Ever since Nicki Minaj emerged into the pop scene, the rap diva has been as admired for her quirky, one-of-a-kind fashion as for her distinctive rap style. And topping every outfit she dons is a colorful, eye-catching wig that could (and often does) make headlines on its own.
She’s sported everything from leopard-patterned dos to Anime-inspired coifs during her short time in the spotlight, but which of Nicki’s wigs tower above the rest? Check out our picks for her 15 most head-turning headpieces below, then read our interview with the mastermind behind every single look — Atlanta wig sculptor and Truly Outrageous salon owner Terrence Davidson, who has worked his hair-sculpting magic on Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, Patti LaBelle and Tyra Banks, among others, and just started his own hair line, Just My Colour.
The Hook: What are three adjectives to describe your style?
Terrence Davidson: Different, different and even more different from the rest!
Are you greatly inspired by music, in general?
Music is my life!!! I always get visuals for hair from a video or when I hear a song. I mean, I am inspired by everything around me.
What was the craziest and most flamboyant wig you have created? Do you have a favorite?
The “High Top Fade” Nicki wore for the Grammys… no wait, the Tokyo inspired number she wore at the VMAs… no no, I would have to say the black and white zebra print Mohawk in the “Fly” video. But to be honest, every wig is my favorite because they each bring back a special memory.
What inspired you to create the hairstyle Nicki wore for the 2011 VMAs?
Nicki loves Tokyo fashion and that was the inspiration behind this look. I just envisioned a hairstyle that I figured the world would embrace. It’s crazy how it all works out, I never speak to her stylist or see her outfits until the day before — or sometimes the day of — the event but they always come together.
At the VMA’s, Nicki thanked you. How did it feel to be mentioned?
I missed it because I was backstage screaming. I was so excited for her that I didn’t even hear her say my name. But to be mentioned for my work was so overwhelming to me. I was in tears because she was so sincere and it is so rare for artists to acknowledge hairstylists for the work that they do and she made it known that she appreciated my work. I thank her for that daily because we are a team.
You don’t just work with Nicki, of course. Who is you favorite and why?
I can’t say that I have a favorite because I have worked with so many great artists like Mary J. Blige, Patti LaBelle, Trina and Jennifer Hudson, to name a few and but each one has a different style. I will say I love how creative Nicki has been with her “outside the box” styles that she has chosen.
What advice would you give to individuals thinking about putting on a wig for the first time?
I would tell the person to go for it!! They do not know what they have been missing until they have experienced a wig. I would say to always be open to change and to get use to it. Once the compliments start rolling in they will realize that the choice was a good one.
Finally… the last song you downloaded?
Believe it or not it was Superbase right before my iPad was stolen and I have just been busy ever since.