Philip Kingsley is the world’s most respected authority on hair and scalp health. His clientele include politicians, royalty and celebrities. We were lucky enough to interview Philip and find out about the man behind one of the most respected hair brands in the industry.
You’ve been called the ‘Hair Doctor’ by the Sunday Times and the ‘Hair Guru’ by the New York Times. Can you tell us how you became the ‘Hair Guru’?
The New York Times sent a reporter who had a hair problem and she brought a colleague. I was successful in treating both and they were thrilled. The reporter wrote an article on their experiences and ended up calling me ‘The Hair Guru’. Which has stuck!
How did you feel when you opened your first Clinic in 1960 in Mayfair, London?
My first Clinic in 1960 was in Dorset Street, off Baker Street in a tiny office. Due to demand, I moved to 80, Park Street in Mayfair in 1965 and to my present premises 54, Green Street in Mayfair in 1968. The move to Mayfair was thrilling as it had the aura of the ultimate area. I was apprehensive at first, but the effect on my practice was amazing.
When you first started out, did you ever imagine you’d have so many famous and influential people knocking at your clinic’s door, and do you think that having high profile customers helps to promote the awareness of hair and scalp health?
I had no idea that I would become so successful and I was lucky that many famous and influential people were recommended by their friends. They in turn recommended more famous and influential people! I have never boasted or used names to promote my clinics or products. It is them that mention me!
Who is Philip Kingsley’s typical patient?
I have people from all walks of life: hair issues are not confined to one group. Problems can vary between scalp conditions, hair conditions such as dryness, dullness, breakage, hair fall, hair thinning. And any of these can affect anybody.
What does it feel like to know you’ve helped so many people with very serious scalp and hair conditions? Do you ever hear back from them?
It makes me feel great satisfaction, not only from doing a good job, but also the joy it installs in the people treated. I have had a huge quantity of grateful thanks over all the years.
What inspired you to launch your own retail range of products?
A good friend persuaded me and said that because the products made in my clinics were so efficacious, why not make them available at retail. At the time I was doubtful as everything was individually made. However, on pondering for a long time I realized that there were certain formulations that were constant. On that basis I decided to base all retail products on clinical usage and results, which I still do with all new product development.
Your products address various scalp and hair conditions, how do I know which product is right for me?
Quite easily: there is a very detailed (but simple) website at www.philipkingsley.co.uk and there is a brochure explaining all the theory involved. Quite a unique concept!
What does it mean when you say your products are Trichologically driven?
Trichology is the branch of dermatology that deals with the scientific study of the health of hair and scalp. All Philip Kingsley products has been based on Trichological expertise in my Trichological clinics.
You recommend to choose a shampoo based on hair type and a conditioner based on hair length and diameter, why is this more beneficial than the commonly used division for oily, normal and dry?
The terms oily, normal, dry, cannot accurately describe hair. For example, there is no such thing as “normal”. Your normal is not my normal or your friend’s normal or your partner’s normal. “Dry” could be fine and dry, coarse and dry, frizzy and dry, short and dry, long and dry etc. etc. Oily – these days, with more frequent shampooing advocated – as soon as it gets oily – shampoo it!
Professionals who joined you at the very start of your career are still working for Philip Kingsley, are your family members also getting involved?
Yes. My daughter Anabel is Communications Director and writes a Hair column called “Ask Anabel”. Brilliant! Katherine my other daughter who is an author under the name Kate Kingsley, is helping me write another book and is a brilliant editor, too. My wife Joan is a Psychotherapist and works at the National Hospital for Neurology and is a business psychologist too, and gives me invaluable advice. She is also a director of my company.
What is the one product that you’re the most proud of and would recommend others to try?
I am proud of all my products. But perhaps the one I am most excited about is my new launch, TRICHOTHERAPY. It is a 3-step holistic approach to tackling hair loss and hair thinning, which has taken me and my team 7 years to formulate, and uses 7 never before combined ingredients. It addresses hair density issues from an internal, as well as external standpoint, containing a volumizing conditioning spray for immediate body & improved condition, stimulating scalp drops for long term benefits and a nutritional supplement to support hair growth from a dietary standpoint. Enclosed in the kit is also a comprehensive brochure which explain how to get the best from your hair.
Dying to try the Philip Kingsley range? The Philip Kingsley Daily Damage Defence Conditioning Spray is the perfect place to start, and you could get yours in our new Glamour Beauty Power List box!