the hair evolution of nicki minaj
Celebrity Hairstyles

Harajuku Barbie: The Hair Evolution and Switch Up of Nicki Minaj

The ultimate female powerhouse of hip-hop, Nicki Minaj has consecutively kept us on our toes the past few years waiting to see what she will do next.

Minaj started her career in 2006 dropping mixtapes up until 2009 where she gained recognition from famous rapper Lil Wayne who saw the talent in her we all see today. He went on to sign Minaj in 2009 to Young Money Entertainment.

From rapper to singer to actress to songwriter, it seems as if there is nothing Nicki Minaj cannot do. She has a career full of accomplishments with a head full of dynamic hairdos to match.

Now let take a look at how her hair has switched up from the past to present.

nicki minaj switch up

Itty Bitty Nicki

In 2008 before the exhausting fame and success, Nicki had a small following; she also had a small frame to go along with it.

Can we just take a moment to thank time because the glow up is real? Although Nicki has always been beautiful, we can’t deny her hair come up is the truth.

Before her hair game stepped up, she would still wear black wavy hair ranging from 16-18 inches with wispy see-through bangs. So glad we have moved on up as the Jeffersons would say.

If you are looking to achieve this gorgeous wave type though, give Spanish wave extensions a try.

nicki minaj bangs spanish waves

5-star Nick

In 2009, Nicki started stealing our hearts on song features. She had everybody wondering who she was with her spicy song lyrics.

Nobody heard anything quite like her since the great legacy of the first lady of hip-hop, Lil Kim! One of her most famous songs that year was a feature she did to Yo Gotti’s 5-star Chick along with Gucci Mane and Trina.

This year she kept the hits coming and the bangs too. Everywhere she was, she had her blunt cut bangs right behind her. I was in high school at the time, and I can’t count how many times I saw a girl with blunt cut bangs who called themselves Barbie.

Nicki’s Barbie supporters started reminding me of a cult. But who wouldn’t want to follow the trend of the newest Hip Hop princess? Still, to this day, I love a straight bone style with blunt cut bangs, you can give this look a try with Brazilian extensions.

nicki minaj bangs with spanish waves

Moment 4 Life

Nicki got her wish because her moment is still here.

She was very new to the game back then, and she took the 2010 year to drop her first debut album Pink Friday. Originally the highly anticipated album debuted number 2 on the US Billboard 200 eventually reaching number 1. Nicki was killing the game, and so was her hair. We have now moved into our next phase of bangs.

This time her blunt cut bangs were curled under for a more dramatic image, and she had the most intense long graduated bobs any of us had ever seen. Her bob was very short in the back and long in the front.

To bring the heat up a notch, she added an ombre of green to the ends of her hair in the front. Overall a very fierce look and eye catchy. I mean back when she longed for the attention to make a name for herself so why not do it with bold hair.

Loving the look you see? Private Label offers Russian blonde extensions! Yay!

nicki minaj blonde hair green bob bangs
nicki minaj green bob with bangs
nicki minaj dramatic bob

Nicki Banged Out

2011 was an excellent year for Minaj being as though she just dropped her album the previous year and gained more recognition making a name for herself.

She toured with Britney Spears that summer as her opening act to up her fan base. As her fan base grew, so did her collection of wigs. She didn’t let go of her bangs entirely, but in 2011 we started seeing Nicki’s forehead for a change.

Here is a look she chose for the billboard awards that year. Plush pink with blond roots. The pink is very airy with hints of blond streaks. Again with Russian blonde wavy extensions from Private Label Extensions and a bottle of semi-permanent hair color from your local beauty supply, you can make magic happen!

2011 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals
2011 Billboard Music Awards - Arrivals

Half & Half

That same year Nicki switched back and forth from bangs, she opened our eyes to more colorful looks.

This look is an image from the American Music Awards. As you can see her bangs are back like they never left, and she chose to go half blond and half blue with ombre blue on the bottom of the blond extensions.

She is undoubtedly ahead of her time because I tend to see these half one color, half another color styles quite often now. No worries, blonde PLE extensions and color, you can achieve this look too!

nicki minaj half blue half blonde
nicki minaj half blue half blonde

Blonde Bombshell

Fast forward to 2012, Nicki has made a name for herself, and everyone loves her music and features.

Mind you; she dropped her second studio album Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. She began her first headlining tour that summer in May. To add to her accomplishments, she was asked to join the panel of American Idol in 2012.

She stepped out on the scene frequently that year in a long blond lace frontal wig. Her appearance was beautiful and subtle from the hip-hop artist we know and love. She still chose to wear bright, bold, daring ensembles with her Barbie-blonde hair.

nicki minaj blonde lace frontal

Embracing Black Roots

In 2013 she kept the platinum blonde look but added black roots for a more realistic approach on her extensions.

At this point in her career, I don’t think Nicki longed for attention anymore with dramatic hairdos and outfits; I think she was settling into the fact that she was on top of the rap game as a female artist.

You can see by even the makeup her stylists chose that year that they were going for a more subtle look in her overall image. I loved it personally, very angelic and calming.

Take Private Label’s Russian blonde tape-in extensions and dye the roots black to achieve any one of the following styles Nicki had that year. I don’t know about y’all, but I was here for this that year!

nicki minaj platinum blonde dark roots bob
nicki minaj platinum blonde dark roots

Meet Onika

In the year 2014, I believe we finally met Onika Tanya Maraj.

