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L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System Isn't So Pure Review

is a Solution for:
Dry or Brittle Hair, Dull Hair
Reviewed by ErinP February 1, 2013 34 Comments

Pros

Leaves hair richer in color than sulfate shampoos

Cons

The bad ingredients far outweigh the good
Everpure is not so pure at all

I am hyper-aware of what goes into the products that I choose to apply to my hair, face and body. So when I came across L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System line, I immediately wanted to investigate. The flashy commercials featuring celebrity endorser Eva Longoria Parker's flowing locks didn't hurt either. While L'Oreal can't hold claim to the title of first or only sulfate-free shampoo on the market, it is the first company to offer a drugstore line. There are plenty of sulfate-free options out there for sudsing up from hair care powerhouses such as DermOrganic, Enjoy, TIGI, and Back to Basics. But unless you're lucky enough to find these brands in the specialty section of your local Target, they all usually require a trip to Sephora or your favorite salon, and can cost upwards of $15 to $30.

See our Five Best shampoo recommendations and Five Best hair conditioners

L'Oreal EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care System brand features three separate lines aimed at smoothing, moisturizing, or volumizing color-treated hair, and every product is under $10. I've been dyeing my hair for almost nine years in an attempt to keep my natural brassy red highlights from washing out my complexion. It seems, however, that no matter how deep, dark, or cool I try to go, within a matter of weeks the orange-tinted hue is catching the sunlight and breaking through, long before my roots are necessitating another salon session. Any hair care line that offers longer-lasting color is worth trying in my book (or shower, as it may be).

Sulfates, and most surfactants, are color-stripping culprits, but only because they're doing their job. By definition, these ingredients - which include sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lareth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate and myreth sulfate, amongst others - are cleansers and foaming agents. In order to truly clean your hair, they must have some stripping action that allows them to whisk away oil, dirt and residue. Unfortunately, naturally moisturizing oils and luxurious color often follow the greasy gunk down the drain after a thorough shampoo session. This can leave hair dry, dull, and weak. In addition, sulfates have been linked to contact dermatitis and irritation, can be considered potential carcinogenics, and are only CIR approved for "brief use followed by thorough rinsing from the surface of the skin."

What's In L'Oreal EverPure Color Care?

According to L'Oreal, "EverPure Color Care products are 100% vegan and contain naturally-derived cleansing ingredients with no harsh, color-stripping sulfates or salts. An exclusive Anti-Fade system protects and conditions for long-lasting purity." Thanks to what they're calling 'advanced technology,' L'Oreal has supposedly found a way to provide a milder alternative that still provides sudsy satisfaction and clean locks without traditional sulfates and surfactants. And with 100% vegan ingredients at that, which means everything is animal free! So what is in L'Oreal's EverPure Sulfate-Free Color Care shampoos to substitute for the harsh sulfates?

At first glance, I was feeling pretty warm and fuzzy about my new EverPure Smooth Shampoo. Sodium cocoyl isethionate, the second ingredient in the formula, is a mild surfactant derived from coconut oil that actually has some conditioning properties, so in theory, it is one cleanser that may replace some of the moisture that it's taking away (although it can be an irritant, according to some studies). Benzyl salicylate can also offer some UV protection and keep color from fading and sun damage. But then things begin to go downhill. Additional primary cleansers and foaming agents include sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, which can be an irritant and isn't considered very mild nor natural, and disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, which the Cosmetics Database actually rates as a moderate hazard ingredient because of its potential to carry ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane, known toxins and carcinogens. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is even worse, since it actually increases absorption levels, and can be contaminated with nitrosamines. There are also a number of PEGs, preservatives (like methylisothiazolinone, a human skin toxicant according to the CIR), and some irritating fragrance ingredients, although natural juniperus communis fruit oil and rosemary oil do provide the pleasant juniper and rosemary scent. L'Oreal may have gotten rid of the harsh sulfates, but it seems to have replaced them with unsavory substitutes. Perhaps it is 100% vegan, but after close examination of the ingredients list, that seems to be a nice marketing attempt to jump on the organic bandwagon without doing any of the work to create a natural product.

