The Rachel haircut made Jennifer Aniston into a household face in the mid 90′s during her sitcom-debutante days on Friends. But now the star has come out swinging against that carefully contrived mass of highlighted layers. Sure, now she’s all fancy with those golden Malibu Barbie extensions. But the rest of us don’t have the time, genes or funds for hairstyles that look like they were ripped off the Tangled doll. Plus, anyone who’s ever had a baby knows a new mom needs a SENSIBLE ‘do, perhaps a shag, like the wash (mousse, scrunch, spray) and go Rachel haircut.
The mom haircut has a long and storied history. Through the ages, pregnant and new moms have taken to shearing their long, labor intensive locks for something with less upkeep. The idea: babies take a lot of time. And work! Plus, those darned infants really like to pull hair. And hair pulling hurts. But I think there might be a bit more significance. Like the story of Samson and Delilah, a woman cutting her hair during pregnancy or new motherhood is a symbol of her putting aside her sexual power. She’s also saying she doesn’t have time to devote to herself anymore. It’s all about the baby. So off comes the hair, and along with it the distraction of self-indulgence.
The result can be cute, even career changing, as in Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.
Or it can be an abomination, completely desexifying the woman in question, perhaps forever after.
Shannon Hood of Frothygirlz.com has taken it upon herself to dissect the worst of Mom Haircuts Through the Ages.
Here’s her take on The Rachel:
In 1993, if you walked into a PTA meeting anywhere in the USA, you would come across countless versions of the Rachel. The Rachel haircut’s cuteness and acceptibility was dictated by an archaic caste system. If you were of the elite group of women who could afford $100 hair cuts, the results were amazing. Layers fell in perfect harmony around your neck. A gentle toss of your elegant mane resulted in jealous glares and evil wishes.
However, if you had to go the Supercuts or Fantastic Sam’s route, well, let me offer my belated apologies. Only a small fraction of women who sought this haircut actually received it. The rest, well, there were some really unfortunate layered messes going on. I’ll leave it at that.
Hood also effectively lambasts The Dorothy Hamill, The Marcy Darcy, The Lori Petty, The Posh, The Glenn Close, and The Dreaded Soccer Mom. Don’t say you weren’t warned.