With the rise in popularity of veganism, many newcomers quickly learn that not only do you need to change your eating habits, but your whole lifestyle too – which includes your beauty regime. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about being stuck for options nowadays, in fact, whether your hair is fine or curly, dry, coloured or prone to dandruff or thinning, you'll be spoilt for choice!
In this guide, we’ll share where to find important information and how to make other conscious choices so you can focus on enjoying your sustainable lifestyle. From there, we’ll show you some of the best options to buy online, including bars, liquids and conditioner sets by big names like Garnier, professional salon brands and cruelty-free favourites like Faith In Nature.
Before we dive into the various shampoos we recommend, let’s take a look at the most important things to look out for when buying vegan shampoo. Below, we'll get you clued up on how to make sure it’s vegan, what the difference between vegan and cruelty-free is, and a couple of other considerations worth sussing out.
If you’ve made it to this article, we're guessing you’re looking for a vegan shampoo, but if you’re new to veganism, this can be more daunting than it sounds. Stick with us and you’ll feel comfortable doing your beauty shopping in no time.
The quickest and easiest way of identifying if something is vegan is by checking out packaging and product descriptions online. Brands will usually have a certification stamp from the Vegan Society if their products meet the criteria, so seeing a shampoo that has this should instantly put you at ease.
Unfortunately, and confusingly, even though the product might be free from animal ingredients, some brands won't have this stamp. This is usually because it takes time and money to apply for one. Therefore, learning some of the common animal-derived ingredients that find their way into haircare products will be very handy.
Some examples of these are casein (from cow’s milk), biotin, keratin, silk powder and honey. For more guidance, check out this post, or, for a more extensive list, click this link to PETA's website that concludes all the ingredients to avoid, from the obvious to the not so obvious.
You might be surprised to find that not all vegan products are automatically cruelty-free. You see, to be cruelty-free, a company cannot test its products on animals, and although this is illegal in the UK and other European countries, that is not the case all over the world.
Again, the easiest way to check that a shampoo is not tested on animals is by going over the product information, as well as the brand's website. However, this time it is a little trickier, as some brands will still test their product on animals in different countries where the laws are not the same.
To be doubly sure, there are a few online databases that have curated this information, and these will allow you to check not only shampoos but most other beauty products and whether they’re completely cruelty-free. Some good resources are Cruelty-Free Kitty, Ethical Elephant and Cruelty-Free UK.
Next up, we’ll take a small step away from ethics and look at a physical characteristic. You have two options when it comes time to decide on your shampoo, a liquid or a bar. Here, we’ll take a look at each individually and consider the merits and faults.
As you can imagine, a good old liquid shampoo will be easy to get hold of and to use – great if you're slowly switching over your products and you'd prefer something familiar. You'll also have more choice in terms of vegan formulas. This type of shampoo tends to have a longer expiry date, too, meaning you don’t need to rush to use it.
However, there are some disadvantages, which those looking to live more consciously will want to take into account. For instance, you might be trying to cut down on plastic, which these bottles have in abundance. There's also a higher risk of leakage if you're taking your shampoo travelling.
Solid bar shampoos do all the opposite of liquids. You’ll usually see them packaged without plastic making them more eco-friendly, plus, they’ll never leak and you get more washes out of them. They can take some getting used to if you've been using liquids your whole life, but many people think they are more than worth it.
One thing worth noting is that, to maintain its solid nature, the shampoo is required to have a higher pH level. Higher pH levels are known to affect those with curly hair as it causes dryness and frizz.
Plus, if you live in a place with hard water, then the bar can take on soap ‘scum’. It’s not as nasty as it sounds, but it does, again, dry out your scalp, so you may need to change up your conditioner or your routine if you go for one of these.
Lastly, as with all shampoo, you'll need to make sure you get one that is suitable for your hair type and its condition. If you have hair that needs more attention, for example, if you have thick, curly hair, a flaky scalp or damaged ends, you will want to look for options that maintain the specific way you treat your hair.
You’ll be glad to know that the vegan options available nowadays mirror the non-vegan shampoos, so it's just a case of shopping as normal, only with the rest of our guide in mind as you do so! Lots of professional salon brands are also going vegan, so you may even be able to try out a few of those too.
Now you know how to identify vegan shampoos and what type of shampoo you’d like, it’s time to look at our ranking. We have a tonne of different options, from those that will battle oily to flaky and curly to coloured, so we’re confident we have something for you.
|Vegan||Yes, Vegan Society approved|
|Hair Type||Slow-growing hair, thin hair|
|Hair Type||Curly, frizzy|
|Cruelty-Free||Yes, approved by PETA bunny|
|Hair Type||Curly, afro, damaged|
|Hair Type||Dry or coloured|
|Hair Type||Flaky scalp|
|Cruelty-Free||Yes, Cruelty-Free Bunny approved|
|Vegan||Yes, Vegan Society approved|
|Cruelty-Free||Yes, Leaping Bunny approved|
Faith In Nature
Natural Lavender and Geranium Shampoo Bar
Eco-Friendly St Clements Solid Shampoo Bar
Flaky / Itchy Scalp Shampoo
Bergamot and Sage Shampoo Bar
Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen/Grow and Repair Set
Ultimate Blends Coconut Oil & Cocoa Butter Shampoo
Natural Vegan Shampoo Bar
Damage Remedy™ Restructuring Shampoo
Harnessing the Power of Nature, Without Hurting It
Quality Ingredients That Work Wonders
From an Ethical Company Who Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is
An Award-Winning Professional Dandruff Shampoo
A Bar Shampoo Ready to Go When You Are
A Curly Hair Classic
Treat Your Curly Hair With a Familiar Offering
An Affordable Way to Try Out Solid Shampoo
Caffeine-Infused to Stimulate Hair Growth
Strengthen and Revive Your Locks From the Inside
|Vegan||Yes, Vegan Society approved||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes, Vegan Society approved||Yes|
|Cruelty-Free||Yes, Leaping Bunny approved||Yes||Yes, Cruelty-Free Bunny approved||Yes||Yes||Yes, approved by PETA bunny||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Hair Type||All||All||Oily||Flaky scalp||Dry or coloured||Curly, afro, damaged||Curly, frizzy||Various/all||Slow-growing hair, thin hair||Damaged|
If you're gradually beginning to replace your non-vegan cosmetics and beauty products for those without animal ingredients, round of applause! Here are a couple more articles to help you on your mission.
We hope that you've found the guide and recommendations on vegan shampoo helpful. While all the change might seem daunting at first, you'll soon find some new favourites, hopefully from our recommendations! Here's to keeping your glow, protecting all life and helping mother nature.
Author: Lewis Clark
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