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Is Pantene Shampoo Good?

by Gabbi

When it comes to renowned hair care brands in the beauty industry, most likely Pantene is one of the first ones that comes to mind. It is a well-established brand that is widely available, both at the drugstore and at salons.

With its wide-ranging product selection, inclusive of formulas for different hair types and needs, it seems to be a brand that people gravitate towards to create their hair care routine.

Although it is an industry staple brand, there are some reservations for consumers that come along when investing in the hair products. It is a brand that is often both celebrated or critiqued by the general consumer and hair industry professionals alike.

While celebrated for the range of products that it offers, it is also critiqued for the affect it can have on your strands.

So, is Pantene shampoo good for your hair? Depending on the goals you have for your hair and its texture and type, you can find some Pantene products that work for you. The ingredients that are found in Pantene products are often scrutinized, but the brand has introduced newer lines over the years that include ingredients that are better for your hair.

While Pantene products can often cause much discussion in the industry, we have a breakdown of the pros and cons, as well as some natural shampoo alternatives if you are ready to make the switch.

Pantene History

Pantene has a decades long history, spanning all the way from the brand’s key ingredient discovery in the 1940s.

The discovery of the Panthenol vitamin proved not only to be a treatment for skin burns but could benefit damaged hair as well. The discovery was made in Switzerland by scientists from the Hoffman La-Roche drug company.

It took two decades before the formula was perfected in the 1960s, resulting in the Pro-V Science formula that is the base for the Pantene hair care products.

Over the decades Pantene continued to be a leader in the haircare industry, celebrated for the empowering message to women to embrace the power they felt through the beauty of their hair.

As the brand continued to become a top hair professional pick, Pantene expanded globally with their products, as they continue to do to this day.

Pantene is a brand that prides itself on the research and development of their products, with the science of hair in mind. The brand creates their haircare products to treat and nourish the hair from the inside out.

There have been countless formulas created over their decades-long career, and the brand continues its message to empower individuals to feel their best, with their best-looking hair.

Pantene Pros

There are many positive that come with the wide range of products that Pantene offers. Namely, the variety of different formulas of shampoos and conditioners for different hair types and textures. Whether your hair is curly or straight, thick or thin, Pantene seems to have options available for whatever your specific needs are.

Through introducing different formulas over the years to suit various hair needs, the brand has also worked to incorporate formulas that have ingredients that are better suited to protecting your hair.

They have formulated shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate-free, as well as silicone-free. While this does not include all of their shampoos and conditioners, they do have those “free from” products available for consumers who are looking for better alternatives.

As it is such a popular haircare brand, it comes with the convenience of being able to find it both locally and at salons. Countless professionals recommend Pantene products and use them in their salon or include them in appointments.

Pantene is also largely available for the consumer to purchase at local drugstores or beauty supply stores, making it easy to get your hands on a salon-recommended product. 

Pantene Cons

In recent years it seems that Pantene products have been alleged to cause hair loss or hair thinning in some users. That has caused people to use caution when looking at Pantene products before purchasing them.

Although the link between Pantene products and hair loss has not been identified, some of the ingredients that are used in their products can potentially be harmful to your hair.

It can be discussed that those same ingredients are also seen in various salon-quality products as well, however depending on your hair they could still not be the best ingredients for you.

Popular Pantene Formulas

The Pro-Vitamin formula is the basis for the Pantene brand, and over the decades has continued to evolve as new hair discoveries have been made.

To keep up with the unique needs of various hair types and textures, as well as industry trends, the Pantene brand has created an array of formulas to suit all of their consumers’ needs.

Some of the more popular Pantene formulas are the Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo, the Strengthening Damage Repair Shampoo, the Classic Clean Shampoo, and the Healthy Lengths Shampoo.

1. Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo

The Gold Series Moisture Boost Shampoo is meant to provide intense hydration as it is infused with argan oil, and paraben-free. The wash delivers deeply nourished strands that are free of frizz, while also breaking down any product buildup.

The shampoo, along with the rest of the products in the Gold Series, is ideal for those with naturally textured, curly, or relaxed hair that requires extra hydration.

2. Strengthening Damage Repair Shampoo

The Strengthening Damage Repair Shampoo is part of the brand’s Nutrient Blends Collection and is meant to restore and strengthen weakened hair strands.

It is formulated with pro vitamin B5 and castor oil to create luscious locks that are thoroughly hydrated. It is a formula that is free of parabens and sulfates and can work for any hair type.

3. Classic Clean Shampoo

As for the timeless Pro-V formula, the Classic Clean Shampoo is going to provide your hair with moisture, shine, and strength.

The formula completely breaks down any residual buildup to make sure your hair is left feeling healthy after each wash. Ideal for any hair type, it is a formula that is free of silicone, parabens, and mineral oil to leave you with hair that feels as refreshed as it does clean.

