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With enrollment in an M.D./Ph.D. program, two blogs, a relationship, two dogs, great friends, and hair that falls well below my shoulders, I need hair care that is fast and simple. That’s why I always reached for my Pantene Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner ($17.99 each for 50.8 oz., Amazon.com). Unfortunately, much to my dismay, Pantene Full & Thick was one of over 80 Pantene products Procter & Gamble recently discontinued. (For the full list of discontinued Pantene products, please click here).
So what gives? According to a report from Investor Place.com, P&G execs have actually embraced the “less is more” philosophy, reducing their product line by about 30% after admitting that the wide variety of Pantene products actually did more harm than good. The decision was based on the fact that P&G sales jumped 7% as consumer spending firmed up and the new products, price cuts and stepped-up advertising took hold. I personally dislike the decision – in the age of the internet, customization is key. Women want to feel that they are using a product that is unique for their own hair – after all, how many of us will not let our husbands or boyfriends share our shampoo?! With that said, however, perhaps that is why I am a medical student and not, say, a P&G exec.
So which “new” Pantene product should I use?
There are now seven varieties of Pantene available:
- Fine Hair Solutions – According to Pantene, the collection’s unique systems provide options for smoothness, hydration, strength against damage, and natural volume to hair. Closest to the old Volume Collection.
- Medium-Thick Hair Solutions – Designed to replace the Full & Thick Collections (though, sadly, it does not perform the same).
- Color Hair Solutions – According to Pantene, the collection’s unique systems help protect colored hair and restore brilliance, with options that leave hair with fullness or smooth the hair with intense moisturizers. Designed to replace the Color Revival Collection.
- Curly Hair Series – According to Pantene, the collection’s unique systems can provide frizz control with options for curl definition or straight smoothness. Designed to replace the Curls Collection.
- Classic Care Solutions – Designed to replace the Pro-V and Moisture Renewal Collections
- Nature Fusion
- Relaxed & Natural
- Lines without replacement (ingredients-wise): Ice Shine, Extra Straight, Smooth, Expressions, and Anti-Frizz Collections
According to Pantene, the shampoos and conditioners can also be selected on the basis of the hair type that you have:
- Fine hair means the hair shaft is small. The hair can be thin and flexible, and prone to damage and breakage.
- Medium-Thick hair means the hair shaft is large. The hair can be prone to frizz and breakage, and can be less flexible than fine hair.
- Curly hair has twists and turns, and can be rough and difficult to control or tame.
- If your hair fits into more than one category, you may benefit from selecting the products based on the look you want to achieve
I personally am disappointed that my Pantene Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner is being discontinued. I tried the new equivalent – the Pantene Medium & Thick – and I was very disappointed. It simply didn’t enlarge the hair shaft as well as the Pantene Full and Thick Shampoo and Conditioner did. I don’t think that the mass line downsizing was a great idea on the basis of Procter & Gamble, but then again, time will tell. All I can say is that I am resisting the urge to stock up on my old favorite; while shampoo and conditioner can take years to harden and/or separate, I’m making like Rascal Flatts and moving onto new products and lines. It is my duty as a beauty blogger, after all!
Have any suggestions for shampoos or conditioners to try? Please feel free to leave them in Comments below, or drop me a line at nicki[at]futurederm[dot]com.