Is TRESemme Bad For Your Hair? Will It Harm Your Locks?

LuxeLuminous is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

TRESemme is one of the most popular hair care brands in the world. With its origins in America, TRESemme is known for its affordable products that come in sleek, simple packaging, offering products like shampoos and conditioners, hair sprays, and other hair treatments. 

While they may be affordable, the renowned brand has recently come under fire due to the dubious quality of some of its shampoos.

Is TRESemme bad for your hair? In this article, we’ll look at the ingredients and qualities of this shampoo, and answer some more questions about the brand.

Read on for more.


The Ingredients in TRESemme

As you probably already know, TRESemme offers a wide variety of shampoos that are each designed to address specific hair concerns and types. All of them promise to leave your hair feeling silky, smooth, and healthy. 

TRESemmé Shampoo Moisture Rich 3 Count for Dry Hair Professional Quality Salon-Healthy Look and Shine Moisture Rich Formulated with Vitamin E and Biotin 28 oz
  • RESTORE VIBRANCY: This gentle...

However, before you race to the nearest drug store and pick up your next bottle, it might be useful to know what exactly TRESemme is putting in these products.

  • Thickeners – Thickening agents like cocamide MEA and carbomer are used to stabilize the texture of TRESemme’s shampoos and give them a consistent viscosity. 
  • Surfactants – These are synthetic chemicals that aid in breaking down oil and dirt particles in the hair and on the scalp. Common surfactants are cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl sulfate, and TEA-sulfate.
  • Glycerin – Glycerin is an alcohol that occurs naturally and is used in shampoos to provide the scalp and hair with hydration.
  • Conditioning agents – TRESemme is known for adding conditioning ingredients into their shampoos. These agents help smooth hair texture and soften the hair and often include chemicals like dimethiconol.
  • Fragrances – All of TRESemme’s shampoos contain perfumes and fragrance ingredients. Some of the more common ones include limonene, hexyl cinnamal, and linalool.

These are just a few of the long list of ingredients that go into every bottle of TRESemme shampoo. It’s clear to see that many of these ingredients contain some abrasive chemicals.

These are just a few of the long list of ingredients that go into every bottle of TRESemme shampoo. It’s clear to see that many of these ingredients contain some abrasive chemicals.

Adding a high volume of any chemical to your body, including your hair, is bound to damage it. 

Is TRESemme Bad For your Hair?

After a post of a woman blaming her hair loss on TRESemme’s Keratin Smooth Shampoo went viral in 2020, a class action lawsuit was launched against Unilever for intentionally selling products containing harmful ingredients.

Upon closer examination, it was revealed that the ingredient that caused severe reactions in consumers was DMDM Hydantoin. 

This ingredient is a preservative that is used in cosmetics to prevent bacterial and microorganism growth in products. It is classified as a formaldehyde-releaser and is thus not only quite damaging to the skin but is also potentially carcinogenic. 

When DMDM Hydantoin comes into contact with water, it releases formaldehyde, which is an impurity released by certain preservatives that are used in cosmetics.

When absorbed into the bloodstream, this harmful chemical can cause serious eye, skin, and lung irritations and, in extreme cases, even cancer. Repeated use of products containing this chemical results in long-term exposure to a carcinogen. 

Is TRESemme’s Hairspray Also Bad for Your Hair?

It’s natural to wonder if any of TRESemme’s other products are safe to use on your hair, considering that their shampoos are so damaging. One of the brand’s best and most popular products is its hair spray, and if you’re worried about whether or not it’s safe to use on your hair, you’re in luck. 

Your frizz will be controlled without much harm using TRESemme’s sprays.

No products found.

TRESemme hair sprays are safer to use on your hair than their shampoos are. They do not contain phthalates and also do not release formaldehyde into your hair when used.

However, their formulation does include one or two synthetic chemicals that could cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. 

Here’s a quick overview of the main ingredients in Tresemme hair spray:

  • Benzyl alcohol – This solvent and preservative is known to irritate the scalp, especially in those with sensitive skin.
  • Denatured alcohol – Denatured alcohol is a solvent commonly used in hair sprays and can have a drying effect on the scalp and hair. It contains ethanol, which effectively dries up oil on the skin. This chemical is known to be fairly toxic when inhaled.
  • Propellants – Butane, isobutane, and propane are hydrocarbons used in hair sprays and are known to cause skin irritations. 
  • Fragrance – There is a combination of several fragrances in most Tresemme hair sprays, and while they might smell nice, they can be quite irritating to people with sensitivities. They are also known allergens that irritate the skin and eyes, as well as lungs when inhaled. 

While these ingredients might not be harmful to all people, they are known to cause irritation in people with sensitivities. 

What About TRESemme Conditioner?

TRESemme claims that their conditioners help revive and moisturize limp hair, but if you have a sensitive scalp, they may not be the wisest choice for you. 

They’re not all bad, though.

In fact, they are free of parabens and sulfates. However, in 2019, it was revealed that they contained DMDM Hydantoin, which, as we already know, is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative known to cause scalp dryness and even hair loss. 

After the class action against Unilever – the mother company of TRESemme – this harmful chemical is no longer used in TRESemme products. 

Unfortunately, not all of Tresemme’s conditioners are free of silicone, which means they might be too heavy for non-curly hair and difficult to wash off. They also contain the heaviest silicone, dimethicone, which is suspected of contributing to hair loss. 

Tresemme conditioners also contain fragrances and colorants, which can be quite irritating to people with sensitive skin. If you have a particularly sensitive scalp, we suggest staying away from Tresemme conditioners, as they may cause you to break out into an uncomfortable rash. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).