While pantene is known as one of the world’s major hair care brands, it started out in America as an exclusive shampoo import. It was created almost 70 years ago by a Swiss company, with key ingredient panthenol’what the brand calls Pro-vitamin B5 on the label and which can help make hair stronger and thicker looking.
‘During World War II, fighter pilots’ burns were treated with a vitamin concoction that included panthenol,’ Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson, Pantene senior scientist with P&G Beauty and Grooming, told Best Health. It was then discovered that ‘the hair around the treated skin was stronger and thicker.’ Swiss scientists identified panthenol as the ‘miracle’ ingredient for hair; one of them brought Pantene Hair Tonic to life in 1945.
By the ’60s, the tonic had evolved into a hair care line, becoming a global brand when it was taken over by P&G in the ’80s. ‘Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful’ became one of the most famous copy lines in beauty advertising history; feminists were not amused. A tagline today? ‘Dare to compare.’
The brand continues to innovate and this year introduced premium Pantene Expert collections. Actress Courteney Cox is the face (and mane) of AgeDefy and Advanced+ Keratin Repair, both of which address weakened hair. And in full circle, AgeDefy features the ingredient that started it all: panthenol.