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Is Pantene good or bad for my hair

Sophie Says: I’ve heard a lot of things about Pantene Pro-V’s shampoo and conditioners. A lot of hairstylists swear on their hair-dryers that it is awful for your hair. Supposedly, it coats your hair with plastic or wax to make it seem smooth, soft, and shiny, instead of really moisturizing your hair. It also reportedly makes your scalp itchy and hair fall out.

However, I’ve been using the Pantene Restoratives shampoo and conditioner for a few months now, and I find my hair less frizzy, more manageable, smoother, and softer. Of course, I also use John Frieda Anti-Frizz Serum and Pantene Pro-V Restoratives Frizz Control Ultra Smoothing Balm (I highly recommend the latter, just apply to wet hair).

Phew, that was long. So, my question is: Is Pantene good or bad for my hair?

The Beauty Brains respond:

Sophie, please don’t fall into the trap of believing everything your stylist tells you. (That’s one of the The Beauty Brains Basic Beliefs.) While most stylists are very talented at cutting and styling hair, they’re not very talented at interpreting cosmetic formulations.

The truth is, Pantene’s shampoo and conditioner formulas are believed to be among the best in the industry by those of us in the cosmetic science side of the business. It makes sense if you think about it. P&G, makers of Pantene, have a HUGE research budget. Certainly larger than any salon company. That means they can afford to dedicate resources to developing and testing the best formulas possible. We’ve seen Pantene formulas beat the pants of salon products in blind consumer testing. (The products are hidden or blinded, not the consumers)

Why is Pantene vilified?

So why do stylists say that Pantene coats the hair with plastic, or make it fall out? Because that’s what they’re told by the sales representatives for the salon companies. And the truth is, it’s just not true! Compare the ingredient lists for Pantene conditioner and any salon brand you can find.

Even though the names vary you’ll see three basic types of ingredients: fatty alcohols (like cetyl and stearyl alcohol); conditioning ingredients (like stearamidopropylamine and quaternium-18) and silicones (like dimethicone and cyclomethicone.) There’s nary a plastic to be found in Pantene. And no, it doesn’t make your hair fall out either.

The Beauty Brains Bottom Line:

You can choose whatever you like – a retail brand like Pantene or a salon brand like Matrix. But shop around and find a product you like and make your own decisions based on your own experience. Don’t pass on Pantene because of stylist anti-hype.

{ 70 comments… add one }

  • Tejal December 3, 2013, 8:22 am

    Pantene Shampoo is really very nice product. I think you believe in Pantene Shampoo as well as Conditioner.

  • Jeffery February 4, 2014, 7:10 pm

    People who don’t know any better will always suggest pantene. Its everywhere… buses, billboards, cable. Its easy to remember the name. My grandma and I have used that for a good 3 years thinking damn the stuff is good. Then I was forced into going to my friends hair dresser and bought a shampoo and conditioner from her. it was All soft by redken shampoo and the matrix biolage exquisite oil. It was like nothing that has ever felt or seen my hair do after just one use. I soon bought that for my 87 year old grandma whos hair was beyond damaged. I sh*t you not her hair after a week of using it made her look 30 years younger. it looked healthier and she had curls again! I was astonished what a difference it made. MY POINT IS DONT BUY THE CRAP PANTENE MAKES and advertises…. just cause they sell so much of it doesn’t mean its good it means ITS CHEAP in every sense. YOU REALLY DO GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!

    • Randy Schueller February 4, 2014, 7:55 pm

      @Jeffery: Thanks for the story based on your single, personal experience. If Pantene is really that bad how do you account for the thousands of data points we’ve seen that show, on a blinded basis, that women prefer Pantene over most drug store and salon brands? Believe me, we have no reason to recommend Pantene. We’ve never worked for that company and we don’t make any money from the brand. But EVERY time we’ve tested it over the last 15 years or so it has scored extremely well. Each test ran between 2 weeks to a month and involved hundreds of women across the US and in some cases the UK, so it’s not like only a few panelists used the product only once or twice. I’d love to hear how you explain away all that data.

      • Rose June 30, 2015, 6:42 pm

        Lol data…data collected by self-serving companies out to muse money with their cancer causing and untested ingredients. Any ingredient with a number after it or so many letters I can hardly pronounce it is probably man-made and unnecessary. Sad world we live in when people care more about how they look than the state of their health -_-

        • Randy Schueller June 30, 2015, 8:45 pm

          @Rose: It’s that you chose to equate the name of a chemical with its safety. That’s a very naive attitude. Also, have you ever looked up these “untested” ingredients yourself? If you’d bother to, you’d find there’s quite a bit of safety data associated with this “untested” ingredients. Let me ask you this: what kind of evidence would it take to change your mind?

