This Pre-Shampoo Mask Was Made Specifically for Audrey Hepburn, and It’s Turning 50 This Year

This Pre-Shampoo Mask Was Made Specifically for Audrey Hepburn, and It’s Turning 50 This Year featured image
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From her dermatologist’s prescribed skin care to the shades of lip color she wore on-camera, we’re pretty much fanatical for all-things Audrey Hepburn. It goes without saying that the icon truly exhibited beauty both inside and out and now, we have some very scientific intel straight from the lab that made hair products specifically for the beloved star.

Originally formulated by trichologist Philip Kinglsey to give Hepburn her famed movie star bounce and shine, the ever-popular Elasticizer Deep-Conditioning Treatment ($52) remains one of the brand’s most popular products. Not only is one Elasticizer sold every 30 seconds—the brand tell us that math equated to a mega 1,921,479 units in 2023 to be exact—but it’s also turning the big 5-0 this year.

philip kingsley elasticizer



“Elasticizer isn’t just any regular conditioning hair mask; it’s a pre-shampoo mask,” recalls the brand’s president and consultant trichologist, Anabel Kingsley. “Audrey Hepburn visited my father, telling him the post-shampoo treatments she had been using were leaving her hair lank, heavy and lifeless. Her strands needed both moisture and volume, but a product that delivered both didn’t exist. Tasked by Audrey, my father went to work in his laboratory and came up with the world’s first pre-shampoo conditioning treatment: Elasticizer.” 

Kinglsey also says that the formula took some takes to get it “just right.”

“It really did take quite a while to perfect the formula. My father formulated around half a dozen different variations for Audrey to trial before they got it just right. He used to mix the ingredients himself in the lab at our clinic and clients mixed it themselves with water at home and applied to dry hair. After a while our team realized it would be more effective to apply to damp or wet hair, as this raises the cuticle allowing the product to more effectively penetrate, which is why now we advise it is applied to damp hair.”

By all accounts, Hepburn herself gave the mask an A-plus. The brand shares that she was so ecstatic about how well the Elasticizer was working with her hair that she invited Philip to her latest film premiere in 1976, saying “elasticizer is miraculous.” Hepburn also reportedly ordered “pots and pots” to be sent over to her home in Switzerland.

Seeing its success, Kingsley launched it as part of his haircare range.

Having clearly stood that test of good-hair time, the Elasticizer boosts elasticity and strengthens brittle hair, combating dryness and dehydration. Like Hepburn, devotees call it a “miracle in a pot.” The formula features castor and olive oils and hydrolysed elastin, all of which are absorbed directly into the hair cuticle, making it suitable for even the finest hair textures.  

And those ever-important clinical studies have shown that Elasticizer can reduce breakage by 46 percent after just one use.

Modern-day celebs also hail the Hepburn-approved product. Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Georgia May Jagger and Rochelle Humes are all said to be “firm favorites” of the Elasticizer.

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