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The Ultimate Guide to Cruelty-Free Hair Care Brands

The brands listed here specialize in hair, meaning they have a full line of hair products that goes beyond shampoo and conditioner. If you’re looking for shampoo and conditioner only, I have a post featuring my favorite products here.

There are brands for every budget from drugstore to salon in this guide, so you should be able to find cruelty-free alternatives no matter your needs and hair type.

The brands are divided into 4 sections:

1. Hair care brands that test on animals: This includes brands who test on animals in China, where animal testing is mandatory for foreign cosmetics (including hair products).

2. Cruelty-free hair brands: No animal testing at any point during production, no animal testing from their suppliers, no distribution in mainland China. There’s also a bonus section listing the 10 best cruelty-free hair products!

3. Companies I’ve contacted but never heard back from: These are “grey area” brands who either refuse to share their policy, or who simply haven’t gotten back to me. It doesn’t mean they necessarily test on animals.

4. Brands with unclear animal testing policies: These companies might be cruelty-free, but they refused to provide enough information or refused to answer some questions.

1. Hair Care Brands Tested on Animals

First up are the brands that DO test on animals. Although some of these brands don’t test on animals themselves, they pay for animal testing in mainland China, where it’s mandatory by law. This means they’re not cruelty-free. This isn’t an exhaustive list of hair care brands that test on animals! These are just SOME of the brands to avoid.

Brands Tested On Animals
  • Anthony
  • Aussie
  • Bed Head
  • Clairol
  • TIGI
  • Frederic Fekkai
  • Garnier
  • Head & Shoulders
  • Herbal Essences
  • John Frieda
  • Joico
  • Klorane
  • Matrix
  • Nexxus
  • Nioxin
  • OGX
  • Pantene
  • Phyto
  • Redken
  • Rusk
  • Sebastian
  • Suave
  • Tigi
  • Tresseme
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Wella

2. Cruelty-Free Hair Care Brands

Now, onto the cruelty-free brands! Hooray! These brands confirmed that no animal testing takes place at any point during production, including by their suppliers, and they do not sell their products in mainland China. Any brands which are owned by parent companies who aren’t cruelty-free will be indicated with an asterisk.

At the end of the list, I’ve also included a TOP TEN with 10 of the absolute best and most popular cruelty-free hair styling products.

2. Best Cruelty-Free Hair Products

Cruelty-free brands offer some amazing hair products, so there’s no need to look elsewhere. Here are some of the best products for various hair types and needs, from moisturizing masks that soothe damaged hair, to styling products that hold everything into place.

1. Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($46)


Although pricey, this is a fantastic award-winning product if you have straight to wavy hair. It gives your hair texture, volume, hold, and tames frizz without being sticky or making your hair stiff at all. It can also double as a dry shampoo to get rid of any oil, and it’s colorless and doesn’t leave a white residue.

2. Paul Mitchell Smoothing Super Skinny Serum ($20)


This serum is an oldie but a goodie. It adds a gorgeous shine to the hair while also doubling as a heat and weather protectant. There is a reason this has been such a popular product for so many years. While it definitely helps with frizz, it can make the hair look greasy if you use too much, so I recommend using it sparingly.

3. Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo ($23)


Probably the most talked about dry shampoo lately, the Drybar Detox has a super absorbent formula, so a little bit goes a long way. It works for literally all hair types and adds tons of lift at the roots. It does have a powdery texture, so it is best to spray it from further away with darker hair colors to avoid chalky frosted look. This being said, the powdery texture is the same quality that makes this such an effective dry shampoo.

4. Kenra Volume Spray 25 ($18)


This is an amazing hairspray which provides maximum hold without too much buildup or flakiness. It helps to extend the longevity of hairstyles for up to “120 hours” yet somehow remains soft to the touch. Another major plus is that it is humidity and wind-resistant!

