Sulfate Shampoo OR Sulfate Free?

Happy Monday everyone!! I'm kicking this wonderful week off by answering your questions. Today's "Ask Jenny" post is a question from my Facebook Fan page. I kinda went a little overboard when answering it, but felt that I had sooo much to say on this topic. This is what a fan wrote in about Sulfate  Shampoo's. 

 I am contemplating doing an ombre effect to my hair but I also want to switch shampoo and conditioner. What is healthy for my hair and wont effect my color? I was told to look into sulfate free what is the best sulfate free line? I have medium length hair and it tends to fall flat a lot of the time which I think has a lot to do with my shampoo being too heavy. I currently use nexus diametress luscious volumizing.-Anomonyous

Thanks so much for your question!! This is a good one, now a days there are a lot of Sulfate free Shampoo's and Conditioners out on the market.  If the shampoo is sulfate free it usually will say so on the bottle. I particularly like Bain Chroma Captive.

Before I answer your question, since this can be a controversial topic, I want to ramble about a few points. First things first, lets talk about what Sulfates are and why they're in shampoos to begin with. Sulfates are typically inexpensive fillers in shampoos. Sulfates are the ingredients in shampoos and soaps that helps cut down the grease and creates lather. The lather from sulfate's is what leaves the hair feeling nice and clean.

Some people claim that sulfate shampoo can be harsh on the hair because it can strip your hair's essentials oils and can strip away the color molecules in color treated hair. The way I look at it is that there are so many factors that can be harsh for your hair. Take UV rays, chemicals, pollution, cigarette smoke for example, they all can damage the hair and can be a factor in your hair color fading. To be honest with you, I've never really noticed any difference with using a sulfate free shampoo and a regular shampoo on my own hair, except my hair feeling dirty and greasy when using sulfate free shampoo's. But keep in mind my hair is fine textured. When I use my sulfate free shampoo it feels soft, but a bit grungy. I think that sulfate free shampoo's are good for women who have thick, coarse, dry and curly hair. Because you almost want the natural oils to stay in your hair so it will naturally condition it. But its not for everyone.

Now, with me being a health conscious individual down to the cleaning agents I use in my own home, some claim that sulfates can cause cancer. Well, then take a look at all of your beauty products at home and I guarantee that you will find sulfates and other potential harmful ingredients in your every day getting ready beauty regimen. I know...sucky right? But if you are super concerned with your beauty products, I highly recommend checking out my favorite site. Its called and its basically a cosmetic database which will tell you what ingredients do what and its toxicity level. You'd be surprise, everything is toxic and "potentially" harmful.

Alright, so now you know the scoop, you can make up your own mind from here.  But
as far as recommendations for a new Shampoo and Conditioner, I'd have to say that it is really going to  depend on how drastic you go with your new ombre color. Are you going with a bold difference of dark at roots to light ends? If that's the case I'd say stick with a more moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner like Bain Satin(shampoo) and Lait Vital (conditioner) by Keratase. This shampoo and conditioner is not sulfate free, but its very moisturizing for dry hair but isn't overly heavy, so it would be perfect for your hair. Especially with your hair tending to fall flat.

If you are going with a softer and settle ombre, which is only a few shades different from roots to ends, then I'd say go for  Bain Chroma Captive and Fondant Chroma Captive_by Keratase. This will keep your color fresh. The only problem is that it is a sulfate free shampoo, so I feel like it's heavier than the Bain Satin, which can make you hair feel flat like you said you were trying to avoid.

Thanks again for you question! Do you have a hair question you are dying to know? If so, make sure to email me @ jennystrebe{at}