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Top 10 Cruelty-Free Haircare Brands

By Luke Chapman - 3 years ago | Updated
Top 10 Cruelty-Free Haircare Brands

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 hair care brands and a collection of 13 of their best products.

1. Virtue

Infusing nasty-free formulas with a chic aesthetic, Virtue is paving the way in the hair care industry with products that use innovative technology. The brand is committed to using their impressive alpha keratin 60ku to create shampoos, conditioners, treatments and masks that are ultra-luxurious and help strengthen your locks. With collections to tackle every hair type – whether it's dry, oily, frizzy or lifeless – Virtue cover all grounds, offering something for even the most stubborn strands. And though they never test on animals, total performance is never sacrificed.

Favorite product:

Virtue Curl Shampoo

$16.00

For all the curly girls and guys out there, this non-drying formula will help maintain your natural curl pattern by getting rid of excess oil and build up, shielding your hair from humidity and environmental damage, and improving manageability and frizziness. All while remaining cruelty-free, vegan and color-safe!

2. 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.

Favorite product:

Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Conditioner

$12.50 $15.20 (18% off)

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!

3. 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.

Favorite product:

Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Starter Set

$39.01 $45.90 (16% off)

The perfect introduction to the wonders this brand can do for your hair! The Invisible Oil Shampoo and Conditioner will detangle and soften your hair with a six-oil blend (including almond oil, argan oil and more) while the primer cuts frizz by 50% compared to untreated hair. Get ready for super shiny locks with less breakage.

4. 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.

Favorite product:

Paul Mitchell Clean Beauty Repair Conditioner

$9.60

Organic amaranth extract and vegan pea protein hydrate your hair for glossy, bouncy results. If you've been heat styling or coloring your hair too often, this repairing conditioner is just the ticket.

5. OUAI

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.

Favorite product:

OUAI Wave Spray

$14.00

This multi-award-winning beauty buy is a great hack for when you want that ‘beach babe bed head’ look. Infused with rice proteins, it gives your hair an effortlessly cool wave which you can take from day to night.

6. Aveda

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!

Favorite product:

Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo

$34.02 $37.80 (10% off)

The Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo is the perfect way to get your hair in ship shape. Made from plant proteins and oils, it helps strengthen your locks 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.

Aveda Sun Care Protective Hair Veil

$29.37 $36.72 (21% off)

We usually forget about our hair when it comes to sun protection, but sun exposure can cause damage and dryness to our locks just our skin. Spritz on this lightweight mist (that smells absolutely divine!) and your hair will be protected from UV rays and their damage.

7. Amika

Amika are undoubtedly cool. Their product names are daring, their bottles are decorated in chic, colorful 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 centered 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.

Favorite product:

Amika Brooklyn Bombshell Blowout Spray

$28.00

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.

Amika Flash Instant Shine Mask

$26.00

A mask that works in 60 seconds? You almost wouldn't believe it, but the Flash Instant Shine Mask is here to prove you wrong. A blend of amino acids, flaxseed and antioxidants smooth your hair cuticle, improve elasticity and protect your hair from further damage, leaving you with soft, hydrated and shiny hair in just a minute.

8. 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.

Favorite product:

American Crew Firm Hold Grooming Cream

$19.40 $25.30 (24% off)

This cream gives your hair dimension and all-day hold without too much shine, and the patented Acumen Complex keeps hair conditioned and protected with antioxidants and vitamins.

9. Hairtamin

Offering something a little bit different, Hairtamin produce cruelty-free supplements to complement your hair care routine. Easy-to-use and incorporate into your daily routine, their potent supplements are powered by the strengthening power of biotin. They also deliver enriching shampoos and conditioners alongside the range of supplements.

Favorite product:

Hairtamin Gummy Stars

$36.00

Longer, stronger and thicker hair in the form of fruity gummies? Your taste buds and your hair will be craving these vegan gummy stars, which contain biotin, zinc, turmeric and vitamins B12, C and D to repair damaged locks, split ends and breakage.

Hairtamin Biotin Conditioner

$24.00

The perfect complement to your hair gummies or as a standalone product, this conditioner adds oomph to your tresses with biotin and vitamins A, C and E. The inclusion of peppermint, tea tree and lavender also feels lovely on the hair and smells just as delicious!

10. Olaplex

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.

Favorite products:

Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector

$30.89 $35.10 (12% off)

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. Utilizing their 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.

Olaplex The Complete Collection

$196.00

Of course, if you have some cash to splash, ALL of Olaplex's products are our favorite. You'll forget your hair was ever dry and damaged as this ultimate kit works to relink broken bonds in your hair, infuse it with hydration and add strength and shine.

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.

Luke Chapman

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.

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