Philip Kingsley Elasticizer review: “This pre-shampoo mask continually gives me my best hair ever”

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Philip Kingsley originally created Elasticizer for Audrey Hepburn – and it’s truly stood the test of time. Here’s why beauty editor Lucy Partington loves it so much.  

I wish I could say that my haircare routine was as well considered as my skincare routine, but sadly that’s not the case.

It’s fair to say that I haven’t been kind to my hair over the last 30 years: naturally curly, I’ve straightened it to within an inch of its life for as long as I can remember, I don’t have it cut regularly and I’ve dyed it every colour you can possibly imagine. In its current state, it hasn’t been trimmed for six months, it’s got some bleach in it, the ends are seriously dry and I always end up covered in bits that have snapped off whenever I brush it.

I also end up having to wash it most days because, for some reason, it’s perpetually greasy and I’m yet to find my holy grail shampoo and conditioner. However, all is not lost because there’s one product that I know I can rely on time and time again, one product that never lets me down and one product that really does keep giving me my best hair ever.

That product? Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer: it’s one most people have heard of, and most people have probably used – but if you haven’t, I urge you to buy a pot and try it. I promise you won’t regret it.

When it launched in 1974 it was the world’s first pre-shampoo mask and it’s safe to say that it really has stood the test of time. First created by Kingsley himself for Audrey Hepburn to help revive her hair and inject life back into it after weeks of being styled on set, it still continues to be a best-selling, multi-award winning product 46 years on and for very good reason. 

I apply it onto damp hair either overnight once a week, or I’ll put it on a Sunday morning and wash it out before I go to sleep that night. My hair is dry, brittle and very damaged from constant heat styling, but Elasticizer adds shine and volume while making it look and feel super healthy and very well loved. My hair usually gets some sort of compliment on the days after I’ve used it, too.

It’s formulated with castor oil which strengthens and helps lock in moisture; hydrolyzed elastin which increases hair’s elasticity and helps to strengthen it; glycerin to help hair retain the added moisture; and olive oil which moisturises and adds shine. Despite being heavy on oils, it never leaves my hair feeling heavy, greasy or weighed-down – something that I find a lot of masks can do. Plus it’s suitable for every single type of hair. 

Over the years it’s been re-launched in various scents, the newest one being mayan vanilla and orange blossom – which smells like a tropical holiday – but my favourite is pomegranate and cassis which smells super fresh and fruity. However, it’s also available in the original fragrance-free version if that’s what you prefer.

The other thing I love about Elasticizer is the huge variety of sizes it’s available in – because it really is the little things, eh? But the fact I can have a huge 1L bottle in my bathroom, while also having a smaller 150ml pot of new scents to try, and I can keep smaller 75ml tubes in my travel toiletry bag so I really do never need to be without it, makes me so very happy.

Even if you look after your hair more than I do mine, I would always recommend having a constant supply of Elasticizer; I promise if you try it, you’ll never look back. 

  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Deep-Conditioning Treatment, £34

    philip kingsley elasticizer review
    Best afro hair products: Philip Kingsley

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Main image: courtesy of brand/designed by Matt Phare

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Lucy Partington

Freelance beauty editor Lucy Partington is obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she'll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.