Don't Get Tricked Into the 'Rachel'

Don't Get Tricked Into the 'Rachel'
Image:Hulton Archive (Getty Images)

Roughly two days ago, I happened upon a photograph of Chrissy Teigen, a woman famous for being “candid” on Twitter, sporting a fetching, curious new haircut—choppy, face-framing layers, a definite “shape,” and some extremely thin, blonde highlights. I thought nothing of this haircut until I read the accompanying blog, which described the style as having “Rachel vibes.” This struck a very specific terror into my heart that I have yet to shake. If Chrissy Teigen’s new look is the beginning of a Rachel from Friends haircut resurgence, then as a society we should re-think what we’ve been doing and where we’re headed.

Technically, Teigen’s haircut isn’t quite the Rachel, but it shares a lot of similarities—there are choppy layers, there are “face-framing” layers, of the sort that my hairdresser used to insist upon as a preventive measure against my round moon face. Much like the “curtain bangs” I have considered and also seen on young famous people like Gigi Hadid, this haircut is basically a reinterpretation of the ’90s, following along with the same trends in fashion. North Face has recently reissued their iconic 1996 Nuptse down jacket, which was an aspirational item for me as a teen. I saw a photo of an acquaintance wearing a Juicy Couture sweatsuit maybe two weeks ago and felt a pang of jealousy. The ’90s resurgence as it relates to iconic heritage brands of my youth—when I was too poor to afford them—is fine for me now, as an adult who can (but won’t) buy the tracksuit myself. But I draw the line at the Rachel. It’s a bad haircut. We can’t do this again.

Crucially, the Rachel is the sort of haircut that requires extensive use of bobby pins to get all the floppy bits up off the neck and face. I understand that real bangs are a commitment, and the Rachel offers a compromise. If you let the front pieces fall where they may, sure, that works—casual, cool, and sexy, like you’re going to prom in 1998. It’s billed as a versatile haircut, but that’s just what they want you to believe. In fact, it’s nothing more than the first step toward the Kate Gosselin nightmare zone that featured long, face-framing “bangs” in the front and an absolute rager in the back— a riot of short, choppy layers, with frosted tips, like Guy Fieri’s signature look, but worse.

Image:David Livingston (Getty Images)

Gosselin’s look here is a prototypical “I need to speak to your manager” haircut, but it’s also the purview of scene kids from the mid-2000s and, if we don’t do our best to stop this shit right in its tracks, every influencer, Instagram model, and Twitter-famous person will soon have one. Don’t get the Rachel; it’s a gateway drug. Save yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.

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