Philip Kingsley was the world’s leading hair expert, consulting to actors, models, sportspeople, journalists, royalty, TV personalities – and thousands of other clients who simply wanted their hair to look and feel its very best. His immense passion and warmth, as well as his continuous study and research, remained pillars of his business and personal practice throughout his celebrated 65-year-career.
Philip’s expertise, which bridged the gap between science and beauty, earned him many accolades. He was labelled the ‘Hair Guru’ by the New York Times, the ‘Hair Wizard’ by Vogue and the ‘Hair Doctor’ by the Sunday Times.
Philip was in high demand as an expert in magazines and newspapers. He was interviewed on Oprah Winfrey three times, made frequent radio and television appearances, and had a weekly column in the Sunday Times for nine years running.
A Hair Care Pioneer
Philip is the man who coined the phrase ‘bad hair day’. He was the first to introduce the idea of ‘hair textures’ into the hair industry, and he also developed the world’s first ‘pre-shampoo conditioner’: Elasticizer.
On top of all this, Philip introduced the concept of scalp masks, scalp toners and hair treatments into the hair care market; and he was the first to link hair health with nutrition and bodily wellbeing.
Throughout his career, Philip Kingsley reached tens of thousands of clients with all manner of hair issues. He was able to provide solutions to the most extreme hair and scalp problems, as well as offering products, advice and regimes for those who simply wanted their hair to look and feel its very best.
The Making of an Expert
Born in 1930 to a working-class family in London’s East End, Philip Kingsley worked his way up to become the world’s leading expert on hair and scalp care. His passion for hair started at his uncle’s hairdressing salon, where he began assisting when he was just 16. Unable to afford university, Philip started saving money to study at the Institute of Trichologists. Even at this early age, he recognised the profound psychological significance that hair has for both men and women, and wanted to help.
After graduating, Philip went on to open progressively larger clinics in London. Demand for his services kept growing. Sir Laurence Olivier became a client, followed by many other actors from the National Theatre, as well as other movers and shakers of the day. Philip opened his flagship Clinic on Green Street, Mayfair in 1968, and then his Fifth Avenue clinic New York in 1977. Starting with a mere five basic products, Philip’s clinic range grew to over 50 bespoke formulations.
The Philip Kingsley Product Range
Every single Philip Kingsley product is based on Philip’s expert, Trichologically-driven clinic formulations. Our products not only address hair’s outward appearance, but also its health and integrity. The Philip Kingsley range has won countless awards from the likes of Vogue, Women’s Health, InStyle, Marie Claire, Allure and Harper’s Bazaar.
Philip Kingsley is perhaps best known for the now cult-classic product Elasticizer, personally created for Audrey Hepburn. Philip first met Audrey in 1974 while she was making a movie in London. Audrey Hepburn booked her appointment at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic using her married name, Mrs Dotti, and it wasn’t until she turned up at his of office that Philip realised just who his new client was!
Audrey was looking for a product that would keep her hair looking healthy and beautiful, despite the constant processing and styling required on-set. Philip created Elasticizer, and the world’s first pre-shampoo, deep-conditioning treatment was born. The innovative ‘pre-shampoo’ element ensures that hair is left intensely conditioned, but also full of bounce and shine, making Elasticizer ideal for even the finest hair textures. Audrey was thrilled with the results and used Elasticizer for the rest of her life, having huge tubs of the treatment shipped out to Switzerland regularly.
Philip Kingsley’s multi-award-winning product range also includes the iconic Swimcap, originally formulated for the U.S. Olympic Synchronised Swim Team in 1984; Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo, which was originally formulated for Sir Laurence Olivier in 1967; and Preen Cream, a lightweight, protective styling cream whose name was suggested by a Vogue beauty director.
Philip’s work has been published in numerous scientific papers and dermatological studies, including the British Journal of Dermatology and the American Journal of Endocrinology.He was a regular guest speaker at hair seminars throughout the world, and occasionally consulted with other companies to improve their formulations.
From his success, Philip also funded research on female hair loss at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, developing products to suit the needs of those undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy. Our brand still donates to the charity Look Good Feel Better, as well as to the Royal Marsden Hospital for Cancer Research.
Well into his eighties, Philip worked tirelessly to revolutionise the hair care market. Until his last days, he consulted in his clinics in London and New York, and regularly spoke to the press, alongside his daughter, Trichologist Anabel Kingsley.