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Industry Icon Philip Kingsley Passes Away

Lauren Quick | September 6, 2016 | 1:05 PM

Haircare icon Philip Kingsley, famous for his work in trichology and styling stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Jane Fonda and Gwyneth Paltrow, passed away on Saturday, September 3, 2016, at the age of 86.

Kingsley is survived by his wife, Joan, and daughters Anabel, Kate, Sue and Helen.

Kingsley was born in 1930 to a working-class family on London's East End. He left school at age 14 to apprentice at his uncle's hairdressing salon in Bethnal Green in order to support his parents and four siblings. He saved money to attend a correspondence course at the Institute of Trichologists and recognized early on the huge psychological influence hair hair on men and women alike.

He opened his first London clinic on Marylebone in 1957 and opened progressively larger clinics as demand for his services grew. His renown culminated when he opened his flagship Trichological Clinic on Green Street, Mayfair in 1968 and then on New York City's Fifth Avenue in 1977.

The internationally renowned stylist and trichologist was one of the first to bring attention to scalp and hair health in a big way, and he created his pre-shampoo hair masque, the Elasticizer, in 1976 for client Audrey Hepburn.

"While Audrey Hepburn was filming the movie Robin and Marian with Sean Connery, her hair was in terrible condition—flat and dry—because of all the styling and coloring the studio beauticians employed on set," says Kingsley's daughter Anabel, who is a fellow trichologist and Kingsley's company's director of communications. "Distressed, she went to see Philip Kingsley for help. Philip went straight to his laboratory and formulated Elasticizer just for her. The star was so pleased by how shiny and soft her hair felt that she ordered pots and pots to be sent over to her home in Switzerland, and seeing its success, Philip brought it out as a permanent product in his haircare range.”

The haircare range started with five basic products and grew to more than 50 bespoke formulations.

Kingsley believed traditional hair classifications of normal, oily and dry were inaccurate and instead began referring to hair textures—fine, medium and coarse. Focus on the fabric of hair continues to be commonplace in the industry today.

In recent years, Kingsley focused on extreme hair and scalp problems, including helping women with reduced volume. He developed his Tricotherapy range, an at-home haircare range to help hair's volume, shine and elasticity. He researched female hair loss at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and developed products for individuals undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Kingsley regularly donated to Look Good Feel Better, a breast cancer charity, and also to the Royal Marsden Hospital for Cancer Research.

 

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