Black Pantene Commercials: Is that real hair?

I just saw one of the Pantene Relaxed and Natural commercials (the one where the lead has like a thousand ringlets and they are having a “picnic” or something) and I’m asking the question…is that the lead model’s real hair? Sure, sure I know they use fake hair in all kinds of hair care product commercials for all races. I mean…I’ve seen very few women who have hair the reflects light like a mirror. However, when it comes to black women, I’d love to know if that’s a wig, half a head of weave, a few pieces for fullness…what??

One or two times I’ve seen that Pantene tries to be true to the natural in the title of their products, relaxed and natural. I’ve seen older models with very short hair cuts and models with kinky weaves. However, I’m a black woman who loves hair…I know a weave when I see one. I may not know the number of bags of hair or the color (1B is my fave when it comes to braid hair), but I know about texture and sheen. Nothing says weave like you real permed hair being kinda lack luster or dry and your weave being “just permed” shiny.

I’d be interested to know any black women out there like the line. I’ve read a few bad reviews. Hair care products can be a very particular thing when it comes to black women. My mom used the same comb for years and years, and would be pissed when it got misplaced. I’ve talked to sisters about perm strengths and hot oil treatments vs. cream conditioning treatments. The opinions abound in hairland. I think Pantene just wants a piece of the black hair market pie…and that’s a huge pie. I’m not mad at them.


Filed under african american, assimulation, beauty, black, black women, culture, opinion, women

38 Responses to Black Pantene Commercials: Is that real hair?

  1. c

    The conditioner was okay as long as i was wearing my hair curly, although i found Pantene’s conditioner for color treated hair (really, any conditioner for color treated hair works well on my hair- curly or straight) worked much better than this specialized line.

    The cream oil treatment made my hair feel like a heavy, greasy and stiff mess. When i flat ironed, which i haven’t done for almost a year, i used a little cholesterol and my hair felt like hair.

  2. yuck…I hate products that leave your hair heavy and greasy. I’ve found that so many products that are marketed to black women just seem to be reformulated products that these companies already sell…they just add more grease to the mix and call it black hair care.

  3. tobytash

    I love their intense conditioner that comes in the little jar. Other than that, their products are crap.

  4. Cami B

    LOL, just giving my two cents I would have to say I think that her real hair. There is another Pantene comercial where the lead model is wearing her hair straight, and it is absolutely beautiful and shiny. It wouldn’t be that uniform in texture if it wasn’t. There are black women with long hair that is their own, I’m one of them. There are black women with long hair that’s super shiny ,what some would call “good” hair. I personally don’t agree with that term, becoming more enlightened as a black woman it equates “good” hair with being straight and “bad” hair with being tight curls which is most African-American’s hair in it’s natural state. And again, I said most. Some African-Americans have hair that is that texture without chemical processing, usually do to some multiracial parent/grandparent/great-grandparent. I had to laugh, because all my life I’ve had people constantly asking me if I have a weave just because I have brown skin and long hair. I still get it even though, to me, it my hair doesn’t look like a weave. I’ve had to tell people like “Yes we do exist, there are black women who have a lot of hair that is their own.”

  5. Cami B

    Oh, and I do use Pantene products. I use the “Midnight Expressions” for color treated hair. It intensifies my black shade and makes it very luminous and shiny. I’ve always had black hair, but relaxer’s have pretty much stripped my color making it kind of brownish. So periodically I use semi-permanent black rinses to bring me back to black.

  6. c

    Cami, i have long hair too, thick and coarse. And when it’s flat ironed, it’s pretty shiny like you said. It used to get pulled when i was a teenager and people still ask if it’s mine. (Although, even if it was a weave, it’d still be mine because i’d’ve paid for it. :) )

    i hate that whole “good hair” ideology. It is a symptom of the effects the establishment has on our folks. Before i discovered the deep conditioning found in products for color treated hair, i was forced to choose those for “dry damaged” hair.

    But my hair was not damaged, just different.

