At Waldo’s Friends, animal welfare advocacy doesn’t end at rescuing cats and dogs. We believe in an equally kind world for all animals—including those voiceless animals used in animal testing labs to produce products used in our everyday lives. Products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair serums, and everything else in our bathrooms and households that we may use without thinking of where they come from and how they’re created. We support the cruelty free movement—a global effort to ban the use of animals in testing products.
In this cruelty free hair care blog post, we’ll answer these questions:
- What exactly is cruelty free?
- How can a hair care product be truly cruelty free?
- How does a brand or company get cruelty free certification?
- Which products belong to the hair care category?
- Which hair care brands are cruelty free?
What exactly is cruelty free?
Cruelty free is defined as something that is “developed or produced without inhumane testing on animals.” Cruelty Free International believes that experimenting on animals can be eliminated globally by: 1) using approved tests that do not use animals; 2) sticking to the many combinations of existing ingredients that have already been established as safe for human use; and 3) calling on governments around the world to ban animal testing for cosmetics.
How can a hair care product be truly cruelty free?
Following the definition of cruelty free, a hair care product or brand can only be considered cruelty free if it meets all these conditions:
- Its ingredients are not tested on animals by the company’s suppliers at any phase
- Its formulations and product developments are not tested on animals by the company at any phase
- The final products are not tested on animals by the company or a third party contracted by the company
Cheaper and more effective methods can now be employed to verify that hair care products and other consumer products are safe for human use. Instead of experimenting on caged rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats, using reconstructed human epidermis or in vitro human tissue have shown more accurate and relevant results. Additionally, there are almost 20,000 ingredients in the European Union database that have been considered safe for humans.
How does a brand or company get cruelty free certification?
Since animal testing is still legal in some parts of the world (only 40+ countries have signed laws to limit or ban animal testing), there is no formal ruling body that gives cruelty free certifications. However, there are two recognised non-profit organisations that have been giving accreditations to brands and companies: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) Beauty Without Bunnies and the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the US and Canada’s Leaping Bunny Program.
The programs have their own set of guidelines that volunteering brands/companies must meet to be deemed cruelty free. For Beauty Without Bunnies, requirements include the necessary paperwork that prove their raw ingredients, formulations, and finished products are not tested on animals anywhere in the world. Additionally, details must be given regarding what ingredients they use, what products they offer, how they test their products, and where these products are sold. Leaping Bunny has similar requirements for applicants requesting for cruelty free certification, which are posted at length on their site. However, it goes beyond the guidelines set by PETA by requiring brands/companies to recommit annually and agree to independent audits.
Which products belong to the hair care category?
Products that cleanse, condition, colour, and style your crowning glory all fall under the hair care category. These include but are not limited to hydrating shampoos, leave-in conditioners, anti-frizz serums, volumizing sprays, and hair colouring treatments.
Which hair care brands are cruelty free?
Aside from the three conditions mentioned earlier, it is important to note that Waldo’s Friends only considers a hair care brand as 100% cruelty free if it is not sold in countries that lawfully require cosmetic testing on animals. Therefore, some hair care brands that may have been considered by PETA as cruelty free may not be listed here as such.
Cruelty Free Hair Care:
Non-Cruelty Free Hair Care:
- Bed Head
- Head & Shoulders
- Herbal Essences
- John Frieda
- Wella Professionals
Supporting ethically made, cruelty free hair care products that match your needs may take some time and effort, but it creates a lasting impact on the lives of countless animals that cannot speak for themselves. Your conscientious purchasing habits may cause a ripple effect, encouraging more institutions to manufacture mindfully.
Find out which cosmetic brands and skin care brands are cruelty free by checking out our comprehensive cruelty free category on the blog.