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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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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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#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 🙂

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#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.

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The almighty chase of the curl & definition

Day 3-4 of a flat twist out


I’m always asked the question ” what do you use to get your hair curly?” ” How do you define your curls?”  The answer has remained the same for the last 6 months- I do flat twist out, using diluted lottabody setting lotion and my homemade whipped shea butter. I pineapple my hair at night, shake, and fluff in the am and ROCK OUT!

I have curly hair, however I’m no longer chasing curls and demanding that my hair is ” defined” 24/7. I do my twist out on Sunday and I don’t re twist until the following Sunday. I stretch a twist out for 5 days ( sometimes 6). The picture above is a 3rd or 4th day twist out. In the morning, I take down my hair ( from the pineapple), take my shower ( the steam help loosen the hair), after the shower ( i don’t not wet the hair- I just let the steam work), spritz with Oyin Handmade Juice N Berries ( or you could use water), fluff and go.. I’m now in love with my hair on day 3-5 of my twist out- I love the volume and loose curl. Day 1-2 the pattern is really tight and and not ” big” as I would like- not my fav look ( on myself).

Day 2 of a flat twist out 

MOISTURE is what defines and shapes our curls, not product. MOISTURE is what chases frizz away. Use products to enchace what you have, not create something that isn’t there. Curls come naturally- not in a jar ( or tube, or bottle).

{ posted on BlackGirlLongHair.com/} ” Don’t fight nature, embrace it. Haute hair, begins with healthy hair. So, moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Trim every 3 months. Choose protective styles whenever possible. Avoid heat like the plague. Once you have mastered these principles, explore styling options that work with your natural curl pattern. If your hair is very kinky, roll with it…literally. Styles like finger twists and comb twists will produce awesome lasting texture with ease. These styles also tend to look better as they age. Gently separate the twist after a few days for greater volume and variety.”

Now that summer is creeping up on us and the the heat and humidity is in FULL EFFECT- Below are links to a few post to help you maintain healthy summer hair and keep the curls popping by providing tips on how to moisturize & maintain length.

Co-Washing Natural Hair

Moisturizing & Sealing Natural Hair

My ( daily/weekly/monthly) Regime

Disclaimer: These images may not be reproduced, copied, transmitted or manipulated without the written permission of Mz. Sixx. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration (digital, artist rendering or alike) is a violation of the United States and International Copyright laws. All images are copyrighted © 2012 – Au’Naturale by Mz. Sixx

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31 Days of Lupus Awareness Facts



Lupus Awareness Month is observed during May to increase public understanding of this unpredictable and potentially life-threatening disease that affects an estimated 1.5 million Americans. Here’s today’s important fact about lupus.

May 1: Lupus is an unpredictable and complex autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and can damage any organ in the body with life-threatening consequences.

May 2: Ninety percent of the people who develop lupus are female. Males also can develop lupus and their disease can be more severe in some organs.

May 3: Lupus develops most often between ages 15 and 44. However, between 10 and 20 percent of cases develop during childhood and these cases can evolve more rapidly into serious health complications.

May 4: In lupus, something goes wrong with the immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs. The result is the production of autoantibodies that causes inflammation.

May 5: Some people have genes that allow them to develop lupus. Factors that may trigger lupus in these people include infections, ultraviolet light, extreme stress, certain prescription drugs, and certain hormones.

May 6: Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of other illnesses, and symptoms can come and go over time, which makes diagnosis more difficult. Consequently, lupus can take three to five years or more to diagnose.

May 7: There is no single laboratory test that can determine whether a person has lupus. Diagnosing lupus involves analyzing the results of several lab tests, a review of the person’s entire medical history, and the history of close family members.

May 8: Lupus is treated by a rheumatologist, a physician who specializes in conditions affecting the joints and muscles. Some people with lupus may need additional care from specialists, like a dermatologist for skin problems, a nephrologist for kidney disease, or a cardiologist for heart complications.

May 9: More than 90 percent of people with lupus will experience joint and/or muscle pain that can be disabling. Medication and mind-body therapies can be used to help control the pain associated with lupus.

