The Hair(volution) of Monica Geller From "Friends"

Updated on July 10, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.


Friends was a mega hit television show with an outstanding cast that resonated with millions of fans, and has become a beloved staple in many households. While Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel Green was iconic for creating "The Rachel" hairstyle, fellow cast member Courteney Cox perfectly played the lovable Monica Geller and was a fashion and beauty trend-setter in her own right. Her style evolution was entertaining to watch over the course of 10 seasons. Let's take a look at just how much Monica's hair changed during the series.

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Season One: Voluminous Bob & Bangs

At the beginning of the series, Monica (Courteney Cox) wore her hair in a short, voluminous bob with heavy bangs. She often styled her locks with a lot of body and embraced her waviness, and the length just brushed her shoulders. The shade was a very deep black that highlighted her pale, smooth complexion. The cut was a cute introduction to the character and it really accentuated her defined cheekbones and face shape. The style was a little more relaxed than the looks Monica would rock in later seasons.

Did You Know? Courteney Cox was originally offered the role of Rachel, but declined in favor of playing her best friend Monica because she was drawn to her strong personality.

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Season Two: Sleek Bob & Wispy Bangs

Season two had Monica's choppy bob growing out into something more sleek, and she opted for delicate, wispy bangs. She began to wear her hair straight and more refined, and her tresses and light layers perfectly framed her face. The softer bangs gave Monica a feminine and sophisticated vibe, and her overall style was more put together than in the first season.

Did You Know? Courteney Cox was 30 years old at the time she was cast, making her older than her on-screen big brother, Ross (David Schwimmer). He is actually two years younger than Cox.

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Season Three: Goodbye Bangs

By the third season, Monica decided to ditch her bangs entirely and decided to grow out both them and her bob even more. Her layers are grown out as well, and in the later part of the season they have become even at her shoulders. Monica continued to often style it in a sleek, straight cut and the only major shake-up was her saying goodbye to bangs of any sort. During this time, she would usually sport simple hairstyles, such as ponytails or half-up, half-down looks.

Did You Know? Although each character is depicted as an avid coffee drinker, Cox herself does not drink coffee and only pretended to drink it out of mugs.

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Season 4: Short, Choppy Layered Crop

Oops, she did it again! Season 4 brought back another bob for Monica, after previously growing out her hair the past two seasons. Instead of sporting her shoulder length tresses, she decided to cut it off again in favor of a choppy layered crop. The ends flipped out at the bottom and the heavy layering gave her a tousled, messy 'do. She even brought back some very light and wispy bangs to frame her face once more.

Did You Know? Creator Marta Kauffman believes that Cox's own cleanliness closely resembles her character Monica's; she even cleaned her co-stars' dressing rooms from time to time.

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Season 5: Sleek & Shoulder Length

Once again Monica decided to ditch her bob and short hairdo in favor of rocking a sleek, shoulder length cut. All her layers and bangs had grown out by Season 5, and her raven hued hair look stunning with her complexion. Though she often wore it straight, during this time she experimented with styling her hair both crimped and curled. The crimped look offered volume and body to her normally sleek appearance, and her hair looked both healthy and shiny throughout the season.

Did You Know? Even before they became a couple on the show, Courteney Cox said that if Monica had to "do" a friend on the show, she would choose Chandler (Matthew Perry).

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Season 6: Straight & Long Locks

For Season 6, Monica maintained her long locks and grew them out even further. She opted to keep them primarily pin-straight, and they were a very deep, almost oily black shade. The darkness of her hair contrasted beautifully with her porcelain-like skin and Monica tended to keep her make-up minimal and natural. The longer length was a nice happy-medium and it highlighted her facial features wonderfully as well as how healthy and refined her tresses were.

Did You Know? Cox married fellow actor David Arquette in 1999 before Season 6, and legally changed her name to Courteney Cox Arquette. The opening credits of the Season 6 premiere features an inside joke in which Arquette is attached to the surnames of all the cast and crew members.

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Season 7: Layered & Luscious

After that tear-jerking proposal in the Season 6 finale, Monica debuts a fresh and sexy style the following season. She embraced fresh layers and body, showing off a luscious head of hair. Monica also lightened her tresses with some subtle highlights that softened her features in contrast to her once raven hue. She looks absolutely stunning with the cut, whether she kept it straight, wavy or full of volume. Her overall style also became more chic and sophisticated, matching her fresh 'do.

Did You Know? During filming, Cox had a special place called "Courteney's Candy Cabinet" because she was addicted to candy bars and would munch on them in between scenes.

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Season 8: Lightened & Tapered

For Season 8, Monica maintained her long tresses and lightened them once more with a bit of highlights. She also added a few more layers and opted for a tapering effect to the front of her locks, having it flair out and providing body and volume. Monica often wore her hair down and in loose waves that framed her face. The color and the cut complimented her skin tone and was both effortless and perfectly composed at the same time.

Did You Know? In 2005, Cox, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow were all in the Guinness Book of World Records, as they became the 3 highest-paid TV actresses of all-time. They earned $1 million per episode for the final two seasons of Friends.

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Season 9: Side Bangs & Body

With Season 9, Monica decided to cut her hair to shoulder-length, and adopted a sexy and chic side-swept bang. The voluminous style and bang was both flirty and demure, and the added layers gave definition to her tresses. With the slightly shorter 'do, her cheek bones really pop and it highlights the angles in her face. Whether it was wavy or straightened, the defined layers and sweeping bang looked fabulous on Monica, and proves just how versatile her beauty look was.

Did You Know? Cox's daughter Coco was born in June 2004, and co-star and best friend Jennifer Aniston is her godmother.

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Season 10: The Return of the Bob

For the final season, Monica brought back the bob with a more modern and chic spin. The side bang and layers remained, but her length was chopped to her shoulders instead. During filming, Courteney Cox was actually pregnant and her baby bump had to be camouflaged and hidden. The bob highlighted her slightly rounder face, that softened her overall appearance. Unlike her Seasons 1 and 2 bob, she opted out of a heavy bang in favor of a longer, side-swept one. Monica truly came full circle with her final hairstyle of the series.

Did You Know? Monica's large Greenwich apartment has become one of the most famous and iconic TV sets in history. Based on the number of bedrooms, open kitchen concept, balcony and large living room, the apartment was quoted at a value of $2.3 million in 2015.

What season had your favorite Monica hairstyle?

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© 2019 Rachel M Johnson


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