what-happens-when-you-use-panteneI often find myself trying to explain what happens when you use Pantene hair products. It’s not as bad as it used to be…either less people are using Pantene or more people don’t want to admit that to their hairdresser. It’s okay because if you don’t mention it then no one will tell you what’s going to happen to your hair!

The problem with Pantene Pro-V shampoos and conditioners starts with the cheap, low-quality ingredients. When  things like alcohol and other harsh stripping agents are found in high volumes in your beauty products…they will contain other cheap, low-quality ingredients to cover up the effects of the other ingredients(like drying out your hair, making it more brittle, etc.).

Wax and silicone(supposedly not as bad as wax)will coat your hair a little more every time you use Pantene. At first, you think it looks great because your hair is so shiny and feels soft. With time your hair will start to look dull, become harder to manage & style, lost it shape, etc. That’s caused by the wax build up from using Pantene shampoos & conditioners as well as other products like theirs.

What happens when you use Pantene?

Here’s a great visual for those of you that aren’t convinced about the damaging effects Pantene can have on your hair…


If you want to know more about the differences between salon and generic hair care…check out Professional Products vs. Drugstore Brands!

I understand that not everyone can afford professional salon products, so please contact me for alternatives if you’re not sure what to buy. I’m working on a list of professional to drugstore alternatives, so in the meantime check out which products are best for your hair type here.

About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

71 Responses to What Happens When You Use Pantene

  1. Dell says:

    The ogx products you suggested are horrendous. They’re facing a lawsuit for including formaldehyde that can cause cancer. People have had their hair fall out.

    • Erika says:

      Not all OGX products include the ingredients that are in the lawsuit.

      This post was written several years ago- long before there was ever a problem with OGX products. Sadly, there aren’t a lot of drugstore brand products that are decent. Most of them probably do contain harmful ingredients, but they haven’t been found out yet.

  2. Lisa Vaughn says:

    I don’t know what some peoples problem is with Pantene products. I like it. It ALWAYS makes my hair so healthy. I love it. Plus my mother used it for SEVERAL years before she died.

  3. I used Pantene miracle moisture boost with rose water conditioner one time only just lately, and it has caused my hair to fall out. As I was rinsing it out, my hair was coming out in handfuls and continues to do so. I will now have to go to a dermatologist to find out what’s going on. I had never used a Pantene product before, and I certainly never will again. This is a dangerous product.

  4. Diane says:

    I don’t understand what is all being said about anything here. I have been using Pantene for 28 years now, and many many hair dressers had made the comment, you must not use Pantene no wax build-up, dry spots in your hair it’s soft, shiny and it is beautiful. Are you sure you want to get some three inches taken off? split ends and I have had trouble with splint ends since I was a teenager. No problem with hair, so tell me what you use for shampoo and conditioner. I always tell them whatever is on sale when I need it. So ladies tell me again, what is the issue here with Pantene. I am not understanding what the issue is. Like I said even hairdressers who teach cosmetology you have beautiful hair no Pantene here. So, what is the problem. Why don’t some of these people share a picture of their hair. If there was a way to do that, I would share that. Just a way to control people, and to get them to buy other products. I am staying with Pantene for as long as I can buy it. My hair is 4 inches from my behind, Pantene curl perfection makes it easier to handle my long wavy curly hair.

    • Diane says:

      Oh, by the way, I will be 60 in September! It has been out since 1945 and if it was this bad, the Swiss Scientist would have never released it. Yes, Pantene has been out since 1945. I just don’t understand people will do anything to make people buy other products instead of what works best for them!

  5. Cheryl Kohn says:

    Hi…the people that sell pantone should go to jail…and pay a hefty fine..I was on a journey to repair my beautiful hair from Johnson’s baby shampoo…so I tried pantene..it promised thicker hair..I only conditioned it 5 times in 2 months. Until I noticed the same ..no hair look as baby shampoo.. I threw pantene conditioner out and I’m happy to say it’s 2 months now and my hair is getting way …way nicer.

    • Erika says:

      I’m happy to hear that you made the switch!

      Thanks for reading!


      • Steve says:

        I would be willing to bet that the long term affects of Pantene, aren’t from years of using it. After all, new hair grows. I’m guessing the real culprit is the changed ingredients. When the company was smaller, they had plenty of options and were selective of which ingredients were used. Once they became a giant, they switched from quality to quantity. I’m sure there’s a CEO looking at the company from a bottom line perspective. I’ve used Pantene for probably 15 years. It wasn’t until recently that all the symptoms in this thread started showing up. Over those years, they have switched out the bottles with a new “formula” What would seem at least once a year. They sorta trick you that way. 3 versions in, you’ve forgotten the old.

        • Erika says:

          That’s a great point!

          Everything we buy has declined in value and even size…I don’t know why I didn’t consider this when it comes to hair products!

  6. Svetlana says:

    My daughter on her natural hair, used for the first time Pantene Pro-V Daily moisture renewal shampoo & conditioner. Her hair is falling out and itchy. When I used it, my hair started falling out on the floor and on the sink as if I were having a haircut. I don’t know what to do? I was going to write to the company, but on their website they want you to agree to collect all your personal information which they will keep for 25 years before even starting to write. Whoever owns Pantene Proctor and Gamble are billionaires who are happy to sell toxic chemicals to poor people while they themselves use the very finest.

    • William says:

      I started using Pantene repair/protect and noticed my hair thinning in the middle of my head. When lathering, I notice significant amounts of hair will be on my hand.

  7. Marie says:

    This article is a relief. I noticed my hair to be a little bit thin in a couple places, when I put my hair up for work. Usually it’s very thick. After about a month of using Pantene, it’s lost its health. Guess I’ll be going back to my old shampoo and conditioner.

  8. Kadiatou says:

    Erika, well thanks cause my grandmother & I were just about to use pante repair & protect shampoo & condi my grand aunt bought for her, I’m glad I did some research before pushing that hair line. I’ve already used pantene before but quiet because I thought I was been sold fake products instead of the authentic version that broke my hair. I have tried vegan brands like shea moisture but didn’t have any big results, there shampoos don’t lather on my hair, & I hate one of there most loved line(manuka honey), but I love there raw shea condi, & 100% coconut oil hair mask, but here in my country I can’t find there products, & the ones I’ve seen are very expensive. I also use to love cantu but now hate it.My question is do you know any other brand or hair products that are very affordable (under $5 or close)? And what do you think about garnier whole blends?

  9. erika peters says:

    is ouai a good hair company?

  10. Nelson says:

    I bought Pantene miracle moisture boost rose water shampoo and conditioner. After third wash. My hair started braking off in my hand. I thought someone put pesticides in my shampoo and conditioner. My hair felt like straw. After fourth wash. I couldn’t get a brush through hair. My hair was so dry and tangled. I bought because the pink packaging was pretty and it smelled good. I forgot to read ingredients. I just read: 3 different Alcohol ingredients plus ethyl and Histidine included which I’m allergic too. No more Pantene. ” That is why my head was itching so bad”

  11. Erin says:

    I found this article after searching if pantene makes your hair fall out. I noticed after around 4 months my hair was really dull and grimy feeling. Then I started losing a lot more hair than usual. Good to know it’s not just me.

    • Erika says:

      It could make your hair fall out because of build-up at the scalp around the hair follicle. That’s after long-term use without monthly clarifying shampoo(most likely because clarifying would help break up the deposits that the shampoo leaves behind).

    • Roxxy says:

      is Palmolive bad for hair? that’s what i usually use but in this covid 19 pandemic my mother stacked up some Pantene pro v damage control, and i used it like three days ago. you can say i am horrified at the amount of hair that is falling and i want to change the shampoo as fast as i can. the hair literally comes to my hand every time i run my finger through it, plus when i comb, and my wavy colored hair feels so hardened and brittle and breaks off even. it is so tangled i cant run my hand through. so i am in a bit of panic thinking i might go bald at this rate and need to change shampoos and wash. i have a bit of a hair fall problem but it never alarmed me this much as it remotely didn’t fall as much as compared to this.. you can say its almost heaps. i need to know the better shampoo, preferably drugstore shampoos because it is hard to picky around this pandemic? i used Palmolive before.

      • Erika says:

        I don’t know much about Palmolive shampoo, but I do know that I personally wouldn’t use anything of that quality on my own hair. Using Pantene a few times isn’t going to ruin your hair…although the product buildup it leaves behind will start with the first time you use it.

        It could be stress that is causing more of your hair to fall out. It’s hard for me to say without knowing more.

        If you’re going to use a drugstore shampoo…I would use Love, Beauty & Planet!

      • Mary says:

        Palmolive is dish soap. If you are actually using Palmolive, that could explain the problem you’re having.

      • Janie says:

        I’ve been using Pantene shampoo and conditioner for 2 months now I use the Gold Series and it’s great I’m an 61yr old African American Pantene Gold Series has changed alot has no alcohol and it’s sulfur free

        • Migdalia says:

          I’m black too. I love Pantene. When my hair was relaxed, Pantene Hair Products were my line of hair products, My hair is natural now, and I have tried several of those new hair products. But, I decided to go back to Pantene, now with the Gold Series hair product. Thanks.

