April 2010

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Going “Green” May Accomplish More than You Think

Have your clients been showing a desire for organic (green) products and an eco-friendly environment?

By identifying this as an emerging trend you may see it as a potential to grow your existing client base in these economic times.

There are many influences on many levels. Baby boomers, for example, created the environmental awareness movement of the 60s and early 70s culminating in the creation of the first “Earth Day.”

Accompanied by the strains of The Allman Brothers, live at the Fillmore East, I was there on the quad of my high school, dodging Frisbees, and savoring the new found food du jour “veggie tacos,” celebrating mother earth and wondering how we were going to lead the world to respect her offspring and maintain the integrity of the planet in the future. Pollution was the problem and the emerging environmental ecology movement was the answer.

Fast forward from age 17 to 55 years old, this late boomer has seen all the incarnations of that movement and its impact on how we spend the green with a mind on green. As a kid, to us recycling was no innovation. Growing up in the San Fernando valley, would mean at 6 and 7 on a Friday night we would comb the newly developed houses for soda cans and the most prized beer bottles left behind by the construction workers. Now we call it being “green.” Even in the early 60s this was big business, at least to us little guys with our red wagons full of empty soda bottles to be exchanged for pennies and nickels at the local market.

Look how far we have come. Who would have thought that in the new millennium recycling would actually mean losing money rather than creating income through the process. Even with diminishing profit motive “doing the right thing” as to recycling has become a part of our collective experience.

Who would have thought that the demand for recyclable materials for new construction can in some instances rival the purchase of new materials and be Eco Chic at the same time. I am always seeing the opening announcement of a new salon/spa that is using renewed materials in its composition and conception.

Recycled concrete is the new Italian tile in some circles. My friends Walter Claudio of Salon Walter Claudio in Santa Barbara, Calif, and Marlene Gadinis of Ecotique Day Spa Del Mar, Calif., both received global business awards for their individual salons, of whose business model foundations rested solidly on eco friendly and green business protocols.Being green has it’s rewards.

The bracing sting of a post shave Aqua Velva which so propelled my early dating career has now been replaced by an invigorating mint sage aromatherapy body wash to wake my middleaged bones.

And a chamomile/verbena tub soak to chill me out after a long day of multi-tasking in the salon for the soothing effects it delivers naturally, replacing the double Patron Margarita minus the hangover and the three digit bar bill. Aroma therapy is part of our every day life. We now know the stimulating and nourishing effects essential oils can bring giving added value to any salon or product experience.

What does being green or eco friendly say to your client base? It is an intimate way to say I care for you the way I care for myself. Why would I use a harmful product or ingredient on you when I care so much for our long term relationship?

It also says I care for the planet we all share, beyond the short term profit motive. Yes, being green and organic is sometimes more costly; but high quality always has it’s costs. The long term benefits and rewards more than make up for that investment which is priceless.

Being green is a gift that constantly gives back and says we care for our clients and our environment we all share.

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.