An Open Letter to Nancy Roxanne, the Kenyan Blogger Who Thinks Nappy is Ugly

Dear Roxanne,

I have to say that as a fellow black woman blogger, I’m disappointed in you. It appears that your impression of the hair God gifted you with is inferior to the straight silky hair of the people who first taught you that your unique beauty couldn’t hold a candle to theirs. And I’m sad that you have that impression, but I’m a little bit pissed that you’re trying to dampen the spread of the natural hair movement in your country, and discourage black women because, according to you, our natural hair is too high maintenance, too expensive, and looks just plain ugly on most of us.

Now I don’t do this often, because I don’t believe in comparing myself to other women. I think we all have something unique that can be cultivated and be made beautiful. But in this case, I have to.

Here’s a picture of me, with my natural hair. And then there’s you, with what is obviously weave.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 8.56.29 AM

It’s sad to me that you think that fake hair–that we know costs hundreds to buy and even more to maintain–superior to the hair that comes from your own head. It also makes me angry that you are seemingly mocking black women who no longer buy into your ideals, and who are trying to love and learn to do their own hair.

You said:

Secondly, contrary to what the naturalistas may want you to believe, natural hair is a pain to manage. Getting natural hair to look presentable enough to leave the house is a nightmarish chore. Washing, detangling and styling involves a gruelling regimen where you spend hours with hands over your head.

Chile…I wash my hair once a week. It takes an hour to prep for styling. It takes five minutes every night to set if i’m wearing it like this…


And about five minutes to fluff out in the morning. How long does it take for you to brush out that weave, tame it with some weave spray, and curl it and comb it everyday? Just a question.

Like with everything, there are phases when you learn something new. My first twist out was a disaster. I washed my hair way too much. Wash and go’s will never be my thing. But with time, effort, and a will to discover and empower myself, I persevered, and have a natural style that many black women covet.

I resent your effort to discourage black women in your country to discover their unique beauty with their god-given follicles, and not those bootleg strands you have on your head that you should know ain’t fooling nobody, sis.


Yep. That’s all mine, Roxanne.

As for costs. I think you and I can meet on common ground. There’s a lot of companies out there trying to jump on the natural hair bandwagon and if you’re just starting out, you might just grab any and everything. That’s why it’s important to do research, and read books like The Science of Black Hair. 

What is more, there are many natural concoctions you can make from home that will cost you pennies and work just as well, if you master the technique.



Roxanne, you’re  a pretty girl. I’d like to see what you look like under that disguise.

With big sisterly love,

Christelyn Russell-Karazin

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