au naturale, aunaturale, lupie chick, lupus, miss naturale, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural, natural hair, womens health

I Shaved My Head Because of Lupus -2 Year Lupus Anniversary

Today (July 9th) was my 2 year ‪#‎Lupus‬ Anniversary and the first day I’ve worn my bald head out in public (that wig was killing me softly). I woke up with a tear in my eye as I realized what this day was. Thoughts of how much #lupus has taken from me….. then my family ( you all) left comments on my note and I realize just how much #Lupus has given me. Mister ( my lupus as it call it) has removed some people from my life and gave me some wonderful new friends and supporters. You guys are awesome and I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you for allowing me to celebrate and be me unconditionally! This day, July 9, 2011 forever changed my life.. ‪#‎lupiechick‬ ‪#‎bald‬ ‪#‎hairloss‬ ‪#‎NoWig‬ ‪#‎IRock‬ *I played in a little paint (makeup) this morning* and you KNOW I’m in ‪#‎purple‬ from head to toe and rocking my #lupiechick bracelets

2YrAnniversary (2)

Watch the video as I shave my head (because of Lupus)

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acne, affordable, african american, au naturale, aunaturale, lupie chick, lupus, miss naturale, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural, natural hair, womens health

DIY Homemade Green Tea Lemon Sugar Scrub

INGREDIENTS

1 cup   Sugar ( white sugar or brown sugar)

2 tbsp  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp  Raw Honey

1 tbsp  Lemon Juice

3 tbsp  (brewed) Green Tea

CHECK OUT THE YOUTUBE VIDEO


Benefits of the Ingredients

Lemon – A natural source of Vitamin C; an ingredient commonly used to lighten sun and age spots and even out skin tone; a natural astringent that tightens pores and brightens the complexion.

Sugar – A natural exfoliator; a natural source of glycolic acid which evens out skin tone, cleans pores, and improves overall skin texture by removing dead, dull skin cells.

Olive Oil – High in Vitamin E which soothes and heals skin; a natural moisturizing ingredient often used for its anti-aging benefits.

Honey – A natural humectant so it locks water into the skin keeping the complexion hydrated; the antibacterial properties benefit acne-prone skin by reducing breakouts.

Green Tea– Green tea contains catechins, which are natural anti-bacterial agents that suppress acne-causing bacteria. As well, the anti-inflammatory action of green tea helps reduce any swelling caused by acne. Green tea also contains Vitamin B and Vitamin C. An adequate amount of Vitamin B, especially B12 is key for skin regeneration. Vitamin C is essential in the production of collagen, a protein which enhances the firmness of skin and helps your skin repair itself.

As a face scrub: This scrub is ideal for people who suffer from breakouts and acne as all of the ingredients is highly beneficial to acne prone skin. Lemon tightens pores and evens out the skin tone, sugar removes dead skin cells and cleans pores, olive oil heals acne scaring, and honey prevents future breakouts.

To use, apply to clean face in gentle, circular motions. Be cautious of using on open wounds as the lemon may sting. Leave on for 7-10 minutes and rinse with cool water.

As a body scrub: Apply to body, paying extra close attention to elbows, knees, feet and hands (nails and cuticles especially) and rub in circular motions for 3 to 5 minutes. Rinse. Enjoy the silky softness of your smooth skin.

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#HAWMC, 2 strand twist, 3 strand twist, 3-C hair type, 4-b hair type, Au Naturel Diva, aunaturale, beauty products, clarfying shampoo, clarifier, co-wash, coily, color. miss sixx, curls, curly, curly fro, curly hair, curly hair syles, damage, damage hair, dry hair, product review

Eden Body Works-Peppermint Tea Tree Shampoo Product Review

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Manufacturer: Eden Body Works

Type: PEPPERMINT Tea Tree Shampoo

Size: 8 fl.oz

Price: $8.50

Rating: 4

Attributes: This invigorating shampoo increases scalp circulation for a refreshed, renewed feeling. Removes all traces of dirt and oil build up. Formulated to help alleviate dry scalp with the use of pure peppermint botanicals. (Taken from the Eden Body Works website)

Ingredients: Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Lauramidopropylamine Oxide,  Methyl Gluceth-10, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Hydroxypropyl Guar,  Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, PEG-150 Distearate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) Oil,  Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) Leaf Oil, Phenoxyethanol (insert-hand cramp, had to type that out due to their ingredients being a pic instead of typed..*sigh*)

The Good: My hair felt clean as if I had used a clarifying shampoo. My hair did not feel striped once I rinsed it. I used a product sample I’d received from a hair event, the sample contained enough shampoo for me to wash my hair twice (I have a TWA) while in the shower.