4. Healthy Lengths Shampoo

Following in line with another classic Pro-V formula comes the Healthy Lengths Shampoo that will nourish your hair while preventing breakage. It is a formula that is rich in antioxidants, pro-vitamin B5, as well as pH balancers to maintain hair that is strong and healthy.

Healthy Lengths is a paraben-free shampoo that works for all hair types, and provides the most optimal results when paired with its matching conditioner.

Other Pantene Products

As with most of their formulas, Pantene has developed conditioners, treatments, and booster mix-ins to deliver the best results for your chosen formula.

While you can always mix-and-match your shampoos and conditioners to fit your hair needs and goals the best, the proven results are tried and tested with the coordinating products together.

Pantene strives to create products with the unique needs of various hair types in mind, while also developing coordinating products to target and address different aspects of those concerns.

While the above formulas and their descriptions do touch on the ingredients found in these popular Pantene formulas, below is an in-depth look at what these specific ingredients are, if there are any benefits, and the potential side effects of how they could affect your hair.

While some of the products above are free of certain ingredients, we also provide additional natural shampoo alternatives that will deliver equally beautiful results.

Does Pantene Cause Hair Loss?

There has been no definitive, scientific evidence that Pantene products cause hair loss to occur. However, some of their products are formulated with ingredients that could be potentially damaging to the health of your hair. Ultimately, how the products perform also depend on your individual hair type and texture.

One of the ingredients present in some Pantene products that can be harmful to your hair is dimethicone. It is derived from silicone, and is what gives hair the silky smooth appearance from roots to tips. Dimethicone is found in many skincare, beauty, and haircare products due to its ability to smooth and refine texture.

When added to a haircare product specifically, dimethicone can give hair the silky appearance that is free of frizz or flyaway strands. However, as a silicone-based ingredient, it is not water-soluble so it can be difficult to thoroughly rinse out of your hair when washing.

As it can be difficult to rinse away completely, it can cause residual product to become buildup on the scalp and can eventually lead to breakage and dryness in the hair.

Some of their products also contain sulfates, which can also be damaging on your hair as detailed in the section below.

Is Pantene Sulfate-Free?

While Pantene has developed some shampoo and conditioner formulas that are sulfate-free, not all of their products are. Sulfates are a powerful cleaning agent that works to intensely cleanse the hair. While it does clean thoroughly, the harsh detergent can often strip the hair of much needed moisture.

Depending on your hair type you can already be trying to combat moisture loss. Lack of moisture can result in brittle strands and an excess amount of frizz. If you have color treated hair, as well, sulfates can quickly strip the color with each wash.

If you want to ensure your color lasts you as long as possible in between treatments, sulfate-free shampoos can be a better alternative for you as they will not strip the color or the hydration color treated hair often requires.

Is Natural Shampoo Better?

Knowing there are certain ingredients prevalent in haircare products that can potentially damage the health and appearance of your hair, it brings to mind the desire to switch to a more natural ingredients list.

While there is no specific regulation on what is exactly considered “natural” in terms of haircare, as with any product, it largely comes down to what ingredients are included, and which ones are excluded.

Natural shampoos are formulated to steer clear of ingredients that can cause damage to your hair, mainly sulfates that works as a harsh detergent. Sulfates that are found in shampoos are often sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are often referred to as SLS and SLES, respectively.

SLS and SLES are similar, with SLES being a derivative of SLS. SLES is less harsh and irritating than SLS, but the process to create SLES exposes the ingredient to chemical contamination.

From there, SLES can be stripped of the chemical contamination which will typically be identified. Natural shampoos that are free of sulfates signal their products to say “No SLS/SLES”.

Parabens are another ingredient that can be harmful to you and your hair, and are typically avoided in natural shampoos.

In beauty, hair, and skin products, parabens are often used as a preservative, although their potentially harmful effects have encouraged more people to seek out products that are paraben-free. Most natural shampoos are both paraben/sulfate-free.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, it could be ideal for you to switch to a natural shampoo. The intense detergents found in sulfates, as well as the presence of parabens, can cause scalp or skin irritation. Having a more gentle formula would be less exacerbating on the skin to prevent any irritation that could occur.

As sulfate is a main ingredient that causes a shampoo to lather, the lack of suds with a natural shampoo could seem like it is not providing as deep of a clean.

However, natural shampoos are formulated with ingredients that will thoroughly cleanse the hair, with a slightly less intense lather than you might be used to with your other shampoos. Hair will be thoroughly cleansed with a gentle formula that your hair will appreciate.

Finally, not only are natural shampoos beneficial to your hair, but the lack of harmful ingredients is also beneficial to the environment.

While parabens, sulfates, and silicones can be damaging to our hair, when rinsed away, the ingredients are then left to enter into the environment and water source. As the case with silicones, they are not water-soluble and are also hydrophobic, so they do not break down easily.

