I am the kind of girl who takes her own shampoo and conditioner to the hairdresser. I do this to reduce my exposure to allergy inducing synthetic chemicals.
About four years ago I developed a pretty severe hay fever. I had itchy throat, itchy eyes, blocked nose, and sneezed non stop from early spring to late summer. Some nights the symptoms were so bad I couldn't sleep. As a result of the severe symptoms I had to be on antihistamines so I could function normally day to day, even then the antihistamines didn't get rid of all the symptoms. They were not cheap either, and I needed at least 1 tablet every day so over time the costs added up.
Fortunately, after three years of living with hay fever, I figured out what the cause was. I had developed hay fever because of what I was using on my body and what I was putting into it. My beauty products and my diet were to blame.
When I found out the synthetic chemicals in conventional food and cosmetics were causing my hayfever I checked all the ingredients of the beauty products I had and chucked out all the offenders. Out went the perfumes, soaps, shampoos, and lotions that were made from highly processed synthetic chemicals. After that decluttering session I didn't have anything left, everything I owned and used had at least some sort of toxic ingredient in it. (I do still have a half used hairspray bottle because I haven't gotten around to disposing it safely (Half empty aerosols can't be disposed with normal rubbish as they are a hazard. One day I'll go to the bio hazard disposal centre!)
As a result of using more natural beauty products and changing my diet to an organic one the hay fever disappeared within a few months. Last spring was the first spring in four years that I could sleep through the night without coughing or sneezing, it felt good.
I like being allergy free and I want to maintain it. Being allergy free is a sign that my immune system is working normally instead of being hyper responsive to something harmless like tree pollen. In order to stay allergy free I make sure I do as much as I can to support my health by doing little things like taking my own shampoo to the hairdresser. Yeah, I got a strange look the first time I went there but now my hairdresser knows me as the girl and with the organic shampoo and he is cool with it. He even suggested a brand of hair care products that I might like, but before I oblige him I need to read the ingredients first!
If you'd like to learn more about what's in your shampoo I advise you to read this article by Nadine Artemis titled "Is Your Drug Store Shampoo Making You Sick? Three Ways to Lavish Your Hair Naturally". Nadine's company, Living Libations makes my favourite beauty products. Everything is organic and there are no synthetic chemicals in sight in their potions and lotions. Her products are so good that health heros like Meghan Telpner , Tera Warner, and Shailene Woodley are avid fans of her real to the feel botanical products, and I have to agree with them.
As a minimalist I want everything in my life to be beneficial and that rule applies to what I put on my skin too. Having toxic beauty care added very little to my life, it mostly jeopardised my immune system and made me develop hay fever. Minimalism is all about letting go off stuff that doesn't add value to your life. Conventional beauty care did not add value to my life. Now that I have found replacements I don't miss it anymore.
Do you suffer from allergies? Is your list of things you are allergic to growing as time goes by? What do you do to heal yourself from allergies? I'd love to hear what worked for you and what didn't. Let me know down below in the comments section.
With love and simplicity,
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