTok, think: the shag, the soft wolf cut, and the butterfly cut, which is widely considered The Rachel 2.0. They are all unique in their own ways yet share the same choppy, layered style, AKA the foundation of any Rachel cut. And celebrities have enjoyed the style, too. This week alone, Billie Piper took to instagram to reveal she 'Got "the Rachel"’, crediting the makeover to colourist and hairstylist John MacPherson. Billie follows in the footsteps of countless celebrities who have all had a brush with the style since the late 90's, including Tyra Banks, Christina Aguilera, and even Rihanna (keep scrolling for the proof).

That said, even Jennifer Aniston has admitted that it wasn't the easiest haircut to style. She told ABC News that she regularly struggled to make her Rachel cut look good. 'The Rachel was one of the hardest hairstyles to maintain,' she told ABC News, 'me and the blow-dryer and the hairbrush weren't meant for each other. It really was a hairdo.' 'WhenChris McMillan,' - the hair stylist who gave Jen her makeover - 'would style it, my hair would be great, it would look gorgeous. But then, when I was left to my own devices, it wouldn't look the same!', Jen continued. She said that she's constantly baffled by the global fascination with her hair. 'It's funny and entertaining in a way and it's, of course, very flattering to say the least – but I always have such a chuckle when I hear people saying I have great hair because as a kid it was always a challenge.'


20-years on and the Rachel haircut is well and truly back in business. Over the last few years, the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Renée Zellweger have showcased bouncy, layered styles that undeniably paid homage to the Friends-born OG.

What Is The Rachel Haircut?

Jennifer Aniston debuted the first iteration of the Rachel haircut towards the end of the first season of Friends. Her shoulder-length, wavy hair was cut shorter, and shaped with countless layers - some jaw-grazing, others mid-length. She paired the new look with a peppering of caramel and honey toned highlights that made her hair look sun-kissed. Friends fans went wild. Blow-dried and bouncy, the look became synonymous with the on-off relationship between Jen's character Rachel Green, and David Schwimmer's character Ross, which gathered momentum in season two. Viewers obsession with the Ross and Rachel saga was matched only by their love of the Rachel haircut. Series three saw the iconic style grow out, and fans bid heartfelt goodbye to the trend-setting look.

A Modern Take On The Layered Rachel Haircut

Chrissy Teigen is known for flitting between luscious long lengths and a one-length bob, so this choppy layered do marked a totally new hair direction. Where Chrissy goes, the masses tend to follow, so expect a lean towards layers, a sun-kissed peppering of highlights and shoulder length cuts very soon.

Renée Zellweger's red carpet appearance at the Golden Globe Awards 2021involved a big hair reveal as well. Renée Zellweger has thus far flaunted a series of beautiful up-dos at recent events but she used the prestigious 78th Golden Globe Awards to debut a brand new hairstyle and it bears a striking resemblance to a haircut made famous by Rachel Green.

Renee Zellweger 'The Rachel' Haircut Jennifer Aniston

Renée Zellweger's new haircut and colour was the perfect meeting of dark blonde lowlights and choppy face-framing layers.

READ MORE: Nicola Coughlan's Neon Pink Eyeshadow Just Won The Golden Globes Makeup Showdown

Jennifer Aniston 'The Rachel' Haircut

Remember When Hailey Bieber Got The Rachel Haircut Too?

Even the likes of Hailey Bieber have jumped on the Rachel hair trend. Back in 2016 Hailey got her long blonde hair cut and styled into a very similarly layered shoulder length do. Check out her look below:


The Rachel Celebrities Hair Gallery - Grazia 2022

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Tyra Banks 1997

Tyra Banks rocks 'The Rachel' to beautiful effect back in the late 90s.

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Cameron Diaz 2005

Cameron Diaz went back to 'the Rachel' time and time again.

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Rihanna 2006

Rihanna looks sultry in this long version of 'the Rachel'.

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Rachel McAdams 2011

We love this fresh take on 'the Rachel' hairstyle from Rachel McAdams.

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Jennifer Lopez 2015

J Lo tool the top layers of 'the Rachel' longer in 2015 but the highlights are bang on.

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Hailey Bieber 2016

We love Hailey's grown-out version of 'the Rachel'.

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Chrissy Tiegen 2020

Chrissy Teigen's 2020s hair makeover is the fresh take on 'the Rachel' that we all needed to see.

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Renée Zellweger 2021

Renée Zellweger took to the 78th Golden Globes red carpet in Hollywood and debuted her new, choppy version of 'The Rachel' haircut.

READ MORE: Kate Middleton's Complete Hair Evolution: Her Blonde Highlights Are Everything

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