Does Pantene have sulfates? Does Pantene have silicones? Is this brand good for your hair? I’ve answered all these questions in the article below. Check it out!
It isn’t a secret anymore that sulfates are bad for your hair. But did you know that a lot of your popular and favorite hair care brands use sulfates regularly in their shampoos.
So what are sulfates exactly and why are they bad? Well, sulfates are a type of surfactant or a type of cleansing agent that is very powerful at removing dirt, grease, oil, etc. from your hair and scalp.
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However, these can be too strong and remove most of hair’s moisture and any dye you’ve got on too. Also, some of these sulfates can also cause skin irritation.
The two main culprits are sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate which are unfortunately found in many shampoos. There’s also a “gentler” form of sulfates such as ammonium lauryl sulfate but these strip hair dye and moisture even if they don’t cause irritation.
Most drugstore shampoos contain sulfates especially the older brands. So today we will find out if Pantene is one of those brands or not.
Does Pantene Have Sulfates
The simple answer is yes. Most Pantene shampoos have sulfates in their ingredients. There are a few shampoo lines from this brand that are sulfate free. But those are few and far between.
Pantene is one of the most popular drugstore brands in the world. However, they still use a lot of problematic ingredients like sulfates, fragrances, alcohol, etc. So I advise you to check the ingredients list of any Pantene shampoo you buy and avoid it if it contains these components.
Also, a lot of drugstore brands do come with products that are completely sulfate-free and even natural. These include OGX, SheaMoisture, Cantu, L’Oreal, among others.
Let’s check the Pantene ingredients to see if the brand uses other harmful ingredients and how to avoid buying these products.
Does Pantene Have DMDM Hydantoin
Yes, a lot of Pantene shampoos even today have listed DMDM hydantoin as an ingredient.
So what is this substance and why is it controversial? Well, DMDM hydantoin is a type of preservative that is antifungal and antimicrobial in nature. It was even listed as safe by the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union at the levels it was used in hair products.
However, recent studies have shown that DMDM hydantoin can release formaldehyde after reacting with other substances in the shampoos. Now, formaldehyde is known to be carcinogenic and the use of it is banned in almost all hair and skin care products.
So basically DMDM hydantoin is banned in hair products because sometimes it can react with other ingredients in the product and lead to the release of formaldehyde which causes severe health issues.
Does Pantene Have Silicones
Silicones aren’t really harmful to be honest. It won’t irritate your skin or harm your hair directly like sulfates do. In fact, silicones are smoothening agents and instantly reduce frizz and static from hair by coating the strands and flattening the hair cuticles.
And herein lies the issue. As silicones coat your hair completely and are insoluble in water they can cause buildup over time. This can lead to dandruff, limp-looking hair and even prevent nutrients and other products from reaching the inner layer of the hair strand.
So in a roundabout way silicones can (with prolonged use) cause greasy hair, dryness, increase frizz, and even cause dandruff and itching.
Unfortunately, a lot of Pantene conditioners contain silicone including the popular Pantene Pro V conditioner.
If you check the back of the Pantene conditioner (and even a few shampoos) you’ll find ingredients like Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, etc. These are all forms of silicones and are well known for causing buildup on hair.
I don’t think there are silicone free Pantene conditioners. But in any case, check the ingredients label for the following when you’re buying any conditioner.
- Phenyl Trimethicone
- Stearyl Dimethicone
- Cetearyl Methicone
Any other Ingredients ending with “-cone” are also classified as silicones. However, there are certain silicones which are water soluble and can be washed off easily. So they don’t cause buildup or lead to hair problems. These include Dimethicone Copolyol, Lauryl Methicone Copolyol and most silicones with the prefix “PEG” to them.
Why Should I Not Use Pantene Shampoo For Hair?
This isn’t a yes or no question actually. Hair is different. And different hair types and textures need different types of hair products that suit them. So one Pantene shampoo can be good for your hair type while might cause damage to other hair types.
