A few months ago I read Afrobella’s r-a-v-e review of Pantene’s Curly Hair Series Deep Moisturizing Treatment, but this cheeky little square box proved elusive until I finally found it at a Target yesterday. The price was under $5, the packaging was cute, but when I flipped the label to check the ingredients and saw SODIUM HYDROXIDE listed, I gasped. I pulled my mom over to read the label to make sure I wasn’t misreading it, but nope, it was confirmed, sodium hydroxide was on the label and in this product.
What’s the big deal? Well the big deal is that sodium hydroxide (NaOH) is better known as lye, the same active ingredient in relaxers. My mind immediately wheeled back to the scene in Good Hair which Chris Rock and his scientist buddy immersed a Coke can into a solution of sodium hydroxide only to have it be eaten away within minutes. In addition to dimethicone (a silicone, which is the first ingredient listed on the label, meaning that it makes up the highest percentage of this product), there are also four conditioning agents, as well as four preservatives, which negate any of the benefits from the conditioners.
That all said, I am not a chemist and I have a feeling that the NaOH is probably being used to giving slip to the product. And in general lye is not a dangerous ingredient, after all it is generally included in most soaps. The point of me bringing this all up is to underline the importance of reading product labels and being aware as consumers of what is in the products you are buying. For me, tis the season to say ‘ho, ho, no thank you!’ to Pantene. As a natural who seeks to remove chemicals from my daily regimen (and stay as far away from relaxers as possible) I will certainly not be trying this product. As always, if it works for you and you have done your research, by all means, have at it!