  7. Cami B

    Re: C
    Giiiirrrrl, I feel you on that. My hair is long, thick and coarse/frizz prone too after I first wash and dry it. Then once I flat iron it (I loooove my ceramic flat irons) it is very silky and shiny. And it cracks me up every time I get questioned as to whether or not my hair is a weave.LOL as if I have to be pale and almost white in order to have long hair that’s mine! 😀

  8. Cami B

    It may sound silly but I find myself wondering sometimes what I’m going to do with my hair when I’m an old lady. I don’t know if I’ll still be putting relaxer’s in my hair, whether I’ll let my hair go all gray or what. I don’t know that I’ll be up to putting relaxers in then, maybe I’ll have my daughter’s or future grand-daughter’s do it for me. And by then I don’t know if I’ll still have the mentality to care about my hair being straight. There’s a part of me, becoming more enlightened to the fact that having straight hair is conforming to European standards of beauty. And that part of me wants to go back to my natural hair state. But I think I’m still too young to be able to make such a drastic change. Superficial or not, I’ve grown accustomed to being the brown girl with the “long pretty hair”. And though I’m sure it would still be pretty if it wasn’t straight, even if it was dreaded into mini locks, it would be a different kind of pretty I’m not quite ready for. But really, I have plenty of time to ponder that one as I’m only 24. Maybe I’ll just brush my hair back into an old granny bun when I’m old. Lol

  9. Lynell

    Does anyone know if Pantene makes a pro-v relazer for black hair, and if so is it any good. pls rsvp to the hotmail address.

  10. Tee


    I have long, thick naturally curly hair that looks shiny like the models hair on the commercial. Becuase my hair is like caucasian hair( have to wash it everyother day because it oils up on its own), I use only caucasian products. The Pantene line I live by. I absolutely love it. But, the only product I use from the relaxed and natural line is the break defense conditioner. Otherwise, I use the line for curly hair or the sleek and smooth.

  11. Girl with real hair

    I’m biracial, but you can’t really tell. I’m dark to be mixed I’m about Tyra or Beyonce’s complexion. My dad is VERY DARK, so I don’t look like Alicia Keys or Jasmine Guy. Though I’m dark, I came out with naturally wavy hair that grows and grows and grows. I model professionally and I was chosen by a casting company to audition for Pantene. The requirement was that the model have real hair which was below the shoulder. I have hair below my shoulder blades and I’m constantly harassed because they think my hair is fake. I don’t care for Pantene’s products for women of color because it is a one-size fits all product. Sorry, I hate to say it, but African American women don’t all have the same type of hair! Perhaps we have some similar concerns, but why only designate a few cookie-cutter products to an entire population? I do use Pantene products which were meant for all hair types though. I find that it’s less heavy and it doesn’t build up in my hair.

  12. cutegirl

    this is addressed to “girl with real hair”
    I am that same skin color that you are describing and in the black race that is not considered dark skin. Dark skin is someone similar to michael jordans color. Maybe someone white taught you that but not true dear.

  13. CUTe&napPY

    i just purchased a conditioner and SHaMPoo from the Pantene RelAxed and NAtURal

    i hope it works i just cut off my relaxed hair and have no clue what to do NExt LOL..

  14. Xoliswa

    I am an african african with relaxed hair and i am chocolate brown. Hair is below shoulder length and sometimes people think its a weave. A friend recently gave me Pantene’s relaxed and natural shampoo, conditioner and intensive moisturizing oil lotion( it is not sold in the UK as far as i know). Am quite happy with the shampoo cos it washes greese out well with just two lathers. Conditioner is ok though i still don’t believe it can’t reduce hair breakage. I love the lotion because it makes my hair feel real smooth and adds shine but thats only when i use curlers or tongs , not just blow dry. The thing with long hair is that it is too time-consuming to maintain! However having said all that the best product for me ever since i started relaxing is the Dark and Lovely cholesterol conditioner. Somehow it changes my hair texture to sort of mixed race and it becomes really soft. What do you think? Probably will go back to that when Pantene runs out!

  15. Abby

    Sometimes my hair annoys me because it’s not like Caucasian hair and trendy like all my white friends so I know what you mean, no black person I know will have hair like that – unless it’s a weave.
    Pantene doesn’t know about Afro hair, if they see a black woman with long shiny hair they won’t know it’s a weave and that black people’s hair doesn’t grow like that.
    I’ve tried Pantene before and it just left my hair dry and broken.
    But does anyone know any good hair treatments for my hair besides relaxing and perming (I don’t want my hair to break as it’s quite a length for a black person) and hair extensions/weave/wig (I’m not allowed to wear them)?
    It’s almost impossible to get my hair right these days, it’s always “unstylish” and “not trendy” but what can we do?!

