Elasticizer – The Science

One question I am always asked is – ‘Why should I use Elasticizer before shampooing?’

Here I will discuss the science behind Elasticizer and why we use it as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Elasticizer is made up of a balanced combination of:

  • Emollients (vital to help hair to retain moisture)
  • Natural vegetable oils (extremely moisturising)
  • Sunscreen (UV protection)
  • Elastin (puts the elasticity and strength back into hair)

These ingredients penetrate deep under your hair’s cuticle to moisturise, condition and strengthen your hair from within.

The cationic silicone and hair conditioners help to deposit a molecular layer of the above ingredients onto your hair surface, as well as neutralising static, flyaways, and improving comb through and shine.  Because your hair is conditioned from within, combined with a controlled amount of each ingredient being cationically deposited on the hair surface, your hair is left feeling natural and light.

Elasticizer is unlike other conditioners, which leave your hair feeling heavy and weighed down with polymers, silicones, oils and waxes – this makes it pefect for very fine hair, as people with fine hair are often reluctant to use rich conditioning treatments.

To sum up, its all about the Cationic Action! The greater majority of active ingredients remain trapped under the cuticles and diffuse into your hair structure.  Washing your hair with shampoo removes excess oils and conditioning agents, leaving it’s surface with a carefully balanced level of active ingredients which remain on your hair by cationic action.  This prevents the heavy build-up that is often encountered with intensive conditioners.

Clear as mud…?

29 Responses to “Elasticizer – The Science”
  1. rockrock says:

    But what about the fact that when you use the treatments on dry hair, you are putting it on top of styling products etc? The elasticizer doesn’t look it’s effectiveness when not used on clean (i.e. shampooed) hair?

    • Hi rockrock,

      Thanks for your question. Elasticizer should be used on damp hair and not dry hair, as the water helps your hair to absorb the Elasticizer. It can be used on either clean or dirty hair and styling products will not prevent the Elasticizer from penetrating the hair and working its magic. The vital thing to remember is to use it pre-shampoo! Once applied, leave it for 20 minutes and then rinse thoroughly, you can then shampoo and condition as usual.

      I hope this is helpful – if you have any further questions let me know.

  2. hunii says:

    Hello…I recently went back to wearing my natural texture…and have been having problems with retaining moisture….are there video tutorials showing me the correct way to apply the elasticizer?

    Also my hair is incredibly dense whats the largest size you do in this product?

    Looking forward to your response.


    • Dear Hunii

      Many thanks for your comment.

      In answering your question, Elasticizer/Elasticizer Extreme are pre-shampoo conditioners which should be used in conjunction, preferably, with the Philip Kingsley shampoo and conditioner. Ideally, your hair should be dampened and the Elasticizer applied in sections, covered with a shower cap and warm towel and left for 20 minutes (please see our How to Use Elasticizer Video).
      If you’re in a hurry, you can apply the Elasticizer then shampoo and condition immediately. You will see immediate results.

      Fine and medium textured hair types should be using Elasticizer once or twice a week – it will not weigh your hair down – until your hair is in good condition and then it can be once a fortnight.

      Coarse textured, over processed and ethnic type hair should be using Elasticizer Extreme twice a week. We would recommend that these hair types use the product at least once a week going forward.

      Please let me know if this is sufficient or you require more information.

      Kind regards

      The Team at Philip Kingsley

  3. Chelsea says:

    Hi there!
    I am Caucasian and have very fine, extremely damaged hair with split ends and a lot of breakage. I dye my hair all the time, no heat damage.

    I see you recommend the Elasticizer Extreme mostly for ethnic hair types and over processed hair, but the regular formula for fine hair. Which one should I choose?

    • Hi Chelsea!

      In answer to your question, because you have fine hair we’d suggest that you use the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, but that you use it twice a week at least, for a few weeks, given the condition of your hair. You should also try and leave it on as long as possible- try putting it on at night, pop on a shower cap then the next morning wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

      If you see no discernable difference (though you should see results immediatly which will improve with continued use) then you should try the Elasticizer Extreme. The reason why we wouldn’t recommend it first is because you have fine hair so the Elasticizer Extreme may be very heavy for your hair.

