synthetic weave

The Evolution of box braids

Box braids didn’t become popular until the early 80′s when the GOAT Patrice Rushen took to the R&B and jazz scene

But at the time, they weren’t really called “box braids.” They were individual braids inspired by North African cultural aesthetics, especially Egyptian. However, box braids have their roots in our home region, West Africa as well.

Early on, you saw a peep of these beautiful, intricate hairstyle in the late 70′s from the female singers in Oddysey and S.O.S. Band

I believe both singers from these bands appeared with these hairstyles in the year 1977. So box braids have been here in African-American culture for a LONG time. It just didn’t really become a fad until the early 90′s because before then, these hairstyles were looked at as “trippy” Afrocentric hairstyles that artists would wear to get in touch with their African roots. The 80′s was a time where a lot of African-American artists’ fashion were inspired by West and North African roots.

 At the turn of the decade, you began to see box braids become more mainstream with Janet Jackson, Naomi Campbell’s ethereal ass, rapper Yo-Yo, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Then in the mid 90′s, Stacey Dash makes braids en vogue by sporting the famous look in Clueless.

All the middle to upper-class girl caught on to box braids because of this but who should really get credit is the incomparable, Brandy Norwood!

Ask for “Moesha” at the hair salon, and it was say no more.

Mariah’s white-passing ass tried them on for size in her Thank God I Found You remix video and they looked dope!

And then here comes sexy stemme Alicia Keys bringing back our great-great-great North African ancestry in 2001

She made cornrows cool for all the black girls in grade school!

And I almost forgot! Beyonce really made kinky twists hot in the early ‘00s as well

Always looking like somebody’s cool redbone cousin rollin’ up at the family cookout 

Then Christina Aguilera tried to join in on the fun, but we said, “Nah, sweetie. You Latinx but you not afro honey. But you look cute sis”

*fast forward to several years later*

Unfortunately, box braids were no longer as popular as they were in the early ‘00s. Bad, synthetic weaves dyed a tacky brown were in from 2004-2008.

But in early 2013, box braids had a revival!

Thank you, Keri Hilson! You may not be shit, but you did that thing! I always said you was my hair-fashion icon tho. I can’t stunt on you.

We had Zoe Kravitz make braids cool for the edgy, sarcastic and loner black girls like me!

Soon, we saw so many pictures of black girls modeling box braids on Tumblr and Instagram!

Solange soon rocks these braids because she’s hip and poppin’

Then Christina Milan being Afro-Latina, she had to get in on this

Even Tia or Tamera

Soon, these 90′s R&B girls came back for a reunion with their beautiful, braided locs!

We all saw Ayesha Curry try to butter up to the black female community by taking an adorable selfie with her mama 

Now we got Instagram models and actresses making braids en vogue!

(Babyhairs aren’t mandatory and I recommend women with type 4 hair to get these styles. If you are under, I wouldn’t keep these in for very long)

So now box braids are everywhere, and they are the go-to for a black girl’s protective style, especially if they have my hair type! But anyone who is black and of African descent can wear them. You don’t have to have tightly-coiled hair to wear these, but they are what the styles are intended for since the hair is apt for them. 

 And notice something else; none of these styles were coined or invented by white or non-black women. They were all made and adorned by black women. And Patrice Rushen is the Godmother of protective styles. Don’t whitewash these!

The only way I will allow a white Avenger in the Black Panther 2018 movie is if there is a scene of one or more of the Dora Milaje dragging black widow by her dusty dry synthetic burgundy weave across the Wakanda palace floor before throwing her ass out a window. As an answer to the white Queen/King of Wakanda fanfics that are written now and will be written in the future. 

Let’s Talk Fire Safety

As witches and pagans, candles are a big part of our culture.  Oftentimes we use candles in a nod to our predecessors that we honor.  However, we often forget they used candles because it’s all they had, and that they were as familiar with safely using them as we are with safely (hopefully) using kitchen knives.

