BTMS (behentrimonium methosulfate). You won't be able to use gypsum in your house (calcium sulfate) or take chondoitin sulfate supplements. Sulfates are all around us, so to say that sulfates aren't good for us is a sweeping statement that has little to no validity.
What the heck is a sulfate and why does it seem to show up all over the place in our ingredients? Join me for the next Chemistry Thursday to learn more!
This is why I hate the glib reminders that "If you can't pronounce it, don't eat or use it" or "Sulfates are bad for our hair" because we don't get into the why of the concept and never truly understand why we do what we do. (Quick! Spell anthocyanin. Can you pronounce it? If not, then you must avoid these fantastic flavonoids! See - it's a silly rule!) If someone tells you to avoid something, ask them why. Find out exactly what that person thinks will happen if you use that ingredient, and ask them for the evidence - solid, reputable evidence - for their statement. (Yes, it takes work, but anything worth having does.)
I still have no idea why we are supposed to avoid sulfates in shampoo - yes, SLS is considered a less gentle surfactant, but SLeS, ALeS, sodium myreth sulfate, and others are not! - despite the recent discussion about the topic on the blog! (I'll link to it later when I'm not mobile!) If you can provide a solid explanation and some good evidence, please comment here! (Note: EWG and Skin Deep are NOT reputable sources!)
Surfactants: Alkyl sulfates (the family in which you'd find SLS)
Surfactants: Alkyl ether sulfates (the family in which you'd find SLeS)
A few links about SLS
How to interpret surfactant names
Query: Why do you think SLS is bad for your hair?