      • Kristen Wilson July 24, 2015, 6:17 pm

        I am a Master Cosmetologist and I have a degree in Applied Science as well and Its not about Pantene and Matrix/Redken/BlahBlahBlah ingredients being the same, Its the fact that Pantene uses cheaper, less pure ingredients hence the cheaper price. Also, people may love the way their hair feels with Pantene, BUT they are using harsher chemicals to get that nice soft feeling. You can have horrible damage happening to your hair but use a chemical that makes it feel soft and shiny. If you want the best shampoo/conditioner for your hair at the cheapest price, use Loreal Everpure from any department store or grocery store. First of all, Loreal OWNS Redken, Matrix, & most of the other salon brands. The fact that this incompetent idiot who replied back to the original question stating that Hair Stylists don’t know anything about formulations, you clearly don’t know what all a Cosmetologist has to learn in College. I had to take Anatomy & Physiology classes, Chemistry, Electricity, plus MUCH MORE before I even learned how to do any hair. Maybe you should know more about stuff before answering questions, instead of giving people inaccurate information. Just stating a fact.

        • Randy Schueller July 25, 2015, 3:07 pm

          Hi Kristen. Are you referring to the part of our answer where we said “While most stylists are very talented at cutting and styling hair, they’re not very talented at interpreting cosmetic formulations”? We didn’t mean that to be disrespectful and we fully understand that stylists have some training in cosmetic ingredients. However, that training doesn’t include much background information on the sourcing and chemical composition of the ingredients. If it did, you would understand that salon companies buy the same grade of ingredients as mass market companies do.

          If you’d care to explain EXACTLY which ingredients Pantene uses and how they are cheaper, less pure, and harsher than salon brand ingredients we’d be glad to continue the discussion. Otherwise, we thank you for taking the time to state your personal beliefs but we prefer to share facts with our readers not just unsubstantiated opinions.

          And, FYI, taking classes in Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, and Electricity does give you helpful background information but it does not provide the same level of insight and breadth of expertise as actually spending decades formulating hair care products.

        • carmen October 3, 2015, 8:03 am

          I agree with Kristen Wilson! no more comments!

    • linda June 21, 2014, 8:42 am

      I had been a Pantene fan for awhile, but the last few months, my hair has become dry and damaged. Yes, I color my hair but I have never had it over processed or damaged from coloring it and no, I do not color it myself! Yesterday, I cut 3 inches off of my hair, thinking maybe it had just become too long, but the result was the same, dry and clearly damaged. I purchased a deep conditioner by Matrix and what a difference. As of today, no more Pantene.

  • Leon February 4, 2014, 9:05 pm

    I have a scalp condition where it flakes really badly. I’m a 23 year old male and I’ve been using Clear shampoo and Head and Shoulders for god knows how long.

    It works great for 2 hours then the flaking would come back with a vengeance. I tried Pantene Pro-V anti dandruff a couple of days ago and I could not believe the results.

    My hair wasn’t oily, my scalp didn’t flake, it basically did what other shampoos didn’t which was restoring my scalp’s moisture. It feels great.

    I’ve used salon brands before and the only one that works better than Pantene would be Redken in my personal opinion.

    I rate Pantene Pro-V anti dandruff a 7.5/10

    • K September 5, 2015, 10:11 pm

      Try Nixon scalp treatment for psoriasis and dandruff. There is a three step system. Shampoo, conditioner, and something of a serum. Works wonders on my head and a lot of my clients. It has a cool tingly feeling from the mint

  • Dara Johnson February 13, 2014, 12:10 pm

    I am an African-American woman with relaxed hair. In between my visits to my hairdresser who does my relaxer, and any other chemicals and cuts, I would visit Dominican salons (because they are cheap) for wash/set/blow dry. Once, I invested in some pretty expensive styling tools (flat iron, blow dryer, etc.) and one day when I could get to the salon, I decided to do my own hair. I had the Pantene Intense Moisturizing Shampoo for women of color. I loved the way my hair came out – understand that I used a Frederic Fekkai Shea hydrating conditioner mask, a leave-in conditioner by Motions and used Chi Silk Infusion pre blow-dry.

    Anyway, when I ran out of the Pantene Shampoo, I used another shampoo (Motions) I had in my closet. I felt the difference and didn’t like it. I then spent a lot of money for an expensive Frederic Fekkai shampoo. It was nice, but I noticed my hair still wasn’t the way it was when I first starting using Pantene. So, I went back to using the Pantene Shampoo just to see if there was going to be any difference. Keep in mind, all the other products I mentioned I was using (FF mask, Chi, etc.) remained the same; I didn’t swap those out. It was just the shampoo I was experimenting with.

    Needless to say, I couldn’t believe the difference Pantene did for my hair. I’m amazed at the difference versus an expensive Shampoo such as Frederic Fekkai’s.

    The ONLY con is that when I would come out the tangles, I still had some sort of residue on my hair, and I’ve always been good at rinsing the conditioner out thoroughly. I think I will finish up the FF shampoo which does do a good job of getting rid of build-up on the scalp and hair, for the first rinse, then follow up the last two shampoo’s with Pantene. I’m a fan for life.

    • Randy Schueller February 13, 2014, 12:27 pm

      Dara: Thanks for sharing your honest experience!

      • vikki August 7, 2014, 10:51 pm

        pantene is horrible I had lots of hair and I might say too much and I used pantene now I am bald your product is horrible and you will have to answer to God

        • Vikki February 21, 2015, 9:13 pm

          Oh, for pete’s sake!

