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Beauty guru of the week: Anabel Kingsley

The expert route to good hair days: trichologist Anabel Kingsley

The expert route to good hair days: trichologist Anabel Kingsley

This week's beauty guru is Anabel Kingsley, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week. She is a trichologist and also director of communications at the Philip Kingsley Clinic that was set up by and is still run by her father. 

Kingsley Snr is well known as possibly the greatest hair care expert on the planet and you can read about him here.  Anabel has a tendency to keep herself under the radar but she's definitely a name you should know. 

Growing up with a famous hair guru for a father, she learned all the right things to do with her hair but would spend sleepovers investigating the hair products in friends' bathrooms (there were only PK products at home) and once scandalised her dad by sitting in the sun with lemon juice on her hair, to bleach streaks into it. 

She had thought of following a career as a singer, but while working at her father's clinic in New York while waiting for her singing career to take off, she fell in love with the business, and has now trained as a trichologist herself. 

Her hair is - as you'd expect - fabulous ('I work at it', she says, when complimented) and she has refreshingly no-nonsense views on how to get the best out of your hair. You need to eat enough protein - that means at every meal - and you should wash your hair every day with a gentle shampoo, rather than letting dirt, bacteria and grease build up on the scalp. 'After all, you wash your face every day,' she points out. 

She's not opposed to sulfates -- the foaming element in shampoos, which are often condemned as things you don't want in your products  -- per se, and not just because you rinse them out. 'A lot of these 'problems' are aired by companies that want to promote their own products that are free from specific ingredients,' she says. 'Some people do have sensitivity to sulphates, usually to Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is the harshest, but it is rare and people may have sensitivity to other ingredients in a product, too.' 

She also points out that hair oils, which are hugely popular, can do a good job of smoothing down hair but they won't actually moisturise dry hair. 'Oil forms a coating on the hair and stops moisture escaping from inside the hair. But the oil itself doesn't actually penetrate the hair.'

So what does moisturise the hair? The Elasticizer - the hydrating concoction that Philip Kingsley created for Audrey Hepburn, one of his regulars, to keep her hair from becoming dried out by endless heat styling, and which is still the clinic's hero product. 

Most of the issues that the trichology team at the clinic deals with are more serious than this (alopecia, thryoid-related hair problems, dealing with the effects of chemotherapy) and there is a good deal of helpful information on the website. 

Anabel Kingsley, www.philipkingsley.co.uk


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