Q: Sulfates- they are all bad for hair color and fade it, right? A: Not good ones and yes, there are good ones. When Pureology came out with the claim that sulfates striped out hair color and faded it, stylists and the public believed them, but, it's wasn't the type that was in pro products, but by then their advertizing scam was already in motion. L'Oreal jumped onboard and bought Pureology to have it under the Redken label. But there was a problem, the shampoo that Pureology made that wasn't supposed to fade haircolor was fading Redken's haircolor! So Redken had to put out another shampoo, now for color treated hair (even though the first one was supposed to be that too). There are sulfates that can fade hair color, they are NOT used in pro products. What eats out hair color is free radicals, and hair that is dirty has tons of them doing that right now. All sulfate free shampoos leave the hair slightly dirty, the cleansers they have are wimpy at removing all the dirty allowing free radicals to start to eat the hair color. I want clean hair and to have my hair color stay, so I use a sulfate shampoo.
Here's a Chemist friend of mine Perry explaining about them: Sulfates in shampoos: What are they? by The Beauty Brains
Ambarian asks…What exactly are Sodium Laureth Sulphate , Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate and Myreth Sulphate . What is their main purposes in a shampoo? Is it true if you buy a shampoo that contains ALS it is not as harsh on you hair . Is it true that these will strip hair of natural oil and moisture hence if you have dry / curly hair it is best not to use shampoo containing these? The Left Brain responds… In the industry, these compounds are known by acronyms such as SLS, SLES, ALS, etc. While we cosmetic chemists like to say really long words to describe chemicals, they can hamper conversations. These sulfates are all primary detergents that make shampoos, body washes and other cleansers clean and foam. Without these ingredients cleansing products wouldn’t work nearly as well as they do. Practically speaking, ALS is just as harsh on your hair as SLS. ALS is the main detergent of brands like Pantene, Herbalessences, Dove and Suave. SLS is used in Paul Mitchell, VO5 and lots of other brands. Of the ones you listed Myreth sulphate would be least harsh (although it is still more harsh than the things you’d find in a baby shampoo). These ingredients will not strip your hair of oil any worse than other surfactant bases. All shampoos strip your hair of natural oil. That’s how they clean. In this regard, avoiding these ingredients will not be helpful to you. Some people find these surfactants a bit more irritating than others so you might take this into consideration when buying a product with them in it. If you have dry/curly hair than you can use any shampoo but make sure you use a conditioner afterwards. This will help replenish the oils that are lost. If you are concerned about stripping natural oils, the only thing you can do is stop washing your hair. But remember the natural oils help capture dirt, dust and pollution that you walk through every day. For clean hair you really don’t want natural oils. Beauty Brains bottom line Sulfates are used in many personal care products and are some of the most effective ingredients you can use for cleaning. They often get bad press and the Natural crowd hates them, but they are perfectly fine ingredients. They’re what all of the Beauty Brains use.