  • Helena May 4, 2014, 5:46 am

    Interesting how a comment from someone who had a bad experience with Pantene is met with a snarky ‘Thanks for the story based on your single, personal experience’, but a story about from someone who likes Pantene gets a ‘Thanks for sharing your honest experience!’ No, you don’t sound biased at all…

    The last couple of days I’ve been searching around trying to see if other people had been experiencing the same hair loss, very dry brittle hair results of using Pantene that I’ve been having because I wasn’t sure if it was just me. Reading this article, I’m sorry, I don’t come away feeling very reassured, tbh you don’t come off as sounding unbiased or rational, you sound very much like someone who benefits from promoting Pantene and discrediting stylists in quite petty tones.

    Essentially you say that because they aren’t ~educated enough~ to understand the science of shampoo formulas or the marketing data of P&G, and even more laughable, because salon studios don’t have the kind of money a multinational corporation has (‘P&G, makers of Pantene, have a HUGE research budget. Certainly larger than any salon company’) – this somehow discredits what these people who work with clients *every day* hearing individual stories from clients *every day* about what Pantene does to their hair. You spend the article running stylists down as morons just repeating things they’ve been told to say, while holding up a multinational corporation as trustworthy and obviously having the customers’ best interests at heart rather than *their own*.

    • Randy Schueller February 22, 2015, 8:05 am

      Helena: Sometimes we do get carried away on this topic and for that I do apologize. But our snarky comments are meant to be for the people who say things like “Pantene is the worst product ever and you should never buy it.” These people are projecting their negative experience onto others which is VERY biased. We praise people who us their honest opinion of the product without judging if it’s good or bad for others.

      • Rudy November 7, 2015, 8:25 pm

        Ironic, no. We won’t judge people..yadiyadiya, but admit it you do. After reading all your comments up above, I can’t seem to disagree with the fact that even you are biased. Maybe if you were to know more about OTHER brands too and their processes, you might have a more open mind.

  • Dana August 15, 2014, 12:40 am

    From what i understand is that panthenol penetrates into the cortex of the hair ,and also seals the cuticle and makes your hair shiny . what i think can end up happening over time is your hair becomes overfilled with the b-5 and expands which can create frizzy unruly hair . its the same thing that happens with some proteins .

    • Randy Schueller August 15, 2014, 6:26 am

      Panthenol can penetrate and help strengthen from within the cortex. I’ve never seen any data to suggest that it smooths the cuticle. I’ve also never heard of “overfilling” with protein causing hair to become frizzier. That’s not how these ingredients work.

  • Pankaj Bessan August 23, 2014, 11:01 pm

    fuck pantene

    • Randy Schueller August 24, 2014, 11:24 am

      Thanks for voicing your opinion so eloquently, Pankaj. I’m sure our readers really appreciate your input.

      • United States of America July 24, 2015, 7:16 pm

        We all agree, F*&K PANTENE

        • Randy Schueller July 25, 2015, 2:57 pm

          “We all agree?” Then how do you account for the fact that Pantene is one of the best selling shampoo/conditioners in the US?

          Thanks for taking the time to leave such a constructive comment, you made your point really well.

          • Kayla September 5, 2015, 10:12 pm

            Simple its cheap and well marketed.

    • shellie October 7, 2014, 1:36 am


  • Elle August 26, 2014, 3:13 pm

    I have hair (past my shoulder blades) that tangles really easily. I’ve just about given up on any kind of solution. My stylist said he’s only seen hair like it on one other person.
    If I wear a collar – the hair at my neckline becomes a mass of tangles. When I sleep, I wake with a mass of tangles all over!
    I twist my hair up and clip it to the top of my head at night, but it’s not a perfect fix.
    During the day the back and sides tangle…I’m breaking hair off every time I have to comb the tangles out! It’s scary!

    I have long hair and do not look good in short hair! I do get blond highlights, but even the dark natural color at my neck tangles.
    My stylist hasn’t suggested anything that works and I’m hoping you might have some suggestions. (I’ve tried serums, conditioning, etc.) This is definitely a strange head of hair!
    Thank you for any help you may provide.

    • Randy Schueller August 26, 2014, 4:33 pm

      There is a condition called “Glass Hair Syndrome” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11407534). There’s not much you can do except keep experimenting with different products that provide hair with a lot of lubricity to help with the tangling. Silicones are typically good for this. You might also try the Living Proof products which are based on a Teflon like compound that’s supposed to be pretty good as well. Good luck!

    • jennifer November 12, 2014, 11:26 pm

      I have crazyyyy long, thick, naturally curly hair. I would always comb it out b4 i showered (using shampoo and conditioner) yet I would still break/lose tons of hair when i brushed it afterwards. I realized that I needed a spray leave in conditioner. After trying about 8 different ones i finally found one that worked! I was hesitant to buy it bc it was $36 per big bottle…but it was fully worth it.
      “Its a 10” is hands down the best!

    • Mel Noel July 17, 2015, 10:35 pm

      Instead of twisting your hair up and into a clip at night, try separating it into two parts with one on each side of your head and braiding them. My daughter has the same trouble with her hair. She would get crazy rat nest head every night. I happened to have to use a new lady at my salon one day and she suggested this. It is amazing the difference it has made for her. No more painful brush outs in the morning.

