How Serena Van Der Woodsen's Hair Became This Generation's "The Rachel"

Ten years ago, Serena van der Woodsen (and all her drama) first graced our TV screens on the hit series Gossip Girl — and stayed there for six seasons. That meant plenty of Upper East Side envy to last us a lifetime, and trends so iconic, we've yet to leave 'em behind. Besides Chuck Bass convincing men everywhere that suits are better than khakis, Blair Waldorf sparking a headband revolution, and Nate Archibald inspiring lacrosse bros to rock man bangs, there's one legendary hairstyle that made an even bigger impact: Serena's Cali-girl waves.
Photo: Everett Collection.
Photo: Everett Collection.
When the show premiered on September 19, 2007 (feel old yet?), Serena waltzed through Grand Central station with her golden hair shining in a way Blair Waldorf's never really did. Although her character is allegedly (and loosely) inspired by Kate Moss, it's Serena who's beauty look left a lasting impression. In fact, no other character's hair on TV has garnered such a following since Rachel Green's layered lob from Friends.
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That makes Serena's hair "The Rachel" of our generation; the "Farrah Fawcett perm" that ruled the '70s. Only this time, the early 2000s-edition is called "The Serena," and it swept salons and Pinterest boards even after the show first premiered. She was our sunshine princess of New York City, making the effortless, "bedhead" beach waves chic again — and, unlike "The Rachel" and "The Farrah" — the trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
Meg Ryan recently told Instyle that her famous crop (you know, that bob from every rom-com in 1997) couldn't possibly work today. Yet somehow, "The Serena" is still as relevant as ever — showing up on blowout bar menus across the country (think: Drybar's Cosmo-Tai), Instagram feeds, and celebrities everywhere. But the only person we can thank for it is SVDW herself. Here's to another 10 years...
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