The Bad: The shampoo lathers really well, A LOT. I have become accustom to sulfate free shampoos, and am not use to a lot of lather. Although my hair did not feel striped, it didn’t feel as moisturized as when I use Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. I did not feel the “tingle” many  spoke about when using this shampoo.

Overall: It’s a good product, and personally I will continue to use this shampoo, but as a clarifying shampoo. I will opt for the more moisturizing Shea Moisture shampoo or my sulfate free brands for daily/weekly use.

au naturale, aunaturale, lupie chick, lupus, miss naturale, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural, natural hair, womens health

#HAWAC My Niece.. My Sister.. My Best Friend

I grew up the youngest of 5 children. I was the baby and often treated like a baby. I wanted to baby someone. Have someone to play with and have tea parties with. When momma said ” who did this?” I wanted someone else there to take the blame lol..lol.. All of my childhood friends had younger siblings. I never  told anyone, but I was down low envious of them. I always wanted to be someone’s big sister, be that someone to be looked up too, and with whom I could teach and share life’s experiences with. OK, lets be honest.. I wanted someone to boss around and split kitchen duty with **insert evil grin**…

My niece, Tamecca and I are 15 months apart. We lived in the same home, went to school together, and shared some of the same friends (she was friends with my friend’s younger siblings). Growing up, we DID NOT GET ALONG . I’m not sure if it was sibling rivalry or just us being stubborn, but I don’t recall too many “fun” times growing up with my niece. I could not boss her around, and she damn sure wasn’t going to help me with my chores. We argued A LOT, it wasn’t fun to always be on edge and for some reason we were never in a good place with each other. ** insert hand on hip and side eye** BUT anyone that knew us KNEW if you mess with one it was going to be hell to pay!

Fast forward to adulthood. We have a GREAT relationship. We’ve made so many phone calls to each other to share good news, bad news, and just news. I will never forget the call I made to my niece on July 15, 2011, the dreadful phone call I wish I could take back. I called my niece to tell her I have Lupus. ** insert dead silence**  because it was dead air for about 45 seconds…She tried to be brave and tell me it’s OK, but I could hear the hurt, and fear in her voice as she struggled to find the words to comfort me. My niece was the 2nd person (to my husband) I told I have Lupus. I would call her before taking any meds or to get advice relative to my treatment plan. I would call (and yell) when I was frustrated, in pain, and being a big a$$ baby. She never allowed me to feel sorry for myself or willow in pity.  Her famous line “ you know grandma (my mother) didn’t play that, she worked hard so we could have, she beat cancer, you can’t give up, the doctors don’t always know what they are doing!” ..lol..lol..The calls I would normally make to my mother (who is a retired RN, who is battling Alzheimer’s) I was now making to my niece! Had she become the little sister I always wanted. The late night call I received from her after she read my blog-her yelling telling me I just took her on an emotional roller coaster crying and laughing at the same time-How could I do that to her!! lol..lol..

In times of financial strain I’ve never had to ask to borrow money, she always volunteers to give, even if it meant borrowing from someone else to give to me. We have so many things in common in our adult life-growing up- it was Toni & Tamecca (us), both of our 2nd children are girls my daughter A’Yianah & her daughter Anya ( get it.. both names start with an A, and both of our 2nd children are girls, AND they are 16 months apart in age). We both became grandmothers for the first time together (2 days apart). I remember being really mad (I think I was 12 or 13 yrs old) at her because I wanted her to call me “Aunt Toni” lol..lol.. and I was really MAD that she refused! Lol…lol… Now, she often calls me on the phone and say “hey Te Ta” in her cheery “what cha doing voice”.

I still remember the day she announced that she successfully earned her RN nursing degree-the pride I felt was unbelievable. I was shouting “SHE DID THAT” YOU BETTER WERK!!!!! ..I was calling everyone (including people who didn’t know her to BRAG about what my niece had accomplished). Finally tears of joy!!! Something to celebrate J

The late night-early morning conversations about life, family, kids, fears, joys, lows, highs, with no judgment-are PRICELESS !!!!! We cry together, we laugh together, we pray together. I love my niece sister. I’m proud of the relationship we have now, I have my sister, my niece, my best friend, my ride or die, all rolled up into one!