    • Happy July 26, 2015, 11:05 am

      I have this problem to an extent, especially at night. Buy pure essential lavender oil. Use a few drops at night and brush your hair 100strokes. You will be amazed I promise.

  • Courtney September 2, 2014, 3:56 am

    I have recently started using Pantene and I must say… I absolutely detest this product! My hair has started falling out by the handful. As if that is not bad enough, mid day it looks as if I have not washed my hair in weeks do to the wax build up on my hair. If you was your hair with Pantene shampoo and conditioner while in the bath tub, I encourage you to look at the wax that is floating on the top of the water after the suds settle. Needless to say, I will not be continuing the use of Pantene!

  • Margaret October 13, 2014, 1:40 pm

    I used to use Pantene for years. My hair is bleached and it looked nice and would grow well with Pantene. Then I heard it was bad and started using expensive sulphate free salon products. I have spent SO much. Nothing feels as good as Pantene. My hair got worse and worse with these other products. You always hear Pantene is bad because there are thick waxes that make your hair look nice, yet build up. Well the nicer my hair looks the less I’m going to heat style it into looking nice. So that is a benefit with Pantene. I fuss with my hair much, much less.

  • Sabrina January 12, 2015, 12:00 pm

    I went to get my hair cut this past weekend. I have this one section in the back of my hair that I have been trying to grow out for over a year and its still not that long, the stylist said it could be a dry patch. I told her I was taking Biotin and using Argan oil and then she asked me what shampoo am I using and I told her Pantene she said “Oh let me tell you a little secret about Pantene” that she learned in the hair cutting school and about the wax it leaves on your hair. She even took a small section of my hair, took her scissors and scrapped down to the ends and showed me this white stuff on my hair and said it was the wax from Pantene shampoo. At first I was like ewww and was very convinced that I needed to change shampoo and conditioner immediately. Well I am glad I didn’t and found this article, it sure pays to research things out. I really do like the girl who cuts my hair she does a great job, its sad the school she went to is telling them what is good and what is not in the Shampoo/Conditioner world. I love my Pantene Repair and Protect shampoo and conditioner it does a great job on my hair.

    • Randy Schueller January 13, 2015, 6:50 am

      I’m glad we could help, Sabrina!

      • Debbie January 15, 2015, 9:18 am

        I love Pantene. I am currently using Pantene with Argan oil, and my hair never looked nor felt better.

  • amanda;) January 17, 2015, 6:27 pm

    I have tried everything on my hair after a horrible salon experience that made my hair fall out in clumps ! It was past my bra line very full ect the women at the salon left bleach on my hair for 4 n a half hrs despite my concerns her AND the owner kept reassuring me that it was fine .. i had a volleyball game to do to and didnt have time for a style so she did a treatment on my hair free of charge and gave me a bottle of very expensive shampoo n conditioner ” bc she had just bleached my hair” she charged me 200 dollars n i left .. she locked up n left which i thought was strange bc she said she had a client after me but i went on my way i look in the mirror when i got in my truck n seen chunks of short hair everywhere so i run my fingers through my hair and HANDFULLS WERE COMING out. .. anyways after cutting into an inverted bob ive tried everything ive been using clear which i LOVE for ever but today i was running late n showered at my mom’s n used her Pantene despite all of the horror stories and my hair feel GREAT better than EVER shiney , healthy looking , N softer then ever!! Lkvd6

  • Jessica January 23, 2015, 9:19 pm

    I used pantene for many many years. My hair dresser said I had amazing hair and also had many people stop me randomly telling me I have the best hair. Then one day a sales person asked me what I used. i said pantene. They gave me the drool on his head the products were. Well I stopped using painter for 8 years. I have spent thousands of dollars on expensive shampoo to only dry and brittle my hair. Last week I was short on money, and decided to use it again. I am so happy I did, because I won’t go back to expensive salon products again. I’m so mad I listened to those idiots when my all along was telling me pantene.

  • Pattyp January 28, 2015, 4:07 pm

    I must have tried most shampoo and conditioners from salon to hight street over the years, always ready to try something new ” I never learn”
    Always come back to Pantene , which makes my hair super manageable and shiny, going to stay with this super product from now on !!!

  • Deb February 22, 2015, 3:20 pm

    I’ve been using Pantene for years. My hair is natural blond and I’ve grown it long. I actually have been stopped in the street to get compliments on my hair. I realize not everyone’s hair is the same but I love Pantene.

    • Randy Schueller February 22, 2015, 3:29 pm

      Well spoken, Deb. Thanks. (And just so I don’t upset Helena, let me point out that if you said that Pantene was the best shampoo for EVERYONE to use, I would be correcting your bias just as I do for the negative commentators who say it’s the worst thing in the world for everyone.)

  • Di March 25, 2015, 1:59 am

    For you to say that cosmetologist a are inexperienced with formulas is not just incorrect, it is flat out defamation. Pantene has a huge budget for a reason! To mask how awful their product is. I’ll save you the tales of clients who have LOST hair due to Pantene products and just tell you that a former client worked for them. In advertising. He said that they knew their product was awful. Trying to pass off press promotion as truth is despicable.

