March 2009

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Going Green: What Comes Around Goes Around

Now, more than at any other time, has there been a greater focus on our environment. As a child of the 60s I witnessed the first “Earth Day” and the birth of the ecology movement in the 70s. In the 80s we saw the new age movement that brought us Yoga and the new found awareness of eastern medicine and philosophy.

The 90s brought us aromatherapy and the birth of the holistic approach to life and beauty. This was reflected in the demand for more natural solutions to beauty challenges and the birth of companies that led the way such as Aveda, Fashion Formula’s by Ecoly, Anasazi and ABBA hair products.

Now since the new millennium, the lifestyle and fashion focus in our industry has been to go “Green.”

Far beyond just a selection in purchases that reflect the desire to go green, it encompasses a whole world view and philosophy. Some countries even have political parties whose party platforms are based on the green platform and agenda with all the attention on the impact of global warming and the effects it has on our lives and world around us

To think how important it is that our choice of products we consume, both in our salons and in our homes, resonates with the fact of not only how they impact us directly but, also how they impact the environment we live in.

It’s simple. What goes on our heads in the shampoo bowl goes down the drain and winds up in the ocean… the same ocean I surf in and my children play in; essentially, what comes around goes around.

The hundreds of pounds of foil thrown in the trash from the myriad of color departments globally from the thousands of heads of highlights, if not recycled, winds up in a landfill in the town where you live. What comes around goes around.

The too-numerous-to-mention styling products in plastic bottles that are replaced when empty with a full and new bottle while the empty makes its way to the dump and, yes, again to the landfill. What comes around goes around.

How do we break this cycle? The first obvious step is to recycle both products and packaging and use refillable bottles filled from liters and gallons.

The choice of products and their ingredients is another way to be green. Whenever we use natural or organic products as opposed to synthetics we bring the choice into harmony with the environment from which it came from and will eventually return.

Use of biodegradable, organic products says we are aware and that we care. Not only as to what we put into the environment as a whole but also what we put into our personal environment which is the skin and hair of our clients and ourselves.

Professionals who adopt the green philosophy make discriminating choices. They use products from companies that use renewable energy. They use recycled materials in the construction of their salons and spas. The cleaning solutions and antiseptics are environmentally sound.

There are also other benefits to salons going green. Walter Claudio Zungari of Salon Walter Claudio in California won a Global business award by including green standards in his salon with product usage and recycling as part of his salon’s business model. Many salons are offering incentives to their staff who carpool or use public transportation even allowing for flexible scheduling to accommodate bus and train schedules.

In the end there are more benefits to our industry by going green because in the end, what comes around goes around.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.