Is Pantene Bad For Your Hair?

Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner sachet on a grey background

Is Pantene bad for your hair? Yes, Pantene is terrible for your hair. Like other shampoo and conditioner brands, Pantene claims to make your hair stronger, or softer, or less frizzy. Many of us assume that it’s because it has really great ingredients that help nourish your hair, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

Most of us don’t look deep into the ingredients list on the bottle. Plus, these brands do a great job of marketing their products as ”repairing,“ ”moisturizing,“ ”contains argan oil,“ or similar phrases that get our attention. 

However, the harmful ingredients that are in products such as Pantene shampoos or conditioners, can do a lot of damage to your hair. We are going to look into what ingredients are really in popular hair products such as Pantene, and what we can use instead to help save our hair.

Is Pantene Good For Your Hair?

No, Pantene is bad for your hair. Professional cosmetologist, Erika Brown says Pantene is actually not good for your hair. She explains that if you are using it daily, it can make your hair dry and damaged, over time your hair will begin to look dull, lose its shape and become harder to manage and style. Erika also warns that long-term use of Pantene can lead to scalp build-up which can cause hair loss.

Almost any hairdresser will tell you to stop using Pantene if you are using that. You might be asking yourself why? Pantene has a lot of ingredients that are commonly found in most shampoos, body washes, and soaps. It contains preservatives, foaming agents, surfactants, thickeners, conditioners, opacifiers, sequestering agents, special additives and fragrance.

A lot of these ingredients may be deemed “necessary” by the company, but they may not be necessarily good for your hair. Some examples of ingredients that may do more damage than good are parabens, sulfates, and silicones. These ingredients are commonly found in many of our body care products and are used for different purposes.

However, these ingredients can make your hair dry, brittle, and just “appear” shinier because of a layer added onto your hair, but your hair is not actually getting moisture. They can also cause harmful side effects on your health, especially if they are consistently used. You should also be cautious of products with parabens, sulfates silicones in them, as they can damage your hair.

Does Pantene Have Formaldehyde?

Pantene does indeed have formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a common ingredient found in drugstore body and hair products. Most of the time you may not notice that there is formaldehyde in a product because it won’t say “formaldehyde” on the ingredients label.

In Pantene products, the formaldehyde that is placed in the products is typically labeled “DMD hydantoin.” This is an ingredient that releases formaldehyde. You might be wondering, why do these brands even use formaldehyde in their products?

Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients are used to preserve the products and extend shelf life. Common side effects of being exposed to formaldehyde on a regular basis are irritation of the skin, eyes, and nose, as well as some cancers that have been linked to long term formaldehyde exposure.

Does Pantene Have Silicone And Parabens?

Pantene does have silicone and parabens. These ingredients are again, quite common in body and hair products. Silicone is used in hair products because they supposedly help to nourish and moisturize the hair. However, silicone is known to build up on the strands and cause oily hair or weigh down the hair, giving you much less volume.

Now, Pantene states that they use only a small amount of silicone in their “silicone-free” products, but they do still contain it. Parabens are typically used to help preserve the product. These chemicals are added to products to help prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Parabens have been linked to hormonal effects, reproductive problems, fertility, and increased the risk of cancer.

Are Parabens In Shampoos Safe?

Parabens in shampoo are not safe at all. Parabens are used as a preservative for the product, but they are terrible for us. Parabens are actually absorbed into the skin and body from the scalp if used on the hair.

Those that use shampoos or body washes with parabens in them every single day have an increased risk of paraben exposure and side effects linked to it. Parabens are absorbed into the body and then excreted in urine and bile.

Parabens are actually picked up in urine samples given by people, proving that they do enter our body and are excreted like normal bile. Exposure to parabens over and over by using products with them every day can cause harmful effects to the body over time. One of the most common parabens to look out for in your products is propylparaben.

Does Pantene Have Sulfate?

Pantene, like most body washes and shampoos, has sulfates. Sulfates are what make soaps and shampoos suds up and give us a soapy feeling. Sulfates are used in shampoo to help allow the dirt and grime from our hair to wash away. They are aggressively removing the dirt and grime from your hair, which in turn strips away the natural oils your hair needs leaving it dry and frizzy.

