Bella Hadid Is Bringing Back “The Rachel” With Her New Hairstyle

Photo: James Devaney/GC Images.
Bella Hadid is bringing us back to the late '90s and early 2000s with her latest hairstyle, which was directly inspired by "The Rachel" — the blonde, layered, choppy cut immortalized by Jennifer Aniston's character on Friends.
Colorist Jenna Perry says Hadid came to her wanting to try something different for her birthday vacation last October. "We spoke about 'sun kissed beach babe' meets Y2K," Perry says. "Her influences were all from the late '90s and early 00's. She referenced Rachel from Friends, so I decided to add the bright blonde bits around her face that were contrasted to her natural dark brunette hair color."
To get the look, Perry balayaged (hand-painted) Hadid's hair using heavier strokes than she normally would. "She wanted it more chunky," Perry explained. Because Hadid is growing out the bangs she cut in quarantine, those areas appear naturally lighter.
Perry says her technique came straight from lessons she learned in hair school in 2004, at the height of Kelly Clarkson's and Christina Aguilera's popularity. "Lots of us are feeling nostalgic right now," Perry adds.
Hairstylist Jessica Gillin added some length to Hadid's hair with extensions before giving her a big bouncy blowout and sending her out of the salon with her own version of "The Rachel." Hadid was thrilled. "She's so much fun and she loved it," says Perry.
Hadid is on to something with her new look. In New York City, Mark Ryan salon owner Ryan Trygstad says this style points to a larger trend he's been noticing lately. "It’s just throwback-y enough," Trygstad says, adding that tons of young people have come into his salon requesting the look in recent weeks. "It’s so cool. All these kids can pull it off because they have baby faces."
When it comes to recreating the highlighted, layered look at home, Trygstad warns that it's more upkeep than you might think. He advises to focus the heavy layers in the front more so than the back of your head. "If you layer the back too much, it might feel too thin or it might be tough to style because there’s so many layers," he says.
And he's right. Aniston, the original purveyor of the look, even admitted the style was a pain to pull off herself. "Looking back — honestly, even during that time — I couldn’t do it on my own," she told Glamour. "I needed [my hairstylist] Chris [McMillan] attached to my hip. Left to my own devices, I am not skilled with a hairbrush and blow dryer."
We'll see if Hadid and Selena Gomez (who recently got the same cut) have an easier time with it. Hair tools have thankfully improved a lot since the '90s, after all.

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series