Love you niecy-sissy poo 🙂

au naturale, aunaturale, lupie chick, lupus, miss naturale, miss sixx, mz sixx, natural, natural hair, Uncategorized, womens health

#HAWMC Long Hair Dont Care… Short Hair Dont Either

Lupus Related Hair Loss

Lupus hair loss can be caused by the disease itself, as the immune system destroys hair follicles, or by medicines such as prednisone and immune system-suppressants—in which case hair loss often stops once the medicine is stopped. Hair may fall out in strands, or in clumps with the slightest pull, and sometimes it just thins out and gets very fragile and breakable.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an average person loses anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair each day. This may seem like a lot but keep in mind that it’s normal to lose and re-grow hair. However, when you aren’t seeing any re-growth, then it’s typically a sign that you may have an issue with your hair.

Most people don’t even notice the 50 to 100 strands of hair that they usually lose every day. With systemic lupus, the situation can be very different, with the loss of hair much more dramatic and noticeable.

It’s not a secret that I recently experienced hair loss after my most recent flare up. I didn’t speak about it much as it was happening, but on March 15, 2013 after months of shedding, loc’s breaking off, and obvious balding around my edges, I decided to BC aka Big chop.

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I went to see my home girl Camille, Owner & Natural Hair Stylist at Noiree Salon in Silver Spring, MD and had her to take it off. She seemed a little hesitant, saying that she would take me shorter but I didn’t have to BC. I said NO- I’m ready- TAKE IT OFF! In a matter of 5 minutes my two strand twists were laying in a pile on the salon floor.

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The previous year, I suffered hair loss and had my cousin April cut my bra strap length hair into a Diva cut.

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This time, I was ready to “let it go” (in my Keyshia Cole voice). My TWA has changed my looks. Co workers barely recognized me when I returned to work, and attendees of my event Cupcakes & Cocktails were surprised at the short hair. I rocked a TWA continuously for 7 years back in the 90’s, but most of the people that I socialize with today had never seen me with short hair.

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I’m still a little self conscience about the bald spots (especially my edges) – but as we all know-sometimes its part of the process (shrug shoulders).

Beginning today I will document my journey as I take steps to re grow my hair (specifically my edges). I’m not seeking to grow my hair a certain length, I just want to re grow the balding spots.

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Check Out These Helpful Tips To Assist With Regrowing Your Hair
Vitamins & Supplements for Hair Growth (Biotin)
  • Few people are actually deficient in biotin, which occurs naturally in bacteria in the gut. Nevertheless, therapeutic doses of biotin – also called Vitamin H or B7 – are necessary to achieve benefits in hair health and rapid growth. It is difficult to overdose on biotin – many supplements come in 500 microgram capsules.
  • Biotin is useful for those who want their hair to grow faster: some claim it can even reverse premature greying if the greying is caused by marginal biotin levels. Biotin can be taken alone or in conjunction with other B-vitamins. The latter may be a good idea if you lead a stressful lifestyle – B vitamins help to prevent stress, which is a cause of hair loss!
fotoflexer_photo-05311Natural Oils that can be used to help promote regrowth
  • Peppermint and Rosemary are commonly used to regrow hair, but must be combined with other oils like olive oil or coconut oil (also good for hair regrowth)
  • Castor oil and Jamaican Black Castor Oil are often used for regrowth because of their thick quality and ability to thicken the hair. Jamaican Black castor Oil
Iimagef your hair loss is mild, try a new haircut
  • You don’t have to BC like I did (that was my personal preference). Long hair is weaker than short, so consider a shorter ‘do’ with layers to hide thinning or bald patches.
  • Wash fragile hair with baby shampoo, and use a leave-in conditioner with sun block
  • Products like Shea- butter and sesame oil have natural UV filtering properties. And while many hair products claim to protect hair from the sun, unless they have a SPF rating or contain a known sunscreen ingredient, these could be just marketing claims. If you plan to be out in the sun for more than an hour, the best hair care tip is to wear a stylish hat or scarf.
  • Avoid adding more stress to your hair from using curlers and alcohol-based styling products, which can irritate sensitive skin.
img_20120518_081708Rock Your Good Hair
  • Hairpieces and extensions can be added into thin areas to create a fuller look. Just make sure that these aren’t too tight, because tension on weakened hair also can lead to hair loss.
  • Wigs come in a wide range of styles, colors, and lengths. Your stylist can custom cut the wig to match your face (and personality). And don’t forget your scalp! Keep it dry to prevent chafing, and remove the wig occasionally to allow your skin to breathe.580474_398811326825199_1106362203_n

Whether you decide to go with a wig or a new hairstyle, remember that there’s no wrong way to deal with hair loss. Everyone has a different comfort level; it should be an individual decision. Stay tuned as I document  my attempts!

