iAm: Louisa Koh

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A 30-something from sunny Singapore who's tried her hand at lots of things, such as selling skin care & make-up, working in a (boring) corporate setting, trying to carve a singing career, giving private tuition, being a fitness instructor, writing/editing etc...

Besides exasperating her parents to no end, she loves experimenting with new make-up looks, uncovering the best make-up & skin care products, modelling for herself before the camera, singing at the top of her lungs (with preferably no one to hear it), and writing whatever, whenever (as you can already tell).


louisa [at] louisakoh [dot] com

Review: Philip Kingsley Hair & Scalp Treatment for CozyCot

Hi lovelies! Last month, I was offered the wonderful opportunity to undergo a hair and scalp treatment session, jointly organised by Cozycot and sponsored by the wonderful people at Philip Kingsley.

Philip Kingsley centre at Palais Renaissance

Philip Kingsley, hailing from the United Kingdom, is a leading authority on hair health, having been in trichological practice for over 45 years. Their clientele boasts celebrities like Kate Winslet, Renee Zellweger, Candice Bergen, Cher, Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger, Barbara Streisand, Ivana Trump and Sigourney Weaver.

If you haven’t heard of Philip Kingsley, they specialise in treating hair loss, excessive hair fall, dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, dry & damaged hair, and other hair & scalp conditions, like hair thinning, scalp inflammation, chemical damage, hair breakage due to dull/limp hair, etc.

Philip Kingsley’s front desk, with the nail service price list & a slew of certs on the wall

Philip Kingsley is located in the heart of town at Palais Renaissance, on the third floor. Upon entering, I was ushered to a seat, and promptly served a large mug of green tea, after being asked what I wanted for a drink.

At this point, I should show you what my hair looks like normally, and before the treatment…

“Before” hair, with my long fringe clipped behind

Aisha, as well as Rain, started the treatment by applying a cream that she said helped to stimulate blood circulation, deep cleanse and exfoliate my scalp. This cream contained menthol and other special ingredients formulated by Philip Kingsley, to stimulate the blood circulation in the scalp.

While applying the cream to my scalp, Aisha mentioned that my hair was thinning, possibly due to factors like aging, hormones or stress. 🙁 While hair thinning could also be caused by weak, brittle hair, she didn’t think that was the case for me, as my hair did not fall significantly with combing or running her hands through my hair.

Aisha and Rain applying scalp and hair treatment cream

During this time, Aisha also applied the hair treatment, adding that this hair treatment helped replenish hair elasticity, moisture and shine lost through chemical processes like perming, rebonding, etc. The main ingredient contained in the elasticizer was a humectant.

Steamer set for 20-25 minutes to allow the scalp cream to penetrate scalp

My scalp felt tingling after the scalp cream was applied, due to the menthol. Then the steamer was set for 20 minutes, as I sat, relaxed and snapped some photos. I found out Philip Kingsley also offers manicure services, which I noticed to my left.
(I’ve provided the nail spa price list near the bottom of this post, if you’re interested.)

Nail Spa services also provided at Philip Kingsley. See bottom of post for price list.

After the 20 minutes was up, friendly Rain came over to massage my scalp. This was the most shiok part of the treatment! Whenever I visit the hairdresser’s, I always, always look forward to the scalp massage without fail when my hair is being washed!! Rain explained to me that the scalp massage was to allow the cream to further penetrate the scalp, as she also spritzed water to it.

Rain massaging my scalp… shiok!

I did wonder if telling me that my hair was thinning was a tactic hair health and trichology centres employed to get customers to sign packages with them. So I asked Rain what she thought of my hair thinning problem. Her answer: My hair tends to be of the “thin” type, (perhaps she meant “fine”?), so that is why it looks like it’s thinning. But she did add that she didn’t think my problem was that serious (yet?). Phew!

Prior to the treatment, I did share with Yingxiu, from Cozycot that I did have more pronounced hair fall about 1.5 years ago, after I had permed my hair. I was also going through some personal issues back then, which could have exacerbated the problem. This could have all taken a toll on my hair follicles and regrowth.

Anyhow, when that happened, I decided I was going to chop off all the permed ends, and leave my hair as it was, without subjecting it to any more chemical torture. I also added that I had an oily scalp, but hair that tended towards damaged or dry, as I noticed it tangled pretty easily after the perm.

The main area where customers have their hair & scalp treatment & blowdry done

Rain shared that home hair care was important, like daily washing for oily scalp like mine, and conditioning for the hair ends. After the massage, my hair was further treated to a bout of infrared light. I read on a Philip Kingsley blog that infrared light helps to stimulate hair growth.

