August is Hair Loss Awareness Month and there is no one better to learn from than Philip Kingsley. Hair health, loss, and treatment is a complicated and often misunderstood topic. We put so much emphasis on our faces and bodies that we forget that hair is just as much “alive” as the others. We need to take care of our hair the same way we take care of our faces. Hair loss is incredibly common, moreso than you would think. Philip Kingsley is a Trichological Center that was founded over 60 years ago in London and continues to serve clients from around the world.
Philip Kingsley (1930-2016) drastically shaped the world of hair care over his 65-year-career. He provided solutions to the most extreme hair and scalp problems, as well as created a line of products to use inside and outside of their salon. The company’s mission is plain and simple: they want to change people’s lives through the education of hair health. Philip Kingsley knows how important hair is to self-esteem and they help their clients feel better about themselves through the science and wellness-led hair care.
Since the Founder’s passing in 2016, his daughter, Anabel Kingsley, has taken over as Brand President. She was inspired by her father’s warmth and passion for hair health. The company has a spectacular location in the heart of London as well as New York.
“Every product we formulate has the same care put into it as if we were making it especially for a loved one. Similarly, each piece of advice we give comes from a place of genuine care, understanding and expertise,” said Anabel Kingsley.
There are many misconceptions about haircare, one of them being that you should not wash your hair frequently. Philip Kingsley advocates for frequent and daily hair washing. You should treat your hair like your skin and body. We all know what happens when we don’t wash our bodies for a few days. The same happens to your hair. The more you wash your hair, with proper Philip Kingsley products, the better your hair health will be.
Many deal with hair loss and shedding. Your hair health is a direct reflection of your inner health. If you were to binge on sweets, your skin would break out. The same happens to your hair. Philip Kingsley clients experience a two hour appointment with a trichologist (hair and scalp specialists). After identifying apparent issues and getting a better understanding of your family history (because that plays a huge part in your hair health!), clients experience a world-class hair and scalp treatment in the Philip Kingsley salons. You know how the best part of a haircut is often the hair washing experience? Well, that’s pretty much what happens the entire time at your Philip Kingsley appointment. You will leave your appointment feeling healthier than ever.
I spoke with Kingsley about the family business she carries on today and helpful tips to those interested in learning about improving their hair health.
Let’s start at the beginning. Philip Kingsley is more than a trichological clinic. It holds an immense amount of familial history. Can you speak to that and how your father, Philip Kingsley, founded the business?
AK: My father was passionate about helping people, and initially wanted to become a doctor. However, his family couldn’t afford to send him to medical school, so he started working at his Uncle’s barber shop sweeping the floors to save up. It was here that his passion for hair and scalp was born! Philip saw first-hand the immense psychological importance that hair holds for both men and women; how someone feeling good about their hair could positively transform their mood, whereas hair loss, breakage and stubborn scalp conditions could be devastating and confidence-shattering. At the time, in the 1950s, there were no products or services available that really tackled these issues (or at least ones that worked), so he went to study Trichology (the science of the hair and scalp) enrolling in The Institute of Trichology. Philip was a true innovator and visionary, being the first person to address hair and scalp issues from a holistic standpoint. Hair health is more than just the products you use, it is linked to what you eat, your general health and stress levels, and your individual metabolism and genes.
Did you know you would eventually join the family business all along or was there a moment it clicked for you? What are your favorite parts of your job?
AK: It wasn’t until I did a summer internship at our New York Clinic in my early 20s that I knew I wanted to work within my family business. I fell in love with the company on my first day. There is truly nothing like our Clinics in London and New York – they offer a safe and secure sanctuary for people with hair and scalp issues. But we also have clients who have been coming to us for decades, who simply come back as they love the atmosphere so much, and it’s a place they can relax.
My favorite part of my job is being able to make a positive difference in my client’s life. Hair problems can be so distressing, and helping someone to regain their self-esteem is wonderful.
Who are your clients and do you have to have an obvious scalp or hair issue to come to the salon and get a treatment?
AK: You don’t have to have a serious hair or scalp concern to visit our Clinics. We have many clients who simply want to get the best out of their hair, or need a bit of a strand revival. For instance, models and actresses often come in for a series of Treatments to repair their hair right before and after fashion week, or following filming a movie. We also have women who come for Hair Spa Treatments leading up to their wedding. As we always say, you don’t wait to see a dentist until all your teeth have fallen out! We are to your hair and scalp what a dermatologist is to the skin on your face. Weekly Treatments at our Clinics have the same benefits as having regular facials.
Surprise us…What’s the #1 myth circulating in the world that you’d like to bust?
AK: “That shampooing is bad for your hair! I have so many women, especially those with fine hair, who sit in front of me during their initial Consultation looking guilty and saying “I really try to shampoo as little as possible, but I can’t stretch it out for more than 3 days.” They expect me to berate them. When I give them the go-ahead to suds-up daily, a look of joy and relief spreads across their face. Your scalp is skin and should be given similar TLC to the skin on your face. You wouldn’t go for days on end without washing your face, so why would you do that to your poor scalp – Especially if you live in a city like London and New York, where pollution is high.”
Philip Kingsley has so many incredible products. What are your top three most recommended?
AK: “Elasticizer, our pre-shampoo intensive conditioning treatment. This is our multi-award winning hair hero, with more than one being sold every minute. My father originally formulated Elasticizer for Audrey Hepburn to repair her hair after all the damage that was being done to it on movie sets. It adds elasticity, bounce, strength, shine and body to even the finest of hair textures.
Swimcap Cream. Originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swim Team, our water resistant Swimcap Cream guards strands from UV, salt and chlorinated water damage – all whilst giving your hair a hydrating treatment.
Bond Builder Split End Remedy. Recently launched, Bond Builder is formulated with next generation bond building technology. It not only seals split ends, but repairs broken bonds within the hair fibre, strengthening and protecting each strand to prevent future damage.”
Philip Kingsley is a global brand and loved by so many men and women. What sets this business apart and what do you want people to know first and foremost about Philip Kingsley?
AK: We have been around for over 60 years – and I fully attribute this to our company ethics and unrivalled expertise. Collectively as Trichologists we have over 200 years experience of dealing with hair and scalp on a daily basis. We don’t simply test on hair-swatches in climate-controlled laboratories, we test our products on our Clients, and in real circumstances – trialling our formulas during humid NYC summers and rainy London autumns. We put a huge amount care into each product we formulate, as we are only as good as how we make our clients and customers feel. We are honest, we never overclaim, we don’t jump on trendwagons, and we set realistic expectations. We stay true to what we stand for – being more about long-term, steady growth due to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Philip Kingsley is undoubtedly a respected brand with over 60 years of work. What is most admirable about the brand is that it continues to thrive under the leadership of the family who started it all. Philip Kingsley has created awareness around a topic that continues to be very misunderstood by mass consumerism. August is all about Hair Loss Awareness, so to learn more about how you can better treat your hair and scalp, visit www.philipkingsley.com.
The Philip Kingsley London Clinic is at 54 Green Street, London, W1K 6RU and the New York Clinic is at 16 East 52nd Street (Between 5th and Madison Avenue) New York.