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5 min read

The Panthenol Guide: Benefits for Hair & Skin, Uses, and Side Effects

The Panthenol Guide: Benefits for Hair & Skin, Uses, and Side Effects

Don’t worry if panthenol is an alien term to you. You are not alone! But it’s time you became familiar with it if you care about your hair.

Panthenol is found in many beauty products, especially those designed for hair care. Used to add moisture, thickness, and body to dull, lifeless hair, panthenol is the ingredient you need to be on a first name basis with.

The Beneficial Byproduct

We all know vitamins are good for us, and those B-complex vitamins are especially great for your hair.

Panthenol is actually a derivative of vitamin B5. The unique chemical makeup of this compound is what gives it the ability to provide such an assortment of benefits. In some products it can be used to enhance moisture, and in others, it serves to add shine, or elasticity.

The numerous hydroxyl groups in panthenol make it highly soluble in water and other liquids. The molecules attract water, giving it the ability to play the role of a humectant.

Another word that seems like it came from a foreign language? Humectants help your hair to collect and retain moisture, both from the air around you and through washing.

Panthenol is a wonderful humectant, delivering numerous benefits to your hair:

1. Lock in moisture: Styling and exposure to environmental pollutants dries out your hair, increasing the chances of breakage and thinning. Panthenol helps each strand to hold moisture deep within, protecting it from becoming brittle. Absorbing water into the hair shaft makes your hair look thicker and fuller.

2. Reduce tangles: Humectants also attach to the outer cuticles of your hair, giving a smooth surface. When the hairs on your head can intermingle smoothly without friction, there are fewer tangles for you to have to comb through.

Tangles also mean breakage, so avoiding them altogether is ideal. Washing your hair is the best way to clean it, but it is also the best way to tangle it up.

Wet hair tangles far easier than dry hair. Once tangled, trying to comb through can easily break or tear hair strands. Panthenol coats each hair like a gloss so that your comb moves through your hair with ease, rather than pulling as you go.

3. Add Shine: Over time, your hair becomes dull due to a depletion of its natural oils. Panthenol can restore shine by helping to seal in the natural oils.

In addition to this, the smooth coating provided by panthenol products reflects light much easier, giving you an enhanced and glamorous shine.

4. Enhance elasticity: Dry and/or brittle hair strands are prone to breakage. The more styling or heating that you do, the easier they break.

Panthenol does more than lock in moisture to prevent breakage, it also increases elasticity. This means your hair will bend and flex more when brushed or styled, rather than breaking or tearing. Increased elasticity means fewer split ends, less shedding and healthier-looking tresses.

5. Boost cell regeneration: As a byproduct of vitamin B5, panthenol is easily absorbed through the skin on your scalp. It has a direct role in the metabolic processes of epidermal cells.

By increasing hydration of skin cells and tissue, and improving elasticity, hair follicle cell regeneration and growth is encouraged. Regular use of panthenol products improves the health of your hair, and your scalp.

The Critics Weigh In

Like everything that is popular, rumors start to fly. The most persistent rumor about panthenol boasts that it creates a waxy buildup on the scalp and inside the hair shaft.  As with most rumors, this is false. There is no evidence that suggests this even happens.

The extremely water-soluble nature of panthenol allows it to mix with water as well as oils. It also has no component within its structure that causes it to bind tightly to your hair follicles or scalp.

It applies a protective coating and then is easily removed through rinsing. If you do notice any buildup while using a panthenol product, it is likely caused by another ingredient.

The only possible negative side effect to using panthenol products is that with some hair types (overly porous), the compound can penetrate too deeply into the hair shaft.

When this happens you can get rough feeling hair and frizz, and you should stop using the product. This is rare, so don’t just go by what “they” say—check it out for yourself.

Final Thoughts

With panthenol you get a humectant, detangler, moisturizing, and glossing agent all in one. It doesn’t matter what your hair texture is, panthenol handles its business and handles your hair.

As a naturally occurring material, your hair will thrive under the cascade of benefits. So move over diamonds, panthenol is a girl’s real best friend!

At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

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    At Hair La Vie, we know that your hair is an integral part of how you present yourself to the world and shape your authentic style.

    Join our private Facebook Community for a safe, human-moderated space to share your Hair Journey, discover new natural beauty, and take steps towards becoming “you” with the help of an understanding, supportive community.

    Join now for instant access to livestreams, discussions, and exclusive access to new products!

    JOIN THE GROUP