Are Sulfates In Shampoos Safe?

Like most things, there’s a negative effect of sulfates. Sulfates tend to strip away natural oils from the scalp and hair, which in turn makes it brittle and dry. If you’re using shampoos with sulfates on your hair every day then you may suffer from dry and frizzy hair.

However, overall sulfates in shampoos are safe in the sense that they haven’t been linked to many health problems, but of course, your hair may take a hard hit from using shampoos with sulfates in them.

If you do a lot of color treatments or chemical treatments to your hair then you especially want to avoid shampoos and conditioners with sulfates. The additional chemical or color to your already dry and brittle hair will damage it more.

What Ingredients Are Bad In Pantene?

There are a lot of ingredients in Pantene that are considered harmful and bad for you. We are going to go through some of the most harmful ingredients found in Pantene shampoo. The first one we will go over is sodium laureth sulfate (SLES).

Sulfate, most commonly sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), works as a cleansing agent. However, this harsh cleanser can strip your hair of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) can also irritate skin, eyes, nose, and throat. In more harmful cases, it has caused cancer.

Cocamidopropyl betaine is also a harmful ingredient that is one of the first listed in the Pantene products. This has been known to cause a lot of irritation. This ingredient was named Allergen of the Year in 2004. In most cases, it can cause skin and eye irritation, but on sensitive skin, it can cause burning and blisters.

Another major ingredient that is in Pantene products is fragrance. This is another that many of us have seen on a lot of our daily used products. This is a hard one to pin down because companies typically just put “fragrance” on the ingredients list without disclosing the actual chemicals used in their products. This is a cause for a lot of allergic reactions to many different products that people use.

Triclosan is a harmful ingredient that accumulates in your fat cells and keeps your body in a state of toxicity. It can also cause skin, eye, and even lung irritation. It causes endocrine disruption as well as organ toxicity.

Phenoxyethanol is another common toxic ingredient in beauty care products. This ingredient can cause organ system toxicity and irritation. The FDA has warned that this ingredient can cause vomiting, central nervous system shut down, and contact dermatitis.

Dimethicone can make the skin and scalp very dry and irritated. This is a common ingredient that a lot of people have probably heard of, but know nothing about. It leaves somewhat of a barrier on the skin and scalp, trapping bacteria, sebum, and impurities with it.

Formaldehyde is another one that many have heard of. Formaldehyde is a preservative for the product and hides on the ingredients list. This is because it doesn’t say “formaldehyde” but for most products, including Pantene, it will say “DMDM hydantoin” which is a formaldehyde-releasing ingredient. Formaldehyde has actually been declared a carcinogen by the United States National Toxicology Program as well as the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

How Does Pantene Ruin Your Hair?

Pantene ruins your hair by having all of the chemical ingredients that we’ve talked about in their products. Pantene has claimed to give moisture and shine to hair, but that’s not really the case. Pantene has a lot of ingredients that sit on top of your hair to make it feel or appear to be shiny and moisturized, but the ingredients actually in their products dry out the hair.

Sulfates, parabens, silicones, and formaldehyde are some of the harmful chemicals that are put into these products that can ruin your hair. These ingredients can cause dry, brittle, and damaged hair as well as reactions like burning or itching to your scalp.

Do Some Shampoos Make Your Hair Fall Out?

Some shampoos that contain harmful ingredients in them can cause your hair to fall out. Sulfates, parabens, silicones, and formaldehyde can contribute to this. These ingredients dry out your hair and scalp.

Stripping the natural oils and proteins out of your hair causes breakage and causes your hair to fall out. Repeated usage of products that contain harmful ingredients will cause extensive damage to your hair and scalp; hair falling out is a common side effect of using these products long term.

What Are The Worst Shampoo And Conditioner Brands?

There are a lot of popular shampoo brands out there that are actually not great for your hair. There are three main brands that are quite popular among consumers that aren’t actually the best for your hair.

Pantene is a brand that contains a lot of chemical ingredients that are secretly drying out and ruining your hair. Organix or OGX is a brand that you may think has great ingredients due to its name, but you’d be wrong. The OGX brand contains sulfates and salts in their products which already don’t seem appealing at all.

These two ingredients can dry out your hair immensely. The third worst brand to use is Tresemme. Tresemme, like the previous two brands, contains a lot of chemical ingredients that dry out and damage your hair. A few other brands to steer clear of are Aussie, Got2B, Nexxus, and Deva Curl.

There have been many counts of people having “reactions” when they dye their hair or get a treatment for it. These brands dry out and damage your hair so that any other color treatments or chemical treatments will do even that much more damage to your hair. These ingredients not only affect your hair but they can have significant effects on your health as well.

Which Shampoos Are Good For Your Hair?

You should be using shampoos that have natural ingredients, or at least no sulfates, fragrance, silicone, etc type of shampoos. Be sure to read the ingredients on the label so you can identify the harmful ingredients.

In all natural products, they are made without any sort of chemicals. These products give you great results still, without the chemicals and harmful ingredients. To get soft, shiny and healthy hair, we recommend using a sulfate-free shampoo.

What Are The Safest Shampoos To Use?

There are a lot of different shampoos that are safe for you. Some brands have great natural alternatives to your typical shampoo or conditioner. Some of these brands include Acure, Native, and Briogeo. Of course, there are many more out there, but we’ll take a look in depth at what a couple of these brands have to offer.

Briogeo is a 6-free brand meaning that it’s free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicones, DEA, and synthetic color. They are 90 percent to 100 percent naturally derived. Native is sulfate-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, and dye free; they’re also vegan and cruelty-free.

Plus their shampoo is made with 10 ingredients or less, making it easy to see what exactly is in their products. You should be using all natural shampoos and conditioners. All natural products will help to keep your hair healthy and moisturized.

Overall, it’s important to pay attention to what is in the products that we use on our hair and body. A lot of these popular brands, like Pantene, are bad for your hair and cause a lot more damage than good. Read the ingredients list and don’t be afraid to search up what something is if you don’t know.

Using harmful products on your hair every day or week will cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and not handle color treatments or styling treatments very well. Find products from the brands mentioned above that will do your hair some good by nourishing it with natural ingredients. Look out for the phrases “sulfate-free” “paraben-free” or “silicone-free.” Steer clear of products like Pantene and Tresemme.

Why Pantene Is Bad For You: Final Thoughts

The efficacy of Pantene shampoos and conditioners has sparked a divisive debate. On one hand, Patene products are known to allow your hair to feel clean, shiny and smooth, for an affordable price. On the contrary, some people find that Pantene products feel too heavy, or even lead to build-up. It’s interesting how one brand can cause such an uproar.

More importantly, there is a good reason why Patene is promoting its new products as ”free-from ingredients.“ Pantene shampoos and conditioners contain ingredients like propylparaben, a potentially dangerous skin irritant and reproductive toxicant. The Environmental Working Group gives propylparaben a “7”, scores of 7 to 10 indicate a high hazard.

Other common ingredients in Pantene include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth Sulfate (SLES), and sodium. All these harsh chemicals can contribute to the weakening of hair follicles, resulting in dry and fragile hair. The safe use of products that contain SLS and SLES relies on discontinuous use and limited exposure. So there you have it—a whole long list of nasty ingredients contained in Pantene.

Don’t sacrifice your healthy hair for the sake of unhealthy products! There are so many different shampoos and conditioners that can work wonders. It’s also important to find a hair care company that offers organic and natural products that don’t hurt your hair and scalp. These products will not only clean your hair without damaging it, but also make it shinier and stronger over time.

Natural alternatives are great for people who are looking to make a safer lifestyle. As with most things, it is important to be careful what you are using on your hair. There are some shampoos that will make your scalp itch or dry out. When it comes to shampoo, don’t buy the cheapest one you can find. The quality and ingredients in your shampoo can affect your hair and scalp.


By Daphnie Bachmann

Daphnie Bachmann is an esthetician and beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves beauty and skincare. She always has her eyes open for the next new beauty or skincare product to test out and review. She's inspired by the beauty world and is always willing to share her beauty secrets!