5. Ouai Wave Spray ($26)


Beachy waves are all the rage and it seems like they’re here to stay. This is an awesome spray for getting that effortlessly chic undone hair without weighing it down. Its formula is less sticky than other wave sprays, so you can avoid that dreaded crunch. It works best when sprayed and scrunched into wet hair before drying.

6. Verb Ghost Oil ($14)


As the name would suggest, the Verb Ghost Oil is a transparent oil, which is great for adding a bit of shine to the hair without making it look too greasy. It’s a must-have for frizzy hair!

See Also

7. Pacifica Coconut Damage Mask ($16)


Pacifica’s new line of hair care products is really good, and actually super affordable. This mask restores and hydrates hair, while also protecting it from damage and pollutants. Another plus is that unlike other oily hair masks, it rinses out easily without buildup. This is also often compared to Aussie’s 3 Minute Miracle, making this a great cruelty-free and vegan dupe!

8. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie ($13.49)


Ideal for thick, curly hair, this “smoothie” conditions hair, restoring moisture, body and shine, while also enhancing curls and minimizing frizz. It is best applied to damp hair but can also work on dry styled hair for added definition.

9. Paul Mitchell Express Style Hot Off The Press ($17.25)


This spray protects locks from heat while also providing flexible hold and frizz-control. It is the perfect spray to use to prep your hair before curling with a flat iron or curling wand. Since it is a lighter hold, I would recommend finishing with a firmer hold hairspray like the Kenra Volume Spray for maximum style control.

10. Jack Black Wax Pomade ($22)


Last but certainly not least, this stuff is ideal for serious hold, and can even work for beard styling. It is also ideal for sensitive skin as it has an organic and fragrance-free formula!

3. Brands With No Response

Back to the cruelty-free list, the following companies were contacted but we haven’t heard back from them. There’s still a chance of them being cruelty-free, but they might be testing on animals just as well. Brands will be moved from this list to the appropriate list once I hear back from them.

  • Batiste
  • Davines
  • Earth’s Nectar
  • Fairy Tales
  • Jonathan
  • Keranique
  • Lavett & Chin
  • Macadamia
  • Madam C.J. Walker Beauty Culture
  • Mermaid Hair
  • Oscar Blandi
  • Philip B
  • Renpure
  • ReTress
  • Sexy Hair Concepts

4. Brands with Unclear Policies

Out of the companies that we’ve heard back from, some gave us incomplete policies or refuse to answer some questions. Those brands are listed here along with an explanation.

1. Alterna

No mention of their suppliers.

3. Not Your Mother’s

They’ve applied for Leaping Bunny certification but haven’t received it yet. When I asked them for their animal testing policy, they didn’t want to address whether or not their suppliers test on animals.

More cruelty-free guides!

Thank you for reading the cruelty-free hair guide, and I hope you found some great cruelty-free brands and products. Don’t forget to check out our other guides:

View Comments (118)
  • I have recently gone cruelty free with my makeup and I am slowly transiting with my skin and hair care. I currently use ‘Alberto Balsam’ shampoo and conditioner (as it’s incredibly affordable and easy to find) , I haven’t been able to find any information on whether they are cruelty free or not. If anyone has any information I would love to know.

    • Hi, they aren’t as far I know. If you’re UK based superdrug brand is cruelty free, vegan and comparable in price!
      Hope that helps ?

    • Sorry it’s a bit late but Albert Balsam is not cruelty free! See this email I managed to get from them:

      Hello from Alberto Balsam,
      Thank you for your recent comments to us regarding animal testing.

      We use a wide range of non-animal approaches to assess the safety of our products for consumers. We do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing. Our leading-edge research has one clear purpose: to continue to develop new non-animal approaches that can guarantee that our products are safe, without any need for animal testing.

      Occasionally, when there are no suitable non-animal approaches available, some of the ingredients we use have to be tested; and some governments test our products on animals as part of their regulatory requirements. We are actively working with these governments, other scientists and NGOs, to put in place alternative methods.