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Does L'Oreal EverPure Color Care Work?

Although the shampoo was what really piqued my curiosity, I am a bit compulsive about being true to trying a brand, and did pick up the EverPure Smooth Shampoo ($6.99), EverPure Smooth Conditioner ($6.99), EverPure Smooth Frizz-Free Serum ($8.99) and EverPure Smooth Deep Control Masque ($9.99) for the full EverPure experience. After four weeks of trying out this line, I did feel as if my color was a bit richer than it's been when I've used other sulfate-laden shampoos and conditioners, and I am happy to say that I am still a lovely brunette, and not on my way to being a brassy redhead just yet. And I loved the smell of the conditioner, which substitutes mint for the juniper fragrance. The EverPure Smooth Deep Control Masque was my favorite product, and gave my hair a boost that left it thicker, stronger and smoother than before. However, even though L'Oreal may have finally introduced sulfate-free shampoos to the mass market, calling it EverPure is quite the stretch.

Check out our Five Best recommended shampoos and conditioners and all our Five Bests for face, hair and body

Ingredients in L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Shampoo:

Aqua/Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycol Distearate, Divinyldimethicone/Dimethicone Copolymer, Glycereth-26, Decyl Glucoside, Parfum/Fragrance, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, Amodimethicone, Polyquaternium-10, Methylparaben, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, C11-15 Pareth-7, Benzophenone-3, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Glycerin, Trideceth-12, Laureth-9, C12-13 Pareth-23, Linalool, Tocopherol, C12-13 Pareth-3, Limonene, Benzyl Alcohol, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Rosmarinus Officinalis Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid

Ingredients in L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Conditioner:

Aqua/Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Isopropyl Myristate, Quaternium-80, Polysorbate 20, Parfum/Fragrance, Methylparaben, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, Polyquaternium-37, Paraffinum Liquidum/Mineral Oil, Benzophenone-3, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Limonene, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, PPG-1 Trideceth-6, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol

Ingredients in L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Frizz-Free Serum:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethiconol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Parfum/Fragrance, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Coumarin

Ingredients in L'Oreal EverPure Smooth Deep Control Masque:

Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetyl Esters, Parfum/Fragrance, Trideceth-6, Methylparaben, Camphor Benzalkonium Methosulfate, Benzophenone-3, Cetrimonium Chloride, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Linalool, Rosmarinus Officinalis Oil/Rosemary Leaf Oil, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol

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  • March 6, 2016

    by Kelly

    I was very excited to start using a product with no sulfates and something that seemed healthy! After starting it, I notice my chest, back and hairline breaking out! It was so aggravating! I have not had this problem in the past. I was reading other reviews and saw the same thing. Just wanted to let anyone know in case you are experiencing the same thing.

  • November 23, 2014

    by Leticia

    I've been using this product for 2 months and it started leaving my hair super greasy! Shampoo is supposed to clean your hair, not leave it worse after washing! I just threw it in the trash.

  • November 4, 2014

    by Christine Bennett

    I am a stylist and had a client come in for highlights who had been using the Loreal Ever Pure shampoo. Before I even finished highlighting her hair, it started SMOKING, and I had to immediately remove the color. She went home and researched the the product and found that it contained iron that reacted with the bleach. If you color your hair, DO NOT use this product. I have been doing hair for 10 years and have never seen something like that happen in my life. Luckily I caught it quickly and her hair was ok, but other reviews suggested other people were not so lucky.

  • October 13, 2014

    by Stardust

    After using L'oreal sulfate free color system for dry frizzy hair, I started too itchy scalp, even washing my hair on same day or after just another day!! I don't know what could be the reason but my hair don't get clean nicely and looks dull. It's scary to me as I've always had shiny, soft, smooth hair! After 2 months, I've stopped using it, sadly. I wonder, why L'oreal is not producing their X-Tenso sulfate free pro keratin hair care range in US market!!! It's the best product I've ever used in my life time. Simply superb and fantastic that's available in Europe and in Asia! Kind of missed it in US.

  • March 31, 2013

    by Sally

    I have used both the conditioner and shampoo. It made my neck and back break out in acne really bad. Will discontinue use.

