Here Are All The Details Behind The Pantene Hair-Burning Controversy
March 31, 2016
Hair stylist Patrik Alan Simpson, of Mixed Elements salon in Maryland, is making some pretty serious claims against Pantene hair products. He took to Facebook with a public service announcement warning people about the damage Pantene products (allegedly) cause.
“PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!!! For the love of anything holy…… PLEASE stop using this crap in your hair!” he wrote about Pantene’s Moisture Renewal Shampoo. As he was doing a light blonde ombré on a customer, he smelled smoke and touched the foil only to “nearly burned my fingers!!!!!!” Simpson says he can do this hair treatment in his sleep so it’s no difficult task.
“I asked the usual questions i.e. Well water, medication etc. the only thing that was there, she used Pantene shampoo and conditioner for over a year,” he wrote on Facebook. “With the build up of parabens and plastic and silicones when it comes in-contact with a bleach or hi-lift color it reacts and the bleach will melt off the build up and becomes a very hot liquid and if it come in contact with skin it will cause a burn.”
Simpson’s PSA has nearly 58,000 shares on Facebook and many women have commented claiming they have experienced the same issue. One user wrote, “I use to use this and when my mom did my hair back blonde. Same thing happened to me very scary,” and another said, “This happened to me yeeeears ago! My scalp bubbled from the burns. It was awful. Now, I only use Organix or Renpure.”
Refinery29 spoke with an expert to get to the bottom of this controversy. “There is no ingredient in Pantene that is flammable in that manner; I couldn’t even begin to give you a theory!” cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson told R29. “Plastics is such a broad term that it really can’t apply here. Silicones coat the hair strands to seal down the cuticles. If there is buildup on the hair, then the only negative impact could potentially be the color not taking as well.”
Colorist Aura Friedman told R29 that other factors can cause this effect. “That kind of chemical reaction happens when there are heavy metals or henna in the hair,” she said. “I haven’t had that sort of chemical reaction on people’s hair that use Pantene.”
Pantene has no problem standing by their products. “The people’s trust in the quality of our products and their safety is of our utmost priority,” the brand said in a statement. “Millions of consumers use and enjoy our Pantene products daily and color regularly as well. There is no connection between our products and the reaction this hairdresser saw on the client’s hair. We don’t know what caused this; shampoos and conditioners cannot.”
Well, there you have it.