      Over the past 30 years we have invested millions of Euros in research into non-animal approaches for assessing consumer safety. We have a team of internationally recognized scientific leaders in alternatives to animal testing in Unilever, who collaborate with the best research teams across the world on this important topic, so that new non-animal methods that start as ideas in our research laboratories are accepted by regulatory authorities and become standards for the industry.

      For more information about our position and progress in developing non-animal approaches, see our website: http://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/what-matters-to-you/developing-alternative-approaches-to-animal-testing.html

      Should you require more information, please feel free to contact us by letter or email. Alternatively, you can contact our Consumer Engagement Centre on our free phone number 0800 0280173 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. One of our advisors will be more than happy to assist you.

      We hope that you carry on enjoying Alberto Balsam and thank you for your continued interest.
      Kind regards,

      Christopher
      Consumer Engagement Centre Adviser

      • Haven’t tried their shampoos – love Camamu or Molly Muriel bar shampoos (ain’t going back), but gosh Andalou lotions are really superior! I guess their Vitamin C face serum is pretty impressive. Haven’t tried it as I am hooked on DermaE.

    • Kiss My Face, Aubrey Organics, Natures Gate, Andalou Naturals – these are all great products I use and can be easily located and affordable!

  • How about Maui Moisture? They claim to be both vegan and cruelty free. Sold at many drugstores and Amazon. Unite is also sold on Amazon and the bottle reads cruelty free.

    Thanks for the hard work!

  • Thank you so much for putting this together. Have you heard of the Function of Beauty brand that does customized shampoos and conditioners? They claim to be cruelty-free but don’t have any certifications. Might be a brand to consider reaching out to as well!

  • I think that Batiste is cruelty-free, I have one of their dry shampoo and it says “Not tested on animals & Vegan”

    • Batiste is a UK company & the UK has banned animal testing for a while. The UK has also banned the sale of cosmetics with ingredients that have been tested on animals. They’re websites animal testing policy in there FAQ also states that they don’t test on animals. Just based on research I’ve done since I recently start transitioning to cruelty-free brands for cosmetics & hair products.

      • I’ve always used Batiste for dry shampoo, but recently read on a spanish blog that they sold their products in China, so… I think they’re not cruelty-free 🙁

  • Holla at Live Clean and Down Under Naturals too for hair care. Live Clean has a whole range of things from skincare to baby care but Down Under is basically hair care.

  • Thanks for the hard work! I didn’t know Kenra was CF, really good to know.

    I really wish I had more information about brands that specifically make tools, not just products. Brushes (hair & makeup), clips, hair accessories, and hot hair tools – irons, dryers, curlers, etc., would be great.

    Drybar is the only brand I know “for sure”, but their price point for their curler/irons/dryer is a bit much for my budget.

  • Awesome post! Also, for those who get their hair coloured at salons, EcoColors is a professional line and Leaping Bunny certified and they answered all of my questions by Email; let me know if you want to see the correspondence!
    Also, I believe Kevin Murphy hair color is also professional and PETA approved, but they have not yet gotten back to me.

    • R+co is definitely cruelty-free. They are the same parent company as oribe and IGK and everything under that umbrella is. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Would Nature’s Gate also be considered cruelty-free?

    p.s. Thanks so much for all the wonderful information! Your website is such a great resource.

  • HI! So I have the app that scans the bar code of products that are tested on animals or not ( disclaimer: it shows that things are tested on animals based on their parent company as well- so if it’s owned by a a company that tests on animals, it will state that the product does as well)- and with Verb products, it shows up that it tests on animals… I have over 6 products from them because I thought that they didn’t test on animals but it says they do (whether its them or parent)- I can’t get in touch with them. Yours is stating that they do NOT- are you 100% sure?

    • Yes, unfortunately, vegan does not always mean cruelty-free. We haven’t yet received a clear response on their policy. I am hoping they are cruelty-free since I also love their dry shampoos!

