Magnificent Manes: Pantothenic Acid and the Hair Benefits of Pro Vitamin B5

Though cultural norms are always shifting (and usually for the better), it’s still much more commonplace for a woman to have long hair than a man. Add the fact that women don’t have to face the prospect of genetic pattern baldness quite like men do and ladies are for the most part free to have long, flowing locks for as long as they like throughout life AND have them be regarded as attractive within the standardized definition.

So while there are Fabbios among us, it’s more often women who are preoccupied with having a particular thickness and lustre to their hair. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fatty acids from fish along with monounsaturated fats from nuts and the like is the best place to start if you want find ways to have better hair for women, but there are supplement choices you can make to improve your hair quality too.

Which leads us to our first discussion point for today, and that being a discussion of how does pantothenic acid help improve hair quality and answering the question; is pantethine the same as pantothenic acid?

beauty-2309516__340.jpgNo, it’s not- pantethine is a dimeric form of pantetheine that is created when it is mixed with cysteamine. In simpler terms, it’s the active form panthothenic acid and as such it can be an even more effective way to promote better hair growth in individuals with certain physiologies. That’s due to the fact that as the active form it helps the mitochondria of cells turn fatty acids into energy to improve energy production in and from those cells.

More energy = better hair follicle development and optimized hair follicle cycle (anagen / catagen / telogen phases) that means better long-term hair follicle health.

In answering how pantothenic acid supplements are good for hair, we’ll begin by saying that pantothenic acid is classified as Vitamin B5. It helps with the synthesis of protein and fats, both of which are macronutrients that promote solid hair follicle structure as well repair damaged outer layers as needed. By also supporting the adrenal glands it promotes healthier and fuller hair growth in a roundabout way – by promoting greater overall body balance, and a greater sense of overall wellness and calm that normalizes many different neurochemical levels in the body. This balance promotes improved function in many aspects of biological growth and health, hair included!

Pantothenic acid is also very effective for treatment of acne vulgaris, a skin condition that has a similar etiology to male pattern baldness where hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Topical pantothenic acid applications have been show to stop or slow hair loss related to this disorder and in some cases even promote regrowth.

Great Metabolizer

The impressive array of pro vitamin B5 hair benefits all stem from the way it’s essential for optimum metabolizing of all the nutrients you get from your food intake. Specifically, B5 (also known as panthenol) is needed to deliver energy to your cells from those nutrients. When hair follicles do not receive this type of nourishment, they slowly begin to degenerate and either grow more slowly, less healthily, or in worst case scenarios cease growing altogether.

In regards to improving the appearance of your hair, Pro Vitamin B5 is a humectant – which means it attracts, holds, and binds water – plus moisturizer and emollient. As it’s applied to your scalp it forms a smooth film on the surface of individual hair cuticles, which increases the coherence of light reflected from the surface of the hair. This makes your hair look glossier and shinier, and the smooth film also makes your hair have better slip and be less prone to tangling.

Panthenol penetrates the cuticle and follicle shaft as well, aiding in moisture retention and providing volume, and some people claim that using Pro Vitamin B5 can slow the rate at which your hair goes grey with age.


Pro Vitamin B5 as panthenol is water soluble, alcohol soluble, semi-soluble in glycerin, and can be mixed with most oils, allowing you to incorporate it into many different topical hair treatment products. The most popular choice is to add it to your conditioner. One thing to note, however, when using B5 is that any-humectant containing product will be affected by climate and in particular the humidity levels there.

The general rule is to begin supplementing with pantothenic acid as soon as you notice shortcomings with the growth rate and quality of your hair. Here is our list of panthenol benefits for hair:

  • Strengthens hair roots and hair shaft
  • Activates pigment stimulation to reduce incidence of grey hair
  • Relieves scalp inflammation from eczeman psoriasis
  • Regenerates hair follice cells
  • More lustre and sheen to your hair 
  • More flexible hair
  • Reduced split ends
  • Improved moisture retention for hair
  • Less hair breakage when applying thermal heat
  • Thicker hair 
  • Fewer split ends
  • Protection for chemically-treated hair 

We’ll conclude today with a video link for any of you who’d like to try making your own liquid panthenol hair treatment using B5 powder: