Is Pantene Really Bad For Your Hair? Here’s The Truth.


Evidence Based

Fact Checked

You may have seen the claims that Pantene is bad for your hair making their rounds on social media, but are they true? We’re here to answer the question “Is Pantene bad for your hair?” once and for all.

This shampoo is a long-standing staple in many women’s haircare routines.

The shampoo and conditioner have been around for over fifty years, but recently there have been rumours that the product may be bad for your hair.

So what are the facts? Let’s take a look at the science behind it to find the truth!

Read more below!

What ingredients are in Pantene products?

The most common ingredients that you’ll want to avoid in ANY shampoos as they can be drying and generally not great for hair are sulfates, silicones, parabens and alcohol.

  • Sulfates help create a foaming lather which is great for removing dirt and oil from your hair, but they can also strip away natural oils which can leave your hair feeling dry and brittle.
  • Silicones provide slip and shine to your strands but can build up over time if not properly washed out—which can lead to dullness, product buildup, and scalp irritation.
  • Parabens are helpful preservatives that prevent bacteria from growing in haircare products but dry out your hair over time.
  • Alcohol helps to give products lightweight texture so they don’t weigh down your locks but can also strip away much-needed natural oils and moisture.

But here’s where things get interesting: Many of Pantene’s newer products are now free of these chemicals and have become increasingly popular with consumers looking for natural alternatives.

So while some people may still be wary of using Pantene products due to their past formulations, there are now more options than ever before for those who prefer natural ingredients in their haircare routine.

It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients list on any product you buy so that you know what you’re putting on your hair!

Watch and learn: The expert opinion on store-bought shampoos.

Here’s a great video that talks you through what you should look out for when buying hair care products.

YouTube video

Why is Pantene considered a bad shampoo?

There are many rumours and myths about Pantene products which makes people think that it isn’t good for your hair.

They claim that there are harmful ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner that can cause damage to your hair.

Some of these ingredients include alcohol and sodium laureth sulfate which will dry out your hair, and dimethicone, a silicone which gives the appearance of healthier hair.

These types of chemicals certainly aren’t good for fine or color-treated hair. They can strip the color from your hair, weigh it down and not give it the moisture that is required.

However, Pantene does make specific types of hair products for different hair types.

For example, Pantene Pro-V Oil Replacement Shampoo contains Omega 6 oil complex which will nourish the hair and replace natural oils stripped away by other shampoos. It’s also sulfate-free.

Many people are unaware that their hair is actually breaking because of damage in other ways such as hair dyes, heat styling or environmental factors like too much sun.

Does Pantene dry out your scalp and damage your hair follicles?

Testing has been done with different types of products and the results have never shown that these kinds of shampoos or conditioners damage your hair or cause skin irritation any more than any other shampoo with the same ingredients.

The truth: No more than other popular shampoos.

Does Pantene cause breakage and strip your hair of protein?

Natural proteins are very important to the health of your hair. If your hair is lacking in natural proteins it will become dry, brittle and even cause breakage.

According to one study done by Procter & Gamble (the company that makes Pantene) Pantene shampoo actually has a moisturizing formula that conditions and protects your hair. This means that it can actually help protect your natural proteins!

One of the ingredients in the shampoo is pro-vitamin B5 which helps to strengthen your hair. So it all depends which Pantene product you pick and your hair type, but also how well you look after the health of your hair.

The truth: Ingredients in some Pantene products can be drying.

Does Pantene cause hair loss?

Another rumour about this product is that it will actually cause excessive hair loss because of its harsh effects on the scalp.

This rumour has no evidence to back up its claim at all!

What could be causing this excessive hair loss?

Well, many people think it’s something within the product itself but there are no real facts to support this claim. It could be caused from something else such as medical conditions or even genetics. But it ain’t the shampoo!

The truth: Pantene cannot cause hair loss.

is pantene bad for your hair woman in shower

Does Pantene thin your hair?

Some people believe that using Pantene will make your hair thin which isn’t true at all. Thinning of the hair is caused by age, genetics, and medical conditions.

We would recommend seeing a dermatologist if you suffer from extreme cases of hair loss because they might need to run some tests – shampooing won’t be one of them!

There is no evidence that this will thin your hair.

However, there are some ingredients in the shampoo and conditioner that can make your hair look limp and lifeless. If this happens, it’s usually because of the silicone and wax components which weighs down the hair. You can avoid this by using a volumizing shampoo!

The truth: Pantene cannot cause your hair to thin.

Does Pantene contain bad chemicals?

There are many people who do not trust the ingredients because they think that there are harmful chemicals in it.

This, however, is false! There are only four ingredients that are considered “harsh” which puts them below 1% of the entire product.

These harsh chemicals include:

  • Cetyl alcohol, which acts as a thickening agent.
  • Stearyl alcohol, which is an emulsifying agent.
  • Propylene glycol alginate, which is used to thicken and also gives texture to the shampoo.
  • Polysorbate 60 which helps with foam production.

These chemicals are common in many store-bought shampoos. And it also contains pro-vitamin B5 which helps to strengthen your hair.

The truth: Harsh chemicals make up less than 1% of the formula.

Does Pantene contain formaldehyde?

All Pantene shampoos contain DMDM hydantoin — a chemical that releases formaldehyde to preserve the product.

Many shampoos contain this chemical, but it is on the FDA’s list of safe chemicals (although they do list it as a common allegen).

It also does not release formaldehyde into your hair, but only releases a tiny amount (less than 1%) of it into the air around you, so it is not harmful. All it does it help to preserve the shampoo solution and make it last for longer.

The truth: Not in harmful amounts.

Is Pantene shampoo safe?

Yes, this shampoo is safe to use and will not cause any damage to your hair!

It is only harsh if you have really sensitive skin. If this is the case, then maybe there are other shampoos that would be better suited for your skin type such as Aveeno or Neutrogena.

The harsh chemicals used are very low on the ingredients list so they can’t really have much of an effect on your hair.

Again, the only harmful ingredients in Pantene are way below 1%.

The truth: Yes it’s totally safe to use!

Is Pantene safe for colored hair?

Yes, Pantene shampoo is safe for color-treated hair. But you need to pick the right one for you.

There are many types of shampoos that are formulated to protect your color so there is no need to worry about the harsh chemicals stripping away all that glossy color!

Because of the different types of shampoos, each one is going to have a different purpose.

For example, Pantene Shampoo is for moisturizing and smoothing dull hair whereas Pro-V Color Care shampoo is for protecting your color from fading away quickly!

The truth: Yes if you use Pantene products made for color-treated hair.

lady washing hair in shower

What is the safest shampoo to use?

There are many shampoos out there which claim to be the safest shampoo for your hair. We review our favourite shampoos for color-treated hair in this guide.

However, Pantene is one of those products that you can actually believe in because it has been trusted by women all over the globe for decades.

It probably sounds like a broken record but they do make different types of shampoo and conditioner for different types of hair!

Not everyone has thin or color-treated hair so why would we want the same shampoo for everyone?

This is why they make shampoos that are specifically used for color-treated hair, thinning hair, relaxed/straightened hair, frizzy/curly hair, and dry/damaged hair.

Just pick the one that right for you!

Parting words

So there you have it! Don’t believe all of these rumours about your favourite shampoo because they’re not true. The bottom line is this: no, it’s not bad for your hair!

There is no scientific evidence that proves any of this to be true so don’t worry! Next time someone tries to tell you that Pantene will cause damage, just show them this article 🙂

There are many benefits from using the shampoo and conditioner such as helping restore damaged hair back to its natural strength.

So don’t be afraid of trying out this popular brand because there’s nothing wrong with that! Peace out!


  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!