’90s style can be separated into three categories: the grunge “kinderwhore” clones of Courtney Love, the posh and polished (and concerningly underweight) clan à la Kate Moss, and the most mainstream of the bunch: the “Rachels,” who took most of their lightly-elevated style inspiration from Rachel Green of Friends.
And what would a Rachel be without the classic “Rachel” haircut? While the most memorable version is the signature layered bob Jennifer Aniston was put in during the earlier seasons, her mane had as much character development as, well, the actual character it resided on. Some styles were as exciting as the plot twists that came about the show, while others fell a bit flat. Below, a definitive ranking of Rachel Green’s most iconic hairstyles.
10. The “Rachel:” Layered Bob Edition
The most memorable hairstyle from Rachel (which you or your mom probably tried at one point) is also deemed the worst of the Rachel haircuts. The messy style not only seems hard to keep up with (even Jennifer Aniston herself admitted that this haircut was not an easy task), but it also just looks… messy. Though a textured and wild cut like this would usually be more fitting for Phoebe’s carefree and lively spirit, this just doesn’t fit the head it laid on—literally, and figuratively.
9. The “Rachel:” Straight Bob Edition
Though not as messy as it’s predecessor on the list, this cut just falls too flat on Rachel’s head. Maybe she was testing out a Posh Spice-inspired look, but it was wasn’t as styled and up-kept as a true Rachel Green hairstyle should be.
8. The “Rachel:” Long Layers Edition
What was once a bob, became a full-length, boob-grazing mane of layered locks. Though it may represent how far she’s grown since the first moment we met her as a runaway bride, this hairstyle seems a bit too bohemian for a usually-polished Rachel Green.
7. The “Rachel:” Wavy Lob Edition
The One Where Rachel Experiments With Waves! While she’s usually known for her straighter locks, we appreciate this change of taste. Though it may not be her best hairstyle, it’s definitely not her worst.
6. The “Rachel:” Curtain Bangs Edition
The one word to describe this style: adorable. It’s cute, it’s professional, and while we wouldn’t label it as the Rachel haircut, it fit Jennifer Aniston quite nicely. But, points deducted for being slightly underwhelming.
5. The “Rachel:” Long, Wavy Hair Edition
Waves really helped upgrade the look of Rachel’s longer locks. But, who is Rachel without a shorter length of hair?
4. The “Rachel:” Straight Layered Lob Edition
I will say it again and again: the lob is one of the best lengths for Rachel Green. But, this particular style seems a bit Supercuts-y, which is why it sits just below the top three.
3. The “Rachel:” Beach Waves Edition
For full-bodied takes on her hair, this one was the crown jewel. There’s volume, but not too much volume, the beachy waves are pristine and perfectly placed, and the length hits the shoulder-grazing sweet spot that many tend to miss.
2. The “Rachel:” The Updo Edition
This may be a controversial statement, but Rachel’s updos beat any of her bobs. They were so laid-back, yet so stylish. Though she usually wore this hairstyle while working her least glamorous job at Central Perk, her updo had that “I woke up like this” freshness without looking tired—just lightly tussled with every small wisp of baby hair and bangs falling into the perfect place. Plus, it let her show off her impressive earrings and jewelry.
1. The “Rachel:” Mid-Length Edition
Some of you may be screaming expletive after expletive at your computer for my top choice, but think about it: does this hairstyle not have everything we loved about every other hairstyle she had? Not too long, not too short; immaculate layers; the part shifted to the right ever-so-slightly to create a teeny touch of side-swept bangs. It was perfect for both J-Aniston and Rachel, which is why this will be forever cemented as the true “Rachel” haircut in my heart.