Shayna Simone of Amora Luxe Hair Restoration Center: “Self-care”

Self-care is one. Prayer is two. Three is a good support system. Four is your family — your loved ones. And you need to know your “why?” You need to know why you’re getting up every day, why you’re still fighting for your survival. Whatever that “why?” is, whether it’s your children, purpose in the world, whatever […]

Thrive invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

Self-care is one. Prayer is two. Three is a good support system. Four is your family — your loved ones. And you need to know your “why?” You need to know why you’re getting up every day, why you’re still fighting for your survival. Whatever that “why?” is, whether it’s your children, purpose in the world, whatever that “why?” is, you will need that, for sure. That could be a lot of different things [for people].

Cancer is a horrible and terrifying disease. Yet millions of people have beaten the odds and beat cancer. Authority Magazine started a new series called “I Survived Cancer and Here Is How I Did It”. In this interview series, we are talking to cancer survivors to share their stories, in order to offer hope and provide strength to people who are being impacted by cancer today. As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shayna Simone.

Shayna Simone is the founder of Amora Luxe Hair Restoration Center in the Metro Detroit (MI) Area. She has 8 years of experience as a licensed cosmetologist. After her personal experience with hair loss, she shifted her mission to not only provide a service, but haircare and restoration. Shayna specializes in treatment and hair care services to help with various forms of hair loss, hair thinning, and scalp problems. She’s a certified Trichologist with the World Trichology Society and a Hair Loss Practitioner with the International Associations of Trichologists.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?

I grew up in Pontiac, Michigan and was raised by a single mother. I knew at a very early age that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always bet on myself for success. School was difficult for me and often bounced in-between public and private schools until I eventually landed at Pontiac High School. I went on to Oakland University but ultimately left to pursue the corporate world. After a few short stints at AT&T, Quicken Loans and Chase Bank, I left to build my entrepreneurial career in the hair and beauty industry. I graduated from the Aveda Institute as a license Stylist and in 2015, I opened Amora Luxe Hair Salon. Amore Luxe provides the highest quality of professional hair care products, service and personalized education, including luxury hair, micro link, ITIP and tape-in extensions.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Protect your energy and thoughts. Your thoughts become reality, so chose wisely.”

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about surviving cancer. Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you found out that you had cancer?

It was May of 2019 — a routine physical, but with a very pointed message: It was time to get familiar with my body. My OB[GYN] was always thorough, very communicative with me on doing preventative care from home. On this day, she stressed to me the importance of self-breast exams. When you’re in the shower, she said, take a few minutes to massage your breasts — so, if something unusual were to appear, you would notice right away. At that moment, sitting in that room, I paid heed of her words. I started doing daily self-breast exams on myself — in the shower, throughout random times during the day, wherever.

Fast-forward to January of 2020 — a full six months after my physical, I noticed a lump. At that time, I personally felt — in that moment — God was preparing me for what was to come. I don’t think anything happens by coincidence. For my doctor to tell me that — I mean, it may be her normal protocol when women hit a certain age when they see her — on that day, I listened.

The lump was noticeable, but I didn’t think of it initially. I just kept a close eye on it to make sure it didn’t develop into something severe. I continued about my business until one day, my husband, Darius, noticed it. My husband is always looking out — making sure everyone is going to the doctors, making sure everything is up to date. He is like his mother [Shirley] in that aspect — a true caretaker. He was on me about it.

It wasn’t until about a full week later that I noticed an amber, brownish discharge coming from my nipple. At that moment, I thought, “Oh, this is not normal.” So, I called my doctor and got into see her on February 28th, 2020. A mammogram was scheduled on March 28th, 2020. Who knew life-as-we-knew-it would come to a screeching halt due to Covid-19 that day for the state of Michigan and the rest of the world?

This is where I will say it again: I don’t believe in coincidences. Our Governor announced the day before that a state-wide shutdown would be instituted on March 28th at midnight. I rushed from my mammogram to the salon to round out a day of business. Because I work with a lot of women with hair loss, I wanted to make sure their units were taken care of and give them something secure.

Two days later, I went in for my biopsy. After that, I received a call from my doctor that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Nothing registered with me at that particular moment — it was a blur. I was in complete shock. Darius was by my side, stunned. Immediately, after finding out my diagnosis, I was put on a plan.

I don’t know, to this day, I think I may have been in denial. I didn’t really accept it because I felt fine. I didn’t get sick; I could get out of the bed. I felt OK.

Because of the pandemic (hospitals were not doing surgeries) my routine was switched up. I would start with chemotherapy first (18 rounds) and then surgery, followed by radiation. I started chemotherapy two weeks after my diagnosis.

This was truly a blessing in disguise. With the state-wide shutdown, I had to close my business down. I focused entirely on myself, my health and my new journey that was ahead of me. I protected my energy and solely focused on what I had to do moving forward.

The first chemotherapy appointment I felt very, very tired — almost sluggish. My doctor prescribed steroids so it would minimize the pain. Let me tell you, I just wanted to eat, eat, eat, and sleep for the first three days. Nothing else!

June of 2020, our Governor started slowly loosening restrictions. There was some movement when it came to small businesses like myself, so I began to get back into the working groove after several months off. I continued with treatments while working, however, I was just conscious of how I felt. If I didn’t feel well, I would work one day and take three days off to recover. My last six rounds of chemotherapy, though, were more intense — it really knocked me out. In those instances, sometimes I would work one day and take the next week off. I was just slow moving — lots of joint pain. Even now, I feel like my body has aged about 10 years. Walking long distances is painful, sleeping on one side too long — ugh. My hands would swell, and my arms would hurt. It was more of an uncomfortable pain to me.

