Everyone wants lush locks—but at what cost? Like other beauty and personal care products, animals like guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, and rats are often subjected to awful conditions in the name of “safety.” As a result of animal testing for products like shampoo, more than 500,000 animals suffer and die every year. For a clear conscious and clean hair, we prefer cruelty-free shampoo brands, those who test on friends and family instead of unwilling animals.
What Does Cruelty-Free Mean?
Put most simply, cruelty-free means that a product has been made without requiring experimentation on animals.
Unfortunately, it’s not always this clear cut. There’s no real way to be sure that a product is indeed cruelty-free. In the United States, there’s no regulation around the term “cruelty-free.”
Even more confusing, quite often, when a brand claims to be cruelty-free, they may only be speaking about the final product—even when most animal testing takes place on the ingredient level.
The best thing you can do is look for third-party, cruelty-free certification from Leaping Bunny, which will be demonstrated through the bunny logo on a product. Alternatively, look for a brand’s transparency around testing, as the more they share about their process, the more likely they are to be truly cruelty-free.
Are Cruelty-Free and Vegan the Same Thing?
So when you look for cruelty-free products are they automatically vegan, and vice-versa?
Let’s start with this question: what does vegan mean?
Vegan products are created without any animal-derived ingredients. Here’s the catch though: just because something is vegan, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is cruelty-free, too.
Similarly, a product can be made with animal-derived ingredients (like ethically sourced beeswax, for example) and also cruelty-free. Conversely, brands that are not cruelty-free may also be 100% vegan.
TL:DR: If you want to avoid brands that test on animals or require animal-derived ingredients, look for those that are vegan and cruelty free (with certifications if possible).
5 Cruelty-Free Shampoo Brands
Let’s talk shampoo, because most of them contain animal products and are tested on animals. Fortunately, at Green Eco Dream, our sustainable brands have been well-vetted and include many that are both vegan and cruelty-free.
1. Plaine Products
Not only is Plaine Products a Certified B Corp with refillable bottles, but they’ve also received Leaping Bunny’s cruelty-free certification for all of their products—including their shampoo and conditioner. This means that there has been no animal testing by Plaine Products or any of their suppliers.
While some HiBAR products contain a trace amount of honey and are therefore not vegan, the vast majority are. Even more important, the company has been certified by Leaping Bunny to be cruelty-free.
That’s right, no animals were involved in the making of the HiBAR zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars.
3. Seed Phytonutrients
While Seed Phytonutrients has prioritized zero animal testing since the very beginning, they became Leaping Bunny certified in October, 2020. Whether you try out their shampoo or conditioner, know that they’re both also vegan.*
* Not 100% of the brand’s products are vegan.
4. Habitat Botanicals
What’s better than plastic-free shampoo? Vegan and cruelty-free shampoo, of course! That’s what you’ll get in the shampoo bar and conditioner bar from Habitat Botanicals. They’re also vegan and made with locally-sourced, biodegradable ingredients.
5. Corvus Botanicals
Started by a conscious consumer with a background in Environmental Biology, Corvus Botanicals is a great place to turn for eco-friendly shampoo and conditioner—that’s ethical, too! While most products contain local, sustainable beeswax, their shampoo and conditioner bars are 100% vegan and made with ingredients sourced from suppliers prioritized for being cruelty-free.
While they’re a small business and haven’t yet secured a cruelty-free certificate, we’ve personally spoken to the brand’s founder, Stacia, and she’s assured us that their practices don’t involve animal testing.
Good Hair Days Don’t Have to Be Bad for Animals
Contrary to the industry’s practices, good hair care can come without animal testing. Our wash-rinse-repeat routines shouldn’t harm animals, and as these cruelty-free shampoo brands prove, they don’t have to. Go ahead, lather up and continue loving animals.
Check out our Cruelty-free Shampoo collection below and use code BLOG10 to save 10% on your first order!
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