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Tag Archives : pre-shampoo conditioner

A Guide To Healthy, Beautiful Hair All Season Long

Our hair has a huge impact on how we feel. No matter what clothes we wear, how our makeup looks, or shoes or handbags we accessorise with, if we are not happy with our hair, our mood can deflate. This applies to any time of year, but perhaps concerns over our locks peak around the holiday season when we are inundated with work events, holiday drinks and family gatherings. While I cannot alleviate holiday stress, I can certainly offer advice on how to make your tresses look their very best. Here are some lesser known tips on how to maintain healthy, beautiful locks throughout the season:

Eat And Be Merry

Many women I speak to stress about their diet during the holiday season. It can be, without doubt, a season of indulgence. However, while you might be wary of consuming extra calories, your follicles may in fact be rejoicing over the buffet of extra available nutrients; a lot of seasonal ‘delicacies’ are very beneficial to the formation of hair cells. For instance, beef stews and liver pates are excellent sources of iron, a mineral that helps to produce hair cell protein. Turkey, smoked fish, poultry and pecans are great sources of protein – the substance that your hair is made of. Almonds and pork provide the body with biotin, another hair essential nutrient. And those delectable devilled eggs served at many a soiree contain all of the above. So take advantage of these seasonal foods!

However, if you suffer from dandruff the holidays can have their drawbacks. Full fat dairy products, white wine and champagne can worsen flaking and itching in predisposed individuals. Instead, opt for skimmed or soy milk and enjoy your meal with a glass of red wine. If you simply can’t resist imbibing, keep a targeted shampoo and scalp toner handy. Philip Kingsley Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo and Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner work like magic.

Mane Management

Donning new hairstyles is part of the fun of party season. However, if your locks are dry and damaged, it can really limit your options. To improve the manageability and condition of your hair, apply a pre-shampoo conditioner once to twice a week. I sleep with our Elasticizer in my hair the night before a big event to ensure a shiny, bouncy blow-dry. It works after just one use, with benefits improving over time.

Immune Booster

Hair is incredibly sensitive to general health. Psychologically it holds vast importance, but physiologically it is dispensable. Basically, whenever we are unwell, our hair is often the first part of us to suffer the consequences. While I cannot offer a fool-proof method to ward off flus and fevers, you can help keep your immune system robust by eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping stress levels to a minimum. Not an easy feat I know – and I, myself, am often guilty of falling short! What I have found helpful is taking our daily multi-vitamin, Tricho Complex; a supplement we formulated with the unique need of the hair in mind. In terms of stress, gentle swimming and Pilates can be very helpful. And as for a restful night – try opting for a book before bed rather than checking your emails. The light from a computer is known to disrupt sleep patterns.

Fighting Frizz

Every time we step from cozy heated buildings into the chilly and blustery outdoors, changes in atmospheric moisture content cause our hairs to change shape. AKA to FRIZZ.  And at no time is this more common (and annoying!) than during the peak of winter. To diminish the likelihood of frizzies and flyaways, use products that prevent moisture in the air from penetrating the hair shaft. I love our Preen Cream– a lightweight leave in conditioning cream that keeps locks manageable and shiny without added weight.

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6 Hair & Scalp Care Tips For Summer

Living in London, where the mid-60s is considered a ‘hot day’ during the peak of Summer, the prospect of a beach holiday thrills me to no end. And who doesn’t love basking in the sun and cooling off in the sea and pool? Summer just wouldn’t be as fun without these things.

However… even though it feels glorious at the time, if you throw all caution to the wind your hair is likely to be a mess come September – and dealing with this is no fun at all. Here are my tops tips to maintaining luscious locks from June through to August.

Skin Vs. Scalp

I cannot tell you how many people I speak to that have experienced scalp burn. While we are very conscious of protecting our skin, the poor scalp is so often neglected. However, your scalp is skin – and as such it can burn.

A sunburnt scalp can be highly unpleasant, with redness and soreness that is followed by large flakes approximately a week later. Apart from not looking very nice, a flaky scalp is known to cause and/or worsen hair shedding in certain individuals. Very seriously, leaving the scalp unprotected can also lead to cell changes and skin cancer. To help protect your scalp, apply your regular sunblock to your parting – or to any other areas that are exposed. Alternatively, you can wear a hat or sit under a cabana or umbrella. If you have already burnt your scalp, apply the same logic as if your arms or legs got sunburnt: keep it covered until the skin heals.

Scorched Hair

You are not able to feel it, but the sun can burn your strands. UV rays degrade and weaken the hair’s protein structure in a similar way to bleach; it is why hair becomes lighter. It is also why sun exposure can make the hair very dry and brittle and riddled with split ends. Salt and chlorinated water can add to this damage, making a truly tress-terrifying trio. The best way to guard your hair is with a water-resistant moisturizing cream containing UV filters. We make one called Swimcap Cream that was originally formulated for the US Olympic Swim Team. You simply dampen your hair and apply it from root to tip. As an added bonus, Swimcap Cream gives your hair a hydrating treatment at the same time as protecting it. In fact, many people comment that when they use it their hair is in better condition after summer than it was before.