      The Elasticizer will give long term benefits and improve your hair health, though with split ends there is no cure. If you’re really committed to improving your hair condition unfortunately you may need to get them cut, then make sure you continue to use Elasticizer regularly to keep it in better health from there on!

      The Philip Kingsley Elasticizer comes in different sizes which you can see on our website.

      Hope this helps, do get in touch if you have any other questions!

      The Team at Philip Kingsley

      • Chelsea says:

        Hi Philip Kingsley Team!

        Thanks for your quick reply! I actually have the regular Elasticizer. I have only used it a few times and have seen some improvement. I leave it on allll night and all day if I have nothing to do. I’ll finish up the jar before I decide if I need the Extreme version. I was thinking of getting both and using the Extreme for the very last inch or 2 of my hair and the regular version on the upper middle parts. Oh, well, we’ll see how I feel after this jar is done.:-)
        Thanks again!

  4. sue says:


    I have always had extremely fine ,thin hair which has no body whats so ever and just lays flat.
    2 weeks ago i went to a new hairdresser who point cut my short hair as she said it would give it more body but ever since hair is falling out/breaking off.

    i have read that i need protien products to strengthen the hair,so will the elasticizer

    i have just bought the weatherproof foam and thickening shampoo,so cant wait to try these as ive read they have really good results.

    thankyou for any advice you can give

    • Hello Sue,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having with thinning and hair falling out. Within the Philip Kingsley product range we would suggest the following:

      Body Building shampoo- which you mentioned you have already purchased. This is a great start as the Shampoo contains copolymers which add surface volume giving thickness whilst cleansing and moisturising the hair strands.

      To accompany the Shampoo I would suggest you use the Moisture Balancing Conditioner. The benefits would primarily be to strengthen your hair to ensure as little as possible falls out. Visually these products would be beneficial also creating volume and shine. It delivers moisture where needed most at mid lengths and ends.

      Elasticizer Pre-shampoo treatment delivers elasticity and bounce to hair. It also provides UV protection even after washing. Visible results are seen from one application which improves with continued use.

      Maximizer would also be of use as this creates volume and thickness to your hair when blow drying and styling. It adds super volume for fine hair, maximizes volume, body and bounce. It’s ideal for limp, flyaway hair.

      Finally a toner can be used to energise the scalp. The key behind healthy hair is to ensure a healthy scalp.
      Unique ingredients perform 3 key functions: stimulating blood supply to the scalp, mildly astringent qualities to absorb excess oil & protecting against bacterial attack.

      To encourage re-growth PK4 hair supplements can be taken. PK4 Hair is a nutritional supplement fortified with amino acids that are beneficial to hair. Amino acids are the building blocks of the protein that hair is made up of, called Keratin. PK4 Hair enhances the production of Keratin.

      If the problems you are having worsen I would highly recommend seeing one of our Trichologists at the London Clinic. A thorough examination of the scalp and hair is carried out during a consultation and a detailed history taken. To find out more take a look at the clinic page on our website.

      I hope this information has helped. It would be great to hear how you get on with the products if you’re able to. Do get in touch if you have any further questions.

      Have a lovely week and keep reading our blog!

      Many thanks

      The Team at Philip Kingsley

  5. Kaylee says:


    How often should I use Elasticizer? Before every shampoo, once a week, fortnightly?

    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Kaylee,

      Thanks for the question. The answer to this really depends on the condition of your hair and its level of processing. You shouldn’t need to use it daily. What we usually recommend is:

      On unprocessed hair:
      – For Fine & Medium Textured hair, use once or twice a month
      – For Coarse, Wavy, Curly or Frizzy hair, use once a week

      On processed hair:
      – For Fine & Medium Textured hair, use once a week
      – For Coarse, Wavy, Curly or Frizzy hair, use twice a week

      Hope this helps! The longer you leave it in the more you’ll notice the effect and it improves with continued use. You can even leave it on over night- just pop on a shower cap then wash it off with shampoo folowed by your conditioner the next morning. Get in touch if you have any further questions.

  6. Deborah O'Grady says:

    Hi I am looking for a Salicylate free Shampoo and Conditioner, my hair is falling out and my hairline is receding. I have always had a full head of thick hair and my hair loss is due to Salicylate sensitivity.

