Looking for vegan hair styling products that are kind to your mane – AND to animals? Read on!
By Lora O’Brien
Rewind a few years, and vegan hair styling products were practically unheard of. Sure, food chains were pushing hummus and falafel wraps as ‘exciting’ vegan options, and it was understood that vegans didn’t wear fur. But if you went to your local drugstore and asked where the vegan hair styling products were kept, you were likely met with a blank stare.
No more, my friends!
Vegan beauty products are definitely a thing, and with good reason. We’ve already established the best vegan shampoos to use if don’t fancy pig placenta, cow hooves or crushed insects being washed into your hair.
But did you know that many styling products are also laden with animal-derived products? These include:
And that’s just to name a few. Gross, right?
Why vegan hair styling products should be natural, too
Even if you’re only buying vegan hair styling products, you should be aware that a lot of those can actually full of nasty chemicals. Just because they’re vegan doesn’t mean they’re ‘clean’!
If they’re not clean, that means ultimately, they can hurt your health. And if they can hurt your health, they can hurt the health of animals, too. Every time you wash them out, you might be putting any of these into our ecosystem:
- aerosol propellants
- polyvinylpyrrolidone plastic (which is a carcinogen)
- artificial fragrance (they can put literally whatever they like in this and not tell you. Legally, ‘fragrance’ is considered a ‘trade secret’. So unless the ingredients for a perfume are listed in a product, assume they’re bad).
The truth is, there’s no need to harm animals – or the environment – to have nice hair.
Whether you’re looking for a plant based hair gel to ease frizz or a natural hair spray to keep your ‘do in place, here I’ve tried and tested some of the best vegan hair styling products around.
They’ll help to make every day a good hair day!
Vegan Styling Products For All Hair Types
Who else hates those flyaway hairs you can never seem to tame, especially in winter? Now you can smooth them into place, thanks to Pacifica’s Vegan Silk Dry Hair Styling Cream!
This is a vegan-friendly product that provides salon-quality treatment for your hair. I love that it’s infused with Shea Butter to help condition the hair, while simultaneously taming frizz and preventing split ends and breakage.
It feels light between the fingers and smells awesome, thanks to natural vanilla fruit extract.
Best for: Frizzy, flyaway hair
This product is a multi-tasker! It’s a moisturiser and a medium hold styling gel all in one! It also boasts a unique texture. I can only describe it as a semi-solid jelly.
If you’ve got curly hair that leans towards frizzy, define your curls by applying a silver-dollar sized dollop. At first, your hair will feel a bit crunchy. But once the product is dry, you need to scrunch your hair upwards, and run your fingers through it. The end result? Soft, defined curls!
Key ingredients include Irish moss, sage and shea butter.
Best for: Curly hair of all lengths
Once you’ve styled your hair, you want to make sure it sticks in place. Many non-vegan hair sprays contain animal-derived ingredients and/or tons of really nasty chemicals. But luckily, Pureology have created a vegan spray that really works.
Not only does the spray protect against heat from styling, but it also lends a flexible hold, keeping shape even after you run your hands through or brush your hair.
Formulated with pure olive oil for shine and hydration, this spray keeps frizz at bay. And with its tangy, fresh combination of citronella and lemon, this spray will make your hair smell fabulous, too!
Best for: Keeping your hairstyle looking fresh all day long
As I mentioned above, not all of us are blessed with a thick mane of hair. I know that fine, limp locks can be a real confidence killer. But Revitalash’s Volume Enhancing Foam is here to the rescue!
This is a true breakthrough for hair! The unisex hair booster is designed to thicken and strengthen weak hair from the root to the tip.
Simply pump the foam into clean palms before massaging into the scalp. It’s definitely not the cheapest of all the vegan hair styling products I tried, but I love this product. Not only because it works to give my hair a bit more vitality, but because it is designed to help strengthen thinning hair. Which, sadly, I need!
That’s down to the brand’s award-winning BioPeptin Complex. This is a specialist blend of ingredients that work together to soften, condition and strengthen thinning hair. It also defends it against breaking and brittleness. Added antioxidants and B vitamins work to protect each strand while promoting a healthy scalp. This could be called a vegan hair serum as well as styling product.
Best for: Thinning, weak or brittle hair
Who doesn’t love the look of their hair after a trip to the beach? The sea does wonders for my mane. I for one am always trying to replicate that ‘just been swimming in the ocean’ finish.
To get those tousled locks, you want your hair to have a natural wave with added texture, too. Herbivore’s gorgeous Sea Mist spray is infused with Pacific sea salt. It’s like carrying around the sea in a bottle!
