Ingredient Breakdown #9 – Pantene Hair Biology Full & Vibrant Shampoo & Conditioner

Hey everyone, wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote an ingredient breakdown post, where I look closely at the ingredients in hair care products. Today I am going to look at the Pantene Hair Biology Full & Vibrant products. This Pantene shampoo & conditioner is targeted for fine, thinning and coloured hair. My hair is definitely fine, and it is also coloured. So I thought this one would be a good one for me to try out, and a friend also recommended these products to me too!

Overview & Thoughts
Both the Pantene shampoo & conditioner cost £5.99, and I paid full price for them rather than getting them on offer. It isn’t too pricey at all, but you can definitely get cheaper, specially if you pick whatever is on offer. So far I have been enjoying these Pantene hair products. My hair feels soft and conditioned nicely after use, as well as clean. They also smell so so good. Pantene say these products contain Lotus flower, Omega 9 and Pro-v – nutrients your hair needs. The packaging claims that these products will boost volume, plump up roots, revive dullness and help repair styling damage. In the past I have used some hair care products that weigh down my fine hair so much, that the roots are anything but plumped up! These don’t do that, and the roots do feel a little fluffy, at least immediately after use. I can’t really say my hair has more volume, but I have only used up about half of each bottle, perhaps that comes with time? I wouldn’t consider my hair to be dull, but it wasn’t dull prior to this either, so I can’t comment too much on that. Overall I have been liking this shampoo and conditioner combo by Pantene, it smells nice and seems to do a good job. But lets have a look at the ingredients to see if it’s doing well for my hair or not!

*the higher the ingredient, the more there is within the product.

Aqua – Water
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – This is a surfactant found in many personal care products and produces the lather in the shampoo, (because it breaks down the molecules to allow better interaction between the hair and shampoo). Although this is deemed as safe to use by many organisations, it is a known irritant to skin and eyes. It is also believed to cause dry and brittle hair, so some people try to stay away from this.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Very similar to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, however this one is meant to be a little bit more gentle.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine – Another surfactant which causes lather in the shampoo and it comes from coconut oil. It is also a thickening agent to the consistency of the shampoo.
Glycol Distearate – This produces the pearlescent effect in shampoo. It also creates a lot of foam. It is considered safe, but not natural.
Sodium Citrate – A natural acid found in plants and animals. Used a preservative in many products.
Cocamide MEA – A foaming agent. A lot of ‘natural’ shampoo’s contain this as it comes from coconut oil. However, there is some controversy as to if this is actually a natural product since it is made with coconut oil and a chemical compound called ethanolamine. the FDA say this ingredient may lead to the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. Which is pretty scary since these compounds can induce cancer in animals… so who knows what its doing to us.
Sodium Xylenesulfonate – This is another surfactant which acts as a ‘wetting’ agent allowing the formula of the shampoo to spread easily. It is also a thickening agent. This is an organic ingredient.
Parfum – The fragrance.
Sodium Chloride – Also known as salt! This is used the thicken the product and is safe to use.
Citric Acid – This can cause irritation. However, since there isn’t too much of it in the shampoo it is safe to use. It’s found in citrus fruit.
Sodium Benzoate – This ingredient is found naturally in cranberries, cinnamon and other foods. It is used is shampoo as a preservative.
Dimethicone – A type of silicone. Silicones are said to weigh hair down and will eventually make hair dull, limp and lifeless, despite the initial illusion of shine. Can prevent moisture from penetrating hair shaft, therefore hair can become dry and brittle and start to break. This is an ingredient that some people choose to stay away from.
Glycerin – This binds water which is mainly derived from vegetable oil. It isn’t usually in shampoo’s and is more commonly found in conditioner’s. It is known to prevent breakage in hair and leaves hair feeling soft.
Tetrasodium EDTA – A chelating agent which can improve the lather of shampoo. It has a low risk but some reports consider this toxic.
Guar Hyrdoxypropyltrimonium Chloride – This prevents hair from becoming static and is also a conditioning agent and is generally considered safe.
Sodium Hydroxide – Produces lather and can be a PH balancer. Nothing to worry about.
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate – A common ingredient in hair care products for coloured hair. It is a chelating ingredient which helps to neutralise metal ions in a formula; this helps it stay fresher for longer and stops copper depositing on the hair which is bad for coloured hair. It is a synthetic ingredient, and many try to opt for more natural ingredients as opposed to chemicals.
Linalool – Used in floral fragrances. Occurs naturally in essential oils.
Polyquaternium-76 – An anti static, hair conditioning agent.
Hexyl Cinnamal – A natural ingredient used as a fragrance additive to make floral scents stronger.
Panthenol – A form of vitamin B5, used as a moisturiser. PETA have warned that this can be derived from animals. (It can also be derived from plants, or be synthetic).
Panthenyl Ethyl Ether – This is made from Panthenol, and is used for it’s emollient and conditioning properties. Not a concern.
Hydroxycitronellal – A perfume ingredient. Floral scent with notes of lily and sweet melon.
Butylene Gycol – Aningredient with a bit of a bad reputation. It can be irritating to people who have very sensitive skin so if that’s you maybe stay away, however it is generally considered safe to use. Since it is derived from petroleum, many people choose to opt out of using products containing this.
Benzyl Benzoate – It occurs naturally in essential oils such as ylang ylang, rosewood, cinnamon and benzoin. Used for its fragrance and solvent properties. It can be an allergen for some.
Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract – Lotus flower extract. Natural moisturising ingredient. This product boasts the use of this ingredient, yet it is quite far down the ingredient list.
Magnesium Nitrate – Inorganic salt which is used for conditioning.
Oleic Acid – Omega-9 fatty acid. Comes from animal and vegetable fats and oils. Some people are sensitive to this so it can be an irritant, and it can cause dandruff if you are sensitive to it.
Methylchloroisothiazolinone – An anti-bacterial and anti-fungal preservative. Restricted in products in some countries as it can be a skin irritant and toxicant.
Magnesium Chloride – used to increase thickness.
Methylisothiazolinone – Same as Methylchloroisothiazolinone.

