Let’s talk cruelty-free hair products and hair tools.
Most people know that products like shampoo and hairspray can be tested on animals; however, don’t forget about hair tools, like brushes and curling irons. While a curling iron itself is not going to be tested on an animal (at least, not to my knowledge), your basic Target or grocery store curling iron is very likely made by a company that also makes hair styling products and tests those products on animals. So while technically that curling iron is a cruelty-free product, the brand is probably not.
If you really want to spend your money on truly cruelty-free items, make sure the brand in it’s entirely is cruelty-free. This isn’t difficult because either the brand is or it isn’t – meaning brands either test all their hair styling products on animals or they test none of them. I haven’t run into a situation yet where the shampoo isn’t tested on animals but the hairspray is.
Rule of Thumb: if you are shopping at Target, Walmart, Walgreens, your local grocery store or an equivalent, look for a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo, which you can see here. If you don’t see one, you are probably better off staying away from the brand. You can also do a quick google search to see if the brand sells their products in China. If they do, they are not cruelty-free. Keep in mind that most brands found in these stores are not cruelty-free – meaning the brands a lot of us grew up with (like Panteen and Revlon are NOT cruelty-free). Target does have brands that are but those generally carry a PETA or Leaping Bunny logo.
Remember: There are going to be smaller and newer brands that do not carry those logos and may have a logo of their own indicating cruelty-free status – think brands that are up and coming, organic or natural – usually it’s much more likely that they actually are cruelty-free rather than a bigger brand on a Target shelf using its own logo (I’ve actually run into this before – the brand said “not tested on animals” but a google search found a press release that they expanded sales to China years ago).
Also, some bigger brands may simply choose not to carry either logo even if they are certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny. You can search both sites to see if the brand comes up as cruelty-free though. Other’s may choose not to be certified as it is voluntary and they can still be cruelty-free. The only way to know for sure in these cases is to check out the brand’s website regarding their policy on animal testing. If the policy is really short, like “we do not test any of our products on animals” then asking them directly about the policy surrounding their ingredients and suppliers is recommended. The final product may not be tested on animals by the brand, BUT if the ingredients are before the brand receives them, then the product is not cruelty-free.
One last note – I really appreciate all that PETA does to help end animal cruelty of all types. However, their cruelty-free brand list is, well, sometimes, not quite all that accurate. For example, if you search Conair on the PETA site, it is listed as a cruelty-free brand. However, based on my research it sounds like while they don’t test final products on animals and don’t require any of their suppliers to test on animals, they have no idea if their suppliers or ingredients do/are tested on animals. On the other hand, PETA does get it right a lot of the time too. So doing your own research is the best way to make sure you are truly buying cruelty-free.
I realize a lot of people may not have time to go this in depth when shopping, so below I am providing a list of a few of the hair care brands that are cruelty-free! There are some caveats so please read the notes below and then shop away my friends!
Aveda – is a cruelty-free brand but it is owned by Este Lauder which does test on animals.
Remington– from all my research, I believe Remington is cruelty-free as all it appears to make is hair tools and no other hair products. I have contacted the brand to double check this. If or when I receive a response, I will update.
Paul Mitchell – Paul Mitchell is sold in China but through extensive research, the products are ONLY sold in salons in China, not in regular stores so the products are not required to be tested on animals. Additionally, Paul Mitchell has a long history of being cruelty-free and making that a priority long before it became a more common thing.
Kevin Murphy is used in a lot of salons so even if the salon you go to uses other products you aren’t sure about, just ask them to only use this brand on you!
Jack Black – specializes in men’s products – the hubby uses this brand!