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If you have lupus and are losing hair, do NOT experiment with over-the-counter hair loss treatments. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

au naturale, aunaturale, lupie chick, lupus, miss naturale, mz sixx, natural, natural hair, womens health

Day 1 #HAWMC Why I Write

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I am super excited to be taking part in the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge which is being hosted by WEGO Health! The entire month of April will be dedicated to sharing our stories as well as educating and raising awareness!

Day 1 #HAWMC Why I Write

Initially, I had a blog relative to natural hair. I LOVED talking about natural hair, and offering advice & tips as to how to care for natural hair. Au Naturale by Mz. Sixx was my baby. I had gained followers, was getting offers from companies to host giveaways, & meetups – I was on to something. In 2011 Lupus creped his ugly head into my life. I could no longer keep up with blogging, attending social events and was lost as to what was happening to my body. After being diagnosed, I was stumped as to how I would tell my friends and family I finally had a reason for the scarring on my face and the extreme exhaustion. I took to my blog and posted Hello-I’m A Lupie Chick.

That was the first time I had actually said the words “I have Lupus”. Wow, the response was overwhelming as most of my friends and family was not educated or aware about Lupus. The inbox messages, text, emails began to be too much. First, blogging about Lupus was a “relief” and a way that I could provide my friends and family with updates. There were moments when I felt like I was complaining or no one was reading. Months had gone by without any posts, because I didn’t want to burden my followers with my Lupie Chick issues. I started to receive tweets stating that they were about Lupus because of my blogging and interactions on social media. There were a few people in my life who suffered in silence and they were speaking through me and the blog. WHAT A BURDEN THAT WAS FOR ME TO CARRY. Additionally, I was still posting on the natural hair blog. It was too much, What if I said the wrong thing? What if I felt like saying F*uck it-would I offend someone? Would I receive hatful messages because someone didn’t like my post? How can I keep up the pace with informative content on two blogs?  I came to realize that I’m human; I’m not a robot that you can switch off and on. I don’t have to blog daily or weekly. I have feelings, emotions and a voice that I refuse to silence to spare anyone else’s feelings.

In March of 2013, I combined both blogs- Au’Naturale by Mz. Sixx and The Lupie Chick = Naturally Lupie.  I write to be a voice and a face to a little known invisible disease. I write in a conversational way….my grammar isn’t always correct, I occasionally use slang and or profanity-not to get attention, but because that how I speak to my friends or that’s how I’m feeling at the time. I didn’t want my blog to be a text book encyclopedia type of blog. I didn’t want my blog to be a repeat of every other natural hair blog. I wanted my blog to tell the struggle and be a pillar of strength for the weak and weary. My blog is the little thing in your head saying “yes you can and YOU WILL”. I’ve always been loud and in your face type of person (some say obnoxious)-I’m not the whispering type…so why start now? Mister (my Lupus) is loud and obxinous too- when he wants attention he show up on my face and my hair. He has tried his best to take my beauty and silence me. Most recently, I’ve had to cut all my hair off aka Big Chop the day before a huge event I was hosting to celebrate women, as a result of a Lupus flare (talk about loud and obnoxious). The hair loss has left me bald around the edges and nape of my head. I posted about it on Instagram w/ pictures, and guess what- I received 36 comments where other Lupies have or had experienced the same thing.

THAT’S WHY I WRITE; to speak up and not suffer in silence or alone. I have had moments where I had no idea what to write and felt like I had no meaningful content left to offer. I have had moments where I’ve felt completely inadequate to try to offer hope to readers when I felt so helpless myself. I have had moments as recently as this weekend when I’ve felt like I physically didn’t have anything left to give. But I do- I have LOTS more to give and I will continue to write- not only for you but for ME!

