Is Tresemme good or bad for your hair?

Tresemme is a popular American haircare brand usually known for its affordable yet luxury packaged products. The brand produces everything from shampoos to conditioners, hair mousse, hair sprays, and other hair treatments. 

However, the iconic brand has been under the spotlight for the controversial quality of some of its shampoos alleged to have caused hair loss in some customers. So, is Tresemme good or bad for your hair? In this review, we will give you a definite answer.


Table of Contents

What are the ingredients in Tresemme shampoos?

Tresemme has a wide range of shampoos for a variety of hair concerns and hair types that promise to deliver smooth, silky, and healthy hair. But before you rush out to get your next bottle you might want to know what exactly is in these products. Here is a list of the most common ingredients in Tresemme shampoos:


These are synthetic chemicals that help break down dirt and oil particles present on hair strands and the scalp. They include sodium lauryl sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate, and TEA-Sulfate.


Thickeners like carbomer, cocamide MEA, and are used to stabilize the texture of the shampoos and control their viscosity.

Conditioning agents

Tresemme shampoos contain hair-conditioning ingredients that help soften and smoothen hair texture. These include chemicals such as PPG-9, PPG-12, Dimethiconol, and Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride.


Glycerin is a naturally occurring alcohol used in shampoos to hydrate the hair and scalp. 

Disodium EDTA

This ingredient is used as a chelator, an ingredient that attracts unwanted minerals away from the hair shaft and helps them rinse off.


Common preservatives found in Tresemme shampoos include sodium benzoate, DMDM hydantoin, and phenoxyethanol. Preservatives help prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria in hair products that may come in contact with water.


The Tresemme shampoos all have fragrance ingredients and perfumes. Some of which include Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene and Linalool.


Shampoos contain a combination of color oxides, mineral micas, and dyes to improve the aesthetics of the products.

Why Tresemme Shampoo is bad for your hair

After a viral post in 2020 of a woman attributing her hair loss to the use of the Tresemme Keratin smooth shampoo, a class action was launched against Unilever for intentionally selling products with potentially harmful ingredients. After close examination, it was discovered that the ingredient responsible for severe reactions in numerous consumers was DMDM Hydantoin.

DMDM Hydantoin is a preservative used in cosmetic products to prevent the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in products. This product is classified as a formaldehyde-releaser, thus is extremely harmful to the skin as it is potentially cancerogenic.

When in contact with water, DMDM Hydantoin releases formaldehyde, an impurity released by certain preservatives used in cosmetic products that get absorbed into the bloodstream. This harmful chemical causes severe skin, eye, and lung irritations as well as cancer. Recurrent usage of products containing this chemical implies long-term exposure to a carcinogen. 

Although in 2021 Tresemme announced that they will be reformulating all of the products without DMDM hydantoin, there did not proceed to a recall of previous batches containing this toxic ingredient. As such, there still exists a risk for consumers to get exposed to these harmful products.

Other harmful ingredients in Tresemme Shampoo

Although this brand is very popular, like most drugstore hair products, they are made with cheaper ingredients as opposed to more high-end brands that have high-performance ingredients. The risk, in this case, is the presence of harmful chemicals that in the long run could be more harmful to your scalp, hair, and even overall health. Below are some of the ingredients found in Tresemme shampoos that are bad for your hair.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is one of the harshest surfactants in the beauty industry. This cleanser is known to be too stripping on the skin and ends up destroying natural oils present on the skin and scalp. Using Tresemme shampoos on a daily basis will render your scalp sensitive, cause excessive dryness,  and weaken hair strands. 


TEA-Dodecylbenzenesulfonate is another sulfate-based cleanser known to strip color from both natural and colored hair. This cleanser can equally be very drying on the skin and scalp.


Although it is fun to use a product that smells nice, it should be noted that a single fragrance listed at the back of a product is a combination of over 20 chemicals; most of which are known allergens that tend to irritate the skin. The Tresemme shampoos all have over 5 fragrance ingredients which significantly increases the risk of adverse reactions on the scalp.

What about ingredients in other Tresemme products?

Since 1947, Tresemme has created a wide range of products including hairsprays, conditioners, and hair mousse that target lots of hair concerns and hairstyles. And just like their shampoos, all other Tresemme products are majorly made with synthetic ingredients. Some common ingredients found in these products include:

  • Aqua – or water used as a solvent for the formulation.
  • Alcohol Denat – is used as a solvent and texture adjuster in hair care products.
  • Propellants – Tresemme hair sprays and hair mousses are aerosolized products that contain propellants like Isobutane, butane, and propane to disperse the products on the hair. 
  • Fragrance – All Tresemme products contain fragrance or perfume that make them aesthetically pleasing.
  • Preservatives – All Tresemme products contain preservatives like Methylchloroisothiazolinone/ Methylisothiazolinone, and  Sodium Benzoate to kill off bacteria and prolong the shelf life of the products.
  • Silicones – Tresemme products contain silicon-based ingredients used to soften and smoothen the hair. This includes chemicals like dimethicone and Cyclopentasiloxane.

Is Tresemme hairspray bad for your hair?

With all the bad press on Tresemme shampoos, it is natural to ask yourself if Tresemme hairsprays are safe to use on your hair. The good news is they are safer to use on the hair than the Tresemme shampoos. They do not contain phthalates, and are formaldehyde or formaldehyde-releasers like DMDM hydantoin. 

However, they do contain a few synthetic chemicals which could cause irritation in people will sensitive scalps:

Denatured Alcohol

Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent in hairsprays and can have a drying effect on the hair and scalp. In effect, it contains ethanol, an alcohol that dries up oil on the skin. Denatured alcohol is known to be particularly toxic especially if inhaled. This is a real risk as hair sprays are aerosols whose particles linger in the hair during application. 