  12. Becca says:

    I know this is old, but I wanted to say that after using Pantene for almost a year, I started experiencing a lot of hair breakage and I do absolutely nothing to my hair but let it be. I had to cut a half inch off and introduce layers after three years of growing it because of Pantene. Never again.

  13. Ruth Coon says:

    Every time I use Pantene conditioner there is a mass of hair in the drain catcher. I thought it was a coincidence. I stopped using it no breakage, this winter the dryness indoors is making my hair static so I bought Pantene again, what the h- breakage in the hair strainer. I bought the big bottle too. I feel like an idiot!

  14. Rachael Miller says:

    I have long hair & I used Pantene for at least 5 years in the past. At first, it was wonderful. The long term use damaged & destroyed my hair. Several hairdressers could even feel the silicone & wax build up. My grandparents own a salon so I know she wouldn’t tell me Pantene is bad just to get me to “buy” expensive items. My hair showed the damage from it. Once my grandmother realized I was using Pantene she almost fainted! She begged me to quit using it. I did. My hair is much more healthier now. I did research on Pantene myself & if you research the actual ingredients, u will see the bad chemicals it contains, Formaldehyde being one of many. Nexus, matrix etc don’t give out free coupons..if that tells u anything! Tresemme is a good alternative. I find Loreal everpure works great too. Just my experience.

    • Erika says:

      Thanks for your comment! I didn’t know about the formaldehyde…also in the original Brazilian Blowout formula, which is why they banned it(I guess the difference is that the heat from the straightening caused a cloud of smoke during the service that would literally choke you up).

      I’m glad you switched, and keep spreading the word!

  15. Mia says:

    I just started using 2day.Do I need to switch?

    • Erika says:

      That’s up to you. The problems with Pantene come from long-term use(although product buildup on the air begins at the first use). Your hair will feel great and look great at first, but eventually it will become weighed-down, limp, harder to manage, etc.

  16. Mia says:

    I am using Pantene right now I just started using 2day

  17. An anonymous chemical engineer says:

    This is a myth and has been debunked. Ingredient for ingredient, pantene is pretty much identical to the pricey olaplex that stylists are currently obsessed with. The “coatings” it contains are the same as those found in heat protectant serums and sprays. If anyone has a layer of wax on their head that is sticking to scissors… it is because that person is just dirty or has build up of styling products. Not from shampoo or conditioner.

    • Lima Echo says:

      I keep hearing that it’s a myth about the wax, but not the cheap ingredients or silicone(and alcohol is listed on the bottle). My own hair reacts the same way; there is definitely a problem with the formula.

  18. Darik says:

    Wow, I thought pantene was the best shampoo but now after all of your experiences i think i should look for other options

  19. Mariah says:

    Well my hair use to be healthy pantene made it softer when i switched now 5 years later it there lots of hair loss.. Damage.. Dull.. No body no more.. Just bleh. And i use no heat products or dye my hair. Dont use hair ties, and im trying to save my hair i need a help and switch fast my hair is too my mid butt i don’t wanna cut it all off and start over or lose more hair than the daily loss help meeee!

    • Erika says:


      Have there been any other changes that could have contributed to your hair loss(like stress, diet, etc,)? If not, then your issue could have been a result of product build-up or ingredients in the shampoo you were using.

      Also…..if you used the same shampoo & conditioner for a very long time…that could explain your issues. This is especially true of cheaper products or products that are not right for your hair type and needs. Product build-up is the main culprit because it can damage the hair follicle causing the hair to fall out, which may or may not come back.

      Which shampoo did you switch to?

  20. Audra says:

    Pantene made my hair fall out. I was starting to think I was having thyroid issues. It was that shampoo. I will never use that crap again. I am just hoping my hair recovers and thickens back up.

  21. Olivia says:

    I use the Pantene charcoal shampoo and conditioner and they work great, I think the brand turned over a new leaf with this line and it has no wax or silicone. Everyone’s hair is different and the downside to this set is that it does still have sulfates.

    • Erika says:

      That’s great! It’s wonderful to hear about new products and how they’re working for everyone. Personally, I don’t think sulfates are that bad. Everything in moderation….right?

  22. Joy says:

    100%. I have the worst time with build up and crunchiness. Then I found a Pantene that appeared to work for me. 2 years later my curls were gone. I tried giving up the Pantene and my hair was so dry the ends with break off by merely touching my hair. It took lots of trims and growing out to get my curls back.

  23. Shaina says:

    My hair is dull and lifeless after using Pantene as it was 15 years ago when I used it. I ran out of my high end shampoo and I’d rather not use any shampoo if my only option were Pantene.