*the higher the ingredient, the more there is within the product.
*Anything without a description is listed above.

Stearyl Alcohol – a fatty alcohol used to form emulsions and stop them from separating into its oils and liquid components. A conditioning agent that coats the hair. Deemed as safe but can be a human irritant.
Silicone Quaternium-26 – An emollient, hair conditioning ingredient to make hair soft shiny, and smooth. As with ‘dimethicone’ in the shampoo list, it is of course a silicone which is said to weigh hair down and can lead to dull lifeless hair with continued use. People tend to have mixed feelings about silicones.
Behentrimonium Chloride – An anti static conditioning agent, can be a human allergen.
Cetyl Alcohol – Similar to Stearyl Alcohol. Also acts as a thickener. Derived from petroleum or plants. (Used to come from Whale sperm oil, but thankfully it isn’t anymore). Worth avoiding if you have very sensitive skin.
Isopropyl Alcohol – Anti-foaming agent and thickness controlling ingredient. Expected to be toxic (On the Environment Canada Domestic Substance list).
Benzyl Alcohol – 
A natural, non volatile alcohol used as a preservative. However, in products, we often find a synthetic version rather than the natural version. It is safe in the quantity that it is found in hair care products.
Disodium EDTA – Acts as a preservative.
Citric Acid
Panthenyl Ethyl Ether
Histidine –
An amino acid which is a conditioning agent. Normally found in protein, and is natural.
Hexyl Cinnamal
Butylene Gycol
Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract
Benzyl Benzoate
Sodium Hydroxide
Magnesium Nitrate
Oleic Acid
Magnesium Chloride


In comparison to some of the other shampoo & conditioners I have looked closely at in this series, this Pantene combo has a lot of similar ingredients to other brands at the same price range and accessibility. It doesn’t seem to have quite as many harmful ingredients as some others though. It doesn’t contain parabens which is a key ingredient that people choose to avoid due to its links to cancer (because parabens mimic oestrogen and too much oestrogen can can trigger cell division and tumour growth).

In some other brands shampoos and conditioners I have found a lot more silicones than I have in this Pantene combo, so if you want something affordable, then this is likely a better option than others on the high street.

I would be interested to try out some brands that are less accessible on the high street, maybe some that are a little pricer, and some that boast that they have ingredients amazing for hair. Let me know if you have any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

Don’t use Pantene? If you’re interested in looking at some other posts in this series then here’s some of others to check out:
Ingredient Breakdown #8 – Aussie Aussome Volume Shampoo & Conditioner
Ingredient Breakdown #6 – L’oreal Elvive Dream Lengths Shampoo & Conditioner
Ingredient Breakdown #3 – Garnier Ultimate Blends Shampoo & conditioner, The Delicate Soother
Ingredient breakdown #1 – Herbal Essences daily detox shampoo & conditioner (Golden raspberry & mint)

Jazmin x

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