What is a vegan shampoo? And 11 fantastic brands to try | Totally Vegan Buzz
What is a vegan shampoo? And 11 fantastic brands to try
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Do you know which ingredients make your shampoo non-vegan?

The cosmetic industry has gone through a radical shift in the last few years as more consumers become aware of the impact their purchases make.

As a result, the demand for vegan hair care products has soared. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the ingredients in the products they use and are looking for alternatives that are not only better for their hair but also better for the environment.

According to the Vegan Society’s first US market report, more than 50% of US consumers want more vegan-verified labelling on beauty products,

A report by Research and Markets predicted that the vegan cosmetics market is poised to increase by $5872.81 million during 2023–2027, at a CAGR of 6.5%.

In this article, we’ll look at shampoo, a common household item that surprisingly has quite a few animal ingredients in it. 

What ingredients should vegans look out for?

Many companies and popular brands are still using non-vegan ingredients and manufacturing processes that are not cruelty free. Moreover,  this is also not always clear from the packaging.

Shellac , which is secreted by female lac bugs, is sometimes used to make hair sprays.

Glycerin, which is used for its hydrating properties, is sometimes sourced from plants but also from animals, like cows and sheep. Meanwhile, most gelatin is made by boiling discarded animal bones, skin, and ligaments. 

Lanolin, extracted from the sebaceous glands of sheep, is also used to moisturize hair.

Stearic acid  is typically sourced  from pigs’ stomachs. Whereas biotin, which is often used as a texturizer is sourced from milk and yeast.  

Cetyl alcohol, used for its emulsifying properties, as well as its ability to make a product thicker or increase the product’s ability to foam, is extracted from the spermaceti (head cavity) of whales, dolphins, and other cetaceans.

Hyaluronic acid, which is crowned for adding moisture and manageability to dull, dry, or lackluster hair is usually derived from umbilical cords, and the synovial fluid surrounding the joints of animals. 

Other ingredients such casein (usually obtained from cow’s milk), squalene (a component of shark liver oil), keratin (removed from feathers, horns, or wool), and beeswax are also used in hair products.

What is a vegan shampoo made up of?

Ingredients that are commonly used in vegan shampoos include plant-based oils and butters, such as coconut oil, shea butter, and avocado oil. These ingredients can provide the same benefits as animal-derived ingredients, such as hydration and nourishment for the hair. Other common vegan-friendly ingredients include aloe vera, chamomile, and lavender.

Now, let’s take a look at 11 popular vegan shampoo brands that you can try:


Image Credit: Lush

Lush is a well-known brand for its vegan and cruelty-free hair care products. They have a wide range of shampoo options to choose from, including shampoos for different hair types and concerns.


Image Credit: Acure

Acure is a 100% vegan brand. They use omega fatty acids in the shampoos to deeply nourish and replenish dry, damaged hair. Their products also reduce frizz, while increasing shine and elasticity. Moreover, Acure’s shampoos are paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, petrolatum free and formaldehyde free leaving hair soft, manageable and ready to rock. 


Image Credit: Aveda

Aveda is a high-end brand that offers a range of vegan and cruelty-free hair care products, including shampoos. They use plant-based ingredients to create gentle and effective shampoos.

Paul Mitchell

Image Credit: Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell is a professional hair care brand that offers vegan and cruelty-free hair care products. They have a wide range of shampoos to choose from that are suitable for different hair types and concerns.

Avalon Organics

Image Credit: Avalon Organics

Avalon organics is a well-known cosmetic company which believes in harnessing the pure benefits in botanicals to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Their vegan cruelty-free shampoo products gently cleanse and nourish fine hair and build volume. Their plant based formulaes are made with organic botanicals and essential oils plus they are non-GMO, paraben free, sulfate-free, free of harsh preservatives, synthetic colors and fragrances, or phthalates.

Common Ground

Image Credit: Common Ground

This vegan haircare brand is a fantastic choice for dry and damaged hair. It uses ingredients like virgin avocado oil extracts to rejuvenate weak, thin hair, or damaged hair. It’s 100% vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and non-toxic. Their products are free from SLS, soap, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, isothiazolinone, mineral oils, DEA, parabens, silicone, alcohol, propylene glycol, artificial colors.

John Masters Organics

Image Credit: John Masters Organics

John Masters Organics is a premium brand that specializes in natural and organic hair care products. They offer a variety of vegan shampoos that are gentle and effective.


Image Credit: Ethique

Ethique has a wide range of shampoo and conditioner bars. Moreover, one of their bars is equivalent to three bottles of shampoo, so we dont blame you, if you want to grab them all.

The shampoo bars contain the same quality ingredients you’d expect in your favourite salon-quality shampoo.⁠ The bars lather well like traditional liquid shampoo but unlike a bottled product, water isn’t the first ingredient listed. The other products in Ethique’s electic range are worth trying out too.

Desert Essence

Image Credit: Desert Essence

Desert Essence is a brand that specializes in natural and organic hair care products. They offer a wide range of vegan shampoos that are gentle and effective.


Image Credit: Anomaly

Anomaly is a brand that specializes in natural and organic hair care products. They are clean, cruelty free and vegan. Moreover, they are free of sulphates, parabens, pthalates, mineral Oil and dyes. They also have an earth conscious packaging where their bottles are made from 100% trash plastic.

Love Beauty And Planet

Image Credit: Love Beauty and Pl

This brand has an eceletic range for all hair types. All their hair products are infused with natural coconut oil and other ingredients which support long, healthy hair by controlling frizz, intensely hydrating and softening hair. Moreover, the products are also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of harmful toxic ingredients.

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