I recently was fortunate to receive a trial size of Philip Kingsley Elasticizer (40ml) in a Look Fantastic box.I had already heard quite a lot about it on YouTube and given the general very damaged state of my hair I had really high hopes. I watched an Interview with Philip Kingsley on YouTube where he tells how he developed it for Audrey Hepburn, that it restores elasticity to hair and I had a creeping suspicion of over-hype.. I then read the ingredients and was intensely underwhelmed. The main active ingredients are castor oil, olive oil, glycerin, silicone and some elastin. The rest are pretty much just emulsifiers and surfectants (nothing wrong with that, just don’t think they actually do something to your hair).

I had also heard some complaints about the requirement to wet the hair, apply it in sections, let it sit for 20 minutes, wear a cap while it is sitting for twenty minutes and then washing it out, followed by shampoo and conditioner.

Here a home truth: hair absorbs oils best when wet, this is an age old fact and not specific to this product. The applying in sections and wearing a cap are overkill, you do not need to do it. Spritzing the hair with a water spray (like a plant mister, or the spray you might use for ironing) and then applying it thorough and generously to the hair, then waiting 20 minutes are all the steps you need to do. I used the 20 minutes to do a face mask at the same time, so no time lost.

Performance: I was surprised, given how simple the ingredients are at how well the product performed.Immediately upon rinsing I could tell that my hair was super soft. I have not experienced that level of softness with any other treatment.

In order to do a fair test, I decided to use it followed by a shampoo that is not super gentle, following by my standard Tigi very effective conditioner. Post this my hair was no longer so soft. I think the steps of shampooing and conditioning remove part of the oil effect and am pretty sure that the elastin does not really remain.

I also almost entirely used up the full 40ml. The product retails at 30Euros for 100ml, that would result in 3 applications.

I have a suggestion on how to get more effect from the product. I would apply the elasticizer, and then just before washing the product off, go into my hair roots with a mild baby shampoo to remove grease from the roots and wash it all out in one go. Then forget the additional shampooing and conditioning. I would expect there to be more benefit from the elastin that way.

All in all the product worked really well on my very damaged hair, just for the price point and given the amount of use I would get from a pot, it’s not really affordable. I think the usage instructions inhibit the performance and I get a better effect by using a Keratin/Protein conditioner as the last step rather than the first.