By Kate Sullivan, Allure magazine
For Allure's January issue, Chris McMillan created "The New Rachel," the hairstyle we predict will take over the salons in 2012. (Watch him give the fresh cut to Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski in our behind the scenes video. For what to request from your stylist, pick up the new issue, on sale December 20.) But before "The New Rachel," there was "The Rachel"-and McMillan's enduring relationship with the actress who wore it, Jennifer Aniston. We recently spoke to McMillan about his favorite Aniston looks, the tricks and tools he uses to create them, and the good hair advice that she ignores.
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Why are people always so focused on Aniston's hair? "People can relate to Jennifer. They look at her and think, I could do that."
How would you describe her current cut? "She has a long bob-a lob. It's actually a growing-out bob. A growb?"
What's your favorite cut on her? "I love the one she has now. And I loved her hair in The Break-Up; it wasn't too long or too short, and it had nice texture, beachy waves. 'The Rachel,' I don't even remember! You know what I mean? I'm sure I really loved it at the time but I'm so far removed from that time and that cut."
What products do you use in her hair? "We pretty much have a formula: I use a Kérastase mousse at the crown and the ends, and a little bit of Kérastase Sérum Oléo-Relax only on the ends-because we love the smell and how it moisturizes her hair-and Shu Uemura Shape Paste. I also buy the old Laminates Hair Spray by Sebastian on eBay. It's an aerosol pump spray rather than the screw-on pump they have now. I just like the old stuff better."
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Her hair always looks like she didn't fuss with it too much. "She likes to be able to touch her hair. She is the type of person that will not have a sprayed hairdo that can't be messed with or fussed with."
Does that kind of eliminate updos? "Oh, no. We'll do a ponytail. But those dresses that those girls wear [on the red carpet] are so fancy, you need a lived-in looking hairdo. It just goes."
Why do Aniston's ponytails always look so great? "I give her the ponytail holder and she does it herself. I get the texture in there and the height and she kind of gets the elastic where she wants it and then I tweak it afterwards. We're definitely a tag team when it comes to her hair."
Do you think all women inherently know how to pull their own hair back better than anyone else? "It's just something that they do! Like they can get really fussy and they are like 'Give me that.' And they do it themselves. But I tweak it for sure, you know, it needs to be tight here, not too tight there, with a little fold there, since I'm able to do a 360 degree bird's eye view and see the whole thing."
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What's some hair advice you've given her? "Not to color her hair when she wants it to grow. Taking a break prevents damage."
And what's a piece of advice she's ignored? "'Don't color your hair.'"
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