  • February 7, 2013

    by Priscilla

    It causes my hair to fall out and leaves it greasy after a day of washing it.

  • January 18, 2013

    by Jamie

    Mineral oil in any product is like putting plastic wrap on. Its 100% occlusive and prevents any of the good ingredients from penetrating it. Watch for it in all your beauty products. If your ever wondering why your products don't work as they should, its because they contain this oil.

  • November 20, 2012

    by sharon selvidge

    I am sorry that this sulfate free product did not work for most of you. I had an issue with hair loss and stopped using sulfate shampoos. My hair has grown back and is shiny and healthy.If you read other information on the internet, it states that sulfates can cause thinning. I guess I got lucky. I will keep using it I guess since I do not want a repeat of the hair loss previously.

  • November 17, 2012

    by you people with blogs...gosh (2)

    "Your comment has been accepted for moderation and will be published shortly"

    Fantastic. What a potentially biased mechanism you have here.

  • November 17, 2012

    by You people with blogs...gosh

    First, Erin your title is incredibly misleading. As an expert you should know about marketing tactics from a mile away, as should everyone else. It's simply the nature of businesses to make exaggerating titles and claims that their products work, it's up to you as the consumer to know which parts of the claim to believe.

    Anyone who actually believes that their hair will be as silky or as shiny as the celebrity in the commercial endorsing it is an ignorant consumer. Really that's a shame.

    To think that L'Oreal's "Ever Pure" shampoo is actually going to be "pure" (what ever that means since more than 95% of all of our hair care products and other hygienic items include synthetic polymers to enhance our features) is a pretty bad assumption.

    So your title says that it isn't pure, that's not saying much at all. And you never really proved how the shampoo could not be 100% vegan either. You just assumed it wouldn't be, even though it is true that it does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate.

    So it happens to contain sodium lauryl sulfoacetate and disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and you say that these compounds can cause skin irritation and that these are carcinogenic. Well, that's because both are salts and, honestly, if you look at the msds (material safety data sheets) for regular table salt they will say it can cause birth defects and cancer. Do you know how much salt a human being would have to ingest before this would happen? I can assure you that it's more than a human normally consumes in a lifetime. The same is true for the sodium compounds listed in the shampoo.

    So unless you know what the relative toxicity of these sodium compounds are, you are misinforming people by simply saying they are carcinogens and irritants and not providing a context.

    Second, this is a hair care product. Not everyone has the same hair. Some have finer strands, others, thicker. Some have more oils in their hair, others, less. Just because the chemicals don't work for your hair type does not mean that the chemicals are to blame.

    They are placed in standard concentrations for every product made by the company and, being surfactants, they will strip oil and grease from the hair as they are meant to do. If it turns out that one shampoo leaves your hair drier than you'd like, by all means try another until you find one that has the right concentrations of the chemicals that suits you best.

    You should not criticize the chemistry and science of the product, especially when you don't explain exactly how the compounds in the product are flawed.

    You are only misinforming the rest of the people out there, much like the L'Oreal commercials.

    However, I love how in the last paragraph you contradict your earlier statements in saying how satisfied you were with some of the products.

    By the way, ethylene oxide is a precursor used in the manufacture of common cosmetic makeup as well. And for someone to actually have adverse reactions from it, such as cancer, one would have to be exposed to it for about 8 hours. I don't think you need to worry unless you have a job in handling it daily.

    Erin, kindly do proper research on the chemicals you speak of next time you decide to critique a product.

    Then again, I suppose I understand the point of your title, if you simply wanted to get readers and not properly educate them at all.

  • November 10, 2012

    by linda

    YEp suffering from somehair loss too.. after a month and watching that 80's movie "the incredible shrinking woman" it finally clicked to actually look into why it just kept falling and falling.. so right after i stopped using this dreadful shampoo it finally stopped. horrible horrible shampoo dont ever buy. i like my sulfate shampoo clairol purple bottle.. looking into a more natural one soon.. the jason organic one left it greasy.. didnt clean it much. hoping my hair grows back :/

  • October 26, 2012

    by Sally

    I initially loved this product. It makes my hair look great. However, I think it's causing my scalp, chest and upper back to break out. I first started noticing pimples along my hair line not long after I started using it. Now I have pimples on my back and chest.

