the more you know the less you need

the more you know the less you need

Audrey’s Hair Hero

Audrey’s Hair Hero


Trichologist Philip Kingsley created Elasticizer for Audrey Hepburn after she came to his clinic in 1974.

Audrey Hepburn getting her hair washed and styled | |Photo: Mark Shaw/mptvimages
Audrey Hepburn getting her hair washed and styled | Photo: Mark Shaw/mptvimages

Philip Kingsley recounts:

I met Audrey Hepburn In 1974. She had booked by the name of Mrs Dotti (she was married to Andre Dotti, an Italian doctor) and I had no idea it was Audrey Hepburn until I was face to face with her in my consulting room. 

Although I had all the well-known names in entertainment coming to my clinic, it was still a thrill to meet her. Her complaint was unmanageability. She and the film studio were unhappy about the way her hair behaved whilst filming, and as a consequence were incorrectly overdoing the shampooing and conditioning aspects. 

I was already making pre-shampoo conditioner, but Audrey needed something different and fast. I went into my lab and quickly mixed together a unique (at the time) combination of ingredients that would (I hoped) moisturise and smooth the hair and give it shine without weighing it down. It was a super pre-shampoo moisturising conditioner, which was washed out leaving a microscopic amount adsorbed onto the hair. 

Audrey was ecstatic and so was I, and she used it until she died in 1993. I did not call it Elasticizer until 1980. Since, it has been tweaked here and there to improve its performance. The name Elasticizer was also a flash of ‘genius’ because hair has elastic properties—it stretches a third of its length before it breaks and Elasticizer improves this stretchability, giving it more strength and control, without heaviness. 

Elasticizer went on to become the best-selling product in the PK range, and has won numerous awards world-wide. All thanks to Audrey. (Well, yes, to the inventor, too).

I first encountered this hero product when I visited the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic in New York. After a consultation with an associate (alas not the man himself), my hair was shampooed, conditioned, and a hair and scalp mask applied. I left with hair that was unlike the hair I came in with—impossibly shiny, soft, and swishy—in a word, glorious. My glossy hair and I also left with an array of PK products including the Elasticizer.

Over the following year or so, my hair was in its prime. But then I reluctantly reverted back to inferior drug-store and salon brands when my university student budget did not stretch to importing beauty products from the US to Canada and enduring the not-insignificant exchange and shipping rates. This, you understand, was in the dinosaur days before the emporium of world-wide-web shopping existed.

Fast-forward to six months ago, an Elasticizer arrived in my mailbox after an on-line order. I’d forgotten just how good it really was. Like a long-lost friend, my hair said, Where have you been?!

This time, older and wiser and able to make a commitment, I’m sticking with Elasticizer. After all, how often do you find a hero?

 Elasticizer: Original & Scented. Order on-line: Philip Kingsley (Original here; Geranium & Neroli here); Feel Unique (here).


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