Sep 13, 2019 | By Athena Chen
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The beauty world suffered a loss this weekend as it was announced that hair care legend Philip Kingsley passed away suddenly.
Kingsley was known his haircare products, which went further than traditional products by looking more in-depth at the hair and scalp to create solutions that treated the root of the problem, rather than surface issues. His products were also created to be used by all hair types from straight blondes, to those with natural afro texture hair. He also worked with celebrity clients including Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham.
His most-celebrated product was his famous Elasticizer, the world’s first pre-shampoo hair masque, which was originally formulated personally for one of his most famous clients, Audrey Hepburn and is now a global hit product. One is sold every two minutes, and it’s a huge hit on Instagram and twitter.
His legacy is that he was the first to link hair health to wellness and well-being, long before consumers were tuned into ‘athleisure and wellness’ as buzz words. He believed that the traditional classifications of hair as ‘Normal, Oily and Dry’ were inaccurate, and instead focused on hair textures: Fine, Medium, Coarse, African-Caribbean. He then made products to suit this range of textures.
His way of working and the way he thought about hair, changed the industry, which is very fitting since his passion for hair started back when he was just 14 and left school to support his parents and siblings. He got his start in the business by working as an apprentice at his uncle’s hairdressing salon in Bethnal Green. After saving enough money, he began studying at the Institute of Trichologists and he opened his first London clinic in Marylebone in 1957. Philip’s hair care range started with just five basic products, and has grown to over fifty bespoke formulations.
Speaking about his death, WGSN Senior Beauty Editor Theresa Yee said:
“I was so sad to hear he has passed. He was a respected figure in the beauty industry and the leading authority in hair and scalp health – the godfather of trichology. I recently visited the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in Mayfair a few weeks back and have been a huge fan of the cult Elasticizer product as well as the Swimcap. Kingsley was the man that created haircare products that blended cutting-edge science with a holistic approach. It’s a sad loss to the hairdressing industry.”
Philip Kingsley, 1930-2016.
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