Why These Are My Favorite Vegan Hair Care Products

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Written by Georgia Gould

Updated: February 28, 2024

Veganism is not just about the food you put in your mouth. Everything from the clothes you wear to the products you use on your hair and body must also be taken into account if you want to live a totally animal-friendly life.

The problem, however, is that going for a vegan beauty routine is not quite as simple as sticking with a vegan diet. After all, you know where you are with your food. Meat, nope. Fruit, beans, veggies, heck yeah. Pretty simple.

Unfortunately, the beauty industry is a little more, erm, cloak and dagger, shall we say. And the main reason for this is the serious lack of regulations when it comes to a manufacturer’s various claims and statements.

Get this, the FDA – our governing body for food, drug and cosmetic regulations – currently has zero regulations for what does or does not qualify as a vegan beauty product. Zilch. Nada. Zip. The same goes for terms like ‘natural,’ ‘organic’ and ‘cruelty-free.’ It’s all such a disappointingly gray area, making it super challenging to find vegan beauty products that are truly void of animal-derived ingredients.

How Do You Know If A Hair Product Is Vegan?

Vegan Hair 2

If you want to be true to your vegan self when it comes to your hair care routine, what exactly do you do? Well, unfortunately it’s down to you to be vigilant when choosing your products. Don’t be fooled by terms that could be misleading and look out for reputable certifications from organizations like The Vegan Society. Their Vegan Trademark can be seen on over 65,000 vegan products – including hair and beauty formulations – and it’s a great indication of a brand’s true authenticity.

Also, it’s important to remember that vegan and cruelty-free don’t go hand-in-hand. Vegan means a product contains no animal products or animal byproducts, whereas cruelty-free means that neither the product nor its raw ingredients have been tested on animals.

Of course, many vegan products are often cruelty-free but cruelty-free products are not always vegan and may contain animal-derived ingredients like carmine, keratin, stearic acid and lanolin. Just bear this in mind when shopping, and if in doubt check out a company’s website or contact them directly to ask the question.

And if you truly want to ensure your product is cruelty-free, stick with those bearing the Leaping Bunny certification – the only internationally recognized symbol to guarantee no animals were tested in the creation of that product.

10 Of The Best Vegan Hair Care Products

We know it can be tricky to sift out the wannabes from the legit vegan hair care formulations, so we’ve done the hard work for you. Below, ten of the best vegan hair products.

1. Best Treatment For Thinning Hair: Vegamour GRO Hair Serum

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Vegamour has a big cult following and this hair growth serum is by far the 100% vegan’s brand’s stand-out bestseller which gets serious kudos for its super cute packaging. But it’s not just about style over substance because this lightweight serum promises to leave your hair thicker and healthier with just 90 days of continued use. How does it work?

@calistatee

Small habits 🤝🏼 big changes. My hair journey was definitely NOT easy and required a lot of patience, but when I see results like these using @VEGAMOUR, it’s so worth it 🥹🫶🏼 #vegamourpartner #vegamour #BIGGESTSALEOFTHEYEAR #hair #hairjourney #hairlosstransformation

♬ original sound – Calista

Natural ingredients like turmeric, caffeine and biotin work together to stimulate and nourish the scalp while increasing the density of each strand of hair. Sounds too good to be true? Then feast your eyes over these figures – in one study, 100 percent of testers reckoned their hair looked healthier while 95 percent said they saw less shedding and fallout. Pretty impressive stuff.

2. Best Shampoo For Dry Hair: Pacifica Vegan Collagen Hydrating Shampoo

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This shampoo from 100 percent vegan, cruelty-free beauty company Pacifica is a real gem for looking after hair that feels more ‘crispy fried’ than sumptuously soft and healthy. Formulated without any of the nasties you might find in regular shampoos (*cough, sulfates and silicones, cough) it’s one of the best choices if you care about both your hair and our planet.

The secret lies in its combination of natural ingredients like avocado oil and jasmine extract alongside a little bit of science in the form of pro-vitamin B5 and vegan collagen peptides. Together they create a dynamite shampoo that works hard to restore strength, lock in moisture, smooth your hair and prevent frizz. We’re all over that.

3. Best Hair Mask For Damaged Hair: Olaplex No. 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask

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Remember the days when vegan hair and beauty products were seen as ‘hippy-dippy’ and ineffective? Well, if Olaplex is anything to go by, the modern world of vegan haircare is anything but. Celebrating 10 years of innovative, 100 percent vegan hair formulations, Olaplex combines science and technology with hard-working ingredients to improve the health of damaged hair.

