Does Pantene Have Wax in it? (No, Here’s Why)

does pantene have wax in it

If you’re concerned about what’s in your shampoo and conditioner, you may have come across sites claiming that low-cost brand Pantene puts wax in their products. Even worse, you might have seen claims that Pantene causes buildup that can irreparably damage your hair. Does Pantene have wax in it?

Pantene shampoos and conditioners do not contain any wax. They do have silicones, which are present in many hair care products.

Are silicones dangerous for your hair? What about those salon customers who say Pantene caused hair loss? The rest of this article will dive into the myths, and the truth about Pantene.

Does Pantene Shampoo Have Wax in it?

The short answer is no, Pantene shampoos don’t contain wax. There were recent rumors that Pantene conditioner had floor wax in it, but the claims were just that: rumors.

It is true that many Pantene shampoos have silicone molecules. These can cause some hair buildup, but the effect isn’t usually as dire as some sites might have you believe. Also, Pantene now sells silicone-free formulas, if you’re concerned about the effect of silicone on your hair.

There are some cosmetologists who claim Pantene is destructive in order to try and sell their more expensive salon products. However, you’ll find Pantene’s ingredients list has stuff you can also find in the much more expensive hair care brands.

Why Do Shampoos Have Silicone?

Pantene isn’t the only shampoo brand that uses silicone molecules. Silicones can create a protective layer around hair cuticles. This often adds volume to the hair shaft, adding body to some users’ hair. Studies suggest silicone at the small levels found in most cosmetics is safe for use.

While some love shampoos with silicone, the truth is everyone’s hair is different and has different needs. If you have straight hair, the silicone buildup from brands like Pantene might weigh down your hair and make it look dull. If you have very curly hair, silicone buildup might flatten your curls and make your hair less bouncy.

If you hate the way your shampoo makes your hair look, silicones might be to blame. There are silicone-free shampoo options at every price point, so it’s definitely worth trying one to see if that makes a difference for your hair.

If you’re looking for a silicone-free shampoo, this article shares 10 of the best options to try.

Is Pantene a Wax?

Pantene used to sell styling waxes and hair gels, but it doesn’t appear that they do anymore. Most listings online are through eBay and other resale sites.

Pantene sells a new range of styling products now, tailored to every different hair need and type.

Does Pantene Cause Your Hair to Fall Out?

You may have seen claims online, from customers and stylists alike, that Pantene’s silicone buildup resulted in blistering, hair loss, breakage, and burning and smoking during regular hair dyeing sessions. This may have you wondering if the same thing might happen to you if you use Pantene.

Chemists and colorists alike agree that the only effect silicone buildup has on hair dyeing is that the dye might not attach to the hair as well. They say there must be something else going on in these instances. They suggest two options.

First, that the buildup of heavy metals, metallic salts,or adulterated henna causes the burning reaction of some customers. Regular hair dyeing with certain products can cause metallic salt buildup in the hair. These compounds are generally far more flammable than silicone.

The second option is that sodium hydroxide in the customers’ regular hair care product reacts with the ammonia of the hair bleach and aluminum foil used in balayage and ombre hair dyeing. Pantene does not contain any sodium hydroxide. It is often in hair relaxing products, and is in some shampoos at very low concentrations to balance the pH level.

When reading stories like this online, it’s important to remember that correlation does not equal causation. Often, there’s no additional information on what else was going on in the clients’ lives or what else they were using. Hair loss can have many possible causes, including as a side effect of some medications, stress, or hormonal changes.

What is DMDM Hydantoin?

If you’re concerned about what’s in your shampoo, you may have seen DMDM Hydantoin mentioned as a harmful ingredient. DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde releaser. It’s true that it does release small amounts of formaldehyde into a product over time to preserve them. You’ll find it in lots of different haircare and skincare products, as well as other cosmetics and hand sanitizers.

Obviously, a chemical that releases formaldehyde into a product doesn’t sound great. However, you should keep in mind that DMDM Hydantoin and other formaldehyde releasers are naturally around us all the time. You can even find small amounts in foods like bananas, apples, grapes, onions, seafood, beef, and poultry.

While formaldehyde exposure can cause cancer, experts usually find this in cases of people who have unusually high exposures to the chemical over time. Shampoos and conditioners don’t usually have this chemical in high quantities.

There have been class action lawsuits against shampoo companies who include DMDM Hydantoin in their products. The defendants claim the products caused hair loss and scalp itch. Experts, however, say they haven’t done enough research into the effects of these chemicals.

DMDM Hydrantoin can cause contact dermatitis or contact eczema in people who have an allergy or sensitivity to formaldehyde. If a certain hair care or skincare product causes scalp itching and redness, stop using it.

Luckily, there are options available for hair care products without any formaldehyde releasers. These options include Pantene products.


Pantene shampoo does not contain any wax. The closest ingredient is small silicone particles, which can build up on the hair over time. This may not make it a great hair care option for you, but it doesn’t make it unsafe.

Rumors online about Pantene causing hair loss or even smoking or burning are generally easy to debunk. Pantene also doesn’t include other harmful ingredients like formaldehyde releasers in their formulas.

Whether or not Pantene works for you might depend on the ingredients that are in their products. There are tons of options available without silicone, sulfates, or formaldehyde releasers if you have any concerns.

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