From Shedding Locks to Inner Shine.

April 27, 2024

From Shedding Locks to Inner Shine.

May 29, 2023

Chip’s Thought: MeiMei and I’ve been through the ups and downs of life. She’s like my kid sister so it’s hard to imagine she’s going through menopause.

Here is what I knew about menopause before, at age 47, it hit me like a freight train:

  • Hot flashes will cause you to spontaneously break out in sweat as though you’d just run a marathon. 
  • Your sex drive will plummet. 
  • You’ll get wrinkles.

Here is what I had no warning about: 

  • You’ll suffer mad hormone fluctuations, rendering you the emotional age of 13.
  • You’ll have insane menstrual cycles that last 14 days and arrive every 28 days, or they’ll only come once every 3 months. 
  • You’ll wake up each night in soaking wet sheets, requiring you to lay down a towel so you can get back to sleep. 
  • But you might as well forget about sleep, because you’ll become a chronic insomniac who wakes up at 2 or 3 am every night. 
  • And your hair will fall out.

It was the hair loss that took me most by surprise. Unlike men, we women are not informed about this upcoming age-related event! For months after my 47th birthday, I’d run my fingers across my scalp in the shower after shampooing and yelp like a tiny dog who has been stepped upon, confronting clumps of hair in my hands. 

I went to my hairdresser in a panic. When she asked if I had changed my haircare routine recently, I assured her that I had not. She pointed out the breakage near the roots. “It’s all frizzy up here,” she announced, matter-of-fact. 

“What can I do?” I pleaded. 

She looked at me, her adorable pixie haircut colored purple at the tips, her beautiful 60-something face crinkling in a smile. “There’s nothing you can do, honey. Just accept it.”

That day, she took off a solid 4 inches of my frazzled, scraggly golden locks. I’ve never been able to grow it back since. My hair now frizzes out not only at the roots but also at shoulder-length, refusing to threaten in any way Rapunzel’s tresses. The follicles that do grow are thinner and not as shimmery.

I’ll be honest. I fought reality for a while. I despaired. I told my wonderful husband Kiran, who has always preferred my hair long, “Sorry, my love, those days are over.”

Then I realized that accepting hair loss is a vital part of the aging process. I decided to view it as part of my ongoing spiritual awakening. 

Menopause meets us women at midlife with a message loud and clear: “Let go of your attachment to external beauty. Tune into the beauty of your interior world. You are changing. Let go of ego…”

Not only have I embraced my shorter haircut, which I now wear in a sassy bob, but I have even stopped coloring it. After 25 years of painfully long salon appointments spent getting highlights and requiring payments of hundreds of dollars, I’m in and out the door in under an hour for a cool Ben Franklin bill. 

Menopause has forced me further down the spiritual path, and my brittle follicles have become my guru. I’m much happier not fighting them both, but rather laughing with them. The divine speaks to us in languages we can understand. One of my languages, it seems, is hair.   

To paraphrase our dear mentor Chip Conley: “As we age, beauty moves from our faces [and our scalps] to our hearts.”

-MeiMei

MeiMei Fox, a 2x New York Times bestselling author and FORBES contributor, is the Founder and CEO of Your Bestselling Book. Her company offers a la carte solutions from book coaching, to ghostwriting, to an intimate 6-week course in community with other high achievers -- all aimed at helping you author and publish your non-fiction book or memoir.

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