  16. c

    i don’t think trends are good to follow. That’s just my opinion. Often, trends don’t consider different textures. There are caucasions that have dry or frizzy hair. Keep it neat, clean and easy and i guarantee, you’ll look beautiful!

    i recently started using the TRESemmé Flawless Curls line and i love it. My older daughter has longish, tightly curled hair that was dry and hard to get through. We fought every time i had to comb it. But with the Flawless Curls, i can comb right through it! And her curls are shiny and soft.

    Even with that recommendation, i’ve found that finding the right hair products is a trial/error process. i’ve had to try several products over the years to find what works for me and my girls.

  17. Abby

    Thanks for the tip

  18. Courtney

    I am a senior in high school and I see many hair trends within my generation. A lot of girls (not all) chose to wear their hair in a wrap or freestyle braids. I strongly dislike when people compare hair textures to good and bad. African-American hair is a gift that we should appreciate no matter what the “type” may be. We can do so much with our hair and have a variety of styles therefore I experiment with it all.

    Two years ago I went natural so that my hair would grow. What were the results of this daring stunt? My hair is very thick, curly, and hard to manage. It has grown a lot considering I had to cut off most of it but there are not that many natural hair styles that I like. Therefore, I am switching back to a relaxer.

    I used DOO GRO products for about eight years and it actually worked for growth. The Anti-Itch Shampoo works wonders for braids and twists. Their oil also is a must have because it revitilizes the roots without being left thick and greasy. But none of these products did anything for texture (making my hair soft, shiny, etc.) And it is somewhat expensive. I have also tried Motions which was a complete disaster making my hair super dry. The only thing that was somewhat useful was the Leave-In Conditioner which made it easier to pick out my afro. Proclaim has a heat protectant thats works really well whenever I got my hair pressed/flat ironed.

    These are just a few of the products I’ve used. I have researched many different ones to find the line that will be most beneficial for relaxed hair. I have never used Pantene Relaxed and Natural but I have a feeling that it is like a used car. Great deal in the beginning but after a while it wears out. But I agree, finding the right products is a trial and error process. I am still searching for a line that will be the whole package. Hope my comments were helpful.

  19. I have no African-American heritage whatsoever, but I do have Puerto Rican, Italian, and Egyptian. If you think you can imagine what my hair looks like, think again. It’s enormous (and I really do mean huge, I get daily comments about how much time it must take me to get it this big when all I do is step out of the shower), incredibly thick, curly, frizzy, dry, and has a very African-American texture to it. Even black girls don’t know what to do with it! So I understand where you’re coming from. I think that the models in the Pantene commercials are actually sporting their own hair. Between having top-notch stylists on scene, the great cameras and lighting, airbrushing computer technology, and the fact that anyone who is in a hair commercial simply must have great hair, anybody could look that fabulous in a picture or video clip!
    I used to use the Pantene products but found that I just needed to use too much of it and it was too expensive to be using half a bottle every time I wanted to condition or wash my hair. I ended up just using the Equate versions made by WalMart, and it works just as well, plus it’s far cheaper.
    I’ve never been able to pinpoint a good style for my hair. When I grow it long, (unlike most African-American hair, it can grow quite long without breaking, although I do get split ends) the curl loosens out into more of an S shape, but I can’t handle it. When it’s short, I get a very unattractive white-person ‘fro look. Anywhere in the middle, it looks like someone just hacked at it with a pair of garden shears. Any ideas for what I can do to get a good look and maintain it?

  20. blkgirl

    I have extremly thick hair that grows long. Just this past Friday one of my co-workers told me he is convinced I’m not “all” blk because my hair is so thick, long, shiny, etc. This is a huge misconception and it is unfortunate that others as well as us feel that our hair can’t grow long and be thick…it must be a weave.

    I have found that since I have been doing my own relaxers (reg/mild Bantu) and using Pantene conditioner my hair is the healthiest it has ever been. About 15yrs ago I stopped going to the shop to get my relaxers. I only go into the shop every 6-12 wks to get my ends trimmed. I get complimented on my hair constantly and people can’t believe I do it myself. Pantene (Classic Care) has been a blessing for me. Since my hair is so thick traditional blk poducts weigh my hair down. I have had a couple of stylist tell me Pantene is bad for blk hair but it has been tried and true for me for 15yrs. BTW I don’t like their women of color line my results are from the Classic Care.

