I recently received and tested a sample of Pantene’s Color Preserve Shine Shampoo from Pantene’s new Color Hair Solutions line. Overall, I was quite surprised with the quality of the shampoo product, especially at the price (under $5 in most places). The Color Preserve Shine Shampoo would be a great value for someone looking for a quality shampoo that isn’t too stripping, yet effectively lifts stubborn product residue. The Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo is an excellent cleanser for color-treated hair when used in conjunction with the Color Preserve Conditioner.
Consistency: Thick, creamy
Smell: Classic, clean Pantene smell
Lather Quality: Superb!
Easy to Find: Yes
Price: Excellent – $
Cleansing Ability: 5 of 5
Ingredients Rating: 3 of 5
Overall Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo Rating: 4 of 5
Pros: Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo
One thing I absolutely loved about the Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo was its consistency. Right out of the bottle, it was thick, creamy and rich-looking. It has that classic, Pantene smell – fragrant, light and clean. Once on the hair, the next big shampoo benefit that stands out is its superb lathering quality. Though lather is not a real indicator of cleansing ability, it makes me feel better, and the Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo offered lots and lots of it! What’s a shampoo without great lather?
Tangling was not a huge factor with the shampoo, either. I was quite surprised that the shampoo’s manageability factor was so great, given the high sulfate surfactant component. The shampoo contains dimethicone, which also smooths the cuticle and helps prevent tangling. Cuticle-smoothing ingredients are essential to providing a shine boost to colored hair.
Though the Pantene Color Preserve Shine shampoo is geared toward color-treated hair like mine, it also works well for hair that is not color-treated. I tried the shampoo and conditioner combo on my daughter’s naturally curly hair, and her hair loved it. In fact, her hair responded better than mine did to the Color Hair Solutions Shampoo. This was surprising, because her hair is not processed or chemically treated in any way! It seemed to give her natural hair color an extra, healthy-looking gloss and shine, yet it was a weightless and not a coated feeling. In fact, we used it on her strands daily after swim class, and although on one lazy day, we neglected to follow with the Color Preserve Shine conditioner, her hair was still very soft and super easy to detangle without the Color Preserve Conditioner! My hair would not have faired so well without the conditioner follow-up.
Cons: Pantene Color Preserve Shine Shampoo
As someone with textured, naturally dry, double-processed (relaxed/color-treated) hair, I will admit that I am not a big shampoo person, nor am I fond of sulfate-based cleansers. In fact, I’ve simply avoided using sulfate shampoos as a hard fast rule. If the formula uses ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS), it goes back on the shelf. Period. So naturally, I was relieved to see that the Pantene Color Preserve formula did NOT contain ALS. Score!
But after my cursory evaluation of the Color Preserve Shine Shampoo’s ingredients list determined that the surfactant of choice was actually a combination of 2 surfactants, my initial reaction was to balk. Since it’s formulated for weak, color-treated hair, the presence of sulfates is my only criticism of the shampoo. My color-treated, relaxed hair leans to the dry side by default, and sulfates have the tendency to strip me of softness, no matter how gentlethe formula. The Pantene Color Preserve Shine shampoo contains both sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate back to back, which came as a surprise. Though these SLS cleansers are certainly milder than ALS, for those of us with naturally dry hair, textured hair and especially relaxed and color-treated hair, these detergents can still be pretty rough on the strands with frequent use.
I will say that after using Pantene Color Preserve Shampoo for a week straight, I was honestly surprised that the shampoo had not been more stripping, especially given the two sulfates packed in the bottle. This is perhaps partly owing to the awesomeness of the Pantene Color Preserve Shine Conditioner. I am willing to guess that the Color Preserve Shine Shampoo is such a strong cleanser because of the Color Preserve Shine Conditioner that is formulated to follow it. The conditioner formula is quite rich, and can build up easily on the cuticle over time without the right level of shampoo detergents to lift the extra product residue at subsequent shampooings.
I gave the shampoo a strong rating of four because the cleansing quality of the shampoo was great, and the formula is obviously well put together to buffer the effects of the surfactants as much as possible. However, it missed a five for me because my color-treated/relaxed, dry hair needs a formula with less lift. I would certainly like to see Pantene come out with a color line shampoo that doesn’t have sulfates, period. This would be a great improvement upon the formula!
Shampoos are not intended to be stand-alone products and work best with a conditioner that is formulated to redeposit quality proteins, oils and lipids back onto the cuticle. The Color Preserve Shampoo is no different. The shampoo’s double surfactant power may be a bit much for those already battling extreme dryness, but if followed by the moisturizing conditioner or Pantene’s Color Nourishing Treatment, you’ll be A-okay!
The Color Preserve Conditioner in this set is the redeeming quality for the shampoo. Used with the conditioner system (which is excellent, by the way), the shampoo is vindicated! This is definitely a case of needing to use the entire system to get optimal results.