I've been looking into this ingredient and the word is it's pretty harsh. Harsher than a traditional sulfate. Then again, I think it would vary from person to person because some reportedly think it's gentler. I'm curious as to everyone's feelings on the subject.
I tried Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo the other day as a clarifying shampoo and my hair felt pretty stripped afterwards. (I babied it back with some EVOO but it took some TLC.) I think it would be okay to use again provided I pre poo beforehand. It contains "C12-14 olefin sulfonate". I'm thinking that's what might've stripped it and not the cocobetaine.
Also my mom (a wavie) is a big fan of the Organix Coconut Shampoo. It says sulfate free, but it contains Sodium C 14 16 Olefin Sulfonate. Because she loves the product so much I mentioned it to a wavie friend. This friend purchased it and in two washes she says it severely stripped her hair color. I can vouch for this. I saw her hair just last week. It is now three shades less bright.
So what's the verdict--more harsh, less harsh? Is there a low poo out there that contains just cocobetaine that I could use for clarifying? (I won't need to clarify anytime soon but I might as well be prepared.)