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Is Pantene putting plastic on your hair?

Jillian’s jittery about Pantene:

well im doing a science fair project on this and pantene and this site is very helpful and im just saying never attempt using pantene cause this is what will happen Supposedly it coats your hair with plastic or wax to make your hair seem silky and smooth. It also makes your scalp itchy and it makes your hair fall out. If you know anything about reading ingredients. You know that the first 5-10 are the main ingredients and have the most impact on your hair. Well, panthenol and panthenyl are in the first 5-10. Which both of these ingredients are pure wax. That’s why if you use Pantene when u touch your hair your not really touching your hair. Your touching the half to in inch of waxy coating you have developed on you’re hair.well just saying hopefully this is helpful info and im 100% sure its correct cause i asked professionals and im only 13

Sarah Bellum says:

Thanks for checking in with the Beauty Brains about your science project. Lefty and Righty have answered questions about Pantene before and they say that the idea that it coats your hair with plastic is a myth started by stylists to keep you from buying salon products. (BTW, Pantene contains silicone, not plastic.)

And the notion that when you touch your hair you’re really feeling Pantene is bogus. I don’t know as much about formulation chemistry as Lefty but even I know that there’s NO WAY you’re leaving half inch to an inch of product on your hair. That would be a TON of gunk left behind! No conditioner leaves that much stuff on your hair.

We do get a bunch of comments from our readers about Pantene making their hair fall out, but I can’t find any evidence that shows Pantene is causing the problem. (I’m keeping an open mind on this one, however, since SO many people have complained about it. Maybe I can talk Lefty and Righty into revisiting that subject in a future post.)

One last thing: if you really want to be “100%” sure” you shouldn’t only talk to professional stylists. And you shouldn’t “only” listen to the Beauty Brains either. Do your own research on the web, read Paula Begoun’s Cosmetic Cop website, contact Pantene and ask them what they say about their products, check with the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. But whatever you do, open your mind and THINK for yourself. It’s hard to be 100% sure of anything.

Thanks for your email and best of luck on your project! Write back and let us know your grade.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eliz February 22, 2014, 1:07 pm

    Panthenol is just vitamin B — which is good for your hair because it moisturizes the shaft and makes it look shiny. It’s good for your skin, because it reduces inflammation and aids in the recovery of wounds.

  • Wendy October 1, 2015, 4:06 am

    I’be been a stylist for 28 years. I can tell when there’s a wax build up on hair. Hair is frizzy, has static looks and feels dry. Not shiny. Also there are white flakes on hair and scalp. I take my shears on wet hair and can scrape along hair. I get this white to grey hard coating on them. I’m able to actually show my clients what’s on their hair. You can feel it in-between your fingers. Worst came from them using Pantene. Needless to say, they end up leaving with a hair clarifying shampoo, decent shampoo and conditioner when they leave my salon.
    I don’t care what the people from Pantene say, I work directly with clients who used it and witnessed what it does to hair.
    P.S hair color isn’t able to penetrate into the cuticle with a wax build up
    Hope this was informative

    • Randy Schueller October 1, 2015, 7:48 am

      Thanks Wendy.

    • NME June 9, 2016, 6:47 pm

      I’ve never had salon products that helped my hair, but nothing does.

  • Sherry March 12, 2016, 9:06 am

    I have a very dear friend that has been a stylist for years…she showed the leavings on the knife from scraping the Pantene buildup off of some hair. I have used Pantene for years and I love it. Yes I scraped my hair and got the same white flakey substance…so then I thought wait a minute…I will check my husbands hair. He does not use any conditioner at all…ever…and I got the same white flakey residue when I scraped his freshly washed and dried hair with a knife. I don’t know what the white flakey residue is from scraping hair…maybe it is the outer part of the hair shaft. Just in case of further damage, I won’t be scraping my hair anymore! 🙂

    • Randy Schueller March 12, 2016, 3:22 pm

      That’s an old stylist trick – the white residue is the cuticle of the hair. Since the color resides in the central part (the cortex) the our part is colorless.

  • Shelli Netherton December 27, 2016, 9:50 am

    Stylists are under significant pressure to sell products carried by their salon and those sales often contribute to their pay, so of course they’re going to put down anything that can be bought elsewhere. I’m fortunate enough to have a stylist who’s honest and maintains that if you like what a product does for your hair, it’s fine.

  • Teresa Baxley November 1, 2017, 10:01 pm

    I’ve been using Pantene for a long time. I couldn’t understand why my hair has that dry waxy feel. It’s been breaking off and very tangled every time I washed it and conditioned it. Well I just found out today what this shampoo has in it and what it does to your hair. After saying all this. I will never buy Pantene again, because my hair is damaged.

  • David March 30, 2020, 1:05 am

    Have used many different shampoos over the years, with an ex of mine recommending Dove Dermacare for dandruff. Aside from the stuff smelling horrible after about 4-6 months of use, I noticed my hair feeling a lot more soft and free of dandruff over time. Beyond that, before I started targeting my flakes specifically I used Tresemme and Matrix because my family bought it. Also had an issue with scent over time, but still good products (other than them not helping my dandruff at all, lol).

    Long story short, I know what hair feels like. I started using Pantene about a year ago and well, my hair still feels like hair. This isn’t “half an inch” of wax or anything, it’s my hair, and it genuinely just feels better. Softer and shinier. Absolutely fantastic, on top of always smelling better than any of the aforementioned brands.

    Though, I’m back to switching between Pantene and Head and Shoulders solely because of my dandruff, but lordy does that stuff do wonders to my hair too. To this day I’m not sure why I stopped using either of them for Dove, but man was that a mistake. Better late than never to start using a great product again!