Jan 11, 2021

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People first, Environment Second (How to Go Green In Your Salon)


“people come first and then the environmental impact”

Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative Podcast! I’m so pumped that you’re here. This is another episode loaded with goodness. I have an amazing guest who went through Rock Your Business and is doing some incredible things.

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Welcome back to another episode of The Anxious Creative Podcast! I’m so pumped that you’re here. This is another episode loaded with goodness. 

I have an amazing guest who went through Rock Your Business and is doing some incredible things. Let’s dive into this episode with Shyloh (she’s seriously one of the most positive people I’ve ever met, you need to get to know this kick-a** chick)!

The Rock Star Stylist

Shyloh’s been in the industry and doing hair for 10 years in her home state of Oklahoma. 

Initially, when she started out she thought she would be a “rock star” stylist. She wore a lot of black, lots of eyeliner and she admits that most people wouldn’t recognize her now if they knew her back then. She was filled with piercings and had a “punk” style.

After working in a salon that was the “punk/rock” style, she quickly realized that was not the scene for her. She didn’t even get a full year in before she started working corporate salons. 

The corporate scene was actually really enjoyable for Shyloh and she learned to do a lot of different hair and learned what she liked and didn’t like.

Going Green

Shyloh has had a lot of health issues over the years and due to this, she decided to go out on her own. 3 and a half years into doing hair she opened her own salon suite (before salon suites were even a thing in Oklahoma). 

She purchased a 500sq ft building with the plans of turning it into a salon. She quickly learned that she preferred working on her own and she became super passionate about recycling and having an eco-friendly salon. 

Growing up, Shyloh was homeschooled and field trips for her were often environmentally related or directed towards helping the community. Having these values instilled at a young age really sparked Shyloh’s passion for the environment and the people living in it.

When she was working in corporate salons she didn’t really see the amount of trash since she wasn’t personally responsible for it. She says it was “outta sight, outta mind”.

Starting her own salon was when she realized how much money she was wasting as well as how much waste was going into landfills and impacting the environment. 

She knew she wanted to do things differently, so she opened the first green salon in Oklahoma (no one else was doing it!). Although her initial plan was to bring on other stylists, she had very high standards of what she wanted done and realized that she really enjoyed the intimacy of being the only person with a client in the space. 

3 years in a commercial space and she never brought on another stylist. 

Unfortunately, at this time, serious health concerns came up, she had 5 surgeries in one year (!!) and she was forced to close down the salon and temporarily move it into her home. 

The home salon was always meant to be temporary, but her clients loved and enjoyed it so much more than the large space. Those sentiments resonated with her so much, (Shyloh, the name, actually means peace) and the space at her home was meant to be. 

People First, Environment Second

Shyloh has been working out of her home now for 4 years. She recently remodelled into the bigger room in her house. From her 50 sq ft room to her 150 sq ft space, she even has an exterior door and a sink outside so that her clients can wash their hands before their appointments (thanks Covid). 

Shyloh’s passion for the environment has always been top of mind for her. However, she puts it so eloquently: “people first, environment second”. 

“We’re saving the planet for the people in it. If we’re not taking care of the people in it then there’s no point in saving the planet.”

In her salon, it’s not just about doing hair. She focuses on mental health, social justice as well as making a positive impact on the environment. 

She spends a lot of time researching (for herself and for her clients) and she admits that she’s prone to “falling down rabbit holes a lot”. 

Green Washing

In our current industry, green salons are a lot more trendy than they used to be and clients are actively asking for and looking for eco-friendly salons. However, in the beginning, it was difficult and Shyloh isolated herself a lot and didn’t have much of a community due to friction and pushback, other stylists thinking “that’s too difficult”. 

Shyloh recommends anyone who is interested in actively being more green to learn about “green washing” and go beyond the label. 

There are different rules in different places for how companies can label “organic”, “fair trade”, “sustainable” etc, and the US is extremely lax on these rules. The UK and Australia are the most strict, in fact, many companies will have different labels depending on where their products are being sold. 

It’s important to look beyond the marketing and the sales. If the company isn’t disclosing their ingredients or why they’re using those ingredients freely, there’s probably a reason.

Shyloh knows it can be difficult to know where to begin, and you don’t have to fully eco to start. Starting with one thing that you can do in your power. A lot of the things are in the big companies’ power. It’s important to put pressure on larger corporations to be more transparent and to be more accountable for the products they make and the ingredients they use. 

Do what you can within your means. Shyloh is very transparent that she knows not everything is accessible to everyone. 

She’s very proud that her salon only produces 5% waste, but she understands that not everyone has those resources. She’s lucky enough to have a local composting program in her area now, but prior to that, she was shipping her compost to Canada once a year through Green Circle. 

Start by choosing more sustainable companies to work with. And put the pressure on companies that you are working with (regardless of whether they are an eco-friendly brand or not). By letting them know that it’s important to you that they use ethical ingredients, sustainable practices and move towards a more sustainable future, you can help prompt them to shift their business. 

A True Rock Star

Shyloh may not be covered in piercings or wore only black clothes anymore, but she is a true Rock Star stylist in my books. 

Shyloh joined Rock Your Business in July 2020 (right smack dab in the middle of a pandemic). 

She was in a really dark place during covid. Due to her immunocompromised system, her doctor felt it would be best for her to stay closed for awhile. She was in the middle of getting ready to reopen but she felt so “blah”. She felt as though she had been doing the same thing over and over again in her business. Although she was excited to see her clients again, a certain spark was missing. 

Shyloh wasn’t feeling motivated to do anything in her business and decided to start tuning in to Business, Breakfast & Bedhead, that’s when she decided to invest in Rock Your Business. 

The community was a huge factor for her and exactly what she needed. She was part of another program (still is) but they focus more on social and she says the vibe is different in that group. 

She says that she feels at home with the Rock Your Business family. 

The community gave her motivation to think of new ways to do things in her biz. She’s recently launched an online program for her clients and wants to do more programs for her clients later on this year. 

Rock Your Business has helped her think of new ways to bring the message to other people and bring motivation back to her business. She felt she was stagnant before and the program was the kick in the butt she needed. 

How freakin’ amazing is Shyloh?! I love her passion for sustainability and making this planet a better place for all of us to live in! If she inspired you, let her know that you listened, send her a DM over on IG @thegreenhairdresser. 

If you want to hang out with super awesome peeps like Shyloh, you definitely wanna come and join Rock Your Business. This community is EVERYTHING!

Are you going to look at ways that you can do more eco-friendly things in your biz? 

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

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