  • March 29, 2012

    by What?

    I don't get all the bad reviews. I just bought shine Loreal EverPure shampoo and conditioner and I LOVE IT!!! I have long color-treated hair that tangles very easily when being washed. With EP my hair really feels silky smooth. And you don't have to use nearly as much as other brands to get the same lather. The conditioner is just as awesome as the shampoo. It doesn't weigh down my hair at all and I find it easier to style than ever before. I won't be buying anything else.

  • January 12, 2012

    by Kayla

    "L'oreal tests on animals. How in the world can they call their product vegan?"

    exactly what i came to comment on. as an actual vegan the fact that they're trying to market their product as vegan infuriates me. it takes a lot more than just not including animal derived ingredients to be cruelty free. stop pouring chemicals into their eyes first! not only is it disgusting but it's outdated and inaccurate. get with the program, l'oreal. and don't call your products vegan when they're not.

  • September 9, 2011

    by Jazzy

    I also thought this product was terrible. My hair is super dry to begin with and with this it seemed to make it worse. Plus, now I smell like a man! My fiance thought I was cheating! The smell is awful!!!! Whoever thought I would smell like him.

  • January 12, 2011

    by marta

    Hi Cher, I recently started using Shielo leave in conditioner and am really loving it. You can read more about it here: http://truthinaging.com/hair/shielo-antioxidant-leave-in-protectant-reviewed-and-recommended. It isn't cheap at $19.99 but the quality of ingredients is very good.

  • January 12, 2011

    by Cher

    Hi,
    I meant to purchase the concitioner of L'Oreals sulfate free line, but ended up discovering that I;d purchsed the shampoo by mistake. I can;t see a thing and am always rushing around so don;t carry glasses if I have no purse. I thought I read it sufficiently without my glasses but no, i didn't. I wish Ild read the reviews before I spent my last 8 USD on this. Thanks for the reviews; I willl return it after the blizzard melts. LOL
    Thing is, what are or is a great altrenative that is inexpensive? My hair is color treated with both hi and low lites, very very fine & wany but I blow it out daily. It is super dry and frizzy if I don;t blow it out with conditioner and oil. Due to the dry atmosphere it is just horrible as of late. I need something like a mask and alsao a water soluble leave in conditoner probably. I prefet to stick with the products in a line. Rusk had a line containing items that helped my hair before but they even at targets are double the price of L'Oreal. I saw alot of diferent and new brands as well as Clairol. Would love to see more tried and true opinions of alternatives. Thanks cher

  • December 30, 2010

    by DoeE

    Wow.... I am happy I did my homework; like most I was going to run out and try it. I am glad I didn't. Thank you for all the reveiws!!

  • August 27, 2010

    by Elizabeth

    I did not like this product. I have very fine, baby soft curly hair. The first time I used it my hair fell out in chunks and im only 15. The same happened to my mom. My hair felt dry ,like if i rubbe body soap all over it. I practically had a fro by the end of my shower. Combing my hair out was another ordeal.

  • August 14, 2010

    by lola

    L'oreal tests on animals. How in the world can they call their product vegan?

  • July 11, 2010

    by copley

    Agreed, Brigitte- just another case of green washing. What a shame that even with all of L'oreal's R&D dollars, sulfates still can't stay out of it.

  • July 10, 2010

    by brigitte

    Terrible. Loreal false advertises. The ingredients have sulffate in them. Thats why the shampoo lathers so much. The deceive consumers. I returned the shampoo after reading ingredients.

  • January 4, 2010

    by Marla Palovik

    I'm with Brazlian Princess who says the line is terrible! I too tried the product at the suggestion of my daughter because it was supposed to be so gentle and more"natural." Well, after about 4 months of using the products I suddenly noticed some huge and horrible changes in my hair. I wear my hair long, about mid-back and it has been thick all of my life, but not course. After Everpure, my hair is now about 40% thinner, dryer, frizzy,and very "scraggly." Looks like I may have to cut about 6 inches off just to have some volume again. I am absolutely devastated. Don't have any idea how to reverse the damage from this so-called "pure" mistake they call Loreal Ever Pure!What ever you do, don't even give this crap a chance to do such damage to your hair.

