Fact: many shampoos contain animal parts, or were tested on them! If you love animals, you need to know about the best vegan shampoos for all hair types
By Lora O’Brien
Finding the best vegan shampoos isn’t easy. After all, even those of us who actually check the ingredients of shampoos may not know what stuff is animal based, and what isn’t. And the worst part is that even the most clean, natural shampoos can contain all kinds of animal parts!
The biggest culprit is by far keratin, which is derived from animal hooves, hair and skin, and is also the key ingredient to the makeup of our own hair. It’s used in many non- vegan hair care products to boost shine and manageability. But it’s not the only animal derived ingredient you’ll find in many non – vegan shampoos. You should also check the label for these ingredients, below.
Non Vegan Ingredients In Shampoo
Lecithin or Choline Bitartrate
Found in the nervous tissue of all living organisms, this is a waxy substance that is found not only in shampoos, but also lipsticks, creams, eye pencils, lotions, and soaps. A vegan alternative is soya bean lecithin.
Found in the nucleus of all living cells, it’s used in cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, as well as in vitamin supplements. These acids can be derived from animals or plants, but unless you see a leaping bunny on the label, you can assume it’s the former.
Placenta, or Placenta Polypeptides Protein
Are you ready to be grossed out? This is matter eliminated by fetuses, and comes from the uterus of slaughtered animals. Animal placenta is widely used in skin creams, shampoos, and facial masks.
RNA or Ribonucleic Acid
Found in all living cells, RNA or Ribonucleic Acid is used in many protein based shampoos and cosmetics. It can be harvested from plants, but again, if you don’t see a leaping bunny on the label, assume it’s animal derived.
Spermaceti, Cetyl Palmitate or Sperm Oil
This waxy oil was originally derived from the sperm whale’s head or – wait for it – from dolphins – but now, thank god, it’s most often derived from petroleum – but that’s not exactly good for your health, is it? Jojoba oil is a great vegan substitute.
This is a greasy yellow substance made from secretions (sebum) from the skin glands of sheep to condition their wool. It’s often used in shampoos as a humectant to keep hair hydrated.
More Cruelty Free Shampoo Brands Now Than Ever
It can be exhausting checking every label to see what’s in it. But luckily, there are loads of excellent vegan shampoos on the market that are also free of nasty toxic chemicals, too.
That’s great for our health, and that of the animals. Remember: even if they don’t contain animal ingredients, most shampoos have been tested on the eyes of bunnies! But vegan brands would never dream of doing that.
Here, I thought I’d share with you some of the best vegan shampoos for all kinds of hair types. Make the switch, and your hair – and animals – will thank you!
15 Of The Best Vegan Shampoos For All Hair Types
The worst thing about having dyed hair is preventing the colour from being stripped away. Pureology isn’t only vegan-friendly and kind to your hair, but its organic moisturising formula works to bring life back to even the dullest of locks. It’s best known for nourishing coloured hair and keeping it looking freshly pigmented, wash after wash.
Best for: Hair that has been left dry and lifeless due to hair dye. Why not try one of these organic conditioners if your hair is really thirsty?
Price: Around $30
Does your hair feel heavy? It could be a build up of products that are clogging your hair follicles and making your hair unhealthy. R+Co’s Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo uses a mix of coconut oil, rosemary leaf extract, witch hazel and tea tree oil to strip your hair of all that nastiness, without drying it out or leaving it lifeless. It also works to stimulate hair growth whilst it repairs damaged strands.
Best for: This is one of the best vegan shampoos for hair that feels heavy and lifeless and is in need of a serious detox!
Price: From $22
When a shampoo is described as being like ‘pouring a million tiny champagne bubbles on your hair’ you know you’re getting something luxurious!. Gloss Moderne makes one of the best vegan shampoos by infusing coconut oil with Brazil nut and fruit extracts. This creates a silky formula that will leave hair feeling like it’s been to the spa and back.
Best for: Reviving all hair types, but especially great for those looking to reverse damage.
Price: Around $30
We all shed hair. But sometimes due to colouring, styling and using toxic loaded products we can experience damaged hair that refuses to grow and even snaps off. Luckily, 100% Pure’s Grow More Shampoo not only deep cleanses and clarifies the scalp, it nourishes your locks making them stronger, healthier and revitalized. It’s practically a gym for your hair!
Best for: This is one of the best best vegan shampoos for anyone looking to encourage their hair to grow.
Looking for a faithful shampoo that’s really gentle? Rahua’s Classic Shampoo is one of the best vegan shampoos around! It both cleans and nourishes your hair, with zero harsh chemicals. Made from a 100% natural formula made from fortified Amazonian nut oils, healing quinoa, coconut and Shea butter, this well-loved shampoo removes dirt, oil and bacteria from your hair without stripping away the nutrients that keep it healthy.