Like all skin, the scalp can become dry if you are dehydrated. The solution to this is an easy one: stay hydrated! Water is best, but any (non-alcoholic) drink will do.

Put Down The Pinot

The good news is that dandruff tends to be less common in the summer. However, the bad news is that a common summer cooler, white wine, often triggers it in predisposed individuals. Being someone who loves a chilled glass of Gavi by the pool, I know this news may be annoying for some. There is more good news though! Spirits (i.e. vodka and gin) are scalp friendly if drunk in moderation. Cheers!


Your hair is made of protein, so it’s important to include sufficient quantities of it in your daily diet. There are so many delicious, fresh and nutritious protein rich foods available in the summer, so do take advantage! My favourite seasonal delights are lobster (rolls), barbequed scallops and shrimp, steamers and soft shell crab. All very lean, all low in mercury, and each one packs a hefty dose of all essential amino acids needed for hair growth.


Last week when I was in Portofino my hair resembled a birds-nest after jumping in the hotel’s pool and letting my hair air-dry. I was torn between quickly detangling so I could tackle the lunch buffet ASAP – and taking my time and risking losing out on the fattest langoustine. However, knowing how damaging this can be, I was patient. But most women I saw were not. And why would they be? Many are not aware that pulling through knots can cause a lot of breakage and thin the appearance of the ends.  A great way to make things easier is to carry a travel-sized detangling spray in your beach bag, like our Daily Damage Defence. Start detangling at your ends and gently work your way up.

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Summer Hair Color Care

On a recent trip to Sicily I forwent my usual ritual of applying protective creams and sprays. I even dunked my head in the pool and let it air dry in the sun. After a good 2 years of being brunette I wanted, as quickly as possible, a lighter, brighter and blonder hair colour – and all without spending 3 hours and £300 in a hair salon. However, if you wish to keep your locks the same shade during the summer, you need to do the exact opposite of what I did. UV rays react with your hair structure in a similar way to bleach. They oxidize your hair’s melanin (pigment), lightening it. Chlorine, which is also an oxidizer, results in similar changes. And if you add the two together, you may just go a full shade lighter in a matter of days. Apply a water-resistant cream containing SPF to guard your hair from colour fade. My go-to is our Swimcap Cream, which hydrates your hair at the same time as protecting it.

Your Hair Can Burn

However, if you too want your hair to be significantly sun-kissed, there are a few things you should know. Your hair can burn, just like your skin – you just can’t feel it. Even though the sun’s rays are ‘natural’, they damage the bonds that hold your hair together. This can result in dryness, brittleness and subsequent breakage. It is therefore essential to use a pre-shampoo conditioner that restores elasticity, moisture and strength to the hair. When I was in Sicily, I used our pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, Elasticizer, EVERY day. I slept with it in, read a book on my balcony with it on and worked it into my hair before going to the gym. You don’t have to be quite as methodical as I was, but I certainly suggest you use it at least twice a week if you will be baking your hair in the sun.

No Lemon Juice Please!

Even for those wanting a lighter hue, a line must be drawn somewhere. Applying lemon juice is a definite no. It tangles your hair, and leaves it with a straw-like texture. Leaving your hair exposed, unprotected, in the sun for over 2 hours a day should also be avoided. And if your hair begins to feel parched, embark on the regime I described above. It is also important to point out that pool water can turn blonde hair green. This isn’t due to the presence chlorine. Pool water often contains traces of copper – and this can react with your hair protein. I have not experienced this personally (although watch this space…) but we have seen it in our Clinics – and the green tint is very hard to get rid of. If you are concerned, put your hair in a high bun, wear a swim cap, or apply our Swimcap Cream before getting into the pool.

Daily Colour Fade Defence

For daily sun protection from colour fade in the city, or simply when wandering about on holiday, use a protective conditioning spray. This will shield your hair from environmental damage. Also, try to choose one that has detangling properties and offers heat protection. We make one called Daily Damage Defence.

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Philip Kingsley Winter Hair Resolutions

During December I am inundated with questions from magazines regarding maintaining hair health in the winter. This isn’t the case with my patients, mind you, who come en masse to my clinics during January with hair that has been subjected to various assaults over the holiday season. It seems that many (including my wife and 2 daughters!) throw caution to the wind during this time, choosing to suffer the consequences afterwards. I am hoping this article has caught your attention early enough so you can avoid the January hair blues this year. In this month’s article I am sharing my PRE New Years Resolutions so you can toast in 2015 with beautiful, healthy locks.

CONDITION. And correctly!

Conditioner is a vital component of any hair care regime. It isn’t simply a devise to mask problems, but a well-formulated one will help restore health to your hair and treat brittleness and dryness. However, many people – especially those with fine hair – steer clear of using conditioner as they find it weighs their hair down. To avoid this, simply apply it to your mid-lengths and ends only. Contrary to the ‘all over’ application I frequently encounter at hair salons, conditioner is never meant to touch your roots. They don’t need it and it will indeed create limpness.

