Skip to Content

What Is Panthenol in Shampoo? | An Overly-Detailed Guide

Shampoo is full of all kinds of ingredients. Some are designed to lift dirt and clean your hair, whereas others may nourish your hair or moisturize it.

Some ingredients are there to preserve the shampoo so that it lasts. You may have heard people asking, “What is panthenol in shampoo? Is it good for hair?” If this is you, read on to learn more.

What Is Panthenol?

Woman with shiny hair to explain what panthenol in shampoo does

Kourdakova Alena/Shutterstock

Panthenol is provitamin B5, and it is a powerful ingredient that helps with the shine, softness, and strength of your hair. It binds with hairs, which allows it to continue working once you have rinsed the shampoo out.

What makes a provitamin different from other vitamins is that it is converted to B5 after it binds with other molecules. In shampoos, it binds and works as a humectant. 

You may be interested to learn more about this ingredient. In fact, many people have questions, such as:

  • Where does panthenol come from?
  • What does panthenol do for hair?
  • Is it safe?
  • What are the benefits?

We wanted to find out, so we did the research. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about panthenol in shampoo.

You Might Also Like:

Where Does Panthenol Come From?

Panthenol is a chemical substance, and it is made from pantothenic acid. Another name for it is provitamin B5. It exists organically, and it can be produced by both animal and plant sources. It is water soluble, and it is essential for people to turn food they eat into energy.

It may be added as an oil, which is D-Panthenol, or as a white powder, which is DL-Panthenol. It is categorized as a nutrient or dietary supplement by the FDA, and it is found in many shampoos. You can also find vitamin B5 in many different foods.

It is found in beef, eggs, milk, avocados, broccoli, potatoes, brown rice, peanuts, and more. It is added to shampoos because it becomes vitamin B5 when it binds with your hair. 

What Does Panthenol Do for Hair?

Panthenol does a lot for hair. First, it can improve your hair’s shine, strength, and softness. It also protects your hair from damage due to the environment or styling because it locks in moisture. Take a look at some of what it does for your hair.


Panthenol boosts the volume of your hair because it binds to the hairs, which makes each strand stronger and more persistent. As a result, your hair looks fuller and more voluminous. 


Panthenol is well-known as a moisturizer. It is a humectant, which means that it maintains moisture in your hair. It penetrates into lower skin layers, and allows water to enter deep into each strand of hair. This keeps hair healthy and prevents hair breakage


Many factors can cause your hair to dry out, from air pollution to styling products and tools to spending time in the sun. Panthenol binds and holds water molecules. It can actually pull moisture from the air and keep it in your hair and scalp, which keeps your hair and scalp hydrated. 

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Panthenol helps control water loss and captures moisture from the air, which increases the speed of wound healing and skin regeneration. It also reduces skin irritation.

It can help reduce inflammation when you have an itchy or irritated scalp. When you use shampoos with panthenol, your hair will grow stronger, retain its moisture, and your hair and scalp will be healthier. 

Is Panthenol Safe for Hair?

Panthenol, which becomes B5 when it is applied to your hair or skin, is safe for your hair. There is no restriction on it because it is not toxic. Its function is to keep your hair moist and hydrated, and it penetrates your cuticles and your scalp. 

There are some people who have claimed that it causes a waxy buildup, but the reality is that there is no evidence of this, and it is both alcohol and water soluble, so it easily rinses out of your hair. It is considered safe by both the US FDA and the European Commission on Cosmetic Ingredients. 

Benefits of Panthenol in Shampoo

Woman who has used panthenol in shampoo on her hair so now it's shiny and lush


There are many benefits to using a shampoo with panthenol. The best thing about this ingredient is that it helps to lock moisture into each strand of hair. As a result, each hair is thicker and stronger, and it is shiny and soft. 

Its chemical structure is both hydrophilic and hygroscopic, so it attracts water from the atmosphere and binds it to its molecules. This helps to keep your hair moist throughout the day. It is a provitamin, so it is converted into B5 when it is absorbed into your body.

Your body can get all of the benefits of B5 right away. This includes anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits, hydrating effects, and protective properties.

As soon as it is absorbed, you will start to get these benefits. It also delivers nutrients to your scalp, which helps in repair. It aids in the hair growth process and provides moisture. It fights dryness, radical damage, and boosts the strength of your hair. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How does panthenol make your hair shiny?

It has a protective coating that reflects the light from the surface of the hair, which makes it appear shiny.

Does panthenol reduce thinning hair?

Thinning hair can be caused by brittle damaged hair breaking off. When you use shampoo with panthenol, it is absorbed into the hair shaft right away, and it nourishes the strands of hair from the inside. This makes the hairs stronger and prevents damage and brittleness without causing any build up.

So, What Is Panthenol in Shampoo?

Panthenol is a provitamin that converts into B5 when it is absorbed into your hair, skin, and scalp. It helps to make your hair stronger, shinier, and softer, and it locks moisture inside.

It can attract moisture from the environment and bind it to your hair, which reduces dryness and brittleness. It is safe to use, and it helps protect your hair.