Did you know that 80% of countries have no laws against animal testing? As a nation that does, it’s important that we stand up against it and do all we can to become a more conscious country. And that doesn’t just mean signing petitions − it means investing in good quality brands that never take part in animal testing.
We know it’s hard to keep tabs on everything that’s cruelty-free; there’s just so much to consider. So, just as we advise on finding the right cosmetics, we’ve also made it easier for you to shop cruelty-free hair care. From shampoo and conditioner to supplements and treatments, we’ve got all the best brands for taking care of your locks without compromise.
But first, let’s cover some basics.
What does cruelty-free really mean?
Put simply, cruelty-free means that the products and ingredients were not tested on animals before, during or after production. However, when it comes to finding cruelty-free brands, you want to make sure the brand’s suppliers and manufacturers adopt the same animal-friendly approach.
What’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan?
So cruelty-free doesn’t test on animals – yay! But vegan means that there are also no animal products in the ingredients – this could vary from beeswax and honey to gelatine and tallow (animal fats).
Most beauty lines who stand against animal testing will also carry a range of vegan products, if not a full collection.
With that in mind, here are our top 10 cruelty-free products.
Infusing the natural with the chic, Giovanni is paving the way in the hair care industry with products that use innovative technology and are made from eco-friendly ingredients. The Giovanni brand is committed to using only the purest formulations to create shampoos, conditioners, treatments and masks that are ultra-luxurious and all-natural. With collections to tackle every hair type – whether its dry, oily, frizzy or lifeless – Giovanni cover all grounds, offering something for even the most stubborn strands. And though they never test on animals, total performance is never sacrificed.
2chic Frizz Be Gone Shampoo is a nifty shampoo that will improve the elasticity of your hair while reducing frizz and flyaways, leaving it silky smooth and totally manageable. Not only will it moisturise your hair, it will also fight against the effects of humidity, meaning your hair is safe in even the most frizz-inducing weather.
2. yes to
This ambitious brand was formed in 2006 by two friends who wanted to make natural products from fruit and vegetables. Not only did they create beautiful products but they also went the cruelty-free route and never test on animals. This award-winning brand is currently the fastest growing natural beauty brand in the US and paves the way when it comes to affordable, guilt-free beauty.
The yes to Carrots Scalp Relief Conditioner is our favourite from the brand. Not only is it a novelty to think that we're nourishing our hair with carrots, but it's also a super powerful formula that relieves itchy, dry scalps. Made with 95% natural products, it's both kind to our scalps and the environment.
3. Shea Moisture
Shea Moisture is the embodiment of kind, ethical beauty. Their story begins in 1912 in Sierra Leone, where Sofi Tucker started selling homemade hair preparations enriched with shea butter and African black soap. Now, the brand is celebrated for using cruelty free ingredients that are also natural, organic and sustainably-produced. This paraben-free, sulfate-free and cruelty-free brand is leading the way with quality products for all hair types.
So whether you have compact curls or stubbornly straight hair, their friendly line is sure to have something to suit you. And because it’s all made from totally natural and nourishing ingredients, your hair will feel replenished and ready to tackle whatever elements that come at it; come rain or shine, you’ll always have sheer moisture. 100% natural, organic and loving, Shea Moisture is sustainable goodness in a bottle.
Sea Moisture's 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Range, is cruelty-free, hydrating and perfect for all hair types. Our pick of the pack is their leave-in conditioner, which, with its moisture rich formula, makes it easy to detangle hair whilst leaving it weightless and frizz-free. And, as an added perk, it smells incredible!
4. Bumble and bumble
Bumble and bumble have a rich history of hair care expertise and are famed for having created reliable and good-quality hair products. You may know them as a quality brand but they're also cruelty-free, refusing to sell their products where animal testing is required.
The strong creative team at Bumble and bumble created this product with those who have pushed their hair a bit too far in mind. Repair your hair whilst you sleep with this overnight mask and wake with moisturised, stronger hair.