Best for: A classic shampoo formula that you can always rely on.
Price: From $21
You may have noticed that even some of the best vegan shampoos fail to lather up when using them. This is because mainstream shampoos pack products with chemical detergents that makes the ‘poo foam up a storm. Well, Tabitha James Kraan has managed to create a product that not only lathers up really well, but also allows you to massage your hair with its rich and gentle formula. It also detoxes hair from heavy products and toxins at the same time.
Best for: Those in need of a multi-tasking shampoo that does more that just cleanse your locks.
Locks flyaway or lifeless? Achieve the appearance of thicker and fuller looking hair with more body and bounce thanks to Juice Organics’ volumising formula. Its blend of antioxidant-rich passion fruit and fruit oils will promote healthy locks. Soy and barley proteins will keep boost your hair shaft, making your mane appear more abundant.
Best for: This is one of the best vegan shampoos for those with thinner, flyaway hair.
Price: Around $24
We’re not all blessed with straight, silky strands. In fact, some of us are left battling frizzy hair after washing. Well, not anymore! A’kin’s Rosemary Shampoo is enriched with a nourishing blend of oils, such as ylang ylang and lavender, which work to eliminate impurities from both the hair and scalp, whilst controlling frizzy and flyaway hair.
Best for: This is one of the best vegan shampoos for taming frizzy hair into smooth and manageable locks.
Price: Around $21
Bring volume and bounce to your hair with Love Beauty and Planet’s Volume and Bounty Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower Shampoo. It’s a bit of a mouthful to say (and type!) but this formula is infused with all kinds of goodness. There’s coconut oil to keep your mane shiny, and mimosa flower to make it smell sweet.
Best for: At under $10, this is one of the best vegan shampoos for those on a budget.
Price: Only $9. Bargain!
Looking for a shampoo that indulges your hair? Look no further. Giovanni’s Smooth As Silk Shampoo pretty much does what the label says. In short, it leaves your hair feeling silken and pampered. Enriched with grapefruit, apple, aloe extracts and vegetable protein, the pearlised formula transforms your hair into silky strands. Its antioxidant protection will leave your mane soft and shiny, even if you live in a big city. This is one of the best vegan shampoos for controlling even the unruliest of hair.
Best for: Damaged tresses in need of a boost of silkiness.
Price: Only £7.99 (around $10). Bargain!
A favourite with celebrities, superstar hairdresser Oribe’s shampoo could be the holy grail of hair care. The award-winning, rejuvenating cleanser combines healing oils and extracts that have been used for centuries. It blends these with modern technology to create a shampoo that strengthens each individual strand of hair, whilst helping strands to look healthy and preventing future damage from occurring. And did I mention: it smells divine??
Best for: This is one of the best vegan shampoos for bringing life back to hair, whilst preventing it from future damage. It’s also great for those who don’t mind splurging a bit on hair care.
Price: A whopping $154! But fans of Oribe believe it’s worth it.
Are you a blonde whose hair tends to go greenish after swimming? Or a brunette who doesn’t want to colour her hair, but wishes it had some golden highlights in the sun? Or maybe you’ve dyed your hair and don’t want the colour to fade?
Infuse My.Colour Wash shampoos are 100% vegan friendly and paraben free and are designed to infuse hair with natural, subtle, biodegradable colour, adding an immediate colour refreshment and tone to hair with every wash.
Best for: Those looking to maintain coloured hair without pricey salon visits.
Hair dull and lifeless? It’s time to wake up both your hair AND your mood by using Green People’s Vitamin Shampoo. Made using an all-natural, aromatherapy-based fragrance, as well as soothing aloe vera and avocado, this cruelty-free and vegan shampoo is the perfect antidote for hair that has been overexposed to sun, salt or chlorine.
Best for: Taking on holiday. It will keep your hair healthy all through your vacation
Price: From $13.95
This product is a bit of a miracle – organic AND vegan friendly, it promises to stop hair loss for both men and women. They even have a money-back guarantee if you don’t see results! The main ingredients here are cassava root, aloe vera, coconut oil and B vitamins. Don’t expect it to lather up like a commercial shampoo – but do expect to see results within 3 months – or your money back.
Best for: Anyone suffering hair loss.
Thanks to environmental factors and hair styling, your hair can become incredibly dry – more so if you choose to dye it. And dry hair lacks lustre, and can be pretty limp – who wants that? Soothe your hair back to silkiness with this lavish shampoo by Zatik. Virgin coconut and baobab oils combine to your enhance softness, and leave your tresses conditioned.
This is one of our favourite vegan shampoos, and one of the most economical! It’s formulated with essential fatty acids, essential oils and plant extracts with qualities that will help to restore your hair’s health, all while soothing the scalp.
Best for: Those with coloured and/or dry hair.