Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Philip Kingsley clinic in London. If you aren’t familiar, PK is a trichological (hair and scalp) clinic. If you have any type of concern with your hair and scalp, or even just a curiosity about your hair health, Philip Kingsley is the place to go! Today I’m going to share a detailed account of why I went in, what happened during my appointment, and what I’ve learned.
WHY I WENT TO PHILIP KINGSLEY
I first decided to reach out to Philip Kingsley as I was experiencing more hair loss than normal. I’m someone with very long and thick hair, so daily shedding is just an accepted part of my life. However, over the last few weeks / months it had become noticeably worse and I decided it was time to see a specialist about it. Many of my friends were surprised to hear that I was seeing a trichologist as my hair still looked thick and healthy, and I really hope this post will help normalize seeking scalp treatment. You could have the thickest hair in the world and will still benefit from seeing a trichologist – you don’t have to have noticeably thinning hair!
DURING THE APPOINTMENT
The London clinic is located in the heart of Mayfair just off Bond Street and is absolutely beautiful (pictured above). In-person consultations last two hours, with the first hour being a one on one meeting with a trichologist. They will ask questions about your health history, diet, and overall lifestyle. Then they take a look at your scalp through a microscope to see if the issue you are experiencing is clearly scalp related (a lot of times you have a perfectly healthy scalp and stress or poor diet is to blame). You also get set up with an appointment to get blood work done (this is taken at a separate lab nearby) so they can get a full picture of what might be causing your concerns.
The second hour of your appointment is spent in their “spa” getting a restorative scalp treatment and hair mask. They put a generous amount all over your hair and then you sit under a steamer for fifteen minutes so it can really absorb. This is followed by a fifteen minute scalp massage which feels absolutely heavenly. They then do a wash and blow dry, but as they are not hair stylists it’s just a quick brush blow out. However, due to the lovely hair masks you’ve just had done, your hair will be so soft and shiny you won’t need to do anything else to it!
WHAT I LEARNED
During my meeting with the trichologist, she could tell from the physical examination that my scalp and hair health was perfect. However, she could also see that I had in fact been losing more hair than normal. I have a lot of little baby hairs about 1 inch long all along my scalp (they truly aren’t noticeable to the naked eye), which is the re-growth of the hairs I’ve lost recently. Because my hair and scalp are healthy (and the hair is growing back at a good rate), this means that the hair loss was caused by another factor.
She told me that she had been seeing a lot of new clients lately who have never experienced hair loss before but are now. Stress is a huge factor for extra hair loss (also known as Telogen Effluvium), and it’s safe to say that many of us have been a liiiiittle more stressed than usual this year thanks to Covid. Interestingly, I also learned that becoming ill with Covid-19 could cause additional hair loss too (honestly, as if this pandemic wasn’t already bad enough!!). Some people may experience additional hair loss 6-12 weeks after the period of illness due to the high fever and length of fever. The fever causes the growth phase of the hair to get cut short, which means the hair pre-maturely moves from the growth phase into the shedding phase (this could happen with any illness, not just Covid). As you may know, I most likely had Covid back in mid-March. Since it was still the early days of the pandemic – even before London went into government lockdown – testing was not readily available and I wasn’t able to confirm if I had it or not. However, with increased stress levels the last few months and what was most likely a case of Covid-19, it’s no wonder I’ve been losing a bit more hair than usual!
Another possibility that we looked into is my diet. I don’t eat a lot of red meat (although I am not a vegetarian) so my protein and iron intake are a bit low. The blood work results also showed a low level of B12, which is another vitamin important for hair growth. While I can’t necessarily control my stress levels, I can make sure that I’m giving my body the proper nutrients for optimal hair growth. My trichologist now has me on the Philip Kingsley Protein Boost supplements, and I’m also taking B12 and Vitaminc C + Iron capsules each day.
In addition to taking vitamins, I’ve also changed up my daily haircare routine. One of the things that my trichologist could not stress enough was that washing your hair daily DOES NOT lead to further hair loss. In fact, it’s a complete myth that washing your hair everyday is bad for your hair and scalp. Would you ever take a day off from washing your face? I didn’t think so! Washing your hair is critical for getting out all of the hairs that have naturally reached their shedding stage, so that new hair can grow back in their place (we all lose up to 100 hairs a day – anything more than that is what is considered Telogen Effluvium). Because my hair loss is most likely stress and health related, and not due to a scalp condition, she told me that if I wanted to take a day off from washing here and there for times sake that she wouldn’t be bothered by that – but washing everyday is the ideal scenario. Below are the PK products that I use as a part of my new haircare routine!
Everyday I wash my hair with the Flaky / Itchy Scalp Shampoo and NCR6 Conditioner.
After washing, I use the Tonic #3 on my scalp, followed by a few spritzes of the Perfecting Primer. It’s got heat protection for styling, but also works as a nice detangler and conditioner. I finish it off with the Preen Cream, which helps keeps those new growth baby hairs tamed.
Once a week (every Sunday) I do the H2 Scalp treatment combined with the Elasticizer hair mask. You slightly dampen the hair before showering, then apply a generous amount of the scalp treatment to your scalp and Elasticizer from the mid-length to roots of your hair. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better! Finish with your normal daily haircare shampoo and condition routine.
Earlier this week I asked what questions you wanted included in my Philip Kingsley post and below are by far the most frequently asked questions:
Q: What is a trichologist?
A: A trichologist is a scientist who specializes in hair and scalp health. Basically, a trichologist is to your hair as a dermatologist is to your skin. It falls under the dermatology branch of medicine, so while you could see a dermatologist for hair loss, a trichologist would be preferable because they only focus on scalp health.
Q: I live in the states. Can I still have a consultation with Philip Kingsley?
A: Absolutely! They have a clinic in New York City, so depending on where you live you could book in there. If that’s not convenient for you, they are also offering online video consultations right now due to Covid. They may ask you to take some photos of your hair and scalp, and possibly even get blood work done prior to the appointment so they can help asses as best they can from afar.
Q: You have beautiful hair, what made you seek treatment?
A: As I mentioned above, I was experiencing more hair loss than what was normal for me. Hair loss can be such a taboo subject, and I really want this post to help normalize it because IT IS. You don’t have to have noticeably thinning hair to be experiencing hair loss. As I learned, things such as stress or even illness can cause extra loss of hair. Only you know what is normal for you body and hair – if you feel like something is off (even if no one else can see it) then it probably is!
Q: Do you have to have a consultation to order the products?
A: No! Most of their products are available online for purchase. If you’re able to have a consultation, you may receive a few products that aren’t sold online and tailored to your specific hair and scalp needs (such as my NCR6 Conditioner and H2 Scalp Treatment). However, a large majority of their hair care is available online for purchase and it’s all fabulous.
I really hope you found this post helpful and insightful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions, concerns, or your own experience! I would love to hear from you.
*** Thank you to Philip Kingsley for this lovely gifted experience. ***