5. Jack Black
This is one for the lads. As well as striving to help you look and feel your best, Jack Black is dedicated to providing formulas that are never tested on animals. Whilst they originate from Texas, they're the grooming brand that caters to the needs of modern-day men across the globe.
Achieving your signature hairstyle is made easy with this wax pomade. Boasting a lightweight feel, flexible hold and high-shine finish, it's all you need to add texture and definition to your hair. Not to mention, an infusion of tea tree oil protects and cares for your scalp, all whilst providing a refreshing scent.
6. Lime Crime
Lime Crime deserve their cult beauty status, bringing us colourful, fun and innovative products that add a magical touch to cruelty-free. They've taken the beauty industry by storm by creating high-quality formulations from long-lasting liquid lipstick to stunning eye palettes, to exciting hair colours.
7. Paul Mitchell
This renowned brand is truly dedicated to making our world a more beautiful place (and that goes far beyond giving out bouncy blow-dries). They were, in fact, the first professional beauty company to stand up against animal testing, and today they go above and beyond to create a culture of giving. From planting trees to preserving natural resources, Paul Mitchell is the definition of luxury and loving.
8. John Masters Organics
Well, the clue is in the name. John Masters Organics is all about feeding your hair with healthy, nutritious and clean products that not only make you look good but feel good about being kind to the planet. And, naturally, the brand never tests on animals. Partnered with local farmers, John harvests each wild ingredient as organically and sustainably as he can to bring his customers products that are as kind to your hair as they are to the earth. After all, we only have one body and one planet, so we must treat them both with the utmost care.
From hair guru and celeb stylist Jen Atkin comes OUAI, which is luxurious and totally affordable. OUAI believes that looking good should be easy and that luxury should be accessible…not just for those who can afford a glam squad. OUAI is all about embracing natural beauty, natural products, and natural (cruelty-free) processes – creating real hair for real life no matter how many Instagram followers you have. From the shampoos to the supplements, everything is designed to nourish your hair and make it the very best it can be. And the best part: not only are these products awesome enough to get the job done, but they’re extremely Instagrammable – I dare you to try not to take a photo.
Aveda is committed to making beautiful, naturally derived products that are always cruelty-free. They never test on animals or ask others to do so for them. They're also invested in the environment by supporting the development of renewable energy, in fact, all of their products are made with 100% wind power. Pretty nifty!
The Aveda Invati Advanced 3 Step Set is the perfect way to get your hair in ship shape. Made from 98% naturally derived products, it helps to reduce hair loss due to breakage and is a great way to get your hair looking full of life. Not only this, but it's a great gift to give your hair care obsessed friends and loved ones who are trying to use more cruelty-free products.
Amika are undoubtedly cool. Their product names are daring, their bottles are decorated in chic, colourful designs and they know how to deliver in-vogue looks for every style. They're also almost entirely cruelty-free, which we think is pretty cool too.
They stand for five core principles, each centred around a philosophy of self-expression and hair rebellion. Instead of traditional formulas, they readily create bold new remedies that are powered by their special ingredient: Sea Buckthorn Berry.
The streets of Brooklyn are laced with bombshells, and you can replicate that fearless look with this dynamic hair spray. Lightweight and strong-holding, the luscious spray injects moisture into your for big, bouncy and beautiful locks.
Spritz it onto your hair to enjoy added texture and volume for truly Insta-worthy locks.
Boucleme have two outstanding USP's: they cater all of their products to curly hair and they strive to use natural, organic and cruelty-free products where possible. Wholesome and ethical, they always choose a plant-based ingredient over a synthetic chemical, harnessing the power of nature for their enriching remedies.
Curly hair is harder to care for than straight hair, a fact Boucleme take into consideration when they formulate each nourishing product. This hydrating cream injects moisture into each strand to produce silky curls full of definition.
A soothing blend of nuts and oils combine to condition each strand from the follicle to the tip.
13. Mane 'n Tail
A hair care brand like no other. Mane 'n Tail made the unusual journey from horse hair to human hair, using the potency of horse care products to nourish human hair. We told you it was unusual.