  21. Dormi

    @ Gabrielle: What you (And others) call “AA hair” is really African/Black hair. People say “AA hair” to talk about the curliest/kinkiest hair texture, but everyone knows that the source is Africa. So, based on the ancestry you listed–Puerto Rican, Italian and Egyptian–you have African ancestry and that explains your hair texture and its similarity to the hair of African-Americans, as people from your ancestral countries have varying degrees of African ancestry.

    I agree that the models are sporting their natural hair, but there aren’t large numbers of Black women with that type of hair. That said, Pantene, (and other hair companies) are trying to reel in the average Black woman buy selling the fantasy that using their products will give them hair like the models. I hope sistas don’t fall for the okey-doke.

  22. au naturel

    So, I am 16 and African-American (as in I am the first generation of my family to be born in America, the rest of them are all from Cameroon) and I used to relax my hair until about 3 years ago because it REALLY damaged my hair. It was very brown, thin, dry, and quite prone to breakage. So, when I stopped relaxing, I just braided it all the time. It was about shoulder length when I started, and I never actually cut off the relaxed part, it just broke off on its own with time… But anyway, it’s a a bit longer than that now and completely natural, and I still braid it (corn rows mostly, I’m too impatient for single braids/I have to have my hair redone quite often), but now I have found that when I try to leave it natural, I have no idea what to do with it. I do twists sometimes, but I want to have hair that I can just wash, put something in, and go out with a fro/ curls that are managable and not look like a crazy drug addict…. I have tried mousses and curl sprays, but they don’t really work (I assume because they are for white people). Does anyone have any advice for what I can do? I really don’t want to start relaxing my hair again, but I am going to be going to a camp this summer that is 6 weeks long, and there is NO way I can keep corn rows in that long without them looking horrid!

  23. ms lady

    i actually love the shampoo and conditioner, it makes my hair feel really soft after a wash… my sister not so much on the same page with me. she says it because i inherired the “good hair”… either way ive been using it for almost 2 years and love it, smells good too 😉

  24. ~JellyBe@n~

    I use Pantene For Women of Color and I love it. It keeps my hair beautifully smooth and silky. I have been using it for years. It even stimulates the growth. I searched for years to find a product just right for me and this is it. My hair is beautiful-long and thick and i don’t feel that any other hair care products come close to Pantene, so I love it and would reccomend it to all black women. Thumbs up!

  25. Mia

    I need to know if Pantene has a a hair relaxer.

  26. mishy

    i used to have really long hair. yeah i was also continually asked if it was my own, they cudn say weave coz i was too young to have one. that was till i was 13 and then i whent to this dumb high school that dusn let you braid your hair and then i was stupid enough to swim all the time ontop of that. im 15 now and my hair is really SHORT, does any1 know how i can get my hair lenghth back ( it was parst my shoulders or just about)? these south african products dont work much since i have kenyan hair.

  27. D.S.

    one of the girls in those commercials name is Bree. she is from ANTM. that is her real hair. I can’t speak for the other models.

  28. Mia, I am pretty sure Pantene does not have a hair relaxer.

    I also use both their shampoo and conditioner. Makes my hair feel baby soft and so much easier to detangle in the shower. I love it. And i agree on the smell. Smells soooo good. My boyfriend loves it. But this is what has worked for my hair. Sounds like from the other posts that the product doesn’t work for everyone.

    Happy Hair Growing!

