Most shampoos, hair conditioners, and toothpastes have sulfates (or listed as sodium laureth sulfate), which is a cleansing agent that gives such products a rich lather. It has gotten a bad rap in the past few years due to rumors of it causing cancer and other skin maladies, but according to my research, the worst it can do is irritate sensitive skin or give you diarrhea if you ingest it. There's not much difference between using products with and without sulfates - except for the slightly higher price tag since the alternative ingredients cost more. Oh and less suds!
"Sulfate-free" does not necessarily beget a better hair product, however, if you have sensitive skin like I do then it may be a safer choice. :) My current hair buddies are the L'Oreal EverStrong Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner (P449 each), and true enough they haven't given me any breakouts or dandruff. I finally decided to use them after I had my hair colored!
The EverStrong line is 100% sulfate-free, 100% vegan, has no harsh salts, and contains natural botanicals (whatever that means). Okay even if I sound cranky I swear I love them. :P They smell like rosemary, quite herby and aromatic! The shampoo has a rosemary and juniper fragrance, while the conditioner has mint. It even feels cool on the scalp.
L'Oreal EverStrong Hydrate Shampoo
L'Oreal EverStrong Hydrate Shampoo ingredients
EDIT: Forgot to add this! The shampoo is actually quite sudsy, even though it doesn't have any sulfates. :) So if you're worried about your hair still feeling unclean and greasy, you won't have that problem with the EverStrong shampoo! It rinses off cleanly, too, so there isn't any feeling of chemicals left over.
L'Oreal Ever Strong Hydrate Conditioner
L'Oreal EverStrong Hydrate Conditioner ingredients
Indeed, the shampoo and conditioner keep my hair soft and smooth. They also help reduce the hair fall, but let's just chalk that up to the fact that I have very short hair at the moment. :) In any case they do not give me pimples! I've been using them exclusively for two weeks and they haven't initiated anything untoward. That's really all I ask from my hair products.
I still get frizzy but at least my hair doesn't feel dry and beat up after the color treatment.
So yes, if you have dry, brittle hair and/or sensitive skin you might want to switch to the L'Oreal EverStrong sulfate-free products. I'm very happy with them, and plan to purchase when I run out.
L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise products are available in Watsons, leading department stores, and supermarkets.