  • Hello….superior, affordable products I don’t see included on cruelty free list:
    OGX
    Big Sexy
    Molly Muriel
    Camamu
    I refuse to spend a small fortune on mediocre products.
    I worked in natural care industry for many years. It’s a lifestyle change. Using less more effective products is important. Out with perfection and artificial – in with natural and realness. The key is that if it bubbles and has big smell, it’s full of surfactants and chemicals that are not good for you, the environment, your home or pets.

  • I use a cruelty free brand called Jessicurl. I love shea and carols but the products tend to gunk up in my hair and weigh down my curls since I have very fine hair. Also does anyone know of Klorane or their cruelty free status?

  • Kavella hair care is 100% vegan, cruelty-free and even gluten-free! They are sold at my local salon but are also sold on the brand’s website. My hair feels so amazing after switching to their products for damaged hair.

  • I just received a sample of a Madame CJ Walker Beauty Culture product, and it does have a cruelty free bunny logo on the back. Yay!!!

  • I’m a little confused. I have some OGX products that clearly state ‘no animal testing’, and ‘made in the USA’ on the bottles. Help me, I want to do the right thing here.

  • A few years back you posted an article barring MoroccanOil from the cruelty-free list because they’d expanded to mainland China. Is this no longer true? I’ve looked at their website and see no mention of their practices. I also have gotten two different answers from this very site. This being the most recent, I’d like to know what has changed, and if MoroccanOil is truly 100% cruelty free? If so, since when? Thanks.

  • My hairdresser told me that when their Bumble to Bumble rep came in they told the staff that their products were NOT tested on animals, they are too expensive for me to buy anyways but I am curious where you found that they are tested. Thank you!

  • Hello !
    Can you please try Diplona ? They say they’re vegan and all but I want to be sure for the animals.
    Also as GHD ?
    Thanks a lot !

  • Hi kitty,
    I have been replying on your source when it comes to any cosmetic products that I would buy, I will make sure is 100% vegan and zero animal testing and the company doesn’t sell in China.
    I just found out Christophe Robin is selling boar bristle brush. That, my friend, is using animal hair. Could you please investigate?

    Lisa khor
    Malaysia

  • R+Co could also be on this list, I believe. I personally contacted them, because they are my favorite hair care brand. Here is there response:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for your interest in the brand! R+Co has a strong commitment to animal welfare and does not directly or indirectly perform animal testing on any of our products! To the best of our knowledge, none of our raw material suppliers test the ingredients used in our products on animals. We are currently not in any countries that require any animal testing.

    Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns!

    Warm regards,

    GEORGIA SHUBIN, R+Co

  • Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into your research and lists. It’s so helpful, looking forward to trying out some new products now !

  • Hiii, just want to add (if no one else has) that the Swedish brand Maria Nila is completely vegan and is about as good as Kevin Murphy, I go between those two brands and I love them so so much!
    Also, this blog has helped me so much with finding what’s cruelty free and what not, PETA’s website is a bit too big and messy for me to find anything haha.

  • Bumble and Bumble is NOT carried in China, therefore cannot be in your category 1. Also, if you go on their main page, you will notice the cruelty free logo at the bottom. You are being misinformed.

  • Could you add own brands to this list? In UK Superdrug’s own brand shampoo is cruelty free, I’m unsure about boots, and waitrose is too. Do you have any of these where you live?

  • Thanks so much for taking the the time for this!
    What’s up with OGX on the first list?? Their bottle states ‘not tested on animals.’
    Not sure if I should toss it.

  • I like Aquage products and they say no animal testing on shampoo but I cannot get clear info on all products. Any body know if all are cruelty free?

  • Hi, thank you for the great list it really helps new starters like me. I just wanted to make you aware that Pureology is owned by L’Oreal which do test on animals, so if you were trying to be cruelity free throughout the supply chain it’s handy to know.