  29. most of the time i use hair extensions because i love long hair`”-

  30. @ Abby, who told you that black women’s hair doesn’t grow? Where the hell are people getting this from? That’s an idiot statement. I’m 100% black and my hair is 23 inches long! Both of my parents are black. I use the pantene products for white women’s hair and my hair gets shiner than theirs. I have natural curly and wavy hair. No texturizers included. That’s a myth that black women can’t grow long hair. They just don’t take care of themselves correctly. I hear women talk about products to use on their hair but I never hear them talk about what they are putting into their bodies. Your health has a lot to do with your hair growth. How many women are eating right, drinking plenty of water and excercising? You can put all the shampoo, conditioners and oil in your hair that you want but it won’t change if you don’t change your diet. And I would never want a white woman’s hair. I work in the financial district in New York City and these white women’s hair is flat and thin. None of them have hair like the pantene commericals. I honestly think those are lace front wigs. Their hair is never that thick unless they are jewish or italian. I’ve never seen a white woman out here with thick beautiful shiny hair. That’s a damn lie. As usual they want to make it seem like white women’s hair is more desirable and people eat it up. And another thing, I wear my hair straight and I’m far from trying to look like I’m european. I have a right to wear my hair however I like. Black women who wear their hair natural or get texturizers always has something to say about someone wearing their hair straight. I don’t care to wear my hair in dreads or standing all over my damn head.

  31. madison

    Pantene for relaxed hair is FANTASTIC!! My hair was practically falling out before I used it, and now it look healthy, you just have to pair it with a moisturizer when you blow it out. Highly recommend for anyone who is frustrated with trying out different products to make their hair healthy.

  32. Nice commentary. Last Month I found this web site and wanted to let you know that I have been gratified, going through your site’s posts. I shall be signing up to your RSS feed and will wait for your next post. Best Regards, Lisa

  33. Nelo


    I totally agree with you. I’m in the south of England and I recently went natural and been looking for information online about natural haircare. My hair is so coarse (I’m from the Congos) that I was desperate. They are not long enough for me to try flattening them with an iron but I have tried that pantene for relax and natural and I just love it, especially the conditioner. I don’t know yet if my hair will grow past my shoulders but I decided to try.

    Here is a link you might find interesting:

  34. Ruth

    The girl on the commercial is not wearing any wig, it is her natural hair. I can tell u because I am from where she is from & I have the same kind of ringlet hair. I just need any leave in cream conditioner to have sithine like that. Not everyone from eritrea or ethiopia has the same kind of hair, even betwen my two sisters we have different texture & type of curls. I believe it is misleading to the consumer that their hair will look like it. My sister with the less curls wont have tight ringlet just by using pantene, she tried to match & we love her hair is jet black & shiny & when straight it last way longer than mine with frizz in summer humidity. In short I trying to say to.rock the hair god natural as given us & dont be concern how is not straight or curly enought.

  35. Lotti Dah

    I am an African American from Jackson, Ms and I have been natural for a year. My hair type is curly when wet…kinky when dry…silky straight with mounds of body when flat ironed. All my life, I have read and heard and discussed the hair stories of other women of all colors. I have to agree with one of the previous comments… its the product, but its really your lifestyle and eating habits that influence your hair’s good and bad days. I used Pantene Relaxed and Natural products when I had a relaxer, but I wasn’t impressed. I have pretty much tried everything. I have learned that the products made from natural ingredients enrich my texture and shine in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle/eating habits. When I was relaxed and silky straight, everyone thought it was a weave…now when I rock a fro or coils or whatever I choose to do, I get even more questions. Life has shown me that you have to learn what works for you, because everyone’s hair type is totally different. The beautiful thing about being a woman of color is just that. My sister and I both have the same parents…yet everything is different about us. She is caramel in skin tone, with red kinky hair and gorgeously medium BROWN eyes…I am lighter, with curly dark brown hair and eyes…and lol…blonde body hair.. Sounds crazy, but being uniquely different is whats up…and I dont expect what works for others will, work for me. I expect to walk my own path in life…and with my products. Soooo….yea. Do YOU. Oh!! And in reference to “Is it real hair?” It really doesn’t matter…they advertise what women want…”beautiful hair”…

  36. Neha singh

    I have long hairs. .too much long . .upto my knees. .n they r smooth n shiny cz i m using pantene from 7years. . .it givs a gd length. .n makes hairs healtier. . .i hv better experience of pantene hair fall control shampoo. .n d conditioner is awesome. . .make them shiny. .i m realy hapy wd my hairs. .evry1 apreciates fr thm:)

  37. Rita

    I agree with Lotti Dah – I’ve gone natural and use products that are all natural. I’m always asked if my hair is a wig. I wear my hair in Bob that’s not quite on my shoulders yet. Using natural products from Target and Whole Foods have really made a difference with my hair as well as my daughters. The products are less that $11.00 and they really work.

  38. a

    I enjoy reading through a post that can make people think.
    Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

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