For example, if you have straight, excessively oily hair a sulfate-based shampoo might actually work well for you but it absolutely annihilates curly, color-treated hair as it will strip hair dye and moisture.
But if you’re looking at the Pantene brand as a whole, there might be 5 main reasons why the shampoos and conditioners are bad for your hair.
- Sulfates – A majority of Pantene shampoos have both SLS and SLES in their ingredients. This makes the shampoo very strong and rough on your hair. They can remove any moisture from your tresses and fade hair color as well.
- Silicones – Most Pantene conditioners, leave-in products, creams, etc. contain silicones as well. These cause product buildup on hair leaving hair greasy, limp and prone to dandruff and infections.
- Preservatives – A lot of Pantene products still use DMDM hydantoin as a preservative. It can react with other substances in the shampoo and release formaldehyde which is a cancer-causing agent that is also linked to endocrine (hormonal) issues.
- Fragrances – Most Pantene products use artificial perfumes to add fragrance to their shampoos and conditioners. These perfumes can dry your scalp and hair in the long run and also cause irritation in very sensitive skin.
- Alcohol – Also a lot of Pantene shampoos use alcohol as a clarifying agent to remove debris from hair and as an emulsifier. This ingredient can also lead to dryness.
Is There A Pantene Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner
While it’s true that a majority of Pantene shampoos contain sulfates, there are a few newer lines that have kept up with the times. These products are sulfate free and contain only naturally-derived gentle surfactants.
Some of the Pantene sulfate-free shampoos include the Pantene Gold Series Sulfate Free Shampoo which uses the coconut-derived Cocamidopropyl Betaine instead of SLES and SLS to derive lather and clean your hair.
There’s also the Pantene Pro-V Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo which has a similar formula to the Gold Series shampoo and is also, as the name suggests, free of these harsh chemicals.
All conditioners are sulfate free by virtue of their being… well a conditioner. Sulfates are cleansing agents that are used in shampoos, body wash and face wash products to generate lather and cleanse your hair. Conditioners, moisturizers and creams and always sulfate free.
All About The Lawsuit Against Pantene
Yes, there was a lawsuit filed but technically it was against Procter and Gamble, the parent company that owns Pantene.
In December of 2021, Procter and Gamble (P&G) decided to send a recall order to remove many of its dry shampoos and hair spray products from the shelves. These products were recalled across brands like Pantene, Aussie, Old Spice, etc.
According to P&G, the recalled products were all aerosol products that contained trace amounts of Benzene, a substance that has been banned from use in skincare and hair care products.
P&G claimed that they were doing this as a precautionary measure as they didn’t want to risk anyone getting exposed to Benzene.
However, a lot of people had already bought these products and P&G sent out a notice promising refunds to these customers.
The lawsuit claimed that P&G shouldn’t have had Benzene anywhere near the products as it is a Class 1 solvent and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) itself states the ingredient has unacceptable levels of toxicity.
Also, the lawsuit alleged that while P&G offered refunds to customers that bought the dry shampoos and hair sprays there was “virtually” no way to get their money back. So essentially, P&G had pretended to give refunds while making it impossible for customers to do so.
Summary on the Pantene Shampoo Ingredients
To sum things up… A lot of Pantene shampoos do contain sulfates including sodium laureth sulfate and sodium laureth sulfates. Most Pantene conditioners also use silicones like dimethicone in their ingredients list.
Also, Pantene shampoo regularly uses ingredients which are technically not “harmful” for health but can lead to hair and scalp issues like alcohol, fragrances, etc. in their products.
So as far as drugstore shampoos go, this brand isn’t quite the best. You can choose other brands like OGX which retail at the same amount but are always sulfate-free. Or you can shell out a few more dollars and use products from brands like Kristin Ess or Olaplex that will cost you a bit more.
If you really like Pantene and how the formula works on your hair, you can go for the few sulfate-free shampoos they have like the Gold Series shampoos or the Hydrating Argan Oil Shampoo.
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