Women's Hair Care
Shop vegan and cruelty-free women's hair care products. From shampoo and conditioner, to hair colouring and anti-frizz spray, all hair care products in our store are 100% free of animal-derived materials, ingredients, by-products and testing.
What are vegan & cruelty-free hair care products?
The term “vegan” with regard to women’s hair care products, refers to products that do not contain ingredients that are derived or sourced from animals or insects. The term “cruelty-free” means a product (and its ingredients) is free of animal testing.
Please Note: On this site, we feature hair care products that are both vegan AND cruelty-free; they contain no animal or insect ingredients, and are not tested on animals.
What animal ingredients are typically found in hair care products?
Ever wonder where the protein in ‘protein enriched’ shampoo comes from? Chances are, it’s from an animal that wasn’t treated too kindly, to say the least. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common animal-derived and sourced ingredients that are found in many non-vegan shampoos and conditioners, as well as some effective, plant-based alternatives:
Squalene: An oil typically sourced from shark liver. Vegan alternatives include vegetable oils such as olive oil, wheat germ oil and rice bran oil.
Vitamin A: Typically derived from fish liver oil (such as shark liver oil), egg yolk and butter. Vegan sources include lemon grass and wheat germ oil, carrots, other vegetables, and synthetic production.
Biotin: This ingredient is often used as a texturizer. Biotin is found in all living cells, and in large quantities in milk and yeast. Fortunately there are many plant-based sources of this B vitamin as well, including carrots, onions, leafy greens, cabbage, and fresh berries.
Cetyl Alcohol: At room temperature it’s a waxy substance that’s found in the head cavity of whales, dolphins, and other beautiful cetaceans. Vegan alternatives include cetyl alcohol that’s plant sourced, which is often derived from coconut.
Gelatin: Most gelatin is made by boiling discarded animal bones, skin, and ligaments. It gives products such as hair gel a thick, smooth, gelatinous texture. Vegan alternatives include Irish moss (carageenan) or seaweed (agar, kelp, etc.).
Hyaluronic Acid: A protein that attracts and retains water, to act as a moisturizer and lubricant in dry, and generally lifeless hair. Also happens to be taken from rooster combs. Fortunately, there are some animal-friendly ways to get hyaluronic acid; it can be produced synthetically, and many foods such as vegetables and soy help us to produce it naturally.
Keratin: Found in animal hooves, feathers, horns, and hair, it's supposed to restore damaged hair, make hair stronger, and even keep curly or kinky hair straight. Many brands use plant-based amino acids in place of keratin.
Stearic Acid: This name often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs, and sometimes even euthanized pets. Stearic acid has many aliases and derivatives, including Stearamide, Stearamine, Stearates, Stearic Hydrazide, among others. Fortunately for animal lovers, stearic acid can be found in many plant and vegetable fats, including coconut.
Lanolin: A product of the oil glands of sheep, extracted from their wool, it's used as an emollient in many skin and hair care products. Alternatives include plant and vegetable oils.
Silk Protein: Derived from silk, which is made by silkworms. Is said to improve hair’s elasticity, and resiliency. Vegan alternatives include plant-based proteins such as corn, rice, soy and wheat.
What companies make vegan/cruelty-free women’s hair care products?
The following companies make shampoo, conditioner, hair dye and/or styling products that are cruelty-free and vegan-friendly:
- 100% Pure
- ACURE Organics
- Alba Botanica
- Andalou Naturals
- Arctic Fox
- Avalon Organics
- Developlus (also makes the “Satin” and “Splat” lines)
- Giovanni Cosmetics
- Good Dye Young
- Henna Colour Lab
- Kiss My Face
- Nature’s Gate
- Original Sprout
- Paul Mitchell
- Primary Syn
- Shea Moisture
- Tints of Nature
More to Come: An ever-increasing amount of companies are starting to respond to the increased consumer demand for cruelty-free, vegan, and chemical-free shampoos, conditioners, hair colouring and styling products; more companies will be listed here as we find and contact them.
Does buying vegan/cruelty-free hair care products make a difference for the animals?