General Health

Hair is an excellent barometer of general health – with flus, high fevers and stomach bugs frequently affecting the hair growth cycle. This can result in mass hair shedding 6-8 weeks later and may last as long as 6 weeks depending on the severity and duration of the illness. While there is no fool-proof way to avoid getting sick, I strongly suggest you ask your doctor about getting a flu shot. It takes a mere few seconds and may help you avoid a serious hair blip.


December is one of the busiest times for salons in terms of hair processing. Who doesn’t like to have a head of freshly done colour for Christmas and New Years!? While you may time this quite well after your last appointment, leaving at least 6 weeks in-between, this isn’t always possible. Quite commonly, it is much less and this can lead to overlapping of previously done colour, resulting in breakage near the root area. To strengthen your hair pre-colour, prep it a few days before a salon visit with my pre-shampoo conditioning treatment, Elasticizer, and then again a few days after. You can also discuss your concerns with your stylist so that they are even more cautious than usual.

Split Ends

It may well be the season to be jolly, but it is also the season of blow-dryer tomfoolery, sizzling styling tongues and haphazard de-tangling. The result? A frightful case of split ends. Firstly, take a look at your ends (yes, right now). If you see splits occurring, make an appointment to see your stylist ASAP. If you leave them, they can split all the way up the hair shaft and cause a great deal of damage. Contrary to popular belief, split ends cannot be mended – and the only cure is to snip them off. To avoid them in the first place, choose brushes with widely spaced and padded plastic prongs, always apply a detangling spray (Daily Damage Defence) before combing, and be sure to detangle starting at your ends – never your roots. Also, limit your use of hair straighteners to twice a week, and use a heat protective conditioning serum, like my Straight Hair, when doing so.

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Best Hair Routines for the Holiday Season

With holiday party season just around the corner, you may already be planning how to navigate through your jam-packed schedules and post-work event wardrobe. I know I certainly am! While wearing our favourite dress or something shiny and new may give us a confidence boost, nothing quite lifts the mood like great hair. Here are my top tips to getting your locks in great shape for the winter – whatever your hair texture.

Fine Hair Full of Body

For those with fine hair, bounce coupled with plenty of root volume is a most-wished for style. To achieve this look, shampoo and condition your hair with Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo and Conditioner. The shampoo plumps your strands and adds texture, while the lightweight conditioner increases shine and provides just the right amount of moisture without weight. After towel-drying, apply a small amount of Philip Kingsley Preen Cream through your mid-lengths and ends and then spray Maximizer into your roots. The trick to achieving maximum body is to blow dry gently at the root area against the direction in which your hair grows. Finish off by blow-drying your hair upside down for even more oomph. If your hair is fine and slightly dry or processed, use a pre-shampoo conditioner (Elasticizer) once every other week to restore hydration. If very damaged, this should be done once weekly.

Magnificent Medium Hair

Medium textured hair benefits from products that balance the needs of both the roots and dryer ends. Medium processed hair also tends to get dry quickly, so this should be addressed as well for best results! I recommend using a pre-shampoo conditioner (Elasticizer) once a week and shampooing with Philip Kingsley Soft & Shiny Jet Set. If your hair is medium textured and curly, detangling, heat-protective conditioning sprays like Daily Damage Defence will help to minimize breakage and shield your hair from environmental damage (think wind, cold climates and free radicals!) To avoid the dreaded frizz, use products that discourage the absorption of moisture back into the hair shaft. They will be labelled appropriately, but make sure silicone is not one of the first 2 ingredients listed on the back as these can dry your hair out.

Smooth & Shiny Coarse Hair

Thick coarse hair tends to get quite unmanageable, especially in the winter. To achieve a smooth and shiny style, apply Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme 20 minutes to an hour before washing your hair. Use this once a week to really improve manageability and condition, and twice a week if your hair is in real need of some TLC. Follow with Philip Kingsley Re-Moisturizing shampoo and conditioner and then apply Philip Kingsley Smooth Cream to towel dried hair over your mid-lengths and ends. These products are specifically formulated for coarse hair, helping to hydrate each strand, reduce frizz, and also close the cuticle for lasting shine.

Soothe The Scalp

Flaky/itchy scalps are more common in the winter. This can be due to everything from central heating, heightened stress levels, eating dairy rich foods, increased alcohol consumption and washing the hair less frequently. Dandruff isn’t only uncomfortable, but research has shown that it can cause hair loss. To reduce its occurrence, or calm existing irritation, wash with an anti-microbial shampoo and then follow by daily use of a soothing scalp toner. Philip Kingsley Take Comfort Jet Set is a great little kit you can use as needed. If you are prone to dandruff, you should also avoid spicy foods, white wine, champagne and full fat diary, as these can all trigger and worsen it.

Embrace The Turkey

Hair grows its best when supported by a healthy diet rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, and complex carbohydrates – and luckily this season’s foods pack quite the vitamin punch! Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein, the building block of hair. Stews, roasts and beetroot provide the follicle with essential iron needed for hair cell division. Finally, sweet potato is a fabulous way to up your intake of Vitamins C, A, various B vitamins and fibre! Party nibbles such as nuts, devilled eggs and smoked salmon canapés are also great hair boosters – and as energy to form hair cells drops 4 hours after eating a meal, make sure to grab a few if it has been a few hours since you’ve last eaten.

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