The salon-quality brand even created its very own exclusive ingredient to help rebuild and strengthen your hair from the inside out. You can’t knock that. We’re currently obsessing over this intensely moisturizing mask. And with over 10,000 ratings on Amazon we’re not alone.

4. Best Vegan Hairbrush: Dae Vegan Detangle + Style Brush

A hairbrush is a hairbrush, right? Wrong. In fact, tool up with the wrong brush and your hair will never look or feel its best self. It just won’t.

So if you’re looking for a brush that’s made with vegan bristles, can be used on both wet and dry hair AND checks all the right boxes in terms of looking after your locks (aka it detangles, styles and smooths), this is your guy, right here. It also comes in recyclable packaging for extra bonus points and bears that elusive cruelty-free Leaping Bunny logo.

5. Best Dry Shampoo: The Rootist Clarify Dry Shampoo Powder

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Remember those days before dry shampoo became a staple in everyone’s hair care closet? Dark days indeed. Little did we know, however, that dry shampoo is really not that great for the hair – especially if you rely on it like we did in the ‘90s! Of course, in small doses it’s totally safe and can get you out of a real pickle when your third-day hair needs to face the world at the last minute.

But only if you pick one that contains decent ingredients that look out for your scalp. And this little vegan, cruelty-free gem from The Rootist does exactly that. Free from talc and silicones, it uses magnesium carbonate to mop up excess oil, alongside its scalp-loving proprietary Rootbiomic Ferment powder, a multivitamin superfood designed to look after your roots so your hair looks after itself.

6. Best Volume Booster: JVN Embody Volumizing Foam

JVN Embody Volumizing Foam
$29.00 ($4.33 / Fl Oz)
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Created by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, JVN was born to help people of all genders and hair types achieve the healthy hair they deserve – without compromising the planet. Cruelty-free, vegan-friendly and free of hair-dulling chemicals, the entire range is a force to be reckoned with and formulated with patented Hemisqualane – a vegan, hair-loving alternative to squalene which is often used in beauty products even though it’s commonly derived from shark’s livers. Eek.

We’re particularly smitten by this volumizing foam that also contains biotin and plant-based polymers to help give you bigger, bouncier, better hair all day long.

7. Best Styling Product For Curly Hair: Aveda Nutriplenish Curl Gelée

04/08/2024 12:11 am GMT

If you have curly hair you’ll know that finding awesome hair care products to successfully tame and beautify your gorgeous curls can be tricky business. Add the extra requirement of vegan-friendly products and, well, the search just got very real. Thankfully, industry stalwart Aveda has your back.

Setting the standards in cruelty-free haircare since 1978, the brand became 100 percent vegan in 2021 when it finally managed to remove honey and beeswax-derived ingredients from its last few products. Hurrah! This hydrating and defining styler is packed with nutrient-powered superfoods to deliver everything curly hair needs – namely moisture, shine and frizz-control. One and done.

8. Best For Lazy Hair Days: Odele Air Dry Styler

Odele

Some people are born to blow-dry; the rest of us are more than happy to let our hair air-dry naturally and hope for the best. If you fit into the latter camp but are never ‘that’ pleased with the results, you will love this styling jelly that tames frizz, adds volume and makes your hair look like it had a blowout – when you never even lifted a finger. Now that’s the kind of hair product we love.

It’s also, of course, totally vegan, Leaping Bunny certified and void of many ingredients hair hates – namely sulfates, parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrance.

9. Best Deep Cleaning Duo: Acure Curiously Clarifying Shampoo & Conditioner

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If you have oily hair or like to use a lot of styling products that can weigh down your hair and make your scalp itch, you have to try this 100 percent vegan clarifying double act. Gentle and lightweight, the shampoo gets rid of buildup as if its life depended on it, yet it doesn’t feel harsh or drying on your scalp. No mean feat.

Meanwhile, the conditioner lightly moisturizes and nourishes your hair leaving you with soft, clean and gorgeously conditioned. Locks. We also love the light but delicious lemongrass scent.

10. Best Shampoo Bar: Kitsch Rice Water Protein Strengthening Solid Shampoo

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It’s not easy, but cutting down on your single-use plastics can make a huge difference to the world we live in. Even if you switch out your shower gel for a cleansing body bar or go for a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush rather than a throw-away plastic one, you’re doing your bit. Another beauty product you should try? Solid shampoo. This solid shampoo, in fact.

Made right here in the US with zero animal-derived ingredients or by-products, this little beauty uses rice protein to help repair damage, encourage shine and thicken your hair. Also, for every shampoo or conditioner bar sold, 4Ocean rids our rivers, oceans and coastlines of the equivalent of one shampoo bottle’s worth of plastic. Nice work, team.


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