What Is Vegan Shampoo?

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  • Written By: Brandon May
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2019
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Conventional shampoos on the market can be tested on animals, and include different chemicals, preservatives, and cleaning agents. The basic definition of a vegan shampoo is one that has not been tested on animals and contains no animal derivatives, and can be organic and free of chemicals and man-made additives. Most of these shampoos still use ingredients that effectively clean hair from dirt and excess grease build up. Vegan shampoos must be certified as vegan by an independent council to be truly free of animal involvement during their production.

Individuals who lead a vegan lifestyle choose to exclude any and all animal products from their diet, as well as their clothing, accessories, and beauty products. With increasingly larger quantities of vegan shampoo being produced, stricter regulations have been set in place to differentiate between conventional and vegan products. One of the leading factors that go into a vegan shampoo is the rules against having that shampoo tested on animals. Using animals as test subjects for any beauty product is often seen as cruel to many vegans and animal rights activists.


Often, veganism is not only a topic surrounding animal rights, but is pursued by many individuals wishing to live a healthier lifestyle. Vegan shampoo manufacturers may take note of this and produce shampoos that are both vegan as well as organic, meaning free from potentially hazardous chemicals and cleaning agents. These shampoos must be certified as organic to be truly free from the supposedly unhealthier ingredients found in regular beauty products. Even though the shampoo may not contain cleaning agents found in conventional shampoos, most of the natural soaps, oils, and additives are designed to clean and remove dirt from hair.

Vegan shampoos must be certified as vegan by an independent and separate certification council, which carefully inspects the production of the shampoo. Each individual agency or council has its own set standards that must be met before awarding a certain vegan shampoo with the vegan certification. Some shampoos may claim to be made with vegan ingredients, but this doesn't always mean they are completely vegan as some ingredients used can be derived from animals. Also, being vegan doesn't guarantee that a shampoo is healthier for the body or for the environment.


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Post 3

@SarahGen-- If there is an organic market or shop that you usually buy from, you can ask them to order vegan products, including shampoos. More and more brands manufacture vegan products nowadays because there is demand.

You could also make your own vegan shampoo. I make my own herbal shampoo at home with vegetable based soap and natural oils like thyme and lemon. It takes some getting used to, but at least you will know exactly what is in it and that it's vegan.

Post 2

@SarahGen-- While there may be vegan shampoos on the market without the vegan certification and label, it's difficult to know for sure. There are actually many non-vegan ingredients in some "all natural" shampoos. Unless you have done a lot of research on the topic, you probably won't know what to look out for.

For example cetyl alcohol and keratin, which are found in many shampoos these days, are usually animal based.

I recommend checking organic and vegan markets for shampoos with a vegan label. There is also a greater variety online.

Post 1

I have a hard time finding vegan shampoo. I don't think that there are many shampoos certified vegan. Can I use organic, plant based shampoos that say "not tested on animals" on the label?

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