The short answer: No, John Frieda is not cruelty free.
The long answer: A British celebrity hairstylist, John Frieda is the founder of his eponymous hair product line. In 2002, the brand was acquired by Japanese company, Kao Corporation. They are the makers of Bioré. In response to animal testing queries, the brand states, “We are often asked if John Frieda products are cruelty-free. In our never-ending quest to get our transformative formulas just right, we test our formulas rigorously, but we absolutely do not test on animals.”
The hair care line adds, “We follow the conventions of the EU and other governmental bans on animal testing for cosmetics. Occasionally, laws and regulations require testing of certain materials outside of the cosmetics category on animals. Since the 1980s, Kao Corporation has been actively working with industry associations and relevant third parties to find robust alternatives to animal testing (many of which have been adopted as international guidelines for non-animal testing).”
John Frieda products are sold in China, which means that the brand is obliged to follow the laws of this particular country. China is known for conducting animal tests for imported beauty goods to guarantee that they are safe for humans. As such, John Frieda cannot claim to be entirely cruelty free.