May 13th, 2011
Breaking into Fashion, Celebrity Style, Hair, Nicki Minaj
How to Break into Fashion: Nicki Minaj’s Hairstylist Terrence Davidson
By Claire

So the other day we had the pleasure of interviewing a certified star stylist for our Breaking into Fashion series.
Today we have another fun treat: an interview with Nicki Minaj’s hairstylist, Terrence Davidson.

The Georgia native (woot!) is the creative architect behind Nicki’s inventive, multicolored, tall, and fantastic wigs and hairdos.

He took a few minutes out of his super exhausting schedule to tell you up and coming salon czars how you, too, can get your foot in the door.
Terrence started at his craft in high school. He said, “I used to always draw hairstyles for girls when they were going to the prom or going to any other special occasion. I would just sit in my study hour and draw. I’m from Atlanta, so was used to seeing creative hairstyles. I would just draw my designs, and my friends would take the drawings with them when they got their hair done.”

Not yet convinced hairstyling was for him, he enrolled at Devry to pursue a degree in business. But he wasn’t happy, and knew something was missing. He remembers, “I had two cousins who were in beauty school. I saw all the money they were making and they obviously loved what they did. They made me want to do hair. I eventually enrolled in beauty school in Atlanta.”

Upon completion of his studies, he started working at a salon called Truly Outrageous. The head stylist, Tina, took Terrence under her wing and made him truly learn the basics of hair care. He said, “At the time I only wanted to do creative styles. Tina always made me do hair I didn’t want to do. I had to learn how to do natural hair, press, and straighten hair. She had me crying one day, but she said, ‘You’re still in school, you have to learn how to do these things.’ So I learned.”

He ultimately caught his lucky break by sharing his dreams with those around him. He said,“I was working at the salon for a while. I was always watching videos on BET and admiring the hairstyles. And I felt that was what I wanted to get into. A few people I knew, knew Left Eye. So I got a gig doing Left Eye’s hair for the cover of Honey Magazine.”

“…That meant a lot to me; after that I wanted everybody to see the work I did.” His professionalism and talent with Left Eye led to other jobs with Lil Mo, Trina, Patti Labelle, Jennifer Hudson, and eventually, Nicki Minaj.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing. Terrence moved to New York after working with Left Eye and Trina, but hadn’t yet found his footing. He said, “I lived in a basement eating peanut butter and jelly for a long time. Half the world didn’t know, my mother didn’t know. But I didn’t give up.” At the time he wasn’t yet Trina’s main hairstylist, but he knew she’d be attending MTV’s Video Music Awards. He reached out to her to let her know he was in town if she needed anything. She took him up on his offer, and allowed him to assist her main stylist. He eventually became her main hairstylist and styled her hair for seven years.

His advice for those wanting to break in? “Always stay focused. Always humble yourself. People are going to tell you no, keep knocking until they say yes. And when you get that yes, show out. Keep pushing. Don’t give up.”

Wise words.
Terrence is open to people contacting him and asking for advice! So hit him up on Facebook at and on Twitter at @Hairsonly1me.
What did you think of our latest Breaking into Fashion interview?

*Terrence is having a hair battle in Atlanta on June 19th called Trans4merz ( Contestants compete for a grand prize of $6,000.

Read more here.

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34 Responses to “How to Break into Fashion: Nicki Minaj’s Hairstylist Terrence Davidson”

  1. sun.kissed says:

    Great advice! Loves that green/blue bob on Nicki.

  2. artsylee says:

    I don’t necessarily like his work, but I love his drive and the advice that he has given! He’s up there in my book :)

  3. Grace says:

    Although Nicki’s hair is always avant garde, I can appreciate his humble beginning. I can see his technique in all the drama he brings to her looks. It is so hard to precisely cut and style a bob, and the fact that Nicki’s bob is so hyper-asymmetrical, you can tell that he is a master in his craft.

    I also love that he has that Keracare Slick Stick to keep those fly-aways in check! (Mmmmm) I have just about every brand: Keracare, Bedhead, and the Nutrients one!

    Thank you for highlighting him, I always wondered who what daring enough to try those styles…


  4. kaliente says:

    Great post!
    As i clicked on the tag for breaking into fashion…you don’t know Claire this just gave me SO much life!!!!! I am an aspiring make up artist and I do free lance and i have done a few shoots, one music video , weddings and I had been slacking like majorly. I work a 9-5 and i started out doin make up when i worked at Victorias secret in the beauty dept…Our goal was to sale but i ALWAYS was in there doing MAKE OVERS!!! LOL but i was the top seller because they would want everything i used…one day i did this ladies make up and when i was done she cried and told me she never knew she could look that beautiful…right there I knew that was my calling ..besides spreading the gospel:) I thank you for these articles it just confirms what God has already given me….I look forward to a new post about a make up artist:)

    Thank you again Claire this is my FAV blog and I remember back in the day Fashion Bomb! so i have been on this journey with you for years!!!!

