Are you career-focused, driven and looking to be inspired? #EscentualMeets is your source of motivation. Every month, we reveal the grit, success and stories of a selection of the world’s leading beauty founders.
Philip Kingsley is our newest haircare brand! At Escentual, we consider every brand we launch very carefully; with an estimated 8 million women in the UK experiencing hair loss, we want to offer science-driven solutions to our customers suffering from hair concerns. With over 100 years of experience, Philip Kingsley are experts in hair and scalp with a team of leading trichologists behind the brand, including their Brand President and Consultant Trichologist, Anabel Kingsley. Daughter to Founder Philip Kingsley, Anabel has worked her way up from packing mail orders…
1. Where It All Began
Anabel was born in New York and raised in London from the age of 7. She described herself as a ‘quirky child and a rebellious teenager’, and like many of us, it took her finding something she was truly passionate about to excel. Anabel majored in medical history, securing straight A’s and graduating with 1st class hours, before going on to study Trichology and earning a Distinction and an Award of Excellence.
During this time, Anabel mainly worked in New York. “My first real job was as a hostess at a 24-hour diner, called ‘The Diner’, in downtown, Chelsea. The hours were a bit crazy and I would often start work at 11 pm and get home after 7 am, but it was fun, and I got to meet so many interesting people. I was voted Employee of the Month, which I continue to be very proud of. It was a great lesson in the importance of customer care and experience.”
2. The History of Philip Kingsley
Similarly to Escentual, Philip Kinsley is a family-run business. “My husband, mother, sister and I all work together. My 20-month-old son, Leopold, likes to play with shampoo bottles, so I think there’s potential for future involvement there as well!”. The brand was founded by Philip Kingsley, Anabel’s late father in the 1950s, “My father discovered his passion for hair when sweeping floors at his uncle’s barbershop in East London when he was trying to save up money to go to medical school. He saw first-hand how important hair is psychologically for both men and women; how someone feeling good about their hair could positively transform their mood, whereas hair loss, breakage and stubborn scalp conditions could be devastating and confidence-shattering.” At the time, there were no products or services available that tackled these issues, “…he went on went to study Trichology (the science of the hair and scalp). He was a true innovator and visionary, being the first person to address hair and scalp issues from a holistic standpoint. Hair health is more than just the products you use; it is linked to what you eat, your general health and stress levels, and your metabolism and genes.”
3. Joining The Family Business
Joining the family business wasn’t always on the cards for Anabel, “It wasn’t until I did a summer internship at our New York Clinic in my early 20s that I knew I wanted to work within my family business. I fell in love with the company on my first day. There is truly nothing like our Clinics in London and New York – they offer a safe and secure sanctuary for people with hair and scalp issues. But we also have clients who have been coming to us for decades, who simply come back as they love the atmosphere so much, and it’s a place they can relax.”
After securing her Distinction in Trichology, one would think Anabel would get a fast track pass straight to the top of the family business, but Anabel worked her way up just like anyone else, “I began my career at Philip Kingsley when I was 22 years old. I started off packing up mail orders and on reception and have since worked my way up to be Brand President and Consultant Trichologist. Having been involved in all aspects of the business has been invaluable.”
4. The Future of Philip Kingsley
Anabel is involved in all aspects of the business, with her role varying day-to-day. “On days I work at our New York Clinic, I spend my time consulting… helping clients with hair and scalp concerns. I spend the rest of my week writing articles about hair and scalp health, reading medical journals to keep up to date, and in meetings – which can involve brainstorming about new product development to TikTok content and strategic planning”. No two days are alike, and each day presents new challenges, “Overcoming them is the greatest learning experience, and you must be adaptable. The Covid-19 pandemic was definitely a difficult time for everyone. At Philip Kingsley, we learnt a lot about ourselves individually and collectively, and as a company, we have come out of it stronger.” When I asked Anabel about the latest thing she ‘geeked out’ about her passion for trichology shone, “Did you know hair follicles can smell via olfactory receptors – with recent research showing they can smell pheromones – yes, hair really is an astonishing mini-organ!”.
On the brand’s future, Anabel said, “To remain true to our core values. The brand relies on Trichological expertise, integrity, exceptional formulations, and a deep understanding of the psychological importance of hair. We only bring out products that do what they claim to do, and we aim to educate our customers about hair and scalp health. We want to continue to empower women and men when it comes to hair care, rather than confuse them.”
5. The Next Big Beauty Trend
Philip Kingsley are pioneers in hair and scalp care, so I had to pick Anabel’s brains on beauty trends. On the next big thing, Anabel said, “Scalp-care as skincare is already a trend, but I think it will continue to grow in popularity. This thrills me as a healthy scalp really is the starting point for healthy hair growth – and is something that my father pioneered. Philip Kingsley has been a proponent of scalp health and the skintification of haircare for the past 60 years”. As for the industry’s future, Anabel foresees a more eco-friendly future, “I think beauty will become increasingly more sustainable and environmentally conscious. This is incredibly important to me individually and for the company”.
6. Inspiration & Advice
Her late father, Philip Kingsley, is Anabel’s biggest inspiration, “He was totally self-made and the most ethical, honest and passionate business person I have met. He was an innovator and pioneer, setting standards with staying power rather than following trends. My dad also had great respect for women in business and was ahead of his time in supporting women’s rights and equality”. As for the best advice she’s received, Anabel said, “Learn from the past, don’t dwell on it – and trust your instincts.” And has this message for those wanting to follow in her career footsteps, “Go for it! Being a Trichologist and formulating high-performance hair and scalp care is the most wonderful profession as you get to help improve people’s confidence and overall wellbeing. Just remember not to stray from your values”.