  • I just contacted Living Proof and they assured me they’re cruelty free and mostly vegan. Yay! I can forward you the email if you’d like:

    Thank you for your inquiry. Living proof does not test our products or our ingredients on animals, nor do we ask others to do so on our behalf.

    Our scientists take great care in developing highly effective products. All of them are vegan with the exception of just a few that use PEG-8 Beeswax (from bees) and/or C10-40 Isoalkylamidopropylethyldimonium Ethosulfate (a lanolin base from lamb’s wool). Those products are our:

    Curl Detangling Rinse
    Restore Mask Treatment
    Perfect hair Day (PhD) 5-in-1 Styling Treatment
    Perfect hair Day (PhD) Night Cap Overnight Perfector
    No Frizz Weightless Styling Spray
    Amp
    Curl Defining Cream
    Prime Style Extender

    We hope this helps! Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any more questions.

    Thank you,

    Tiffany Carroca
    Living Proof

  • Hi, do you know if a company called Milk Shake hair care is cruelty free? I can’t find anything on their website. Thanks.

  • Big Sexy Hair is also not a cruelty free brand to add to the list. “Sexy Hair (a subsidiary of Henkel) does not commission animal testing unless it is required by a specific applicable law.”

  • Hi,
    Do you have any information on Unite Hair products? I apologize if it’s been asked and answered, but I didn’t find it anywhere.
    Thanks!

  • Maui Moisture should be added to the list. Their products are wonderful! They’re inexpensive, available at drugstores, vegan, and cruelty free.

    “ARE MAUI MOISTURE® PRODUCTS TESTED ON ANIMALS?
    No, MAUI MOISTURE® products are NOT tested on animals. MAUI MOISTURE® does not initiate animal tests on either finished products or ingredients whether directly or indirectly. All ingredients used are carefully monitored. All suppliers are requested to confirm that their materials have not been tested on animals. Ingredients which do not have this data supplied for them are not used in any products. MAUI MOISTURE® is against the suffering endured by animals when ingredients and products are tested. We support suppliers and organizations that are developing alternative methods of testing without using animals.”
    https://www.mauimoisture.com/faqs/

  • Alterna and Living Proof show up on my Cruelty Clutter app as not tested on animals! Although I just read that LP was recently acquired by Unilver who definitely has brands that test on animals (Tresseme, Dove, etc).

  • Hi, I contacted Shea asking if they sold their products in China and they came back to confirm they did with a big smiley face?.

  • Can anyone provide any clarity on Moroccanoil products? I use your site for most of my cruelty free purchases but there hasn’t been a clear answer on this company lately regarding past blogs. I’m having a hard time finding a decent hairspray…

  • I found the following on Klorane’s website. Why are they listed as testing on animals here? What am I missing? Thank you!

    Q: DOES KLORANE TEST ON ANIMALS?

    Klorane does not perform animal testing on any of our products. Since September, 2004, animal testing on cosmetic final products has been forbidden in Europe, whereas animal testing is permitted in the U.S. In addition, it is forbidden to market cosmetic products which were previously tested on animals in Europe. Pierre Fabre, the parent company of Klorane, is dedicated to developing alternative methods to animal testing. Our final product’s tolerance and effectiveness are evaluated in-vitro (laboratories) and in-vivo (on volunteer individuals).

  • Thank you for putting this out there! I’m wondering about Unite hair care. My hairdresser says they are cruelty free, but I can’t find anything on their site?

  • Ouidad and Ouai are not found on leaping bunny’s list as far as I can tell. How do you know they are cruelty-free? Please explain because I love these brands but don’t want to use them unless they are cruelty-free. I thought leaping bunny was the guide you based this information off of.

  • Hi I am not sure how old this forum is, but I just read that Oribe was bought out by a company, Kao, known for animal testing. I am very sad to report.

  • Hi if am not mistaken Himalaya is cruelty free and vegan, just would like to add in. But I’m not sure if it has harmful chemicals or not.