  5. EatLovepray_ says:

    Very inspiring, He’s such a humble dude!
    I pray one day get to show my work to the world :)

  6. Kitana says:

    This is a Great article. No offense, but Trina and Nikki ALWAYS have terrible hair. I would have never guessed Nikki was paying someone to make her look like a complete fool, I always thought these were just random wigs.

  7. Icy Twan says:

    This was a great post and he made it! Sometimes you have to hide stuff from your family to get aheas. I love when Nick hair is Blonde and really curled best hairstyle so far Terrance

  8. dyshaun says:

    I REALLY like his steeze. Good post.

  9. tasha says:

    Love that he stayed motivated and keep pushing. He has an amazing talented. I need him to come out with a Nicki Weave line so he can kill it even more. Everyone wants here bob bang look

  10. #1 FAN says:


  11. zahra says:

    does nicki really need a hairstylist to place ugly marge simpson’s wigs on her head this guy got to be the most useless hairstylist in the game and he lacks creativity those wigs are worst things i ever seen on anyone’s head. his story is good but nicki’s wigs not so much…

  12. #1 FAN says:

    @zahra do u really need a hambuger to stay alive NO BUT YOU EAT IT ANYWAY.

  13. Great post. Nicki’s hair may be over the top but it is styled to the T.

  14. Marie-josé says:

    I definetely admire his abundant creativity….I mean Nicki?? That sure isn’t an easy task to come up with all thoz.

  15. [...] Here is a snippet of the interview Mr. Davidson have done with FASHIONBOMBDAILY.COM [...]

  16. His story seemed more realistic. I don’t think he left out anything, he told it exactly how it happened…he knew someone who knew someone else. Overall, this inspired me to keep going with my dream. Great one Claire!

  17. Jaye says:

    He has an inspiring story and the perfect client! Someone willing to try all of those crazy styles lol! It definitely takes some kind of skill to cut a perfect gumby out of weave!

  18. Jay hill says:

    Im so thankful that terrence is my friend he is truly an inspiring and humble person he makes me want to Do the Right thing …oh and thats just a few of celebritys he does…. J hud,tamia, jackie o, lil kim,sharissa,tyra b, antm,sincerly ward jus to name a few…good luck t.

  19. Anonymous says:

    thas my kuzin son!!!

  20. Joanne_ says:

    Great post! Very inspiring

  21. Adrian Love says:

    Love this guy’s work, has also Im a hairstylist from the uk. Trying to get my foot through the door, its hard but I admire what Terrence says, because he archieved his dream. Humble and stayed focused when I saw the first video, of nicki minja I was happy, due to other ppl not understanding. my craft so terrance keep up the hard work people in the uk love what u do to nicki hair.

  22. EgyptianBella says:


  23. supa says:

    uhhhhhh……trina and nicki’s hair looks a mess most of the time. and am i the only one who is confused about the left eye hair styling? she wore a headdress so where did the hair styling come in?? lol

  24. wallflower says:

    we just gonna act like he’s not fine?

  25. Naima says:

    great interview.. I love to see men doing there thing.. and to mention I Looooove Nicki… total plus..

  26. dajah says:

    yall need to stop hating if its not mice dont say nun yall need to get a life

  27. dajah says:

    get a life dont say nun bout the hair cause this my uncle and i can tell him what yall saying so get a dang on life

  28. [...] How to Break into Fashion: Nicki Minaj’s Hairstylist Terrence Davidson By Jan Hinton [...]

  29. Filthy Image says:

    [...] How to Break into Fashion: Nicki Minaj’s Hairstylist Terrence Davidson [...]

  30. Rae says:

    Realize that he’s not only styled Nicki Minaj, he’s styled for Left Eye, Trina, Lauren London, Patti La Belle…and so on! Although extravagant, Don’t limit this man’s talent to only what you see on Nicki Minaj…Ive never been a fan of anyone before, but hair is my life, so I can appreciate the likes of Mr. Davidson…and I absolutely adore him for his work!

  31. [...] night, Nicki Minaj’s hairstylist Terrence Davidson (who we interviewed in this Breaking into Fashion post), announced he would be moving on after three years: He wrote, “I would like to inform the media [...]

  32. applebottom246 says:

    love ur hairstyles

  33. [...] night, Nicki Minaj’s hairstylist Terrence Davidson (who we interviewed in this Breaking into Fashion post), announced he would be moving on after three years: He wrote, “I would like to inform the media [...]

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