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Ever since Nicki Minaj stepped onto the scene, she’s become as known for her style as she is for her music. Previously, when you would see her, she’d likely have on an eccentric outfit with a wig or weave to match. But Minaj has toned down her look a bit, often going for more natural glam.

Minaj, whose real name is Onika Maraj, has shared glimpses of her real hair since the early 2010s, but if you missed it, learn what Nicki Minaj’s real hair looks like and more about her style here.

A head shot of Nicki Minaj in a floral dress and sunglasses
Nicki Minaj outside of a fashion show in 2020 | Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Inside Nicki Minaj’s style transformation

When Minaj started putting out music, she had simple look that consisted of long dark hair and cute, casual outfits. But after finding fame and signing to Lil Wayne’s Young Money music label, she made herself stand out by going for unique fashion choices, including bright, colorful wigs.

Minaj once told ELLE that she always loved “wild” styles but never had the confidence to try any herself until she was older. “I was always inspired by people who did wild stuff but didn’t always have the balls to do it myself. Now I can’t leave it alone,” she explained. “Even with my wigs, I get bored. I can’t believe I used to wear the same hairstyle every day of the year.”

Minaj started rocking all kinds of hair colors and styles, including pink, yellow, blue, green, and animal print hair. As her style shifted, she seemed to wear her natural hair less and less, but Minaj still kept it up to make sure it stayed healthy.

“I do a wash and set, I go to a Dominican hairstylist who uses a lot of hot oil treatments and I use really moisturizing Mizani shampoos and masks,” she once told Hello! Magazine of her natural hair routine.

Eventually, Nicki Minaj started to wear her real hair more

By the mid-2010s, Minaj had readopted a more natural look, explaining in an interview that she had become more confident with it.

“I kind of feel now that I look more like my regular old self, like what I look like when I’m at home,” she said in the chat (via The Advocate). “I think there’s just a little bit more confidence and so I’m like, ‘It is what it is. I am who I am. I look like what I look like.’ I don’t really have to change much of it anymore.”

She showed off her natural tresses several times, including in a late 2020 Instagram post, which showed it looking healthy and hanging down her back. “If I perm my hair it’s gon b touchin my booty,” she captioned the image. “Should I perm it yall? Real hair to match my real big ol ghetto booty. Ugh love this for me 🤪”


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Fans begged her in the comment section not to perm it, citing how beautiful it looked in its natural state. She never said whether she did, but it wasn’t long before she changed her look again.