Terrence L. Davidson was Nicki Minaj's award-winning hairstylist. He hand assembles, styles, and dyes all of Minaj's wigs. Before working with Minaj, Davidson worked with many celebrities like Left Eye, Patti Labelle, Trina, and Jennifer Hudson. As of December 2012, Davidson and Minaj have parted ways.
As of Febuary 21, 2014, Terrence filed suit Friday in district court in Atlanta against Nicki alleging that the star not only stole his wig designs, but also cost him a potential reality show deal that he was discouraged from pursuing.
Photos of Terrence, Nicki and wigsEdit
Interview with TerrenceEdit
Back in the fall of 2011, Terrence spoke with Allure Magazine about Nicki's wigs and how his career started.
What do you love about working with wigs? "That we can step out of the box. You can play with colors; you can play with anything and everything without damaging someone's hair. And they're so convenient. You can curl them in advance and that takes away a lot of the process the day of an event. The hair is already done!"
How is wig styling different from hairstyling? "The difference is that you're working on a mannequin head. And that's a skill you definitely have to be blessed with because you can't just put a wig on and have automatically fit well. You have to know your client to make it look perfect, where to stop with the cap on the mannequin, where to put the bangs. I have to know Nicki's head."
Is it human or synthetic hair? "Our hair is definitely all human hair, usually Indian. We want to be able to curl the hair. Synthetic hair you cannot curl."
Where do you get your supply? "You'd have to follow me to find out! I will tell you that I use mostly Mizani haircare products. The Mizani Supreme Oil is number one, it keeps the hair soft and shining but it still has body."
How often do you wash the wigs? "Every week. I use the Mizani shampoo and conditioner."
How do you keep her hair healthy underneath the wigs? "I believe in keeping the hair braided up, washed and conditioned. Keep it braided and you'll have no probably with hair damage."
How long can you keep a wig? "Three to four months, maybe a bit longer if you're taking great care of it. After that, get yourself some new hair. If you invest in a wig for that amount of time, it will keep you from having to revisit the salon."
How often does Minaj wear the same wig? "Not too often. We have multiples of those black and blond bobs—more than 'multiple.'"
When I interviewed Minaj about six months ago she estimated that she had 100 wigs. Has that figure changed? "[Laughs] It's way past that."
Where do you store her wig collection? "I keep them at home. Each wig is on shelf, it's like a library. One of my bedrooms is actually my wig room—all Nicki’s. She takes up my whole room. She’s going to have to start paying rent!"
How did you do the leopard-print hair she wore to the Grammy's? "I hand-painted these leopard spots—no stencil—because she was wearing a leopard-print jumpsuit. I painted the outer circles and then just went in and did the colors that go inside. At first I wasn't sure about the look. She wanted leopard print on the hair and I was like, 'Wow.' Then I did it and I looked down at it and said, 'This is going to be amazing.' Her smile was so big when we put that hair on. When the whole outfit was together, I thought it was great."
How did you first get involved in the business? "When I was in high school I used to draw hairstyles for girls, but I wasn't even thinking about doing hair. Around the time I graduated high school, my cousins were going to beauty school and I kept seeing them coming home with different hairstyles and I thought, 'I already want to own a salon; and I think the artwork is already in me, I draw hair all the time.' So I put two and two together and I decided to got to beauty school. My mom was against it at first but I had to do me. And it worked out."
Who was your first celebrity client? "My start at celebrity hairstyling was with Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes on the cover of Honey magazine; she was wearing a headdress. And I was like, Wow, I know I want to do this, this is what I got to get into. Since then, I've worked with Patti LaBelle, Trina, Jennifer Hudson, so I had my share of different clients, different hairstyles. And now, Nicki brings this creativity to the world and it's perfect for me."
Any advice for someone starting out in the industry? "I always tell those trying to get to get to where I'm going not to give up. Keep pushing. Keep knocking on those doors. I have been told ‘no’ so many times. But that one person who tells you yes—which for me was Nicki with her creative hairstyles—will get you to where you want to be.