Is Pantene Bad For Your Hair? (Answered)

If you’re a regular user of Pantene, or you are considering using it, you may have some questions. In this article, we will explore if Pantene is good or bad for your hair.

What Is Pantene?

Around since 1945, Pantene is a brand of hair care products owned by Proctor and Gamble.

According to the brand’s website, they are ‘committed to making the best possible hair care-safe and effective- in the best possible way.’

Pantene maintains that safety and efficacy are top priorities for them- both for the consumer and the environment. They purport to use industry-leading testing to ensure this.

The brand pledges that its formula is nutrient-rich, and this is certified by independent scientific organizations.

Pantene promotes its product with the promise of leaving hair soft, healthy, and shiny. It also promises to nourish each strand from the inside out.

Is Pantene Bad For Your Hair?

Using Pantene can lead to a build-up of silicones in your hair. This can result in hair appearing lank and greasy. Thankfully this does not necessarily lead to hair damage. This build-up can be removed using a good-quality clarifying shampoo.

Now, some sources believe that although Pantene promises strong, frizz-free hair, it lacks the nourishing ingredients to do so safely.

Furthermore, they are of the opinion that these ingredients can actually damage hair.

According to these sources, using Pantene daily can lead to dry, damaged, and dull hair over time.

Hair will become more difficult to style and manage as it loses its shape. Added to this, the long-term use of Pantene, which leads to product build-up, can be a contributing factor to hair loss.

Many of the damaging ingredients used to formulate Pantene are viewed as a necessity by the brand, however, these ingredients are not conducive to healthy hair and scalp.

What Are The Harmful Ingredients Found In Pantene?

woman looking confused touching her hair and holding a brush in her hand

Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)

SLES is known to be an irritant for the skin, eyes, and nose. Furthermore, SLES can be contaminated with the carcinogens ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.

According to the California Environment Protection Agency, ethylene oxide is a toxicant that can impact human development.

The fact that SLES is the main component of the product after water is a cause for concern.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This detergent had the undesirable honor of being named Allergen of the Year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

It has been linked with skin and eye irritation, and in more severe cases, blistering and burning of the skin.


The fragrance in Pantene is a result of any combination of around 200 chemicals- all with varying records of safety.

Often, fragrances are the culprit of allergic reactions many consumers have when using cosmetics.


Pantene contains the ingredient triclosan. As this ingredient builds up in the fat cells of your body, it keeps your body in a state of toxicity. It can also be an irritant for the skin, eyes, and lungs.


Another toxic ingredient in the Pantene blend, Phenoxyethanol can cause irritation and toxicity to the organ system.

In 2003, The FDA issued a warning to inform that phenoxyethanol can result in vomiting, contact dermatitis, and shut down of the central nervous system.


This is an ingredient you may well have heard of. It is used as a preservative and is hidden in plain sight in the ingredients list, often labeled as DMD hydantoin.

This is actually an ingredient that releases formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent and has been declared as such by the United States National Toxicology Program.


Pantene contains parabens which help preserve the product. They prevent bacteria and mold growth.

These chemicals have been linked to increased cancer risk, problems with fertility, and adverse hormonal effects.

They are absorbed through the scalp and repeated exposure over an extended period increases the possible risks.


Silicones are also used in Pantene. This ingredient is used to hydrate and moisturize hair. However, it often builds up on the strands leading to oily, lank hair.

Can Pantene Cause Hair Loss?

woman with long hair grabbing her scalp and holding a brush in the other hand

As a result of silicones, parabens, and formaldehyde, the natural oils and proteins in your hair are stripped out. This means the hair and scalp can become dry.

Repeated use of these harmful ingredients can lead to some hair loss.

Is Pantene Good For Your Hair?

Although Pantene does cleanse your hair, it isn’t the best shampoo or conditioner to use. The harsh chemicals present in their products can dry out hair, leaving it susceptible to breakage.

Now, while the information above would suggest that, no, Pantene is not good for your hair, there are other sources out there to suggest otherwise.

They suggest the build-up, in particular the build-up of wax, Pantene has been accused of leaving is a myth.

In fact, Pantene does not use any waxes in its product. They claim that a lot of ingredients used in the Pantene blend are used across the hair care industry.

These sources go on to say that Pantene only leaves behind conditioning ingredients such as liquid crystals, terminal amino silicones, and coacervate conditioning complexes.

They add that these ingredients add shine, moisture, and a protective layer to the hair.

These deposits are designed in such a way as to be washed out by Pantene shampoo in your next wash.

Another thing to be aware of is that if you do feel like Pantene is leaving behind a build-up in your hair, you could be using the wrong product for your hair type.

It may be too heavy and rich, especially if you have finer hair or more porous hair, so perhaps source something lighter.

Our hair changes over time due to age, exposure to styling products, and UV exposure, so what once worked for your hair, may not always work.

Which Shampoos Are Good For Your Hair?

If you have decided to move away from using Pantene, then you might be on the lookout for a new product.

If the chemicals in Pantene are your main concern, then you’ll want to look for a new product where the ingredients are more botanical and naturally derived.

We have put together a list of what to look for in a shampoo so you can feel secure in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your hair and scalp health.

Cleansing Agents That Are Safe And Effective

The shampoo you choose should be able to effectively tackle dirt, grime, and build-up.

This calls for surfactants, but mild ones. Products with coconut oil as a main ingredient are often effective as a mild surfactant.

Sodium lauroyl methyl is another effective mild surfactant.

Products Which Nourish The Hair

So, the job of a shampoo does not stop at cleaning.

You want hair to be better after using the product than when you started. A significant percentage of the shampoo should be made up of naturally derived ingredients.

This could be seed oils, whole botanical flower and leaf extracts, and botanical oils.

Products With No Toxic Ingredients

The product should be safe for even the most sensitive of scalps. This means it should be non-toxic with no harsh ingredients that could result in irritations or allergies.

It should also avoid stripping the scalp and hair of their natural oils.

So, Is Pantene Bad For Your Hair?

There are lots of sources that say Pantene is a bad product for hair and to avoid it all costs. While other sources are of the opinion that all the bad press received by Pantene is something of a myth, propagated over time by those wishing to sell alternative products.

With Pantene making so many products, and lots of alternative products on the market, the choice is yours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Pantene Be Used Daily?

According to the Pantene website, they have developed a new formula that is free from parabens, sulfates, and silicones. This would mean it is safe to use in your hair on a daily basis.

Does Pantene Contain Plastic?

No, Pantene does not contain plastic. Some sources say this is a myth started by stylists to encourage consumers to move away from Pantene and purchase the brands they are promoting in their salons instead.

Are Pantene Products Safe?

According to the Pantene website, they are. Pantene claims that its products are among the most trusted by consumers. They also say their products have won more awards and editor’s picks than any other shampoo.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.