  7. Rachel says:

    Is leaving the elastisizer on overnight under a shower cap okay or is it damaging to leave for more than the recommended 20 minutes? Thanks.

  8. Marine says:


    I would like to know, what’s the difference between the Elasticizer ” normal ” and the Elasticizer extreme?

    Thank you

    • pkoffice01 says:

      Hi Marine. The regular Elasticizer is suitable for all hair types, while Elasticizer Extreme is specifically for those with extremely porous, dry hair and/or chemically processed hair and those with African Caribbean hair texture.

  9. Fernanda Curti says:

    Hi. I’ve just bought all the products recommend for fine, thin hair and I was just wondering how to use the elasticizer properly. Do I not use it near the scalp, just from the middle till the end of my hair?
    Tk u

    • pkoffice01 says:

      Hi Fernanda. As you have fine hair, we recommend only applying Elasticizer to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair – not near your scalp. Dampen your hair before applying and use enough to coat your hair. Leave Elasticizer on anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour and then shampoo and condition as usual. If you have very fine hair, shampoo twice. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

  10. Julie bundy says:

    Hi I have taken our hair extensions and my hair has thinned and alot of breakage what is the best products to buy

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi Julie. For breakage use PK Elastiziser or Elasticizer Extreme (depending on your hair texture) twice weekly. You can also use PK Daily Damage Defence to help protect your hair from further daily environmental damage and dryness. If the volume of your hair has thinned due to it being pulled out from traction loss from your hair extensions, it should improve with time now you have taken them out. However, much depends on how long you were using the extensions for – and also if another type of thinning is involved, such as genetic or hormonal thinning. We suggest you see a trichologist for further advice and treatment regarding this. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

  11. Lesley says:

    I have been using PK Elastiziser for about about 5 weeks. I originally purchased to take on holiday as a protector (following QVC presenter’s advice). However, I now find that when shampooing my hair, it feels ‘plastic’ especially the section at the nape of my neck. I have been following usage instructions and recently purchased PK Body Building shampoo and PK Moisture Balance conditioner, hoping to return my hair to it’s ordinal condition. My hair is fine, fly-away and tends to become frizzy in the damp weather. I have no colourant on my hair and normally only gently blow dry. I do wash my hair everyday (a 40 year habit that I cannot break!!). Can you please advise. I was worried about a silicone build-up but after reading other site reviews, unsure if this is the case.

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi Lesley. Silicones are perfectly fine as long as the correct one is used in the formulation and in not too high an amount. You won’t get any build-up. They can also be very effective in smoothing the hair, adding shine and reducing frizz. Have the Body Building Shampoo and Moisture Balancing conditioner been helpful? By ‘plastic’ do you mean ‘dry’ or ‘coated’? Individuals with very fine hair should shampoo twice and then condition as usual when washing out Elasticizer. The PK Team.

  12. Elaine says:

    Urgent urgent question!! Can I use Elastizer on my hair that has had a Keratin/ Brazilian treatment. Many thanks

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi Elaine. You can use Elasticizer on hair that has had a Keratin/Brazilian treatment. However, we suggest you wait a week before using it after the treatment. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

  13. thepkteam says:

    Hi Susan. It is true that black tea can be bad for your hair! This is because the tannin in the tea is free to bind with iron in your body. The scalp toner is to be applied daily to the scalp after towel drying your hair after shampooing/conditioning. We hope this helps. The PK Team.

  14. heather.sharpe@orange.fr says:

    Why can I not use elastisizer 2days before having my hair coloured (re growth only)

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi Heather,

      We recommend this to ensure the colour treatment can ‘take’ completely. Elasticizer’s unique combination of ingredients mean that it guards hair against damage (which can stop colour getting in fully) and also draws moisture into the hair shaft (which can then push colour out) therefore we suggest waiting for a few days to avoid this. But this is mainly relevant to darker colours as opposed to bleach, which is a different colouring process. Thanks The PK Team.

  15. Divya says:

    HI where can I find your products in Hong Kong? Also, can I use the elasticiser, swimcap and anti-dandruff scalp toner and mask if my hair has been keratin treated?

    • thepkteam says:

      Hi. You can purchase Philip Kingsley Products at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. You can use Elasticizer, Swimcap and the Flaky Itchy Scalp Toner on Keratin treated hair.

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