  • Love this post, thank you! I just tried a new shampoo by Sens.us Illumyna – nutri discipline and it was great! The company posted it was cruelty-free in an email but not on their website. Maybe it’s one for you to check out?

  • Thanks for all your research! I was wondering about Living Proof and Not Your Mother’s. Unfortunately I have both. I’m getting to the point where I won’t buy anything unless it has a leaping bunny on it.

  • I just had an email exchange with briogeo and I think Im still not sure. Their site says cruelty free, when i asked about selling in mainland China they responded that “Thanks for reaching out to Briogeo! Yes, all of our products are cruelty – free! We are happy to say we now ship internationally :)”

    When I clarified to ask if they sell to mainland china the response was “Although we do ship to China at this time, we do not currently sell in brick and mortar stores there.”

    Im not sure how to interpret their responses….

    • If someone in China orders from Briogeo online and has the product shipped directly to them, which sounds like what’s happening, then that product doesn’t have to undergo animal testing nor will it be pulled by Chinese authorities for animal testing. That’s the only workaround that I know of in which a company can sell in China and remain cruelty free.

  • I was recently given a bottle of “theorie” shampoo and don’t know much about the company. I did a bit of searching but they seem to beat around the bush with testing and sourcing. Do you know anything about them? Thanks 🙂

    I’m definitely using this post for future buying.

  • Davines is for sure available in China Mainland. I’ve seen it in the retail stores in Shanghai.. you should investigate that.

  • I recently contacted Tigi for their new Tigi Copyright brand. And they specifically said they were not vegan, but they were cruelty free. Ur article says they are not…I will be so upset if they blatantly lied!

  • Hi Suzana,
    This article really useful for me. I confused for choosing the Guide to Cruelty guide for hair care what would be the best for everything. But review this article my confusion has cleared. Thanks and keep it up………..

  • Hi!
    Can i ask you why did you put Bumble and Bumble in the no cruelty free brands? I saw that you wrote somewhere that they WERE cruelty free?

  • Are any hair accessories companies cruelty free? Like Goodys that makes combs and brushes and accessories.

  • Hi there! I just checked on Living Proof’s website (https://www.livingproof.com/our-science/our-science.html) & it says they are “Free of silicones, parabens, phthalates, and animal testing.” I also messaged them vial their Help bubble and they responded RE: “Animal Testing
    Thank you for your inquiry. Living proof does not test our products or our ingredients on animals, nor do we ask others to do so on our behalf. ”

    Hope that helps.

  • Thank you for your time and effort that was put into the making of this extensive list! Thanks to you, I will no longer purchase from companies that test on animals, and will go back to Paul Mitchell products!

  • Hi, have you contacted or reviewed the brand Hairstory (with New Wash shampoo product) for cruelty free status? Their website says they do not animal test, but I would like to know if they passed the Cruelty-Free Kitty test! Thanks!

  • I’ve been using Love Beauty and Planet’s shampoo and conditioner, and I am unsure if they are cruelty free. They make claims to be cruelty free, but from reading up on the brand I have heard otherwise. Thank you for your research, your website is my #1 reliable source when it comes to finding cruelty free brands!

  • Olá, vc saberia informar como que as empresas conseguem essa cerificação , onde tem que entrar em contato qual o e-mail ou telefone.

  • RenPure is a very good company. Read the bottle or check their website about animal testing… to which their response is clear “Never! Our products have never, nor will they ever be, tested on animals. We only test our products on ourselves.”

  • How long ago did Bumble and Bumble become cruelty free? It kind of surprised me when I looked it up and now they’re PETA certified.

  • What about Biolage? My stylist reccomened the Hydrating hair mask for my hair in particular and I can’t find anywhere online if it is cruelty free and vegan.

  • Is Herbal Essences cruelty free now? I’ve been seeing ads online that says they’ve been certified by PETA. Thanks!

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