The 80/20 Haircut Method Might Be the Secret to Your Best Style Ever

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Just one look at a photo of Mykonos conjures up feelings of relaxation. The blues, the whites, the water…pure Zen in a picture.

And now, one salon in New York is doing a pretty solid job at recreating the vibe in a second-floor space near Union Square. Enter Ilias Zarbalis, master stylist and owner of Ilias Zarbalis, a 30-years-in-the-field expert that’s bringing some Greek design and hairstyling elements to the streets of New York.

One big thing he’s doing differently: A technique he calls the 80/20 method, where 80 percent of the cut takes place while the hair is wet, and 20 percent is done after the hair has been dried straight—a sort of twist on the dry haircut.


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“When it comes to styling, recognizing a client’s facial angles and attention to detail are key in achieving the right cut,” he says. “In the first phase when hair is wet, it is at its most flexible and allows more control in measuring length. Once it has been shampooed and dried, hair loses a lot of elasticity, providing an opportunity to position the hair at an angle, adding layers and creating a softer look.”

Makes sense, considering almost everyone’s hair looks drastically different when it’s wet versus dry (and a style really isn’t a style until it’s dry). So in the second phase, Ilias makes sure any out-of-place strands or uneven ends are effectively corrected. “This ensures that the final look frames the face in the most flattering way possible.”


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