Quick Refresher: 

1. Never ever leave candles/burn bowls unattended especially if you have familiars or kids
2. Put candles inside of glasses, bowls etc, so that if they burn low nothing surrounding the candle catches fire. 
3. If you have Carpet, do your burn bowls outside on the driveway, or in the sink. 
4. If you’re lighting paper strips or anything else on fire, do it in the sink, or on the driveway, or over/by a body of water. 
5. When burning loose incense with charcoal make sure it is on a hot pad, and away from flammable items that floating ash/embers could ignite. 
6. In your alter room or wherever you are burning candles, have a heavy, non-synthetic weave blanket to put out any emergency situation.  If you are working with chemical items like charcoal, oils, etc, water may not do the trick.
7. Be aware of what you are using as a candle holder or candle decor… does it have anything that is flammable on or near the candle (decorative ribbons, herbs, flowers, sticks, paper, etc).  
8.  BEWARE of the most common ritual candles sold in etsy shops and events - the ones with HERBS and FLOWERS in them - the flowers/herbs WILL IGNITE!!
(personally I avoid them, but if you definitely want to burn them, watch them CLOSELY, it only takes a second and the dried herbs are highly flammable)

hey commander shepard so listen we know you basically got turned into human pudding when you fell from orbit and crashed into Alchera but we reinforced your skin and organs with synthetic weave (pls don’t tell thane) and have reconstructed your bones to be incredibly strong (pls don’t tell joker) submitted by Everyday Carry

Spring can bring some of the nicest weather, but also some of the most unpredictable. It’s not uncommon to get caught in a downpour, and arrive at your destination soaked to the bone. By switching up your EDC to include some weatherproof gear, you can keep both yourself and your gear dry. Don’t forget about weight, either. Heavier clothing like winter jackets and pants tend to have more pockets to store your gear, which is not usually the case with shorts and a windbreaker. By streamlining your EDC with easier to carry gear, you can get through the day without being weighed down. Read on to see our recommendations for solid gear to carry, rain or shine…

SlimFold Micro Wallet

You should already be slimming down your wallet, and they don’t get much thinner than SlimFold’s offerings. This 100% waterproof, stain-resistant, machine washable-wallet holds up to 12 cards and bills  in its synthetic weave material.

Buy on Amazon

Patagonia Torrentshell Packable Jacket

100% nylon construction keeps this jacket light and waterproof. Store your essentials in its zip-up front pockets (even folding in on itself completely for easy storage), and keep the rain out with its drawstring hood and hem and velcro-adjustable sleeves.

Buy on Amazon

Casio G-Shock GDF100-1A

G-Shock durability in all conditions needs no introduction. The GDF100-1A features 200 meters of water resistance and its altimeter, barometer, and thermometer keep you one step ahead of the weather.

Buy on Amazon

Declan Microfiber Handkerchief

Declan’s tech  fabric pocket squares are the modern defense for when weather happens to your gear. Stop wiping down your glasses or phone with the edge of your shirt and use Declan’s specially engineered microfiber hank instead.

Buy at Declan ($10+)

Olight S10C Baton

Olight’s newest light may be inexpensive, but it’s loaded with features. An IPX-8 rating keeps it waterproof  for up to 2 meters, while 5 brightness modes up to 500 lumens keeps it unquestionably darkness-proof.

Buy on Amazon

Spyderco Salt I

Spyderco’s Salt series lets you cut with rust-proof confidence in the wettest of conditions. The Salt I, based on the best-selling Delica design, is lightweight, shaped for utility, and blacked out to guard your eyes against glare.

Buy on Amazon

Field Notes Expedition Edition

The brand you know and trust, but with a hi-visiblity cover and water- and tear-proof synthetic paper. Pair it with the RITR Trekker Pen for worry free writing under any weather condition.

Buy on Amazon

Rite in the Rain All Weather Trekker Pen

As its name suggests, the Rite in the Rain does indeed perform under precipitation. Not only that, it can do it upside-down, in extreme temperatures, and even write on wet paper. Don’t leave your writing stranded either by stocking up on these all-weather ink refills.

Buy on Amazon

EEZ-Y Umbrella

Umbrellas are your best bet against the rain, but carrying them can be cumbersome. EEZ-Y’s compact travel umbrella features a unique vented double-canopy design that lets wind pass through without flipping or rolling it while open. It also weighs less than a pound, making its one-handed, one-button operation a breeze.

Buy on Amazon

Timbuk2 Spire Backpack

Timbuk2 makes some of the most reliable and durable bags on the market. A water-resistant TPU rolltop flap keeps your EDC (including up to a 15” laptop) protected, while zip pockets, internal organization, and external straps keep your things tidy. A lifetime guarantee also doesn’t hurt one bit!

Buy on Amazon

What gear do you switch up with the seasons? Let us know in the comments below!

Words by Mikey Bautista and Ed Jelley

Photo by Ed Jelley