7 Secrets of Wellbeing: Anabel Kingsley

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Trichologist Anabel Kingsley is the daughter of the late and much lamented hair guru Philip Kingsley who transformed more clients than we’ve had hot dinners. Now lovely Anabel – known to devotees as The Hair Doctor – has taken on her father’s mantle, using her huge knowledge and lifelong experience to help people make the most of what comes naturally but sadly disappears too.  She is our go-to expert on everything to do with hair.

1. I aim to learn something new every day. I love to constantly challenge myself – and learning is a big part of that. Your brain is capable of learning and changing throughout your lifespan, with mental exercise improving cognitive flexibility.  Every day, I read through a scientific paper of some sort, usually on PubMed, to keep up to date with the latest in hair science and dermatology – or anything that takes my interest. It’s not all work, mind you; I’m a frenetic Googler. If I don’t know something, I look it up. It can be as random as ‘why do we knock on wood?’ (So evil forest gnomes don’t hear us when we boast about our luck, obviously…!) 

2. I cook three times a week: There’s something very therapeutic about cooking. Measuring, chopping, sautéing (and occasionally flambéing) takes my mind away from daily worries. Working with fresh produce also ensures what I am eating is nutritious. I do love making desserts too, especially brownies. Dark chocolate contains iron, which is my justification, and sweet treats make me happy.

3. Sleep is vital. I try to get at least seven hours a night – but if I don't, I find cat naps are an amazing way to re-charge your mind. In fact, 20 minutes is all you need to boost your mood and alertness (That factoid is courtesy of the Institute of Experimental Psychology, University of Düsseldorf.)

4. I'm all about giving hair plenty of TLC. Bad hair days really get me down. When my hair looks good, I feel good - so I do everything I can to keep it in great shape. I highlight my hair so it gets dry and brittle quite easily. Twice weekly, I set aside time to apply a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. My favourite is our Geranium and Neroli Elasticizer/£34 for 150 ml. It smells divine and adds much needed moisture and shine to my strands. Every morning I apply my Tricho 7 stimulating, anti-androgenic scalp drops to help maintain the density of my hair. I shampoo and condition my hair every day. I just don’t feel clean otherwise - we take our hair and scalp to the same places we take our face and they get just as dirty. Also, I eat plenty of protein as it’s what hair is made out of. Hair is the second fastest growing tissue in our bodies so it’s ravenous.

5. I find going to the theatre is a great way to switch off. Especially musicals: the atmosphere is uplifting and the energy from the audience is infectious. It can turn sad or depressed feelings into joy and happiness.  My parents would take my sister and me to Broadway shows when we were younger, and we would blast and sing along to everything from Les Misérables to Assassins on long car journeys. I try to keep up the tradition and go at least once a month.

6. There's nothing like family time. Spending time with people you love is so important, and it’s something I realised even more poignantly when my father passed away a year and a half ago. I see my mom almost every day and speak to her on the phone each evening. My sister, my mother and my boyfriend are my rocks. 

7. I try to make other people smile. Helping to make another person’s day better is joyful. Lucky for me, it’s a massive part of my job. Hair is very psychological. I like to make cakes for my friends and family and surprise them with their favourite treats. But I usually end up giving them advice on their hair as well. My boyfriend likes me to give him weekly Elasticizer treatments.