The clever formula contains aloe vera to provide lightweight hydration. That’s so you don’t have to worry about the dryness often associated with sea salt sprays. Your hair will not only look like you’ve just emerged from the beach like a Bond girl, but it will be silky soft, too.
As with all of Herbivore’s formulas, the ingredients are vegan, cruelty-free and synthetic-free. You won’t find any parabens over here! Plus, the packaging is recyclable and reusable.
Best for: Summertime hair vibes!
Price: £19 (Around $25)
Ever wondered why your styling products make your hair feel dry? You can blame silicones for that. They’re often added to make your hair look sleek and smooth. Even to vegan hair styling products! The problem is that silicone builds up on the shaft, hardening it. Eventually, it makes your hair dull and brittle.
Got that exact problem? You need No Frizz Nourishing Cream!
Like silicone, this nourishing cream helps eliminate frizz by blocking out humidity, and smoothing the individual hair strands, leaving them tamed and shiny. But unlike silicone, it won’t leave a residual heaviness on your locks, or harm hair in the long run.
Powdered by Living Proof’s patented Healthy Hair Molecule, OFPMA, it nourishes ad provides optimum moisture levels and assists in keeping hair cleaner for longer.
I found the cream to be really easy to use. Just apply generously on clean, damp hair, comb through and style with heat to give best results to a more glorious hairdo!
Best for: Really curly, dyed or damaged hair
Price: From $16
This is basically a primer for your hair!
Aveda’s Speed of Light Blow Dry Accelerator Spray is applied before you blow dry to prep your hair for styling. Bonus: it also saves energy by minimising your blow dry time!
It’s 90% naturally derived – so it’s almost organic, really! The spray detangles locks and protects against thermal damage, too.
To seal your cuticles and smooth your strands, there’s lactic acid. But don’t worry – it’s from sugar beets, not cows! There are also tons of plant based moisturisers and conditioners to keep your hair feeling lush and nourished.
At first I wasn’t sure I needed this, but when I learned it helps reduce hair breakage from blow-drying by 93%, I was sold! After I sprayed it in and dried my hair, I was also really happy to find that I had zero static for a change. And did I mention it smells DELISH? That’s thanks to Aveda’s patented pure-fume™ that’s comprised of certified organic mandarin, star anise, Ylang Ylang and other plants and flowers.
Best for: Those who use the blow drier a bit more than they probably should
Price: Around $38
It may say ‘butter gel’ on the packaging, but this hair gel is 100% vegan!
It’s perfect for those days when you just wanna pull your hair back into a high ponytail, a la Bella Hadid. But it’s also ideal for those with curly, coily and kinky hair types.
It’s not really a gel, I should say. In terms of texture, it sits on the fence between being a creamy lotion and a light hold gel.
I love how it never feels dry or crusty, and actually nurtures your hair with castor oil and jojoba. There’s also aloe vera to improve moisture retention and lock in hydration.
It smells flowery and lovely, keeps your hair perfectly in place, and strengthens your strands, too. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest vegan hair styling products on my list. What more could you ask for?
Best for: Keeping sleek, pulled back styles in place; really curly or wavy hair
Price: £12.50 (Around $15)
The boost you feel when your hair is voluptuous and bouncy is the reason why so many of us splash out on regular blow drys, am I right? There’s just no better feeling than stepping foot into the outside world feeling like your hair is as high as your spirits. Wishing you could have hair like that always? Now, you can!
Whether your hair is thin or just lacks natural volume, MONAT has created a thickening spray that will bring body, bounce and volume to any kind of hair. The emollient blend helps protect the scalp, and strengthens and thickens your hair, all while supporting natural hair growth.
Vegan, cruelty-free and free from all nasties such as parabens, SLS, silicone, mineral oils, phthalates and harmful fragrances, I promise your hair won’t be bogged down by chemicals.
The volume it gave my hair compared to not using it was really noticeable. A little goes a long way too! I only sprayed my hair once in three sections and combed it through before blow drying. The result? Seriously pumped up hair! In fact, this is one of my personal favourite vegan hair styling products for adding volume and bounce.
Best for: Inducing seriously bouncy, voluminous hair. Great scent, too!
I know what you’re thinking. A hair oil? For styling? Well, yep! This formula is rich in CBD oil, and does so much! It not only makes your hair’s tips look smoother and healthier, but:
- Protects from excessive exposure to heat
- Rehydrates thirsty hair
- Restores elasticity of dry or brittle hair
- Protects colour from fading
- Softened & detangles
- Adds instant shine & smoothness
- Lustrous results that promote overall healthier hair
This is a great vegan hair serum, too!
Best for: Processed or heavily styled hair. Not great for thin hair as it weighs it down a bit.