May 10: Lupus can be an expensive disease. The average annual cost to provide healthcare for a person with lupus is $12,643, and rises to nearly $21,000 when lost work productivity is included.

May 11: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinas, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are diagnosed with lupus two or three times more frequently than Caucasians; however, lupus affects people of all races and ethnicities.

May 12: Successful treatment of lupus often requires a combination of medications. A new treatment for lupus was approved recently, and nearly two-dozen clinical studies are underway to develop a full arsenal of treatments.

May 13: As many as 80 percent of people with lupus experience fatigue. For some, fatigue can be debilitating, even to the point of forcing them to stop working.

May 14: People with lupus are usually encouraged to engage in appropriate daily exercise in order to maintain muscle and bone strength. Care should be taken, however, to balance exercise with rest.

May 15: Systemic lupus is the most common type of lupus. Systemic lupus can affect any organ system of the body, including the heart, kidneys, lungs, blood, joints, and skin.

May 16: Discoid lupus (the most common form of skin lupus) accounts for approximately 10 percent of all cases of lupus and occurs in 20 percent of those with systemic lupus.

May 17: Drug-induced lupus is a lupus-like disease caused by taking specific prescription drugs. The symptoms usually disappear after these medications are stopped.

May 18: Women with lupus are at increased risk for loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) and are nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture.

May 19: Blood disorders such as anemia (a low number of circulating red blood cells) are common in lupus, affecting about half of all people with active disease.

May 20: People with lupus should eat a nutritious, well-balanced, and varied diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and moderate amounts of fish and lean meats. Lifestyle adjustments should always include quitting smoking, as tobacco products can cause flares of lupus symptoms.

May 21: More than 80 percent of people with systemic lupus will experience some type of nervous system complication, ranging from mild confusion or memory loss to strokes, seizures, and vision problems.

May 22: The malar, or “butterfly” rash on the face is present in about one-third of those with systemic lupus. This flat, reddish rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks, is often the only visible symptom of this form of lupus.

May 23: As many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with lupus, will develop kidney complications that require treatment.

May 24: Only 10 percent of people with lupus will have a close relative who has lupus or may develop lupus, and only five percent of children born to a mother with lupus will develop the disease.

May 25: About 40 percent of people who were originally diagnosed with cutaneous lupus, which affects only the skin, will go on to develop systemic lupus that can affect any organ in the body.

May 26: Neonatal lupus is a rare condition that affects infants of women who have lupus. With proper testing, physicians can identify most at-risk mothers, and the infant can be successfully treated before or at birth.

May 27: Lupus is not contagious and cannot be “given” to another person. Lupus is not like or related to HIV/AIDS or any other infectious disease.

May 28: With current methods of therapy, 80 to 90 percent of people with non-organ threatening lupus can look forward to a normal lifespan.

May 29: Advancing technology and better understanding of the disease have improved pregnancy outcomes. Today, 80 percent of women with inactive lupus can have successful pregnancies.

May 30: Most people with lupus are able to continue to work. However, some people may require modifications to their work environment and schedules, such as flexible work hours, job-sharing, and telecommuting.

May 31: Today people with lupus are leading healthier lives and living longer than at any time in history, thanks to researchers who continue to discover more about the underlying science of the immune system.



Click Here to Learn more about Lupus

Click Here to donate to team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

Click Here to Join Team Lupie Chicks in the 2012 Walk for Lupus- Baltimore MD – September 29, 2012

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Put on Purple For Lupus- Lupus Awareness Fact

May 18: Women with lupus are at increased risk for loss of bone mass (osteoporosis) and are nearly five times more likely to experience a fracture.

Natural Hair- 3 day old flat twist out- rolled and tucked
 My Brand New #Purple Eyeglasses- Purple Everything
 Lupus Bracelet ” Someone You Know Has Lupus” –
That someone is ” ME”
 Purple Eye Make-Up ( Elf Palette), Purple Lip Stan ( Miliani Cosmetics), Purple Crochet Earrings ( Atlanta World Natural Hair), Purple Print Top ( Burlington Coat Factory)
I’m rocking purple today for myself and all my fellow #lupieChicks!!!!!!!!