    • Randy Schueller March 25, 2015, 7:43 am

      Di: Let me ask you this: then how do you account for the fact that when we test Pantene on a blinded basis (in other words, people don’t know what the product is) most people still preferred Pantene to other products (including salon products?)

  • Angie March 29, 2015, 3:15 pm

    I have been using Pantene for about 20 years now. In between the 20 years I have spent lots of money on salon brands to keep finding myself going back to Pantene. I have long thick hair and except for the normal strands of hair people lose I have not lost any unusual amount of hair. Pantene keeps my hair feeling awesome and smelling great. My cousin is a hair stylist and uses Pantene herself and doesn’t agree with the bad things that other hair stylist say about Pantene. Yes buying the expensive shampoos and conditioners work but I honestly thing Pantene works the best. Because u are losing hair you can’t blame it on the shampoo. If u had prove it was the shampoo than why don’t u have a law suit against the company??? Pantene is the best!

  • Angie April 14, 2015, 4:58 pm

    I used all different kinds of patentee pro v shampoo and conditioner and after a while of using it my hair became so hard to manage and after I shampooed and conditioned it was noting but knots left in my hair when I tried to brush my hair.

  • licensed Cosmetologist April 18, 2015, 1:53 am

    As a licensed cosmetologist, who has a passion for the science of chemistry and product formulation, I must agree that Pantene is a good product. I work behind the chair 5 days a week, and see anywhere from 50 to 80 heads of hair a week. Hair, skin, and nail health is so often a reflection of one’s internal health rather then of the product they use. Also, remember that the wrong formula for you will never yield good results. The reason many people get “better” results from pro products isn’t due to a better formula. ..it’s my experience in knowing the type of formula you need. I am also trained in how to properly use each item. So often my clients are using the wrong products, and using them incorrectly. that alone will make or break your hair /skin/nails. So many “professional brands ” are owned by the same parent companies which own the grocery store brands. They are made of the same ingredients, in the same factories at the same time. The difference? Many times it’s only the packaging and fragrance. For instance Purology is owned by loreal. The loreal everpure line is almost identical to purology. Read the label. Also, knowing that many ingredients have multiple names for the same exact thing helps. So, when you are doing a side by side comparison of ingredients….be sure the name which is “different” is truly a different chemical. It very well may be the same chem, with a different designation. Or one which is chemically going to function the same in the formula , but may have been changed due to viscosity, fragrance, availability at time of production, color, etc. the professional products industry is really just a way the salon industry has tried to infuse money into the dying salon services industry. Don’t buy the hype!

  • Sydney Howard April 26, 2015, 10:39 am

    I’m sure there are many who have wonderful experiences with both drugstore and salon haircare. However, I think that to say that drugstore is just as good as salon would be false. There is a reason that professional hair products cost more. The ingredients are better. As someone who has used almost every brand out there, I get much better results with professional lines. Pantene, Garnier, and Tresseme all caused buildup in my hair. If you want to use pantene, I recommend using a clarifying shampoo at least once or twice a month. John Frieda and Clear were much better products for my hair, so I’d recommend those lines if you want to go the drugstore route.

    I think there are many pros for using professional shampoo. A lot of drugstore brands list water as one of their ingredients. The more water, the more diluted the product, and the more product you will need to use to achieve the desired result. This means you will end up purchasing more product. Depending on how quickly you go through a product, you will be spending as much as you would on a more concentrated, professional product. Do the math. Let’s say a bottle of pantene costs $5.99. If you go through a small bottle once two months, you’re spending at least $36 for shampoo during the year. It takes me six months to get through a $17 bottle of Matrix. That’s $34/year. It could potentially be cheaper to use a professional line.

    Professional products typically have better ingredients. I’m not saying this is always true, but a lot of the time, price point is very reflective of the quality. That isn’t to say that some professional products aren’t crap. It’s just like makeup. I wouldn’t recommend clinique to anyone over the age of 19. The same goes with some salon lines. Aveda, for example, has many products that aren’t very effective in my experience.

    But there are many professional products I would swear by. I’ve used Matrix Biolage Volumebloom with great success. It smells wonderful and doesn’t leave residue, and you can often get it for a great price (Check Ulta or your local hair salon for deals). But my favorite lines are R+Co and Oribe. R+Co is a relatively new line started by Howard McLaren (previous creative director of Bumble & Bumble and Toni & Guy), Garen, and Thom Priano. The products are vegan and sulfate free, and the fragrances come from the same company in France (I believe) that make the fragrances for Tom Ford. Those fragrances retail for around $75-200. You won’t find fragrance like that in any drug store brand hair product. Ever. R+Co is not the most expensive professional line. Shampoos are about $24 and styling products range from $20-30. This is a lot cheaper than brands like Kerastase or Shu Uemura.

