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How to Make Braids Like Nicki Minaj

This outfit is Queen of Rap-approved, so file it away.

As Barbie season approaches its peak, it is only fitting that our protective style series The Braid Up honors the original Barb—and no, we do not mean the plastic, midcentury version. None other than Ms. Nicki Minaj would be that. The singer and cultural icon has given us countless hairstyles to model over the years. Recall her pink-wig phase in the early 2010s?

However, in this episode, we are praising Nicki's stylish braided ponytail look. The queen of rap frequently chooses to wear a high ponytail because it somehow *demands* respect. Therefore, watch today's episode to see how Nastacia Crooks-Brady, a hair expert, put the look together, then continue reading for advice on how to correctly maintain this Nicki-inspired style!

1. The first rule: wrap.

2. Get your hair pre-stretched.

There is nothing better than some dramatic butt-length braids, so make sure you buy packs of braiding hair that are specifically marked as pre-stretched.

3. Include beads. Knickknacks, you guys, can elevate this look a notch or two! Your inevitable ponytail flips will be completely elevated by hair accessories like rings, cuffs, and beads on the ends.

4. Be considerate of your edges. Your baby hairs up front are under a lot of spotlight because this is a fairly slicked-back style. Use a fine edge brush when swooping and styling them. With gentle bristles that will not harm your hair, it easily smoothes it down.

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