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Does Pantene Cause Hair Loss? | Not for Most People

Many people suffer from hair loss, especially as they age. While factors like genetics and lifestyle play an important role, using the wrong hair products can worsen this issue.

Does Pantene cause hair loss? Find out more about this brand and whether it could be responsible for your hair loss.

Does Pantene Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

On its own, Pantene does not cause hair loss. Claims that it does have largely been debunked. However, some ingredients in some of their products, combined with genetic conditions or improper hair care routines, can contribute to hair loss.

But why? Several shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products from the brand Pantene contain sulfates and preservatives.

While experts disagree on whether these ingredients cause hair loss, some users on social media claim that suggests sulfates and formaldehyde can cause hair thinning, a factor that can worsen existing hair loss. However, these are largely baseless claims

However, that doesn’t mean that these ingredients don’t have any side effects. Sulfates and formaldehyde are common ingredients you’ll find in most shampoo and hair care products.

Sulfates are cleaning agents that remove oil from the surface of your hair while formaldehyde is a chemical that prevents the growth of bacteria in hair and beauty products. A study has found that exposure to sulfates can result in fragile and dry hair.

Sulfates won’t directly cause hair loss, but they can cause further damage if your scalp isn’t healthy. Preservatives like formaldehyde are safe in low concentrations.

But for people with sensitive skin and hair, these ingredients can trigger irritation and allergic reactions. If you have a formaldehyde allergy, it’s possible to experience hair loss because of this ingredient.

An Overview of Pantene Products and Ingredients

Minsk, Belarus, June 2019. Care hair Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner for hair/Chamomile_Olya/Shutterstock

One of the great things about Pantene is that the brand is completely transparent about the ingredients used in its different hair care products.

If you suspect your Pantene shampoo or conditioner is contributing to your hair loss problem, you can visit the official Pantene website and find a comprehensive list of ingredients.

Does Pantene cause hair loss? Here are some of the most common harmful ingredients you can find in Pantene products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

You’ll find these sulfates in a majority of products sold by Pantene. They act as foaming agents and also have cleaning and emulsifying properties. They play an important role in your hair washing routine by removing oil and dirt from your hair.

Sulfates help control oil and shine. Plus, they can prevent oil from blocking the hair follicles and causing inflammation that could worsen hair loss. However, sulfates can also strip natural oils from hair.

As a result, the hair becomes dry and brittle. You might notice that your hair is thinning and feels unhealthy. If you’re suffering from hereditary hair loss, which is the most common cause of hair loss, sulfates can weaken your hair and worsen the issue.

Plus, the hair follicles will sometimes compensate for the lack of natural oils by producing more sebum. Excessive sebum production can lead to an itchy and oily scalp, clogged hair follicles, irritation, and hair loss.

Stearyl Alcohol and Cetyl Alcohol

Pantene products like the brand’s split-end treatment use Stearyl and Cetyl Alcohol as thickening agents. These ingredients don’t have the same drying and irritating properties as other types of alcohol.

However, some people experience contact allergies, which can worsen hair loss or even cause hair loss in extreme cases.

Sodium Chloride

Sodium chloride, or salt, is a common ingredient in hair care products that contain sulfates. This ingredient creates a stable texture and thickens the product.

In small quantities, sodium chloride is safe, but some individuals are more sensitive than others. Sodium chloride can burn, itch, irritate, and dehydrate.

If you’re using a keratin treatment to strengthen your hair and prevent hair loss, sodium chloride can strip your hair of the protective keratin layer and make this treatment useless.

DMDM Hydantoin

Pantene uses DMDM Hydantoin in some of its hair-styling products like the Pro V Hair Crème. This ingredient is a preservative that releases formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, but risks are extremely low due to the small quantities used in hair and beauty products. DMDM Hydantoin can still cause issues like hair loss since formaldehyde can lead to irritation of the scalp.

Disodium EDTA and Tetrasodium EDTA

Disodium and tetrasodium EDTA are chelating agents. It means they allow water to break down the product so you can rinse your shampoo or conditioner easily. These ingredients also have astringent properties.

They help adjust the pH of the product and ensure that the shampoo or conditioner won’t leave any residues behind. The main problem with disodium and tetrasodium EDTA is that these ingredients are cytotoxic agents.

In other words, these chemicals kill cells. While they have some benefits, these ingredients can weaken your hair strand and hurt your hair follicles.

Read Next: What Is EDTA in Shampoo?

Citric Acid

If you use Pantene’s co-wash products, you’ll find citric acid on the list of ingredients. Citric acid has a beneficial role since it adjusts the pH of the product and acts as an antioxidant. It can strengthen your hair and improve its appearance.

The main downside of citric acid is that this ingredient can leave residues behind. With repeated use, citric acid residues form a thick coating that adds weight to the hair and prevents it from absorbing moisture or beneficial ingredients.

Your hair can become dry and brittle, and your scalp might start producing more sebum to make up for the lack of moisture in your hair. These factors can contribute to hair loss.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone

These ingredients are preservatives that prevent bacteria, yeast, and fungi from forming in hair care products. They are beneficial since bacteria can cause alopecia and other issues.

But research shows that a statistically significant portion of the population experiences allergic reactions to these ingredients.


Fragrances are another problematic ingredient. While Pantene is transparent about the active ingredients used in its products, the brand doesn’t give any details about the composition of the fragrances used.

Fragrances typically contain a mix of synthetic and natural ingredients. They serve no purpose other than to make products smell good and feel pleasant to use.

If you have sensitive skin, it’s possible to experience irritation, dryness, and allergic reactions because of synthetic fragrances. If this describes you, try using a mild shampoo.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman brushing her healthy hair for a piece titled Does Pantene Cause Hair Loss


Read on to learn more about Pantene products and hair loss.

What should you do if your Pantene shampoo seems to cause hair loss?

Take a break from using the product. Try a different brand for a while to see if there are any improvements. While other causes of hair loss are more likely, it’s possible to have a contact allergy to some of the ingredients present in Pantene products.

Does Pantene make a sulfate-free shampoo?

Pantene has a sulfate-free shampoo that uses Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate. This mild cleansing agent is less damaging than sulfates and can help if you have sensitive hair and skin.

Can Pantene products help with hair loss?

Pantene makes a root-stimulating shampoo with menthol, which can be a good option for stimulating blood flow and promoting new hair growth. However, the best way to treat hair loss remains to use products with minoxidil.

So, Does Pantene Cause Hair Loss?

It’s unlikely that a Pantene product is the sole reason behind your hair loss unless you suffer from a severe form of contact allergy. If you’re noticing breakage, thinning, and hair loss, it’s more likely that you have an underlying issue.

This may include a genetic factor, an unhealthy lifestyle, or a hormonal imbalance and that ingredients like sulfates or preservatives in your Pantene shampoo are making the problem worse.

However, for the rest of us, Pantene offers a great product line at a reasonable price.