We all want to do our best for our bodies, and the planet, so opting for natural beauty and hair products, such as our much-used shampoos, is one way to honor that responsibility.

Natural Alternative Shampoos

Mostly when discussing natural shampoo alternatives, the focus is mainly on the SLS or SLES part of the ingredients list. However, there are alternative surfactant cleansers that work gently on hair and are naturally derived to deliver their own clean lather to your hair.

If you still want the look of smooth and silky strands, but want to make the switch to ingredients that are better for your hair you are in luck. More and more brands have started to incorporate ingredients that are beneficial to the look and feel of your hair, without compromising its health or integrity.

1. John Masters Organics

Switching to a brand such as John Masters Organics will provide you with haircare products that are sustainable and cruelty-free.

Their Daily Nourishing Shampoo uses naturally derived surfactants to deliver a deep and thorough cleanse that is suitable for most hair types.

You will see a creamy lather from this shampoo that will envelope you with the scent of lavender and rosemary.

The Daily Nourishing Shampoo is meant to balance oil production, so your hair looks and feels its healthiest.

The organic rosemary oil will work to purify their hair, while the lavender oil works to soothe. Your hair will be left feeling hydrated and with a high shine appearance. 

2. R+Co

R+Co is an innovative brand that strives to protect and preserve hair and scalp health with each product.

Their hair products are not only vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, but are color-safe and protect against heat and UVs. They are free of parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, and sulfates being SLS and SLES free.

The Television Perfect Hair Shampoo is ideal for all hair types and will provide body and shine to your strands, while also feeling strong and smooth.

The key ingredients found in the shampoo are Juniper Berry Extract, which will balance the oil production and detoxify the scalp, and Babassu Seed Oil to restore hair and provide deep hydration.

The shampoo is also formulated with glycerin, which works as a humectant to retain hair’s moisture. 

3. Rahua

Rahua is a brand that includes all plant-based products that are free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, and gluten.

While they have a range of shampoo and conditioner products, along with other haircare items, if you have color treated hair that you want to protect, the Color Full Shampoo will do just that. It works well for all shades of color treated hair.

The color protection complex found within this shampoo is formulated with Rahua and Morete oils from the Amazon rainforest, and will provide color treated hair with the intense moisture it often needs.

Your hair will feel nourished and strengthened, and your color will remain intact. The light floral scent is soothing and refreshing, creating an Amazonian getaway with every wash.


The VERB Ghost Shampoo is a lightweight product that can work for any hair type. Free of SLS and SLES sulfates, parabens, and gluten, it will protect color treated hair and leave hair looking shiny.

As it delivers lightweight hydration, it also works to smooth hair and control frizz without weighing hair down.

Moringa oil is one of the key ingredients of this shampoo, which works to moisturize and smooth the hair by being rich in fatty acids.

Along with Moringa oil, aloe vera and sunflower seed extract are used to soothe scalp irritation while maintaining the pH balance, and to deeply nourish the hair while also offering UV protection, respectively.

The Ghost Shampoo is lightweight enough to be used for regular washes, and works especially well for fine hair.

5. Olaplex

Olaplex has dominated the haircare industry within the last several years, and continues to provide salon-worthy results from the comfort of your own shower.

The No.4 Shampoo is the only shampoo available in their line, and is part of their bond building maintenance system.

Being the only brand to focus on rebuilding broken hair bonds, your strands will feel stronger, and look shinier and healthier. The shampoo is free of formaldehyde, parabens, sulfates SLS and SLES, and gluten.

It is safe for color-treated hair, and will help to reduce breakage and the appearance of excess frizz.

Above is a selection of the natural shampoos that will ensure your locks look glossy and full, while still feeling strong and hydrated. Alternative natural shampoos are available for all hair types and concerns, but it is based on your unique tresses that will determine which product works best.

Final Thoughts

While there is no scientific proof that Pantene products cause hair loss, and some hairstylists continue to recommend it, you want to consider your personal hair needs and goals when determining what shampoo and conditioner to purchase.

If you have found Pantene products to work for you, there is their sulfate-free range of products to consider for a cleaner alternative. However, if you want to completely switch your haircare routine, looking into the mentioned brands for their hair healthy alternatives is an ideal way to begin your own hair journey.

Natural brands ensure your hair is deeply cleansed, without feeling stripped of moisture. Without the potentially harmful detergents, the silicones that are hard to rinse away completely, or parabens, your hair can retain its moisture, strength, and luster.

The available options for natural haircare products continue to grow, with natural shampoos leading the way.

Each hair type and texture is different and will need special ingredients or products to look and feel its best. Finding the right haircare routine for you is a unique and fun experience that can result in some of your best hair days ever.

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