2021 Best Cruelty-free Shampoos (Ultimate Buying Guide)

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Here’s our lowdown on cruelty-free shampoos: what to look for, where to buy, and the best cruelty-free shampoo brands on the market. 

Are you looking for cruelty-free shampoo and conditioner to incorporate as part of your vegan lifestyle?

Maybe you’re simply one of the 79% of Americans who support a ban on animal testing in the cosmetic industry. Either way, we’ve got you covered.

What Is Cruelty-free Shampoo?

If a brand uses the term “cruelty free” on their packaging, it means that neither the product or any of its ingredients have been tested on animals anywhere in the world.

Why “anywhere in the world”? Well, the reason why is in some countries, like Canada and the UK, animal testing is banned, but companies may still sell their products to China, where animal testing is mandatory for all imported beauty products.

Therefore, this would not make the brand cruelty-free, as they are selling to China.

Although the two often do go hand in hand, cruelty free does not necessarily mean vegan.

Many cruelty-free shampoos may still incorporate animal-derived ingredients such as keratin and honey.

This is something to bear in mind if you’re shopping for vegan products.

Why You Should Buy Cruelty-free Shampoo

You want great hair. But you don’t want any animals hurt on the way to achieving your hair goals. Can you buy a cruelty-free shampoo that delivers great results for your hair?

The answer is a big “yes”. Yes, you can buy cruelty free-shampoos that give great results for your hair, and it’s now easier than ever!

Cruelty-free shampoos are more widely available now than ever before. There are many brands you can buy online and in high street stores, to cater to different hair types, concerns, and budgets. 

And there are also many online articles, like this one, which provide helpful information and give examples of great cruelty -free brands to buy, so you can make an informed choice.

So, what are you waiting for? There really is no better time to buy cruelty-free shampoo!

Also Read: 5 Reasons You Need To Be Using Conditioner After Henna Treatment

What To Look For When Buying Cruelty-free Shampoo

What should you look for when buying cruelty-free shampoo?

Firstly, the shampoo may state “cruelty-free” on the packaging. But there is another, more important sign to look for.

A Certified Bunny Sign

This is the fastest and easiest way to spot cruelty-free shampoo. Just take a look at the packaging for one of the certified bunny signs.

Be aware, however, that some brands may be cruelty-free but not display a certified sign. This is because companies have to pay an extra fee to be able to display one of these certified symbols on their products.

In which case, you can check the databases of these cruelty-free organizations to see if the brand is listed.

You can also download a cruelty-free app or contact the company in question directly.

Cruelty-free Shampoo Brands 

Here is a highlight of some of the amazing cruelty-free brands that are available in stores and online.

None of these brands test on animals and many are vegan. However, if unsure whether a product is vegan or not, always check the packaging for the vegan sign or check the ingredients for animal-derived products.

HASK

HASK hair care products are full of responsibly sourced and exotic ingredients from around the world.

They have a collection of gorgeous smelling shampoos and conditioners, however, not all HASK products are vegan.

HASK products are free of harmful ingredients including sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, and aluminum.

Love Beauty And Planet

Love Beauty and Planet’s mission statement is “To make you more beautiful and to give a little love to the planet. We want to help make a little difference towards a happier, less wasteful planet, with every shower.

Sounds good, right? Their shampoos and conditioners are made with ethically and sustainably sourced products, smell amazing, and the packaging looks great too. They’re also vegan-friendly.

Shea Moisture

Shea Moisture is a great brand to use if you have wavy, curly, kinky, or coily hair. It’s particularly a favorite for those who follow the Curly Girl Method.

The brand uses potent natural ingredients, such as Jamaican black castor oil, manuka oil, raw shea butter and coconut oil.

All ingredients are sustainably sourced, cruelty-free but not 100% vegan – please check the packaging.

Noughty

The Noughty haircare range is packed full of goodness and contains no parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, or silicones.

Their products are 100% vegan and they have a great selection of shampoos and conditioners for all hair types and concerns, including for dry and damaged and color-treated hair. 

Also Read: 5 Benefits Of Chelating Hair (How To Guide + Tips)

Ethique

Say no to plastic bottles with the Ethique brand, which specializes in cruelty-free beauty bars for skin and hair.

This New Zealand based company makes shampoo bars full of natural goodness, which are cruelty-free and vegan.

They are equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo, so a little goes a long way. They smell amazing too!

Function Of Beauty

Now, this is a bit different. A brand where you can customize hair care products to fit your exact needs, including hair type, structure and moisture level.

You can choose from five fragrances, the fragrance strength, and even the color! The bad news is, this customization comes at a cost.

Products can be made silicone, dye and fragrance free. All their products are vegan, sulfate and paraben free. Custom beauty to help you achieve your hair goals.

Cake Beauty

This “naturally luxe, totally to die for brand” (as quoted from their website) is 100% vegan.

With decadent textures, super girly packaging, and delicious fragrances, Cake Beauty creates cruelty-free shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products that you’d wish you could eat.

Giovanni

Describing themselves as “eco-chic”, Giovanni offers a great range of salon-inspired, cruelty-free shampoos, conditioners and hair products that blend the power of nature into high-performance formulas for all hair types.

Free from sulfates and parabens, and vegan friendly except for their Magnetic Hair Care products (which contain lactoferrin).

Every Man Jack

With products made from naturally derived ingredients, San Francisco born Every Man Jack specializes in male skincare and haircare.

Check out their cruelty-free shampoos. Please note, however, that they are not 100% vegan.

Derma E

Derma E specializes in natural, cruelty free beauty and their shampoo range is no exception.

