Want to learn more about North Carolina’s proposed marriage amendment? Get a haircut at Aveda.

The Aveda Institute in Chapel Hill made Amendment One materials available to their students April 5 as a part of Tell a Hairdresser – a campaign started by N.C. State sophomore Alton Russell.

Tell a Hairdresser provides materials to participating salons. It’s as simple as learning about the amendment and its potential effects from the informational packets and placing an “Ask me about Amendment One” sticker on the mirror or in the window, Russell said.

“It got started over Christmas break,” he said. “I was thinking about ways to reach people about the amendment and at the same time I was reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell, Tipping PointIt’s about how to create social change.”

At the end of the book Gladwell tells the story of a nurse who used beauty salons to inform women in her community about diabetes and breast cancer. She’d begun her campaign by holding seminars at local churches, but found that most attendees were already fairly knowledgable and interested. She wanted to reach women who didn’t know the dangers and switched gears. She provided training and materials for stylists willing to pass the information along to their clients during the work day and was remarkably successful.

“People who work with hair spend their whole day talking with people – lots of different people each day – which made them perfect candidates for teaching people,” Russell said.

Russell, 20, and a small group of friends got started by going to the Facebook pages of hair salons located throughout North Carolina to ask if stylists would be interested in participating.

One of the first salons to sign on was Funky Monkey Hair Studio in Durham.

“What’s great about Funky Monkey is that they were already talking to clients about the amendment,” he said. “But they said having the decal and materials are super helpful.”

Aveda is the first salon in Chapel Hill to participate. Lauren Lanier, the Chapel Hill institute’s marketing outreach coordinator, said the school isn’t forcing all of the students and stylists to participate but has made the materials available to those who are interested.

“We chose to do it because we’re very diverse and we support that diversity,” she said.

Lanier said she knows not all clients – who range from UNC students and faculty to people from Durham, Raleigh and Cary – will agree with the campaign’s goal to help defeat the amendment on May 8, but said the “Ask me about Amendment One” stickers allow the clients to be the ones to initiate the conversation.

“We have the materials if students want to put stickers on their mirrors of look through the information. We’re leaving it up to them.”