April 2011

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


The Quest of "Going Green"

I like to think we all share the desire to become ecologically responsible to lessen our negative impact on our environment.

Still, to some the quest of Going Green may seem like an insurmountable task.

When we initially look around at our business models, we may see more things wrong than right, and therefore the effort needed to achieve our Green vision may seem impossible.

The first step is to change our perception. Like the saying goes: "Whatever you conceive and believe, you can achieve."

We may need to change our perceptions and develop new thinking.

This may take a deeper understanding of what it takes to achieve the desired end goal, which, in this case, is becoming more environmentally responsible.

Often these shifts come to us through increased education that dispels old thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. In many cases, it is just the fear of change that causes us to hesitate. I love the definition of fear being described as, False Evidence Appearing as Reality. Fear tends to immobilize us, stalling forward motion in thought and action.

Three important powers can be brought into play to achieve the desired result.

The Power of Positive Vision

It is important to have a clear understanding of the issue and a belief in the new direction to follow. Believe the result is attainable and will have far-reaching positive consequences for all involved. The blueprint to gain this vision map is the "Be, Do, Have" model.

First have the desire to Be Green. What does that mean to us personally and professionally? There has to be something tangible we can work toward, and once we have declared our goal, we can set up a model for the action required.

When it comes to the Doing aspect, decide what steps will be required to make this declaration a reality, and what planning and resources this will require. Then, what will we Have at the end of the task?

By remaining steadfast in new found resolve to become more environmentally aware and aligning actions with the goal, we will eventually have a greener environment. This is a model of conscious creation.

The Power of Positive Action

Positive action is consciously created with an expressed purpose in mind, and is proactive. As a haircutter, one thing you could do would be to collect hair and send it to the Gulf states to help with the oil spill. Visit www.matteroftrust.org for more information.

As a colorist, in order to help not be so dependent on using foreign foil, one might move from highlighting with aluminum foil to learning the art of the balayage technique or hair painting.

As a salon owner, perhaps begin by offering to refill guests' professional products from larger containers. It is not only recycling used glass and plastic products, but also making the effort to go to the recycling center and collecting the money to use for positive change, whether it is through charity contribution or investing in education for the staff. Positive action brings positive change and good end results.

The Power of Positive Choice

In order to achieve our desired result, make the proper choices of thought and action. If we want to use more sustainable, eco-friendly products, research which ones are free of the negative ingredients that may harm the environment and ourselves.

Although the Paraben- and Sulfate-free products may cost more, we are acting in alignment with our principles by carrying them. The choice to use certified organic products when possible says we care as much about the clients' well being as we do about the bottom line. This is a huge pay it forward move in building trusting relationships with our current and future client base.

While some may see this shift in choice as a sacrifice, it really is an investment toward a better world for us all. It also says we care about our customers, our co-workers and employees who deserve nothing less than growing in a safe environment that is created and focused on their well-being as service providers.

By combining a clear, principled vision with positive purposeful action and meaningful choices, the goal of Going Green is indeed attainable. The real question then is not "how?" it is "when?"

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 Industry Relations 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.