Since beginning with a selection of shampoos and conditioners, they've since expanded to styling and colour protection whilst maintaining their ethos to never test on animals.
Get vibrant hair for longer. Gentle yet potent, this supreme colour protection remedy softly cleanses each strand without stripping away its essential oils. Lightweight and volumising, it gives coloured hair an extra boost and layer of body, perfect for anyone who's frequently fed up at how quickly their vivid colour begins to fade.
If we told you that 'Brio' translates from Italian as 'full of life' and 'Geo' translates from Latin as 'nature', you'd already have a pretty good idea of what Briogeo are all about. All of their products are comprised of at least 93% natural ingredients, and they're all also incredibly efficient. The pioneering brand are proof that the natural materials we're given are all we need.
Give some charisma to those curls. Briogeo's best-selling curl conditioner brings out unparalleled definition in every strand, utilising the potency of rice starch, amino acids and shea butter to leave your locks looking extra luscious.
Who doesn't want to feel a bit Noughty now and again? The award-winning brand have produced a range that is kind to your hair, back account and the Earth. They boast the slogan '97% natural' in reference to their natural, vegan and cruelty-free collection that is drenched in enriching nutrients, from avocado to coconut, peppermint to vitamins.
Cleansing the scalp can seem like an uncomfortable task, yet this soothing shampoo undergoes the job at hand with gentle efficacy. Ideal for dandruff-prone hair and sensitive scalps, it instantly relives itching, alleviates dryness and removes any excess build-up. It smells pretty dreamy too.
Olaplex are the rising brand in the beauty industry. Their worldwide appeal, global recognition and passionate fan base belie they relative inexperience: they were only founded in 2016, creating revolutionary products that hair care had never seen before. Now, they stand near the top of the pillar in everything hair related, backed by precise science and unmatched results.
Applying Olaplex's much-loved No.3 Hair Perfector is like wiping all the paint off a piece of art and starting again with a blank canvass. Utilising the patented Bond's Multiplying System, the replenishing remedy reconstructs the hair from within to rebuild weak and brittle locks. In a nutshell, it continuously repairs and regenerates your hair to keep it in optimum health.
Perhaps not a brand you'd associate with cruelty-free hair care, yet the beauty of Harry's is that they keep on surprising us (in a good way, of course). They've expanded from a simple grooming brand into a stalwart of bathrooms across the globe, becoming a fan favourite for their no-thrills, fuss-free and effective products.
Sorry girls, this one's mainly for the lads. Versatile and malleable, it allows you to resculpt your locks whenever you wish and keep them in place throughout the day. Go from a sensible slicked back look in the office to rugged and messy in the evening with just a few twists of your fingers.
18. American Crew
You don't get many brands that are cooler than American Crew. Stylish designs, imaginative products and bold slogans define their range, which includes numerous hair care products made of natural, cruelty-free ingredients. Each formula is designed to produce sleek, sharp hair styles that are easy to maintain and last throughout the day.
We're treating you to three products in one and an extra body wash to complement the potent shampoo and conditioner combo. Save space in your bathroom collection and money in your bank with this multi-purpose formula that's a must-have for a stress-free shower routine.
Moroccanoil are one of the most iconic brands, and for good reason: they centre their range around the nourishing qualities of argan oil, a central ingredient that is complemented by a myriad of cruelty-free materials. The luscious lotions deliver silky-smooth locks that you can run your hands through with a clean conscience.
Stemming from the innovation of Stockholm, Sachajuan have created a straight-to-the-point selection that is authentic, honest and effective. They ignore the temptation for tacky marketing gimmicks and outlandish claims, instead they focus their efforts on producing cutting-edge hair products full of enriching ingredients.
If you're interested in cruelty-free products and would like to add some to your routine, check out our edit of cruelty free cosmetics.
Written by Luke Chapman
After six years of experience in content writing, Luke followed his passion for male grooming, particularly fragrances, hair styling and natural skin care.