Absolutely! It comes as a surprise to many that buying vegan & cruelty-free products is actually one of the most effective forms of animal welfare activism, and one of the best ways to promote animal welfare issues. When you buy a vegan and cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner set for example, you’re telling stores, manufacturers, and everyone in the supply chain that there’s a market for items that forego animal cruelty; companies will naturally respond to that demand by making and supplying products for consumers to purchase. The more consumers doing this, the greater the effect. Conversely, this will erode the market share of products that test on animals and use animal-derived and sourced ingredients, ultimately resulting in less animals harmed and/or slaughtered for products.
I’ve just turned vegan, should I get rid of my old non-vegan products?
Deciding on how to deal with your old non-vegan (and non-cruelty-free) products is without a doubt one of the more challenging aspects of becoming vegan. There really is no right or wrong answer for this question; ultimately, it comes down to what you’re no longer comfortable using, which old products you can afford to replace immediately with vegan/cruelty-free products, and what you feel can be given away in a hygienic manner. Your best options might be to give away any unused or gently used products to friends and family, or to use products (if you’re comfortable doing so) until they have run out or otherwise outlived their usefulness. Simply throwing them away is generally considered wasteful, and we would recommend turning to that only as a last resort.
How do you choose which hair care products to list?
We maintain a growing list of companies that we find, or that are suggested to us, that make women’s hair care products that are rumoured to be vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. We contact these companies to find out straight from them if they abide by cruelty-free practices, including:
- Not testing their final products or ingredients on animals
- Not paying someone else to test ingredients or final products on animals for them
- Not using ingredients that are tested on animals
- Not selling their products in countries wherein animal testing is required by law, such as mainland China
Any vegan-friendly products made by companies that abide by these guidelines, and that are sold on Amazon, are listed here for your shopping convenience.
Why are some products you list only available in Canada or the United States?
We try our best to find vegan and cruelty-free hair care products that will ship to Amazon customers across the globe. However, some of these products don't ship outside of the country in which they’re being warehoused for various reasons, such as excessive taxation on certain products, or hefty importation fees.
Similar product categories
If you’ve found this page on women’s vegan hair care helpful, check out similar product categories to learn or shop more:
For companies that make vegan & cruelty-free hair care & styling products
If you make vegan and cruelty-free shampoo, conditioner, or anything other hair care product for that matter, we’d love to feature you and your products on the “Brands We Love” section of our site! Contact us at - info(at)getitvegan(dot)com - to get started!
Some of the information for this mini guide on women’s vegan hair care was compiled from the following sources:
- Skin Care Myths: “13 Animal Products in Cosmetics.” Lorraine Dallmeier (n.d.). Herb & Hedge Row. Retrieved April 21, 2017. http://www.herbhedgerow.co.uk/animal-products-in-cosmetics/
- Articles: “Is My Shampoo Vegan? A Guide to Vegan Hair Products.” (June. 11, 2013). The Vegan Woman. Retrieved April 21, 2017. http://www.theveganwoman.com/is-my-shampoo-vegan-a-guide-to-vegan-hair-products/
- Shark Feed: “There’s Shark in Your Lipstick: Everything You Need to Know about Shark Liver Oil.” Danny Clemens (July 3, 2015). Disocvery. Retrieved April 21, 2017. http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/shark-week/shark-feed/theres-shark-in-your-lipstick-everything-you-need-to-know-about-shark-liver-oil/
- Animal Writes: “Animal Rendering Products In More Places Than You Think.” Renea Mohammed (Summer, 2003). Resne.com via The Vancouver Humane Society Newsletter. Retrieved April 21, 2017. http://www.rense.com/general39/animal.htm
- Articles: “Vegetarian Alternatives To Collagen Supplements.” (July. 30, 2016). WayfaringRachel.com. Retrieved April 21, 2017. http://wayfaringrachel.com/vegetarian-collagen/
- Articles: “All About Different Types of Proteins in Hair Products.” Nikisha Brunson (March, 2015)). Urban Bush Babes website. Retrieved June 6, 2017. http://urbanbushbabes.com/all-about-different-types-of-proteins/