Stepping into Ilias Zarbalis’ salon is like stepping into a futuristic spaceship where everyone has perfect hair and impeccable style. After opening five namesake salons throughout Greece, the renowned hairstylist fulfilled a personal dream to open his first U.S. salon in the heart of his favorite city in the world— New York. With over 30 years’ experience, Ilias has worked alongside notable industry brands including Pantene (P&G), for whom he was a Brand Ambassador for twelve years. Styling dignitaries, fashion designers and influencers alike, Ilias believes strongly in going above and beyond for his clientele (including moi). Tapping into his hair wisdom, I had a few burning questions for the guru…
Choupette Social Girl: How do you protect your hair from UV damage?
Ilias Zarbalis: Before going to the beach or the pool, you should always use something to protect your locks. We love Aveda sun care protective hair veil, a mist that will keep your hair safe for up to 16 hours. We also love Kerastase aqua seal, formulated to protect your hair from the sun, salt, chlorine and water. And of course, it’s always good to protect yourself with a hat!
CSG: What are the best products to protect hair from fading?
IZ: It is best to use the same shampoo/conditioner brand, as your color and heat protection products. Some of the products we love are Kerastase color protect Bain Chroma Riche for dry, highlighted or color treated hair. Aveda color conserve shampoo and conditioner is also one of our favorites to resist fading.
CSG: Is there a way to achieve a sun-bleached look without damaging hair’s condition?
IZ: Instead of using bleach, try to go a couple of shades lighter, as bleach will always harm your hair. If you must bleach it though, try to go for the products for sensitive hair like Schwarzkpof ammonia free permanent color.
CSG: Is it a bad idea to get highlights just before you travel?
IZ: As long as you have a good shampoo/ conditioner/ mask you are safe!
CSG: What’s the difference between a toning shampoo and a blue shampoo?
IZ: A toning shampoo is used to tone color that may have faded, while blue shampoo is used to get rid of brassy tones.
CSG: How often should you use purple shampoo or conditioner?
IZ: Purple shampoo should be used when you start seeing brassy tones, and you should stop using it once you the desired results. If used too much, it may bring the opposite wanted results.
CSG: How do you eliminate mean green pool hair?
IZ: By protecting your hair before going into the pool and by washing it right after you come out!
CSG: What’s the difference between dry and damaged hair?
IZ: Dry hair may be natural without being color processed, while damaged hair is usually from heating tools or color treatments.