Anabel Kingsley, the woman determined to help you get great hair


Anabel Kingsley

It’s an exciting time to be a woman. With woman’s rights hitting the headlines, the feminist movement calling out inequalities and more and more women rallying together and taking powerful roles in shaping our future – this is the moment for women to take charge of their lives and stand in the spotlight. And what better way to start than with that ultimate symbol of feminity – our hair.

So we caught up with one women who is determined to give you great hair; trichologist Anabel Kingsley. She’s taken the helm of her father’s company and clinic, the legendary hair guru Philip Kingsley, after he sadly passed away suddenly last year. Now Anabel is taking everything she’s learned since, and is even more determined to continue to help men and women alike take control of their hair care regime and make a positive impact on their lives.

Why great hair DOES matter, with Anabel Kingsley


Why is looking after your hair so important?

It’s hard to put into words how hair can affect your mood – it can ruin your day or make you feel a million dollars.

Hair has more psychological importance to us than anything else – there is no comparison. Especially for women. Good hair signifies heath. It’s sexy. It’s part of your femininity. You could be wearing no make-up at all but if your hair looks good it trumps everything. It’s so important.

Have you always had great hair?

I have a tumultuous relationship with my hair. When I was young up until my late teens my hair was great – long and beautiful. I paid attention to it but really took it for granted. But because of my work, people are always looking at my hair now, so I make sure to take good care of it.

When did you make the decision to join your father’s company?

It wasn’t something that I thought about until my early 20s. I moved to New York to find out what I wanted to do – at the time I was writing music and singing and working part-time at Soho House, it was fun but the hours were crazy! So I asked Dad if I could work part-time at the New York clinic, purely for the money to continue singing. But then I just fell in love with the company.

What is it that you liked?

I found everything so interesting. Not just the products but the holistic approach – being able to help people. At the clinic, it’s so much more than just a consultation, we take blood tests, we help people analyse deeply into their lifestyle. There’s so much to learn and I loved watching people leave feeling more confident, seeing their improvements. We love to get people’s hair in the best condition.

What was it like working with your father?

Dad was charming and funny; always making practical jokes in the office and stocking the bathrooms of friends with our products when coming over to visit. It’s was quite difficult after Dad died. He’s everywhere in the company and that’s amazing, but I would also break down sometimes. But the fact that he’s everywhere in my life, my name, my business, my legacy – I feel that he’s still here for me. Even though I miss him so much. It’s a comfort to me that he’s still all around me.

How does it feel to be carrying on that legacy?

I would never use the words I’m ‘filling my dad’s shoes’ because no one can. He was a force in himself. His knowledge spans over 50 years and he put trichology on the map (the medical and cosmetic study of hair). I put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to the standards he would have held himself. Like keeping track of the science and studies. Things are always changing and I’m relatively young in terms of business, so I’ve studied hard to make sure I have proper weight to my press. I’m also really lucky to have a great team supporting me.

It’s hard to put into words how hair can affect your mood – it can ruin your day or make you feel a million dollars.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Helping people feel more confident. Some people come in very distressed, so it’s exciting for me to know that they will see a difference and feel confident again. It’s amazing to be part of that.

And the most challenging?

Building trust from a bad experience. A lot of people go to see specialists who have given them the wrong advice which can be frustrating. If they haven’t had the results, then they arrive disenchanted or sceptical. It is difficult to rebuild that trust.

What is the weirdest hair care myth you’ve heard?

That hair cleans itself!  You need to wash your hair every day, just like you would wash your face or have a shower.

The memorable moment of your career so far?

Getting my Award of Excellence for my Trichology degree. They keep the awards a surprise until you graduate. Dad was there and when they announced my award he was really proud. It was an amazing feeling that all the hard work had paid off – for myself, and for my father.

The best hair tip you’ve picked up?

Eat well. If you’re on a crash diet or not eating well then your hair is the first to take the hit. Make sure you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet full of protein, complex carbs and good fats.

Your evening hair look – up or down?

I like keep it down and very natural. But if I have a photoshoot then I’ll go for big bouncy hair! I’ll walk around all day in rollers because they give really great body. I once walked down Oxford Street with them in and got some weird looks – but in New York City no one would bat an eye-lid.

Any hair horror stories?

If I try to blow dry my hair myself, that can go REALLY wrong.

What do you see as the next big hair trend?

The wellbeing of hair. People are taking a more holistic approach, especially to scalp care. We’ve been focussing on it from the beginning but people are really realising your scalp is your skin, and deserves to be looked after as much as your face and body.

Your haircare regime should be just like a skincare regime. You should use a scalp toner, wash and condition it every day.

The one hair product you couldn’t live without?

It has to be the Elasticizer! My father invented it especially for Audrey Hepburn. It penetrates hair deeply with moisture which means bouncy, smooth hair. I don’t want to lie – I’ve of course tried other products to see what’s out there. My Dad made sure we only had Kingsley hair products in our house. So when I was 12 I used to get so excited about a sleepover at a friend’s house so I could use their shampoo and conditioner! But I always ended up being disappointed – they just don’t compare!

Do you have a hair care routine?

Your haircare regime should be just like a skincare regime. You should use a scalp toner, wash and condition it every day. Plus use a treatment like Elasticizer twice a week. Plus take supplements like Iron and Zinc.

Any hair icons?

Audrey Hepburn – she had really long hair similar to mine and made sure it always looked gorgeous and shiny. Or Claudia Schiffer!

The best career advice you’ve received?

Don’t care what people think. Care about your reputation and what your customers think of you, but don’t be pushed around – stick to your guns. You can’t please everyone.

Finally, if you weren’t a trichologist, what would you be doing?

I’d like to say still singing, but more likely I’d be a chef. I have a Le Cordon Bleu degree and I’m really interested in health and nutrition. Or perhaps another medical profession, I really enjoy helping people. Maybe I’ll still go on to do that sometime in the future.


Words by Nicole Harley

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