Infrared light treatment, looking very much like a sci-fi contraption

After this, Emily, another lady, tended to me. She explained that at Philip Kingsley, they shampooed twice and conditioned hair once per hair and scalp treatment. I was then led to the shampoo chair… which was (guess!) a massage chair! Ah-maze-ing!! I was asked if I wanted the massage chair to be switched on and of course I said yes! Even though I wasn’t used to how it was kneading various parts of my creaky body awkwardly… LOL

Shampoo-cum-massage chairs, perfect for relaxing while hair is being washed & conditioned!

As Emily was shampooing my hair, I took the opportunity to ask her how I should choose my home hair care products for my scalp (oily) and hair (dry/frizzy) types. Emily advised me to pick a shampoo for oily and sensitive scalp, which was my scalp condition. I recalled, at this point, that I was experiencing weird pimple-like bumps on my scalp of late back then.

She also recommended that I chose a medium-strength conditioner, like the one she picked for me, for my hair condition: dry and frizzy on the ends. Although this little nugget of knowledge might have been something I already knew, it wasn’t clearly spelt out to me before. But Emily had made it pretty clear for me: Shampoo should cater to scalp type, while conditioner to hair type. (This is especially so for those of us who have different scalp and hair conditions, like mine.)

Part of Philip Kingsley interior: Corridor leading to the reception area

I asked how much Philip Kingsley was retailing their shampoo and conditioner for, or at least the ones she was using on me. She added that Philip Kingsley products are all handmade, so they do not include any harsh chemicals. The shampoo used on me was priced at S$89 for 250 ml, while the conditioner was priced at S$96 (not sure of the volume).

After the soothing and comfortable shampooing and conditioning, I was brought back to my seat, and Emily began applying a hair tonic all over my scalp. Emily explained that this tonic would be soothing for first-timers like myself, for Philip Kingsley to monitor and see if the scalp reacts before increasing the strength during the next visit.

Emily applying hair tonic after shampooing (2x) & conditioning (1x)

After this, Aisha and Emily blow-dried my hair, marking the end of my entire scalp and hair treatment session with Philip Kingsley, that took about 1.5 hours in total.

Emily and Aisha blowdrying my hair, towards the end of the treatment

Emily shared with me that my session was worth S$530, and added that normally for patients, Leonica Kei, Philip Kingsley’s Senior Trichologist, would determine the hair and scalp condition for first-timers there. I did not see Leonica that day, so she must have been out of town or away on that day, and hence not available to tend to me.

Senior trichologist Leonica Kei’s credentials. Click photo to enlarge.

After my hair was completely blown dry, I tried really, really hard to capture a nice photo of myself. However, I must say I was disappointed because my hair looked really flat. This is probably no fault of Philip Kingsley’s though, as my hair tends to look flat when not styled with hair spray or wax or whatever, and Philip Kingsley did not use any styling products on my hair when blow-drying. Perhaps this is because the styling product might negate the scalp treatment or irritate my sensitive scalp, causing it to itch?

“After” photo, snapped in the Palais Renaissance bathroom outside Philip Kingsley

My final thoughts?
The good things I liked about the treatment were the wonderful sensation of the scalp cream, the scalp massage, the comfortable atmosphere of the centre, the friendly service, and that my hair hardly itched till my next wash (the next day)!

Most of the time, with my own shampoos (I always rotate between 3 different shampoos; currently using Phytocyane Revitalising Shampoo, Australian Organics shampoo for dry, coloured & chemically treated hair, and The Body Shop’s Rainforest Balance shampoo for oily hair), I tend to experience some itch here and there between washes, though nothing major or unbearable. However, there was a marked difference after the Philip Kingsley’s treatment as my scalp felt clean and comfortable, and not itchy at all!

I do think, honestly though, that $530 for a session is way beyond my budget, even for the benefits. Perhaps the package would be a lot more economical, but I did not manage to get any indication of prices for what the packages were like.

Philip Kingsley also retails T. LeClerc’s cosmetics near the shopfront.

Philip Kingsley reception area, with T. LeClerc’s makeup counter on display

As promised, here are the nail spa prices:

Nail Spa prices at Philip Kingsley. Click photo to enlarge.

Keen on trying it for yourself? Philip Kingsley is located at:

390 Orchard Road, #03-08/09 Palais Renaissance
Tel: +65 6834 0988

Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 7.30 pm
Sunday and Public Holidays: 11 am to 6.30 pm

Thank you CozyCot Inner Circle and Philip Kingsley for the sponsored hair and scalp treatment! Here’s leaving you with another “After” photo, taken a few hours after the treatment:

Another “After” photo, taken a few hours after the treatment

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