Debra Messing Once Got "The Rachel" Haircut — & It Went Horribly Wrong

Photo: Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.
Debra Messing's red, curly hair has earned itself a starring role in Hollywood for decades. For years on the hit series Will & Grace, where she played interior designer Grace Adler, Messing's coils often felt like the third roommate on the show — clogging up the shower drain, bearing the brunt of jokes, donning the latest '90s fashions...
Even today, with the show's recent reboot on NBC, her trademark copper color is still going strong. But, like most things on TV, that doesn't mean it's real. In fact, when we sat down with the actress at a recent CoolSculpting event, for which she's the face, she admitted that the decision to dye her hair red was kind of an accident. To find out why, and what happened when she tried to copy Jennifer Aniston's iconic hairstyle, keep reading.
Spoiler Alert: She's Not A Natural Redhead
"The honest answer is I don't really know what my natural hair color is," Messing says. "Before Will & Grace, my hair was a dark ash-brown for the TV show Ned & Stacey, and [the producers] were like, 'We want to make your hair redder, because red is funny.' I think because of Lucille [Ball] and Carol Burnett, there's this association with red hair being funny. It's been the same ever since."
Even She Was Not Immune To "The Rachel"
"Partway through the series, when Friends was also on TV, we were like, 'Wait a minute, look at Jennifer Aniston's hair — everyone loves it,'" she recalls. "They said, 'Maybe we should try and make you look like her.' So I went to Jennifer's hairstylist and got the cut. But it was a whole debacle when we tried to do it on the show. They literally tried for three hours to straighten my hair like hers. It was so full and poofy that it looked like a mushroom [laughs]. The whole thing was just a disaster, so [the producers] decided to just keep it curly. They were like, 'This is a problem, we need to find someone who can handle her hair!'"
Why Will & Grace Isn't Just Important To The LGBTQ Community
"The thing about my curls is there was this marriage between my texture and the fact that my character was a proud Jewish woman," Messing says. "That was very meaningful for a lot of people, and it was important for me, too, when we started Will & Grace, that we were clear that Grace was Jewish. That’s why they added the fact that I went to Camp Ramah and referenced my Bat Mitzvah. Because growing up, I didn’t have anyone on television who looked like me. So, for the longest time, I didn’t think I could be an actress because I didn’t think I was the 'right' kind of pretty. It was only when I saw the movie Dirty Dancing that I thought, 'Oh my gosh, maybe there is a place for me.'"
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