    Oribe is another great line. It’s pricey. I won’t argue with you. But for someone who has colored hair (blue ombre that is difficult to maintain), I swear by their colored hair line. I use a tiny dime sized amount of shampoo and conditioner, so the $39 bottle of shampoo and conditioner lasts me for a long time. It would last about 6 months with everyday use, but I alternate with other products such as Wella, R+Co, Matrix, and Paul Mitchell so I only need to purchase it about one a year or so. The shampoo has ingredients that help preserve my color and protect my hair from harmful UV rays that cause fading. It also smells incredible, and leaves my hair soft and silky without weighing it down from residue. I’ve never used a bad product from Oribe. I’m a huge fan of their Dry Texture Spray. It’s expensive, but it’s the best dry shampoo and texture spray I’ve ever used. It absorbs oils, allows me to add exactly how much texture I want to my blowout, and smells incredble. Every stylist I’ve ever been to also swears by this product.

    In any case, there’s a haircare regime for every lifestyle and budget. I probably wouldn’t recommend Pantene to anyone, and I do think that professional products typically work better. They often contain better ingredients and are more concentrated. However, there are plenty of drugstore products that work well and cost less.

    • Randy Schueller April 27, 2015, 7:20 am

      Hi Sydney. Thank for taking the time to comment! We totally agree that some people love their salon brands more than drug store brands but the idea that salon products all use better ingredients and are more concentrated is is just a myth. How do we know? Because we’ve worked on these products and tested many, many different formulas both salon and drugstore. Let’s just say there are good and bad products in each.

  • Emily July 19, 2015, 7:17 pm

    I agree with Sydney, you do save a TON of money using professional products. The people who are using these professional products and saying they dont work are probably using them like they use Pantene, because pantene isnt as thick and concentrated as products like All Soft by Redkin for example, pantene runs out of the nozzle quick and clients will tend to fill their whole palm with shampoo and conditioner. If youre using just a DIME size of shampoo ONLY on your scalp and then using a DIME size of conditioner ONLY on your ends you will save a ton of money. Many people dont even know how to use shampoo and conditioner correctly, no one EVER told them the right way. Many people use conditioner on their scalp which you are NOT supposed to do. Your scalp produces the oils your roots need to be nourished.. Its your ends that are damaged, which is why you never want to shampoo your ends, youll be stripping what little oils your ends were holding onto. NEVER SHAMPOO YOUR ENDS AND NEVER CONDITION YOUR SCALP!! So even if you are using the pantene line, try that method of shampooing and see if it helps your frizzyness and product build up. Either way it will help you use less and spend less.

  • Canitra Baskin July 23, 2015, 12:30 pm

    I have been using Pantene for three to four months now. It leaves my scalp feeling great and my hair looking wonderful. My daughter on the other hand says that it dries her hair out. I believe it has to do with the texture of ones hair and the different types of Pantene. You have to select the Pantene type that is for your hair. One thing I have observed in selecting the type for your hair is that it leaves your hair healthy. I like it and for now it is my shampoo/conditioner of choice.

  • laur July 27, 2015, 10:38 pm

    I’ve been using Pantene for years and when my friends do things with my hair they always ask if I use special product in my hair to make it soft, so I tell them it’s just my basic shampoo and conditioner. I started using a little in the top of my head so that it doesn’t frizz as much and I feel as if it clogs the pores on my scalp. so if you use it, don’t put it on the top of ur head

  • Ashley August 6, 2015, 7:04 am

    I’ve been using pantene for like 3 years now. i had my first bow out 5 months ago and when i looked in the mirror closely to EACH strain of hair i had SO many split ends. I had about every split end listed to be exact. So i did a bit of research and it could be the heat i use on my hair OR it can be that the pantene shampoo and conditioner is too strong for my hair and causing crazy split ends. Please reply quick i’m scared that my hair might damage all the way and i might loose it all.

  • Tyler August 17, 2015, 9:34 pm

    I would just like to say if pantene is sooo amazing and works so well them why isn’t it sold in a salon when the company could make way more money if they sold it in a salon. I’m a hairdresser and every time someone uses pantene I can feel a build up on there hair and there hair is in terrible shape. But everyone is different so if you like pantene then fine. But ask yourself if this product line is suppose to be so good why isn’t it in a salon???

  • Krista August 24, 2015, 12:45 pm

    The ingredient dimethicone is reason alone to avoid it. That’s what creates the fake coating on the hair. It’s a silicone that coats the hair which causes hair to feel smoother at first but over time it actually damages hair. The coating it leaves on hair makes a barrier which blocks natur moisture from getting into hair causing hair to dry out which leads to breakage. Dimethicone also is not water soluable so it’s difficult to rinse out which leads to build up. Pantene is also full of sulfate which is harsh and drying on hair.

    • Randy Schueller August 24, 2015, 2:33 pm

      Krista: Dimethicone does coat the hair and make it feel softer. I’m not aware of any evidence that it causes damage to hair or that it blocks “natural moisture.” Do you have anything to back up your statement or is this just your personal belief?