This year was a big year for her dropping her third studio album The Pinkprint, a playoff of words from Jay-Z’s The Blueprint. She battled a public breakup with her longtime boyfriend of 10 years Safaree Samuels.

She gave everybody exactly what they craved by finally laying her heart out on the line through her music. The release of the album talked intensely about her love for her ex and a lot of what they had been through throughout their relationship. She also had everybody shocked to see she had moved on so quickly from such a long association with rapper Meek Mill.

Her image that year played a significant role in how her audience would view her. They were very tactful and smart by giving Minaj black hair the whole year with little to no makeup for a believable heartbreak.

By no means am I saying the break-up didn’t hurt her but who walks around with dramatic, colorful make-up and hair when they are going through personal things in life? Although I hate she went through the pain, I’m thankful as a fan because it allowed her to drop an unforgettable album and I never quite saw how beautiful Nicki was until this year because of how natural her appearance was.

For a natural look like these, try out the Brazilian wavy extensions from Private Label Extensions.

nicki-minaj
Nicki Minaj

Making Her Mark

Nicki went on to tour the following year of 2015 for the Pinkprint album while her current boyfriend at the time Meek Mill joined her on tour.

As you can see, she kept the black hair throughout that year as well just changing up her hairstyles, and her makeup remained simple like her hair. I’m thinking she kept this natural image for the tour seeing as how the album was still about heartbreak and all of her fans to relate in concert.

Another reason for her appearance staying subtle may be because Nicki landed her first major movie deal that year as a character in Ice Cube’s Barbershop movie series. Many people don’t know that before Minaj was a rapper, she studied theater in high school.

Maybe she kept the black hair to be taken seriously as an actress. Either way, I’m still here for it!

nicki-minaj-black hair middle part
nicki-minaj-black hair middle part

Transitioning back to Minaj

As the 2016 year rolled in, you can see Nicki is apparently over her past love problems and returning to her usual self. As you can see her dramatic image is fading back into play with the thick dark winged eyeliner and highlights in her hair. For highlights like these, look into these clip-ins!

That same year Nicki shocked us all again, to see that she brought the bangs and blonde back. I mean she never really let the blunt cut bangs go as I said before but she probably only brought them out every once and while and not all the time like in the past.

I’m in love with this dirty blonde look with black roots. It looks more natural than the platinum blonde. Seems as if she wanted to tap back into her old self without really going all the back just yet. She slowly transitioned back to her average person.

nicki-minaj-blonde-bangs black roots
nicki-minaj-new-hair-style-new-years-eve__oPt

Long Hair to Match her Long List of Accomplishments

Last year in 2017, it seems like every time we saw Nicki she had long, exhausting hair extensions.

And when I say long, I mean like 40-inch long bone straight bundles. Seems like a bit much but I mean we got the old but new improved Nicki back, and she has always been a head turner so her being dramatic is nothing new.

In this look, she chose her half and half style again. The middle part with half blonde and half pastel pink that hung down past her kneecaps. To add to her already charming look, she has a Barbie pink shiny two piece. I tell you, when Nicki wants to show out, she knows just how too!

The most prominent hit in social media last year, she was trending for her appearance in Migos, Motorsport, music video. Everybody who was anybody was talking about that futuristic ensemble, but #NickiBraids became a hashtag. Everyone was obsessed with this extra-long pink braids that hung to one side and hit the floor.

Like I said you never know what to expect from this female powerhouse, but I’m almost never disappointed.

nicki minaj long hair
nicki minaj long hair braids

What to Expect from Nicki in the Future

I’m not entirely sure what to tell you to expect from Nicki because we never know what she is up too.

Lately, she has been single, and it looks as if her love life has come to a halt. That may be good for her as it gives her time for herself to think and focus on her only.

She has been doing different features and collaborating with new artists, but everybody is wondering when she is going to release her album. Honestly, Nicki, your fans are waiting patiently, myself included.

In 2018 Nicki has been entirely off the radar and hasn’t posted anything on her Instagram for her fans to keep up with her since December 30, 2017. I’m just hoping her disappearance is from her sleeping in the studio creating the great music we miss hearing from her.

Where are you, Nicki? Send smoke signals; we will save you!

nicki minaj

All Hail The Queen

Aside from that Nicki’s entire image has evolved what we would expect from any phenomenal artist because nothing stays the same forever. Hopefully, Nicki has inspired you as she has inspired me to step out of the box with experimenting with different hairstyles.

Unforgettable and continuously talked about, Nicki stand frontline as a pioneer for future fashion and hair trends, all hail the queen Nicki Minaj!

About Joydan Dawson

Joydan D'nay is a writer and an aspiring publicist. She acquired her cosmetology license in high school. She used that license to financially support herself through college doing hair and nails. Graduating in 2016 with a B.A. in Communication, she has an entrepreneur mindset and ready to get her feet wet in the field of media, public relations, and all things beauty.

One thought on “Harajuku Barbie: The Hair Evolution and Switch Up of Nicki Minaj

  1. Jasminn Segovia says:

    Nicki Minaj hair game is crazy! She really looks amazing in most styles and colors. She makes exotic colors look good, I love how she can go from a green wig to blue and blonde.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *