Monday, 13 January 2014

Cruelty free noggin......vegan/vegetarian hair care

Ok, firstly, prepare yourself, cos this is a long may want to go have a cup of tea half way through.

So, it's came to my attention that I've been banging on about cruelty free make-up so much I've neglected all the other products us ladies are so fond of! So where better to correct this than with HAIR!

I have a bit of a 'thing' for shampoo (along with foundation & mascaras it's my cosmetic obsession). I have fine hair and lots of it, this means that A LOT of products are too heavy for my hair and it tends to look oily and lackluster very quickly as a result, often leaving me with dull lifeless hair more often than not. So, needless to say, I have gone through a fuck tone trying to find shampoos etc that I like....your gonna hear me whinge a lot about my hair in this post I'm afraid.

So I have compiled a list of hair products and brands, most of which I've used, that may be of help to the discerning lover of cruelty free, vegan/vegi to boot, hair care products! 

Lets start at the very beginning....a very good place to start.

Shampoo & conditioner


Ah, good ol' Superdrug, I do love you.
See, the wonderful thing about Superdrug is that almost all of their own buy products are vegan and/or vegetarian, marked clearly on the back of their packaging.... & it is very light on the wallet! 
They have 2 shampoos that are among my favorites, their Extracts cherry and fig shampoo & conditioner & their Pro Vitamin full volume shampoo. I found both of these great for my fine hair and got a full day before my hair started to look oily. The fig and cherry smells amazing, so if you don't like it, you can always use the shampoo as a body wash. 
As for the Pro Vitamin volumising, I don't think I've ever been given so many 'oh my god, your hair is so shiney' compliments in all my days as when I use it! Which is lovely. Now, granted, I do have dyed black hair, so it is likely to have a bit of shine, but still.....
I'm also a fan of their dry shampoo. Not only is it cheap with a range of fragrances and colours but it's good stuff too.

Oh Superdrug, your hallowed aisles are like a cruelty free, budget wonderland.


Again, you can't go wrong with Lush. Most of their products are vegan and all are vegetarian.
I'm currently using one of their shampoo bars. Granted their price point is a good deal higher than Superdrug, but in fairness their stuff does last a good long while. Their hair care is also free from any nasties such as silicones, parabens and sulfates, and as a lot of folks find these very irritating it's good to know you can get cosmetics free from these all in one place.
The shampoo bar I'm using is a sea salt affair for hair that gets oily quickly called Seanik. This is the second time I've bought it and I can get a full day out of my hair, so I like it. The only pain in the arse is trying to get that wee bloody tin I got for it open with wet hands!!


Co-op is another you just can't go wrong with if you're a fan of cruelty free. Much like the Superdrug they're Leaping Bunny approved and very few of their own buy products have contain animal byproducts and it's clearly marked on their packaging.
I don't think I've used their hair care yet (I've used so many my brain sometimes turns to mush), but they do have a tea tree shampoo, and as tea tree is good for fine hair that gets oily quickly, I'll def be giving it a bash at some point. Price point wise you can expect to pay just over £1 for shampoo and the same again for conditioner, which is pretty damn reasonable.   

Having at least 3 shampoos at any one given time? Yes, I'm aware I'm mental


I've read a lot of bitching on forums about Asda products along the lines of  'it said it was vegan, but when I read the ingredients it had beeswax in. OMG, sob, sob'. Now, this is because Asda DO NOT mark their products vegan, they mark them vegetarian. To be fair vegans, that has knocked most of the negative ingredients off the list, so it shouldn't be too hard to work out the ones that actually are vegan.
Price point wise, Adsa has 'V' marked shampoos and conditioners from as little as 22p, so if you're on a tight budget or have a family, these are the guys for you. Some of the bottles are MASSIVE as well. 
I have used Asda hair care, but found it a little too heavy for my fine, limp hair, although I have only tried one shampoo and one conditioner so far.

Holland and Barrett

Holland and Barrett, your local friendly health shop chain, has a whole host of cruelty free cosmetic products. I think a lot of people don't realise this as they think of it as a health 'food' store. They carry the range which is vegan and free from sulphates, parabens and artificial colours, so another good one for those with sensitive scalps. The price point is just below 6 bucks each for a shampoo & conditioner, but Holland and Barrett often do buy one get one half price and penny sales, so you can still get a bargain.
I've used the rose otto volumising shampoo and conditioner. This was maybe a wee bit too heavy for my hair, but not too bad. Again, as it smells of amazing rosey goodness, so if you don't like it as a shampoo you can use it as a body wash!


Wholefoods is another chain of stores that offers a range of cruelty free cosmetics and toiletries. They have the likes of Weleda who are cruelty free and offer a lot of vegan and vegetarian options and everything they do is free of any nasty chemicals so, again, another good one for you sensitive types.
I haven't used any of the toiletries from Wholefoods as yet (& there's way more besides Weleda), but know folk who use Weleda skin care and love it.
Price wise....well, Wholefoods ain't cheap I'm afraid.

Daniel Field

Daniel Field has been cutting about for years and has always offered cruelty free, vegan hair care...bravo sir!
He was a hairdresser with a chemistry background (weird, right?) who decided to make his own hair friendly range. 
I used his shampoo many, many years ago, so can't really make any fair comment on it. It used to be available in Boots, but I can only see it online just now.


Ion is another of my favorites. It's available in Sally (Salon Services) as it's a 'professional' product. I used their Vitalising Thickening shampoo and not only did I get a full day of  fresh, clean hair from it, but boy, did it give my hair volume! I think it's wise to use a conditioner each time you wash with this one though.

For some reason you it only tells you what's vegan (which is most of it) on Sally's US site. It's in the box below each product description in the 'more details' section.
As a 'professional' product they price point is a it higher, but on a par with Lush. Luckily there are Sally stores everywhere, but you may only find this in the larger stores.

Tara Smith.

Tara Smith is another brand I used years and years ago when it was available in Tesco. I think it I found the shampoo I used a wee bit too heavy for my shitty fine hair, but it'd be unfair to say that with any certainty. The packaging has changed a lot since then and it looks fucking awesome! 
It's another organic, free from nasties hair care range and, lets face it, Tara Smith seems just lovely!
Marks and Spencer (who are Leaping Bunny approved, by the way) now sell a plethora of Tara Smith products!
Price wise, again, it's similar to Lush.  


OK, this is pretty much the same as what you see above. All of those brands also offer styling products. 
Superdrug have a fair few own brand ranges, all with different names, so keep a keen eye out when you peruse their shelves. I use a heat styling cream and volumizing dry shampoo from their 'This One' range and they're just dandy....& watch out for those special offers too.


Osmo are another 'professional' hair brand to be found in Sally. They're cruelty free and I found on the lovely 'Vegan Beauty Blog' a list of their products that ARE NOT vegan...and it's a pretty short list HERE

Hair colour


My hair is currently black. Now, when I die my hair black I want it as dark as it can be, blackety, black, black. Think of that scene in Father Ted where Ted's describing how preist socks are the blackest of black...well thats how black I want my hair!! 
For a while now I've been using Superdrugs Vibrance Darkest Black 2 and I fucking love it!! It's also pretty cheap and, as you'd expect with Superdrug own buy, and sometimes on special offer.
They offer a few different ranges of colourants, including a 24 washes one, but watch out vegans, as some of them have beeswax and are only vegetarian.

Smart Beauty

This brand is a wee hidden gem, so it is. They have a fantastic range of hair colour products all cruelty free and vegan. 
Now, apart from black my other 'signature' colour is a deep bright red. Whenever I decide it's time for red locks I reach for Smart Beauty. They have fucking coloured bleach!! How good is that?!! Now, like I say, I like a deep, rich red in my hair, so I still use a crazy colour over the top, but what a difference that coloured bleach makes. I remember when I went to the 2007 IMATS in London, the hard water there actually stripper all of the temp colour from my hair & you could really see the difference between the lower sections of hair I did with standard bleach and the hair with the Smart Beauty red stuff.
They offer both permanent and non hair colours ranging from bright as fuck unnatural affairs (think bright red, pink, blue...) to more natural shades. Highlights, bleach, ombre, full head permanent dyes and crazy colours and pastels semis...what more could you want? 
I put a wee blonde streak at the front of my hair and use their Silver Moon pastel dye over it and it's super white. 
You can buy some of their range in Superdrug and, even better, Saver stores! The rest is available online. They're also really cheap, with the most I've ever paid being £5, & they last for ages. I love them! I highly recommend Smart Beauty dies, they're fantastic.

My wee white stripe and current haul of Smart Beauty products.


With the rise of super trendy brands like Bleach London it's easy to forget the classics. And if ever there was a classic it's Directions hair dyes.
Cruelty free and vegan, Directions was the first dye I used back in the mid-90's. I've heard it slagged rotten over the years, but I always found it to be a good friend. It has a thorough range of semi-permanent crazy colour hair dyes, I have used many of them, the most common being the trusty ol' Pillarbox Red...I loves it.
Again, it's as cheap as chips at around £3 a tub which lasts ages. You'll normally find it in your local friendly goth store as well as online.

Manic Panic

Another classic. Tish and Snooky's Manic Panic is a brand that harks back to the 80's, offering all manner or rainbow coloured cosmetics when they were a bit of a rarity for a long time. They have always been cruelty free and vegetarian, although the whole brand is now vegan. It was a bit of a bitch to get hold of over the years, coming and going from the goth shops but, when I could, I used their Vampire Red dye. It's a damn sight more expensive than Directions, but comes in a larger tub and lasts ages.....but it's a bitch to get off the bathroom tiles!!
It's available online through the likes Ebay and Amazon and now in Glasgow through Lady Bon's favorite Miss Vegalusious.

Directions and Manic Panic. Don't ignore the classics...

Daniel Field

As before, I don't think there's any shops stocking this just now, but the dyes are available online. There colour range is all natural shades, so a good one to try if you're not into super bright hair or if you're only looking to cover greys.
Price wise you're looking at £6.99, which is no bad.

Holland and Barrett

As mentioned before, Holland and Barrett is home to quite a range of cruelty free toiletries. Among them is Naturtint Hair Colour. Now, so far, I haven't used this brand, but it does offer a vegan friendly colour range that is also free from all the nasties that those with sensitive scalps try to avoid....and with hair dye, that's pretty hard! All that and it's eco-friendly.
At £9.99 it's certainly pricier than the others, but it's a godsend if you have sensitive skin and want to dye your hair, so a tenner ain't to bad, eh?

Naturtint and Daniel Field; hair dyes for sensible people?

Now, if you made it to the end of all that, you deserve to see a really bad video of the really funny Father Ted black sock chat...

Thank you for reading. And always remember....Lady Bon loves you...


  1. Vegan cosmetics and vegan makeup by emani, official home page. Browse specials and purchase this natural vegan makeup and cosmetics brand here. Vegan make up brands like Emani

  2. Live XXL is vegan and cruelty free.

    1. Really?!! Is there info on it online somewhere? That's awesome, I loved their dyes back in the day. Found it hard to find info on their ingredients, though knew they were cruelty free.

    2. This is a response I got from them a short time ago, regarding vegan.

      "Thanks for getting in touch. The development of products according to vegan criteria is not part of our strategy. Even in cases where individual products currently meet the criteria this may change as part of our ongoing strategy. Therefore, we trust you understand that we cannot confirm that our products are free from animal derived ingredients. Hope this helps answer your query."

    3. Is this from Schwarzkopf? Sounds like a typical generic response designed to actually avoid answering anything and help nothing.
      Apparently they lost cruelty free status due to their mother company (depending on what list you believe).....and another one bites the dust...

  3. Hi, I've emailed Superdrug to check but their dyes have Lanolin(alcohols) in and that is non-vegan, so their dyes may not be suitable.

    1. I know that one of their dyes is def not vegan, only veggie. Believe it was a foam based one and I'm not sure if they do it anymore (it was mince). Let me know if they email you back :-)

  4. Hey lovely, this is Alex from AlexBeautyCorner =)
    First of all thank you for referring to my blog,
    I've been really surprised!

    Just something I noticed: OSMO is partly vegan, just as you wrote, but you put a picture of OSIS in your post which belongs to SCHWARZKOPF (who are a massive supporter of animal testing!)
    It can bit confusing but as far as I know OSMO Berber does not belong to Schwarzkopf whatsoever!

    Just thought I'd let you know so nobody buys OSIS instead of OSMO.


  5. Hay Alex.
    Thanks for pointing that out! I can't believe I missed it!
    I've changed the image accordingly....would shudder to think I was pointing folk in the direction of an animal tested product.

  6. I've been cruelty-free two years now but hair care is still the products I struggle on (my I have stubborn hair) but there's brands on here I've never heard of/tries so thank you!

    Morag x

    1. I'm so pleased you found it useful Morag :-)
      Think I may attempt one on cleaning products next.....boring, but useful...

  7. I'm led to believe in recent google searches that directions hair dye is sold in china though so it can't be cruelty free?

  8. Thank you, Lady Bon ! I’m so glad you liked the face wash you tried! Let me know
    how you like the other products you try too!

  9. A really interesting blog. Thank you. For your interest (?) I use the co op conditioner as a in place of a serum. I've very curly hair after giving up Friz ease many years ago I struggled to find something that worked. Co op conditioner is cheap and so far its better then anything else I've tried, for my hair anyway.

  10. Hi there,
    Just wanted to let you know that Weleda are not cruelty free, and you might wanna check out if all their products are vegan( maybe I'm wrong,but I remember seeing something with beeswax, a while ago):-/
    Take care