      • Krista August 24, 2015, 4:23 pm

        I’m a cosmetologist and have taken many beauty classes. The problem with dimethicone is it’s water insoluble so it’s very difficult to wash out. It takes heavy sulfates to get dimethicone out of hair and heavy sulfates strip hair of natural moisture. If the product builds up in hair the buildup also traps pollutants from the environment into the hair. Dimethicone is just not a necessary ingredient. It’s added a lot of times to make the product application smoother. Not all silicones are bad. Water soluble silicones are best. Silicones don’t really nursing hair from the inside though. They just coat the outside of hair to make it appear smoother and healthier. It’s better to use a pure light weight oil such as argan oil to nourish hair and help with dry ends.

  • Krista August 24, 2015, 8:29 pm

    My opinion is that a more natural ingredient list is best. There are plenty of salon professional brands that I also wouldn’t recommend. Rather then focusing on brand name it’s better to focus on the ingredient label. What I like to look for on the bottle is that it says:
    Color safe
    sulfate free
    paraben free
    phthalate free
    Petroleum free
    PEG free
    Synthetic fragrance free
    Silicone free
    Organic is nice as well.

    • Randy Schueller August 24, 2015, 8:56 pm

      You’re certainly entitled to believe what ever you want. Just don’t be tricked by the claims on the label. Plus, there’s no evidence that proves some of the “free” claims that you like are true. But like I said, you’re entitled to your opinion (as long as you don’t present it as absolute fact.)

  • Krista August 25, 2015, 1:04 am

    Just like this statement from above (“While most stylists are very talented at cutting and styling hair, they’re not very talented at interpreting cosmetic formulations.”) is not absolute fact 😉

  • Kayla September 5, 2015, 10:07 pm

    Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that hairdressers don’t understand the “formulation” of products. We formulate every day as a part of our jobs and spend good money and time at school to learn how certain chemicals and ingredients will react in your hair. You really so get what you pay for. An easy way to solve the problem of wondering if your hairdresser is b.s.ing look at the ingredients on the bottle, put them all on a Google search so that you fully understand what they are and they big names such as polysiloxanes (silicone, a commonly used ingredient that’s terrible for your hair) don’t slip by un noticed. I’d you’re not sure about am ingredient research what it does to your hair. And remember as hairdressers it is our job to fix your boo boos, which clients often won’t want to pay for even if they can afford it. Overall you save money making a good quality investment vrs paying the cost of a correction in color damage caused by shampoos that aren’t color safe( the services can run $200+, routine treatments to help rebuild your damaged hair ($60+ a piece), routine haircuts to help breakage (cost my vary). The best thing you can do is find some one you trust and remember they have a license

  • Kayla September 5, 2015, 10:19 pm

    I won’t knock panteen but just be aware of the ingredients that you are putting into your hair and the effects they have over time.

    Some professional products work better than others but none will work if you don’t allow them enough time and use them properly. Often people cut out needed steps in order to budget their products. If you’re using styling tools good shampoo and conditioner really isn’t enough.

    Also be careful who you are taking advice from. Is the person you are listening to an educated licensed cosmetologist or educated chemist or is it a well spoken marketer?

  • Sharon October 7, 2015, 3:57 pm

    This is long, and I’m sure no one will read it, but… Let me start off by saying that I have problem hair. Very long, very thick, often dry and frizzy, especially at the ends. It’s also a mixture of curly and wavy, and my split ends are usually a mess a week after I cut my hair, easily. I also lose a ton of hair every time I wash or brush it – but you’d never be able to tell, because there’s still so much left, always! (photo for reference: http://imgur.com/mYTs6iC )

    So now that that’s out of the way… Because no one else I know has such unruly or thick hair… I’ve learned to cut it myself, because of the terrible experience I always have at hair stylists. I tried expensive ones – I’d always leave feeling worse about my hair, and bad about myself in general, after they assumed I never brush or wash it (even though I’d come in with it wet and having just been washed and combed). They’d try so hard to sell me their expensive shampoos, which I fell for, a few times. I didn’t notice anything special bout them.

    Then I went back to cost-effective stylists. I got the same pitch about how terrible Pantene was, on the occasions I admitted to using it. I’d usually flip-flop between some combination of Herbal Essences, Pantene and Garnier. My preference was actually pre-reformulated Herbal Essences. But anyway, I’m back to Pantene now.

    Again, I’ve gone my whole life never having met another person with my hair type. My hair is so strange, that it confounds stylists who see hundreds of people every day, and everyone I meet who has hair tips for me – well, first, they never work, and second, it comes from the same perspective stylists have – that I must pay no attention to my hair for it to be so unruly.

    For my hair type? Pantene has produced the best results for me. Are they fantastic results? Not necessarily, but it depends. My hair is still giant, crazy and unruly, but the truth is – so far, dozens and dozens of products later (shampoo, conditioner, treatments, oils, anti-frizz serums, leave-in conditioners, dry shampoos, etc) I never see any real change, other than my hair getting oily, rather than conditioned, from these products, or giving it an even weirder shape than it began with. I will say though, that a fresh wash with Pantene, a blowdry, and ironing out a few kinks the blowdryer couldn’t catch – I truly have that “Pantene” hair you see in the commercials – shiny, unbelievably soft, full and impressive. (It just doesn’t last long, so I don’t do it often, as any bit of moisture in the air, it coverts into conjointed curls and waves, with frizz for days).

