Is my shampoo vegan?

Updated: Jan 10

No matter your hair type, you should be able to find a cruelty-free #crueltyfree, vegan shampoo #veganshampoo that makes your hair look and feel amazing. Most shampoos contain animal ingredients, which are present not because they add any vital cleaning properties, but because they’re ridiculously cheap. And many shampoos have been tested on animals.


The biotin, keratin, silk powder, and gelatine found in many shampoos and conditioners may all be derived from animals. This short list is just a sample of the animal products to be found in haircare. While many of these ingredients can be plant-sourced as well, if the packaging does not explicitly say it is, it would be safer to assume that it’s not. 





Here are some of the top NON-vegan ingredients to look our for in your shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, serums, and other hair care products.


Biotin: 

This ingredient is often used as a texturizer in hair creams and conditioners.

Biotin is found in all living cells, and in large quantities in milk and yeast.  

Alternative: There are many plant-based sources of this B vitamin as well, including carrots, onions, leafy greens, cabbage, and fresh berries. 


Cetyl Alcohol:

Often found in hair lacquers, lotions, and shampoos, this wax is found in the spermaceti (head cavity) of whales, dolphins, and other cetaceans.

Alternative: Look for products that specifically state their cetyl alcohol is veggie-sourced (often derived from coconut). 


Gelatin:

If you haven’t heard by now, most gelatin is made by boiling discarded animal bones, skin, and ligaments. It gives products a thick, smooth, gelatinous texture…this goes for hair gels too. 

Alternative: Try to find ones that use an alternative such as Irish moss (carageenan) or seaweed (agar, kelp, etc.). 


Hyaluronic Acid:

This protein is known to be useful for adding moisture and manageability to dull, dry, or lackluster hair. Unfortunately, it is usually derived from umbilical cords, and the synovial fluid surrounding the joints of animals. 

Alternative: This chemical is actually produced in our own bodies, and vegetable and soy are actually great sources of it, so chances are most vegans don’t even need this added to their products if they’re eating a good variety of fresh whole foods!


Keratin: 

Keratin treatments have become quite popular these days, as they promise to restore damaged hair, make hair stronger, and even keep curly or kinky hair straight. We produce keratin ourselves. It is one of the main constituents of human skin, hair, and nails. It is also found in animal hooves, feathers, horns, and hair.

Alternative: There are a multitude of plant-derived ingredients and herbs that can serve the same purpose; you just have to look for them!


Silk Powder:

Silk is used in many popular hair care products.  Silk Powders can be incorporated into shampoos, hair creams, pomades, or conditioners. The natural glossy property of silk is what imparts the shinning appearance to hair.

Alternative: Instead of using silk powder vegan brands usually replace this ingredient with Acai oil or other high quality oils to create a natural shine.


Stearic Acid: 

Stearic Acid or stearic/ stearyl lurk in many common items such as hairspray, conditioners, and even deodorants and some chewing gums. When animal-derived, it can come from the fats of cows, pigs, and even domestic euthanized pets, as difficult a pill as that is to swallow.

Alternative: Stearic Acid can also be sourced from cocoa and Shea butters as a cruelty-free alternative; again – just check!  #readyourlabel #nonanimalingredients


Why Use Vegan Shampoo?

So why should you use a vegan shampoo instead of just a typical supermarket brand? Well a lot of the popular in store brands are owned by big consumer companies that test their products on animals and often use animal based by-products to reduce their costs. Not only does this harm animals but a lot of the chemicals and ingredients used in these consumer shampoos can be harmful to humans. If you have sensitive hair or skin, then these chemical filled shampoos can send your body into a frenzy. In just a matter of hours, you can develop rashes, marks, and itchy skin all over your body.

Vegan shampoo, on the other hand, is entirely different.


The Benefits of Vegan Shampoo

Made from completely organic plant-based ingredients and no harmful chemicals or toxins, vegan shampoo still gives you the amazing clean and fresh feeling from regular shampoo. Not only do organic formulas help gently soothe and calm and sensitive skin or hair but you can also use it know no animals were harmed in the making. This goes for bees as well, as real vegan shampoo won’t contain any beeswax or honey as they are animal by-products.

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