Shampoos, Hay fever, and Minimalism: How to Take Minimalism and Apply It to Your Beauty Care

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in


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.

My favourites. Sea Buckthorn Shampoo and Shine On Conditioner. Image from

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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Unexpected Improvements

by Nyamka Bayanmunkh in




One of last weeks discussion at school was whether we noticed any improvements since beginning the health coaching program. My initial thought was it was too early for improvements as the course isn't even half way through.  The question simmered in my mind all of last week and I noticed  that there's actually been quite a few improvements. Here are my three most significant improvements:

1. No more hay fever

I don't have hay fever symptoms anymore. I developed hayfever symptoms about three years ago, and every hayfever season since then involved runny noses, itchy throat, itchy eyes and sneezing. Even with antihistamines the symptoms didn't completely disappear. Now, I don't have any symptoms even on extreme pollen days. No more antihistamines for me!

2. My eyes are getting better

I have been short sighted since 15. Optometrists have told me that due to reading and computer use my eyesight will continually get worse over time. However, last trip to the optometrist proved otherwise! Last month I was experiencing some eye strain and migraines, so I booked a check up to see if everything was well. I was expecting to be told that I needed to increase the strength of my prescription but to my surprise, it was good news. My right eyesight had improved by 10% relative to my left eye and the difference was causing strain, which caused the migraine.  While I was surprised the optometrist was confused. She explained that it's rare for eyesight to improve, and even when it does it was very unusual for them to improve one at a time. To be sure she did a comprehensive eye check up to see if there was anything else causing this strange occurrence, but there were no other issue with my eyes. She concluded that my right  eye was getting better. When the optometrist asked me what I was doing differently, I couldn't think of anything, I think I was just too happy to think clearly, and didn't get to tell her any of my healthy new habits. 

3. No more uncomfortable premenstrual symptoms

I quit sugar as a study to see how my body would respond and found out that sugar makes me cranky and gives me PMS from hell. For two months I had no added sugars and very small amount of natural sugars. Usually the week before my period I am always in a bad mood with lots of back pain. The last two months I had no moodiness, or back pain or cramps. I was ecstatic. Before, I thought it was normal to experience these symptoms, so when it came to that time of the month and there were no awful symptoms I couldn't believe it. No more terrible back pain or cramps from now on!

There are plenty of other improvements but these three were the most surprising, I definitely wasn't expecting my eyes to get better. It is interesting to note that if I wasn't prompted to take note of these improvements I probably would have just continued with what I was doing. After writing them down I feel even more empowered to continue with my studies. I guess I was a bit too focused on implementing the next habit that I forgot to stop and appreciate how far I have come. Definitely a good reminder to be more aware and not just rush from one achievement to the next.

With love and better eyesight,