After radiation was completed, I was put on a chemo pill and now just awaiting to go to my check-up soon to see how things shake out moving forward. I refuse to think of the worst and remain so positive and grateful.

What was the scariest part of your event?

Honestly, the scariest part was telling my kids. In the beginning, my youngest, Morgan, didn’t understand it while the boys, Darius Jr. and Jon, they were emotional when we first told them. Morgan dealt with the news and process everything later on. She was very emotional throughout my treatments, surgery — all of that. My [situation] also happened during the pandemic, so she was having nightmares — just really struggling.

How did you react in the short term?

Me being off of work for the first weeks of treatment definitely helped me mentally. I didn’t have to worry about clients, this and that, I could deal with [my diagnosis] and see how the chemo treatments would go and see how my body would react. I was off of work when I went through the first couple of rounds. When we were able to go back to work, I felt like I was ready, but was still really selective of what I did and what clients I would schedule.

After the dust settled, what coping mechanisms did you use? What did you do to cope physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?

For me, I coped by doing things that I enjoyed doing. I would only do things that I felt served. So, if it no longer served me or aligned with what I was trying to do at the moment — or if it was anything that bothered me and took my energy level from here to here — I wouldn’t do it. I was very protective of myself during that time. I eliminated a lot of unnecessary baggage.

Is there a particular person you are grateful towards who helped you to cope and heal? Can you share a story about that?

I would say my daughter, Morgan. It was a lot harder for me to hear the news about her being diagnosed with cancer than my own. Seeing how she could push through that — I mean — to this day, it amazes me how strong she is. She was so determined and for her to still be here and just living life like you’re supposed to live — the innocence of it all — really made me mimic her attitude. It made me think, “Hey, I am going to live life and not deal with the nonsense.” Seeing Morgan go through what she did, I knew I would be fine.

In my own cancer struggle, I sometimes used the idea of embodiment to help me cope. Let’s take a minute to look at cancer from an embodiment perspective. If your cancer had a message for you, what do you think it would want or say?

I really think the message for me was — well, when Morgan was diagnosed, for example, I felt like that was God waking me up, telling me that I have a bigger purpose to serve. And the path that I was currently on at that time didn’t align with what I was supposed to be doing. It really woke me up, mindset-wise. My situation, when I was diagnosed, was telling me that it is time to stop playing, it’s time to forgive yourself, it’s time to take it to the next level — it was time to go for the gusto. Quit counting yourself out, quit thinking of yourself as small — you’re much bigger than what you think of yourself.

What did you learn about yourself from this very difficult experience? How has cancer shaped your worldview? What has it taught you that you might never have considered before? Can you please explain with a story or example?

Career-wise, hair has always been my passion. During the earlier years, I was content with what I was doing because I was successful at it. I personally felt like cancer woke me up to look at things from a bigger perspective — to be more purpose-filled, to figure out how I can help women. I always tried to do my best when it came to women and hair loss at the cosmetology level, but I knew there was more that I needed to do to help women outside of cosmetology. That’s when I decided to really hone in and start studying trichology — which is the study of the scalp and hair conditions. I learned about body systems and how they function — how hair loss has nothing to do with hair, but everything to do what’s going on internally.

When I lost my hair — just from the medication I had to take for cancer — it made me really think we are doing hair all wrong. We are made to think that we need to use this oil, this shampoo — all this external stuff — but it’s really something internally that we have to take care of. If you are having hair thinning issues, your body is telling you that something is wrong with you internally. I am now doing inner work with women as opposed to external work. I do believe that is my calling. I can look at them and know what is going on inside now. I definitely developed a different perspective and am now on a path to pursuing not only my passion, but my purpose.

How have you used your experience to bring goodness to the world?

I have helped / continue to help women who are having hair loss issues. Now I can relate to those women. I have been there and know how much their hair is their crown. I want to go out and help them protect their crown a little bit more and help these women do some inner work with themselves.

What are a few of the biggest misconceptions and myths out there about fighting cancer that you would like to dispel?

Life is not over. People hear this big ‘C’ word and think life is over — that’s one myth. Another myth is that you can’t do anything — that you are unable to get up and go to work, still get out of bed and or go to the grocery store. You have more strength and power than you think you do.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experiences and knowledge, what advice would you give to others who have recently been diagnosed with cancer? What are your “5 Things You Need To Beat Cancer? Please share a story or example for each.

Self-care is one. Prayer is two. Three is a good support system. Four is your family — your loved ones. And you need to know your “why?” You need to know why you’re getting up every day, why you’re still fighting for your survival. Whatever that “why?” is, whether it’s your children, purpose in the world, whatever that “why?” is, you will need that, for sure. That could be a lot of different things [for people].

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?

To educate people on more holistic healing methods. I feel like there are so many holistic healing ways versus the medication. I would really like to change that and get the message out and learn more about that.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I think I would like to meet with Oprah. Oprah, to me, has overcome a lot of adversity in her life. If you were to look at her as a child and what her childhood was like, you would never think she would be where she is now. All the obstacles that she had to go through, she survived that and become one of the wealthiest women in the world. I know that wasn’t an easy walk to walk, so I would like to sit down with her and pick her brain a bit.

Social media handles:, Facebook and Instagram: @shaynasimone.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.