  • January 4, 2010

    by dana

    thanks so much reviewing this. i saw the "moisturizer" today at CVS and was almost gonna buy it but wanted to do my homework on it first. i too thought the so called "sulfate free" thing was too good to be true when i started reading all the rest of the ingredients.
    pro: it's very cheap compared to other sulfate free shampoos.

  • November 21, 2009

    by Brazlian Princess

    Everpure is terrible!
    I tried the whole line and the "moisturizer" line dried my hair out so much I couldn't believe. I can actually say, it has been the worst line I ever tried! Sadly, because the idea of a drugstore brand with no sulfates or salts would be awesome :(
    So, the next sulfate free shampoo I am thinking about is "Hair One" available at Sally's beauty supply. It seams to be a generic of Wen shampoo.... let's see. Good luck y'all!

  • November 13, 2009

    by LL

    I brought this without reading the ingredients. As I got home and read them I thought about returning it. She's right, there's nothing pure about this. I thought, might as well have brought some moisturiing $8 shampoo with the sulfates.

  • November 11, 2009

    by ChristineB

    I won't be trying these products. The amodimethicone & other silicone derivatives won't wash out without a sulfate, which will give terrible build up (especially bad for my curls). Also, I live in a dry climate, so the glycerin will only dry my hair instead of protecting it from high humidity.

    Sometimes I feel finding sulfate, silicone, and glycerine free products is just a pipe dream.

  • September 26, 2009

    by Cheryl

    Since I already use organic (not vegan) cosmetics, facial and body care products, I figured I'd switch on over to vegan hair care. Well, I'd already tried Giovanni but it left my hair and scalp a bit dry, so when I saw EverPure, I decided to give it a whirl. I like it but don't love it. I'm usually pretty good about reading labels for ingredients but I guess I jumped on the bandwagon a little to soon and didn't do my homework. The shampoo dries out my hair and the conditioner doesn't seem to rinse all the way out. I'll probably finish up the bottle I have and after it's gone I'm back on the hunt for a truly "vegan" hair care regimen.

  • August 8, 2009

    by JulieK

    I was struck midstep when I first saw the promo for this product. Of course, the price point along with the sulfate-free formula was the hook I bit on, hard. I'm using the conditioner now (I still have plenty of Ojun shampoo left, which I consider wonderful, but pricey). I bought all the products (the smooth line), as well. I have only used it twice. I do notice it volumizes my hair- not necessarily something I want nor need. But what I do need is hydration (having aging hair! oh no). I plan to use the conditioner from "color to color," about 7 weeks. I'll let y'all know. ~jk

  • August 8, 2009

    by Susan

    I appreciate this review. When I saw shampoo at the drugstore, I thought, "Ok, no sulfates, but ingredients were added in their place?"
    I'm not familiar with shampoo ingredients so I didn't attempt to decipher the list on the container. After reading this review, I won't be buying another bottle of Everpure.
    Thanks for the info.

  • August 8, 2009

    by aerwin

    Has anyone tried that keratin shampoo and conditioner that was talked about in the newsletter last week? I can remember the name of it either. Natte?

  • August 8, 2009

    by Cristina

    I kinda enjoyed my sample especially how good it smelled. My hair looked pretty good but it's just on principle that I won't buy this. I just hate when these companies try to decieve me!

  • August 8, 2009

    by tango

    I bought the shampoo and conditioner since I wanted something "more natural". I don't hate them but don't love them either. I dislike the conditioner more than the shampoo since it feels like my hair is weighted down if I use the conditioner. Like I'm just not able to rinse it out completely. I will not repurchase and will buy some of the products recommended here instead.

  • August 8, 2009

    by aerwin

    I tried this and boy is it terrible! Luckily I only tried a sample pack. But it really left my hair dried out. Hated it.

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