    So, I keep it simple, now. I use giant Pantene bottles from Costco. Is it the best thing that’s ever happened to my hair? I mean, maybe. My whole experience with having hair in general has been lackluster, haha. Does Pantene make my hair fall out? Probably not. My hair just… falls out. We’re mammals after all. I lose more hair in the summer, just like my cats do!

    Lastly… Shampoo is not the only thing that affects the quality of your hair. I’m certain that my hair is of such strange/poor/dry quality because of my diet being poor for so long. And, my friends who had thick and luxurious hair, not have thinning, brittle hair after having had kids. So, I just wanted to throw that out there. Shampoo is by no means the only culprit for your hair woes.

    • Randy Schueller October 7, 2015, 4:30 pm

      Hi Sharon. I read your comment! And thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Given the situation with your hair, if Pantene was as bad as so many people seem to think, then I’d expect it to make your strands fall out in clumps! Why doesn’t it? Because, as you noted, the situation is more complicated than just what shampoo/conditioner you use. Thanks for being a fan of the Beauty Brains!

      • Sharon October 9, 2015, 7:32 pm

        Yeah, I can understand not liking a product or being unhappy with it, but Pantene would not have been around for the entirety of my life if it made everyone’s hair fall out. There would’ve been an investigation in the company, and they would’ve been bankrupt long ago.

        The vitriol on this forum is astounding to me! I’ve never hated a product so much as some of the commenters here. I agree that most companies are out to make money, but that doesn’t make them inherently bad. They’re providing a service to someone, and getting money in exchange. The same thing everyone does at their jobs in order to get a paycheck.

        Again, may not be the best shampoo out there, but not everyone can spend gobs of money on the salon quality shampoos – And even so, much like myself, maybe you have a poor diet that’s causing your hair to be brittle, or maybe some other health issue. Maybe you’re a mother who didn’t take prenatals? Also, hair changes all the time. Age can also make hair fall out. Etc, etc.

        Oh, and lastly, in regards to your comments in the article about hair dressers – I think everyone is also taking that out of context. Hair dressers know about the chemicals and what to use to create certain results, but they’re not the ones taking the base chemicals, getting FDA approval, and testing them before placing them on the market. (That’s how I took it anyway.)

  • Jenny October 20, 2015, 11:11 pm

    I used Pantene shampoo and conditioner for the very first time and I must say my hair feels really soft and silky after shower. I have black straight hair and I never use blow drier…I just towel dry and comb it and my hair looks like I have blow dried it bec it’s so straight and very manageable. So anyway, after using all my Pantene shampoo and conditioner, I started using suave coconut shampoo and conditioner which isn’t the first time and I always liked it too… After a week My hair started to fall out like crazy and I just noticed today that I have itchy head full of dandruff what could have caused this?

  • Kat November 25, 2015, 5:26 am

    I know you’re not supposed to feed the trolls but…

    Anecdata does not equate to real data. Training and education are different. The amount of training for hairdressing and cosmetology is significantly less than for a research chemist. Each person has individual needs. Just as some people have iron deficiencies so will some people have excess iron, and each would have different nutritional needs because of that. Everything is made of chemicals or elements and some sound scary if you don’t know what they do and are too belligerently ignorant to learn. Salon brands cater to a specific market that differs from the market that shops in supermarkets; they’re shifting the supply/demand curve if you’ve taken any economics. All humans have bias and we can manage if not eliminate it. Statements like “oh my god that thing is the worst for literally everyone because my experiences represent every human being on the planet especially since I took a class about this” are very strongly biased whereas statements like “the research and evidence I have seen support this and I would love to see the evidence you have available that is contradictory” do a much better job of managing bias. Naturalistic fallacies and ad hominem attacks (or shill attacks) are logically useless and often used by those with self protecting or serving agendas such as anti-vax proponents (some who directly profit but most who endanger public health). Arguments like “if it’s so great then why isn’t it sold in salons” fail to account for the economics that have made televisions and anti-inflammatories available at reasonable prices over the counter. Evaluating arguments and biases is a very good practice, but humans are often bad at critically examining their own biases and fallacies.

    Phew. I used Pantene for frizz and it was bad at leaving my oily scalp clean. Another product line of theirs might be more appropriate especially since I’ve adjusted to only shampooing every week. I have used many brands including lush but have noticed fairly similar performance. I lose a lot of hair in the shower, but I used to lose it around the house when I shampooed every day. Since all hair follicles go through growth and shedding phases (from my forensics class, though I’m sure a forensic scientist would remember the technical terms and subtleties better), I’m not all that concerned since that can be determined by genetics. As someone with finer but curly hair, I already know mine are probably strange. My ends have definitely been in better shape since I started conditioning closer to daily and applying henna monthly. I would love to see you cover henna as a dye product because of its different mechanism than conventional dye and occasionally my research has seen conflicting information. Also if you’ve already done a bit on cuticles, I’d love to see it. My understanding is that there are mechanical and chemical ways to lift or smooth the hair cuticle, and that acids will smooth and bases will lift it but products also can tamp it down to reduce friction and tangling.

    Keep at it!

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