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Not The End Of Me


Not The End Of Me
Who am I?
I don’t know…
Had I become that person I so despise?
My thoughts
Deep, dark, and unrecognizable
Who am I?
Did I just give up?
Given up on life, love, my passions, and everything in between
Who am I?
A cry baby
Weak
Distorted thoughts
State of confusion
Broken Spirit
Negative
Shaken
Stirred
Who am I?
A silent voice and distant eyes
That no one hears my cry’s
Who am I?
Drowning in the depths of sorrow,
with no tears left to cry.
Who am I?
© The Lupie Chick 2013

I’ve been was battling depression for the past 6 months. A lot of stress triggers has occurred with my relocation to Georgia, my employment, my health, and a multitude of other things. I leaned heavily on my sister- friends that keep praying for my recovery and strength to come out of this dark space. I was having uncontrollable crying spells, insomnia, panic attacks, nightmares (when I would finally sleep) and just an overall feeling of failure. I wanted to die. In my opinion, my spirit was already dead. I was in a very dark mind space and I couldn’t see my way out. While at one of my doctor visits, the doctor was asking me questions and I just looked up at him (as if I was possessed by a demon) and blurted out “I really don’t give a fuck right now.. Whatever you want to do is fine with me, I’m ready to go” I stood up and WALKED OUT, crying as I left his office. Later that evening I received a recorded call from Kroger pharmacy telling me my prescription was ready. [Insert demonic look and gas face] “What damn prescription?? I figured it was a wrong number and I ignored the message. 2 days later I received the recorded call again, I was in Kroger ( at Starbucks) and figured I would go over there and tell them to stop calling me ( they were using my day time minutes and I don’t have any to spare). When I reached the counter, the pharmacist acknowledged that I did have a prescription and it was ready. 
ME:  “YOU CAN KEEP IT- I HAVE NO INSURANCE & NO MONEY!”
Pharmacist: “Ms Dugar your cost is $4 and if you have Kroger points I can reduce that to $2” Me: [face twisted and annoyed] fine [mumbling and grumbling]
Pharmacist: Please step to the counseling window
ME: Continue face twisting/mumbling/grumbling
Pharmacist: You have been prescribed Zoloft. Zoloft is known to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and panic disorder. This medicine is an antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI).
ME: [insert, hand on hip, pissed off stance] so what exactly are you saying because I didn’t ask for this?
Pharmacist: Ma’am you may want to call your physician, this prescription was called in
ME: Yeah, I’ma call him [pulls out phone and call doctor office]
After calming down a little and speaking with my physician, I now understand that his prescription wasn’t an insult to my mental stability; it was care, concern, and very well NEEDED! My physician began to tell me he sensed that I was stressed and I was displaying signs of depression. After finishing up the call, I went home, got on the Internet to do additional research.“Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression. This may be brought on by lupus, by the various medications used to treat lupus, and/or by any of the factors and forces in a person’s life that are not related to lupus. For reasons that are not entirely understood, this type of depression is often experienced by people with chronic disease.”Lupus Foundation of America
 I encourage anyone that exhibits any of the following to consult with a physician.
·  Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
·  Sadness
·  Crying (often without reason)
·  Insomnia or restless sleep, or sleeping too much
·  Changes in appetite leading to weight loss or weight gain
·  Feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, or irritability
·  Feelings of guilt or regret
·  Lowered self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
·  Inability to concentrate or difficulty thinking
·  Diminished memory and recall
·  Indecisiveness
·  Lack of interest in things formerly enjoyed
·  Lack of energy
·  General slowing and clouding of mental functions
·  Diminished sexual interest and/or perfor­mance
·  Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
I’ve exhibited 15 out of the 16 signs above. As a friend or a family member- please do not assume that a person is having a pity party or just “need to get over it”. There were moments I wanted to die, and a friend response to me was “oh Sixx, come on now, you’re having a pity party”. Depression is very serious and HARD to overcome. I’m not 100% recovered (even with the help of Zoloft).  I take it day by day-sometimes-minute by minute. When I say THANK YOU [to my my inner circle]-it’s not just 2 words. I know I have a praying circle around me-and you’re prays has kept me covered. [ praise & testimony]
  • Between 15 and 60 percent of people with a chronic illness will experience clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the ways in which lupus physically affects your body.
  • Some of the medicines to treat lupus—especially corticosteroids such as prednisone (and at higher doses of 20 mg or more)—play a role in causing clinical depression.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of the continuous series of emotional and psychological stressors associated with living with a chronic illness.
  • Clinical depression may be a result of neurologic problems or experiences unrelated to lupus.
  • Clinical depression also produces anxiety, which may aggravate physical symptoms (headache, stomach pain, etc.).
  • Two common feelings associated with clinical depression are hopelessness and helplessness. People who feel hopeless believe that their distressing symptoms may never improve. People who feel helpless believe they are beyond help—that no one cares enough to help them or could succeed in helping, even if they tried.
 Keep in Touch

Twitter: @lupieeChick
Instagram: @naturally_lupie
Email: lupiechick@gmail.com