Their products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, petrolatum, sulfates, mineral oils, artificial colors, or artificial fragrances. Great for sensitive skin and scalps.

All Derma E hair products are 100% vegan too.

Hempz

One considered alternative, hemp has now gone mainstream and is a staple ingredient in many hair and beauty products.

Hempz provides a fantastic range of shampoos and conditioners that contain 100% pure hemp seed oil, which is rich in omega fatty acids and vitamin E.

Combined with natural ingredients like pineapple extract and CBD, they’ve created a haircare range to address all hair concerns.

Cruelty-free Shampoos To Try

Now that you’ve read about some of the great cruelty-free brands out there, which shampoos should you try?

No need to worry, as we’ve compiled a list of great cruelty-free shampoos and conditioners, for a range of different hair types and concerns.

1. SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo And Conditioner 

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

The SheaMoisture Black Castor Oil shampoo and conditioner is legendary for curly hair.

Packed with ingredients like shea butter, apple cider vinegar and (of course) black castor oil, they will stimulate hair growth, reduce breakage and invigorate the scalp.

Cruelty-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, and sulfate-free, it won’t break the bank either. What’s not to love?

2. Love Beauty And Planet Muru Muru Butter And Rose Shampoo And Conditioner 

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

This gorgeous smelling shampoo and conditioner will bring vibrancy and shine to hair within the first few washes.

Cleansing and nourishing formulas designed for color treated hair. They’re also vegan, dye free, paraben free, and free of sulfates and silicones.

3. HASK Argan Oil Repairing Shampoo And Conditioner

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

This rich shampoo and conditioner containing the “miracle oil” from Morocco works to provide dry, damaged hair with nutrients and intensive moisture, leaving hair wonderfully soft and shiny.

Free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates (softeners), gluten, alcohol and artificial colors, and ideal for daily use.

4. Noughty 1 Hit Wonder Cleansing Conditioner

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

For those who love their co-wash, here is one which is suitable for all hair types, and smells great to boot, with a comforting coconut scent.

Contains sweet almond oil and castor oil, which nourish and condition hair, improving suppleness. Very convenient, gentle, and smells wonderful.

5. Ethique Frizz Wrangler Solid Shampoo Bar 

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

For those looking to reduce their environmental footprint by reducing plastic waste, shampoo bars are ideal, and the Ethique shampoo bars smell amazing! 

If you have dry, frizzy or heat damaged hair, Frizz Wrangler is perfect for you.

Containing coconut oil and cocoa butter, this shampoo bar is supremely nourishing and smoothing without being greasy or weighing your hair down, leaving your hair silky smooth.

6. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo And Conditioner

Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo And Conditioner

This shampoo and conditioner combo is infused with tea tree oil which invigorates the scalp and helps increase scalp circulation, leaving you feeling refreshed.

Cruelty-free and organic ingredients work to condition, clarify and strengthen your hair. 

7. Faith in Nature Natural Lavender And Geranium Shampoo And Conditioner

Faith in Nature Natural Lavender And Geranium Shampoo And Conditioner

All Faith in Nature hair care products are cruelty-free, vegan and paraben, and SLS-free.

Their shampoos are made with essential and organic oils and herbal extracts. The super-popular Lavender and Geranium Shampoo and Conditioner is no exception, containing lavender, lavandin and geranium essential oils to nourish your hair.

Has a lovely relaxing smell, suitable for normal to dry hair. 100% natural fragrance and 99% natural origin.

8. Every Man Jack 2-in-1 Citrus Daily Shampoo And Conditioner

Every Man Jack 2-in-1 Citrus Daily Shampoo And Conditioner

Ideal for daily use, the Every Man Jack 2-in-1 shampoo plus conditioner cleanses and hydrates hair without weighing it down.

Coconut extracts, glycerin, and shea butter clean, condition and soften hair, leaving hair softer, stronger, and healthier.

9. DERMA E Scalp Relief Shampoo

DERMA E Scalp Relief Shampoo

Ideal for those with sensitive scalps, the Derma E Scalp Relief Shampoo provides gentle, sulfate-free cleansing which will not cause irritation.

Salicylic acid penetrates the scalp to lift away excess flakes and surface buildup.

Soothing tea tree and menthol soothe the scalp and calm and cool itch on contact. Regular use will help to maintain scalp purity over time.

10. Hempz Triple Moisture Shampoo

Hempz Triple Moisture Shampoo

If your hair needs some serious hydration, this is the cruelty-free, vegan shampoo for you.

It contains hemp seed oil, which is high in omega fatty acids to nourish your hair. It gently cleanses and conditions hair for smooth, soft locks. 

Rich in antioxidants and with a light grapefruit fragrance, it’s also free of sulfates, parabens, and glutens.

11. Avalon Organics Biotin B-Complex Thickening Shampoo And Conditioner

Cruelty-Free Shampoo

If you have fragile, thin, lifeless hair, then this is the vegan, cruelty-free solution. Unlike the majority of hair care brands, this formula contains vegan biotin, to strengthen and repair the protein of damaged hair.

If you’ve noticed your hair’s looking a bit thin of late or starting to fall out, get your hands on this combo.

Made with vegan biotin, saw palmetto, and wheat protein to control loss while nourishing hair follicles.

Contains aloe and jojoba, rosemary, and a healing complex of B vitamins to nourish the hair and scalp, add body and shine, and stimulate hair follicles.

We hope this article has been a helpful resource and has provided plenty of inspiration and advice on where to buy cruelty-free shampoo and what brands to try.

With so many great brands and products available, there really is no better time to buy cruelty-free shampoo!

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.