  24. […] comment was in response to my post, What Happens When You Use Pantene. I know, there are a lot of you out there that use it and love it. That’s fine, if you […]

  25. Melody Morrison says:

    Funny, I’ve used Pantene for over years, and I’ve never had a minute’s problem. My stylist has NEVER experienced anything REMOTELY resembling what you described. But I’m quite sure I have no clue whatsoever what I’m talking about, riiiiiiiiight??

  26. ANGEL says:


  27. Kristy says:

    Good article and I’d like to add some things — I’m also a hairstylist and I loathe Pantene (among others). A few reasons: A) The waxy texture left on my hands after handling hair that has weeks, months, to years of Pantene use on it.
    B) The crayon smell on my hands and even in the client’s hair; most noticeable when the water first hits their hair and then while blow-drying.
    C) Being able to comb through it while wet but after blow-drying, hair gets baked together from whatever substance is in there and you struggle to detangle it..again…even when you used clarifying shampoo not once, but twice. They’re in need of treatments and not everyone will get on board with that, unfortunately.

    I’ve used my trimmers on Pantene hair to cut a straight line dry; a whole lot of wax-dust was “sawed” off before the hair actually cut..then my trimmers jammed and stopped cutting..oops moment 😉

    Pantene is only concerned about profit.

    • Melody Morrison says:

      Funny, been using Pantene for over 20 years, and neither me not my stylist has EVER encountered anything even REMOTELY close to what you described. But, I’m a LIAR, RIGHT??

    • Lily says:

      This is so fake and exaggerated so I don’t call in you a liar. I used Pantene and in no way do my hands feel any waxy. Hair is actually manageable. And no… There are no dust as you claim.

  28. […] no to drugstore  Source 1  Unite haircare    Source 2   Doggiepoo from UNITE   Source […]

  29. I have been using Pantene because I like the way if makes my hair feel better than the more expensive brands. My hair dresser has said she won’t color my hair if I have been using it, so I was wondering if you know how to remove the buildup?

    • Erika says:

      Your hairstylist can do a pre-color clarifying treatment or you can use something like Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three at home. I use it once every other week(sometimes more often, sometimes less often).

      I think that it’s a little extreme to tell someone they won’t color your hair if you’re using Pantene. The color WON’T last if you continue to use Pantene products…so that could be the reasoning. Professionally, I just give my clients my opinion about products, their routine, coloring, etc. and it’s up to them to take the advice.

      The reason why people think Pantene makes their hair feel good is because of the wax deposits. If you use quality conditioning and styling products with professional shampoo/conditioner then your hair will feel better than it does with Pantene!

      • Monica says:

        It’s not extreme. When using bleach in Pantene clients I ALWAYS have issues.
        Steaming, moisture dripping, not lifting properly and toner doing absolute bleep all.
        It’s a massive pain in the butt and clarifying beforehand isn’t enough to get rid of all the build up.

        • Erika says:

          So true! Have you ever seen a video of someone literally scraping the buildup off the hair from using Pantene?! It’s nuts!

  30. Brooke says:

    I use to like Pantene alot. It was always a staple hair wash to grab in the store until recently.
    I had been experiencing what I can only describe as chronic dandruff. EW!
    My scalp would build up large amounts of skin that were highly visible and peel like a bad case of dandruff.
    I was always unsure why as I wash my hair at least 3 times a week (the recommended amount) and even sometimes with anti – dandruff shampoos.
    All of this happened when I was using Pantene.
    I began to turn to the fact that maybe it was my trusty hairwash causing these problems.
    So I switched hair wash and within days my dandruff case was completely gone.
    I could wear my usual style of a part down the middle and my head no longer resembled a snow globe.
    I tried a few more different hair washes and no dandruff. So i switched back to Pantene just to see and YUP! Dandruff.
    The next morning I woke up with that same build up on my scalp.
    SO long story short, Pantene gave me chronic dandruff so I don’t recommend it unless
    you’re planning on having a white Christmas this year. 🙂

    • mary says:

      I am having the exact same experience as Brooke.
      No more Pantene!

    • Linda says:

      I had the same experience with patches of thick skin buildup (I thought I had horrible psoriasis but dermatologist said nope!) Horrible scalp issues & couldn’t figure out why blonde color did not last in my hair as it always turned dark after several washings (thought it was my mineral well water.) My hair was also coming out by the handfuls. Changed to Love Beauty & Planet lavender shampoo & rinse – everything cleared up within 4 weeks. I now use a salon product that is an herbal non-sudds hair cleaning product & my hair and scalp have never been better! Smooth, full hair and healthy scalp again. I was a LONG-term Pantene user. NOT worth the damage to your scalp or hair….

  31. […] because their hair feels so much worse than the majority of hair that I come in contact with(even Pantene users). Hair that has been in contact with WEN products feels completely different from everyone […]

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