Quick-Start Guide to Cruelty Free Curly Hair Products

June 15, 2022


Verna Meachum

List of cruelty free curly hair products

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Are you contemplating a switch to cruelty-free products for your curly hair care routine, or are you already committed to the idea? The market for cruelty-free hair care options is expanding to meet the rising demand, but diving into it might leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed.

No worries—I’m here to help with a straightforward list of cruelty-free curly hair products to kickstart your journey. Before we delve into the product recommendations, let’s clarify what “cruelty-free” truly means.

What is the Definition of Cruelty-Free?

There is no one legal definition for cruelty-free. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not define or regulate the use of the term “cruelty-free” in cosmetics labeling.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has some guidance on the use of cruelty-free claims, but this is not legally binding.

There are a few different ways that cruelty-free can be defined. Some cruelty-free standards are based on legal definitions, while others are more voluntary.

In Europe, cruelty-free claims must comply with the general principles of misleading advertising under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. This means that cruelty-free claims must not be false or misleading and that businesses must have evidence to support any claims they make.

The cruelty-free movement is largely based on ethical concerns about the treatment of animals. Some animal rights organizations, such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), have their own cruelty-free standards. These standards are voluntary and not legally binding.

PETA’s cruelty-free standard requires that a company does not test any of its products or ingredients on animals at any stage of development. The company must also not commission or pay for any animal tests carried out by others. In addition, PETA requires companies to have a written policy in place confirming that they meet these criteria.

What makes a brand cruelty-free?

The term cruelty-free is used to indicate that a company doesn’t test its products on animals or condone such tests by others. This label can be applied to cosmetics, personal care, and cleaning products. It might also be used for food or clothing items.

Consumers should scrutinize a brand’s cruelty-free promises in addition to the label to ensure that no animal testing occurs at any point in production or throughout the supply chain.

Not all cruelty-free claims are created equal. Some companies that market themselves as cruelty-free may pay for animal testing elsewhere in their supply chain. Others may test on animals when required by law.

It’s important to research a company and its cruelty-free claims before making a purchase.

When cruelty-free isn’t enough

Cruelty-free standards only address animal testing. They don’t take into account other ethical concerns, such as the environment or working conditions.

For example, a company might avoid animal testing but use harmful chemicals in its products. Or it might source its ingredients from suppliers that don’t treat their workers fairly.

Some cruelty-free certifications, such as Leaping Bunny, take these additional factors into account.

Consumers should research a brand and its cruelty-free claims to make sure that they align with their ethical standards.

Cruelty-Free Checklist

Not sure where to start? Use this cruelty-free checklist to find products that meet your standards.

✔︎ The brand does not test its ingredients on animals.

✔︎ The company does not conduct animal testing on its finished products.

✔︎ The brand does not pay for or allow a third party to test on animals on its behalf.

✔︎ The company has a written policy in place confirming that it meets these criteria.

✔︎ The brand’s ingredient suppliers and manufacturers, like other cosmetics companies, do not test on animals and rely on documents or certificates to verify this.

✔︎ The brand is transparent about its cruelty-free status and provides contact information in case you have any questions.

✔︎ The brand does not sell in China. Brands must not be willing to let the Chinese government test their goods or ingredients on animals.

✔︎ The brand has fair labor practices and does not exploit workers in its supply chain.

What Are Vegan Hair Products?

Vegan hair products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients. This includes ingredients like keratin, and silk amino acids, which are often sourced from animals.

Vegan hair products are cruelty-free, but not all cruelty-free hair products are vegan.

It’s important to check the ingredients list of any hair product you’re considering to make sure it doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Is a product vegan if it is natural?

No, a product can be natural and still contain animal-derived ingredients.

For example, some hair products may contain lanolin, which is derived from sheep’s wool.

To be sure a product is vegan, check the ingredients list to make sure it doesn’t contain any animal-derived ingredients.

You can also look for the Vegan Society’s cruelty-free and vegan mark on the product’s packaging.

Animal-derived Ingredients

PETA has a list of animal-derived ingredients as well as alternatives to help you avoid animal ingredients in food, cosmetics, and other products. Click here to learn more.

Vegan or Cruelty-Free; Which One Is The Best Option? 

Vegan or Cruelty-Free; Which One Is The Best Option? 

The best option of the two is a personal choice because they both have different purposes.

Ultimately, the best choice is the one that aligns with your ethical standards.

There is a significant difference between the various cruelty-free criteria. Consider which description of cruelty-free best reflects your beliefs and look for brands that you feel comfortable with.

Ways To Know If Your Hair Products Are Cruelty-Free

When looking for cruelty-free curly hair products, it’s important to do your research.

Here are a few tips:

1. Check the company’s website: Most cruelty-free companies will have a statement on their website that they don’t test on animals.

2. Look for cruelty-free certification logos: cruelty-free certifications, such as Leaping Bunny, cruelty-free, and PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies, have strict standards that companies must meet to be certified.

3. Contact the company: If you can’t find any information on the company’s website, try contacting them directly.

4. Use a cruelty-free product directory: cruelty-free directories, such as Cruelty-Free Kitty and Logical Harmony, can be helpful resources when looking for cruelty-free hair products.

5. Do your research: In addition to checking cruelty-free directories or databases. Do your research on a company to see if they test on animals.

6. Download a Cruelty-Free App. There are a few cruelty-free apps, such as Cruelty Cutter and Bunny Free that can help you find cruelty-free products.

Cruelty-Free Curly Hair Products

There are a growing number of cruelty-free curly hair products/brands on the market. Many of these brands offer products for curly hair.

Creating a comprehensive list of cruelty-free products would take forever, so I’ve listed the curly hair brands you’re most likely to find.

This is not an all-inclusive list, but it’s a good starting point.

These cruelty-free brands offer a range of products specifically for curly hair.

Adwoa Beauty


What’s the difference between cruelty-free and vegan products?

Often the terms, cruelty-free and vegan are used together, but they mean different things. If a product claims to be cruelty-free it doesn’t mean it’s also vegan.

When a product includes no animal-derived ingredients, it is considered vegan.

Do all cruelty-free products have a bunny logo on them?

No, not all cruelty-free products will have a bunny logo on them. The two most common cruelty-free logos are the Leaping Bunny and PETA’s cruelty-free bunny.

There are also several other cruelty-free certifications, but these are the two most recognizable.

A product can be cruelty-free without being certified, but it cannot be certified cruelty-free without being cruelty-free.

Is Cantu cruelty-free?

Yes, Cantu is cruelty-free.

Is Olaplex cruelty-free?

Yes, Olaplex is cruelty-free. The brand does not test its products on animals.

Is Kinky Curly cruelty-free?

Yes, Kinky Curly is cruelty-free.

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