I Wore A 40-Inch Nicki Minaj Wig Without Nicki Minaj Money For A Week And Here's How Life Went

    I just really love my natural hair — apparently more than I love luxury $800 wigs.

    Hey y'all! I'm Essence, beauty editor here at BuzzFeed, and because I'm a certified lazy beauty with a thick mound of hair, I keep three styles in rotation: Afro, Afro puff, and Afro puffs...with an "s."

    Most recently, though, I got the most drastic makeover of my life by Unilever hairstylist Ursula Stephen, also the mane slayer to stars like Rihanna and Bebe Rexha!

    The transformation was part of a challenge in which I, along with my two gorge coworkers Patrice and Sylvia, rocked a 40-inch human hair lace front like Nicki Minaj's for a work week.* The catch, however, was that I don't have Minaj money, so no glam squad to put my wig on every morning, or to make sure it wasn't caught in anything like zippers and subway doors.

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    *I actually took on the challenge for a full week. I didn't do much on Saturday, tho, except for a liquor store run, so I didn't wear it since I spent the day in the house. I wore it to a spa on Sunday, but I was only there for a few hours before returning to my old lady nest.

    My wig came from Exotic Hair in Brooklyn, the same spot Nicki's stylist gets some of her wigs from, and it was $800...ON SALE. 😱

    It took about two hours for the full transformation, start to finish. Part of a good wig lay is making sure that your natural hair is as flat as possible underneath. Ursula blew out my hair and braided it down so that the wig could have a flat foundation.

    Once she was done with the braid-down, she put on a stocking cap and lined my wig to this A-list perfection!!! I instantly felt like the love child of Idris Elba and Cher.

    I was in LOVE with the look and randomly twerked in excitement throughout the day. Surprisingly, the hair didn't feel too heavy, but I was hyper-aware that I had a veil of hair trailing me as I got on the train and walked down the NYC streets.

    On day two I woke up earlier than usual to give myself plenty of time to put on my hair, and I was STILL late to work. I took so long trying to get my wig right, I forgot I was boiling an egg on the stove. All the water evaporated, and the egg and pot were severely burnt. My hair, however, was POPPIIIIIIIIN'!!!

    After work I had a second date with this new guy I've been chillin' with. My hair was in my go-to Afro puff on our first date, so I didn't want to warn him of my new toddler-sized wig. Patrice braided it for me because I wanted to look grown and sophisticated. I showed up like all was normal to get his honest first impression. Long story short, he loved it!

    New guy stared for a second when he first saw me, clearly trying to figure out what was different. Then he finally said, "Your hair was big and curly the first time, right?" He told me that he liked the switch and said how beautiful I was several times throughout dinner. I was pleased with his reaction and relieved he wasn't one of those "I only like natural girls" characters who are anti–weave and makeup, so I agreed to seeing him again. Plus, he has REALLY good taste in restaurants and y'all know eating is my favorite sport!

    OK so on some real shit, by day three I was low-key missing my 'fro. I still liked the look, but I was NOT feeling all the work that went into making sure my wig was laid every day. Waking up early was getting old real quick, so I just decided to go to work makeupless and do a slight beat once I got there.

    I was so over it once I got to work, and I thought about not doing my makeup at all. But I quickly snapped out of it and asked myself, "What would Onika Tanya Maraj do?" It didn't matter that she'd have a full glam squad on deck to assist her. All that mattered is that she'd still have her face DID, so I whipped out my cosmetics bag and got busy like a good lil' barb.

    On day four, my wig felt looser than the days before. I'm thinking this was because my braids underneath were getting looser, naturally so, so my wig wasn't as snug as it had been. I'm always running because I'm always late, and the last thing I wanted was for my slightly looser wig to fly off in the wind. So, in the words of Ursula, I "pinned the FUCK outta that wig."

    I also had a photo shoot with one of my fave coworkers, Taylor. It was the highlight of my day, and it was exciting to get back into the glam of it all with a shoot. It really reminded me that while my new look did require more work than I'm used to, it was also really fun and I should totally be enjoying the whole experience.

    Later that night I met with some of my homegirls for dinner, and I was warmly greeted with a whole lotta "YAAAAAS!", "You betta werrrrrrk!", and "BIIIIIIIISSSSSH!" reactions. We talked everything, from hair to Amber Rose, and then after about three hours, I went home, snatched off my wig, and passed out.

    Probably goes without saying, but by day five, I was hype that the challenge was coming to an end! Don't get me wrong. It was crazy fun wearing such an over-the-top hairstyle, but it was a lot of work, and I just really love my natural hair — apparently more than I love luxury $800 wigs.

    It's definitely a cute look, but nothing I could rock every day. I'm thinking I'll make it my Hamptons wig/upscale club "We gettin' bottle service tonight!" wig.

    Which crazy expensive or over-the-top trend should we try next? Holler at me in the comments below!