Benzyl Alcohol

A preservative and solvent that is also known to irritate the scalp, especially in people with sensitive skin.


A combination of several fragrance ingredients can be found in most Tresemme hair sprays. These are known allergens and irritate the skin, eyes, or lungs when inhaled. 


Dispersing agents like butane, propane, and isobutane are hydrocarbons that can cause skin irritations.

It should be noted that although these brand’s hair sprays are generally safe to use, it may not be advisable to use them during pregnancy to avoid unnecessary irritations.

Is Tresemme conditioner good for your hair?

Tresemme conditioners claim to help moisturize and revive limp hair but they may not be safe to use if you have a sensitive scalp.

On the bright side, they are sulfate-free and paraben-free. But in 2019 it was revealed that they contained DMDM Hydantoin a formaldehyde-releasing preservative known to cause severe scalp dryness and hair loss. The good news is after a class action against Unilever, Tresemme’s mother company, this harmful ingredient was removed from all their products. 

However, before purchasing your next product here are a few things to note:

Not silicon-free

Not all Tresemme conditions are silicon-free therefore, they can be too heavy for non-curly hair and difficult to rinse off. They contain dimethicone which is the heaviest silicon used in hair care and is suspected to contribute to hair loss products.

Contain potentially irritating preservatives

Although Tresemme products no longer contain DMDM hydantoin, the Tresemme conditioners are made with Methylchloroisothiazolinone/ Methylisothiazolinone; two preservatives that are known to be corrosive to the skin and eyes when used in high concentrations. As such, during application on your hair, you should be careful to avoid exposure to other parts of the skin.

Contain fragrance and colorants

Again, if you have a sensitive scalp you will want to stay away from Tresemme conditioners as they contain chemical fragrances and dyes that are known to cause allergic reactions.

Is Tresemme mousse bad for your hair?

The main concern with the Tresemme mousses is they contain ethanol, an alcohol that can be very drying to the scalp. They equally contain propellants like isobutane, propane, and butane to disperse the product which is known to cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Using too much mousse without properly moisturizing and conditioning your hair can cause it to dry out and increase breakage.

Is Tresemme good for colored hair?

Tresemme shampoos that contain TEA- discolor both natural and dyed hair. This cleanser is often too stripping and daily use may cause your scalp to dry out and your hair color to fade. 

Is Tresemme good for black hair?

Tresemme has a range of natural products for afro hair called the Botanique Collection range. This range is 90% natural and includes products enriched with natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, hemp seed oil, etc. These products are sulfate, silicone, and paraben-free thus safer to use on the skin. However, they do contain fragrance.

Does Tresemme have sulfates?

Yes, many TRESemmé shampoos and conditioners contain sulfates, specifically Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, which are common ingredients in many personal care products. However, TRESemmé also offers some sulfate-free options in its product line. Always check the label for specific product ingredients.

What are the potential side effects of using TRESemmé shampoo?

Some individuals may experience side effects from using TRESemmé shampoo, largely due to ingredient sensitivities. These can include scalp irritation, dryness, or allergic reactions. Sulfates, found in many TRESemmé shampoos, can strip hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness and frizziness.

Additionally, prolonged exposure to certain chemicals could potentially damage hair over time. However, most people use these products without significant problems. It’s always recommended to do a patch test before using a new product if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies.

Does Tresemme make your hair fall out?

Some customers launched a class action against Unilever after using the Tresemme Keratin smooth shampoo claiming it had caused hair loss. This is due to the presence of DMDM hydantoin, a formaldehyde releaser in the said product. As of 2020, this ingredient was removed from all Tresemme products containing it.

Despite this lawsuit, it hasn’t yet been proven that hair loss was directly caused by Tresemme shampoos. Hair loss can be caused by several reasons including, hormonal imbalances, stress, genetic makeup, pregnancy, serious illness, medication, diet, or even hair styling methods. In case of signs of irritation after using a Tresemme product, it is best to see your doctor.

Do TRESemmé products contain formaldehyde?

No, the Tresemme product does not contain formaldehyde.  However, certain products may be formulated with ingredients notably preservatives, that release minimal amounts of formaldehyde. According to the brand the scientific community agrees on the fact that such small amounts of formaldehyde do not cause any harm as opposed to the risk of ingestion of the compound. 

Can I get a refund if my Tresemme shampoo contains DMDM Hydantoin?

No, you can’t. Tresemme does not offer refunds nor did the brand recall batches of shampoos containing DMDM Hydantoin. However, they have a 30-day refund policy on hair shampoos and conditioners in case of dissatisfaction.

Are Tresemme products natural?

No. Tresemme products are not made with natural ingredients. However, the brand recently launched a  90% natural product range made with rich organic ingredients. This range carries sulfate, silicone, paraben, and phthalate-free shampoos, conditioners, and other treatments.

Final Thoughts – Is Tresemme good or bad for your hair?

So, are Tresemme products good for your hair? Overall, they are safe to use but not the best quality out there. Although the brand has shown good faith in the reformulation of all their shampoos and other products that contain DMDM hydantoin, they still have a lot of harmful ingredients that could be bad for your hair. 

The Tresemme Shampoos contain sulfate-based cleansers that are too stripping and drying for the scalp. The Tresemme conditioners contain preservatives, silicones, and fragrance ingredients that in the long run may be bad for your hair. Their hair mousse and hair sprays contain ethanol which equally is drying to the scalp. 

The brand, however, considers its consumers’ concerns and offers select sulfate-free shampoos on its website.

Using these products over time may sensitize your scalp and for anyone with an already sensitive scalp, it could make this worse. These products are best for people who do not have sensitive hair or scalps. 

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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.