Updated: Jan 13
I don’t know about you but I’ve been getting pretty jaded on hair products that use and test on animals. After watching the demise of Eco-Styler gel on Youtube, I noticed a rise in naturals wanting to find hair products that are ethical and don’t cause harm to themselves or others.
I’ve been on the natural product train for a while. I watch a ton of product reviews but rarely see natural hair Youtubers highlight natural product lines that are cruelty-free or vegan. For those of us that want to have natural and cruelty-free products inside and out, I’ve created a list of 10 Cruelty-Free and Vegan Natural Hair Friendly Brands that I Love.
I’ve combined cruelty-free and vegan together. However, it is important to distinguish between the two.
Cruelty Free means the product is not tested on animals
Vegan means that the product has no animal products in it.
A cruelty-free product may very well have animals products in it. For instance, honey is a very commonly used ingredient in cosmetics but it is not technically vegan because honey is made from the saliva of honey bees. Do be cognizant of the labels on these products to be aware of which products are cruelty-free and vegan. So let’s get into it!
1. Kinky Curly
I have been a Kinky Curly fan since day 1. Many naturals and curly girls have tried this brand but it’s been soooo slept on. The community has moved to other brands and products but I hold true to Kinky Curly. My Wash-n-Go's are never the same with other products. Kinky Curly gives me definition and 7-days of fabulousness. Their ingredients are super natural, simple, and easy to pronounce. Kinky Curly is certified Cruelty-Free from PETA and is vegan.
You can check out my favorite Kinky Curly products here or at your local drug store or Target
2. Shea Moisture
Shea Moisture has been a controversial company for some naturals since the release of their advertisement that glossed over the plight of darker skinned naturals. However, if you’ve moved on past the controversy and picked up a Shea Moisture product, you will notice that it is also certified Cruelty-Free by PETA. I’ve been a fan of the Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie for a long time. I’ve used it from my TWA (teeny weeny afro) phrase all the way to the shoulder length stage that I’m in now. Much like the Kinky Curly brand, the ingredients are very simple and most are easily understood and able to be pronounced. I love this brand because the products work so well and my hair feels amazing after I use it.
You can check out my favorite Shea Moisture products here or at your local drug store.
3. Trader Joe’s
I personally adore the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner. I’ve been on this stuff for years. I love it as a detangler and a follow-up conditioner after I deep condition. The slip, y'all. The slip. It’s wonderful. As far I know, the Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner is vegan which means it contains no animal ingredients. Most if not all of Trader Joe’s hair and skin products are cruelty-free. They are certified by Cruelty-Free International. Now, this label lets us know that Trader Joe’s does not test on animals, however, there may be animal products in some of their other products. This product is worth checking out if you want more bang for your buck and more slip for your natural tresses.
Check out Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner here or find it at your local Trader Joe’s.
4. As I Am
The As I Am line is a very popular line in the natural hair community. Many naturals pick up the most popular product in this line, the Coconut CoWash. I have used this cowash for years as well and have really enjoyed it. Despite other cowashes, it always leaves my hair feeling clean and ready for the next step of deep conditioning. Many of us fell out of the cowash grind when we started to implement more clarifying shampoos. However, I find the As I Am Coconut Cowash just as effective as a regular sulfate-free shampoo. And it feels soo good to know it’s cruelty-free and no animals were harmed in its creation.
Check out my favorite As I Am products here or find it at your local drug store or beauty supply store
Carol’s Daughter is a brand of products owned by the L'Oreal Company. Do know that L'Oreal is not a cruelty-free company, however, Carol’s Daughter is a cruelty-free line. They are certified by PETA. Another cool thing is they don’t sell their products in places where animal testing is required. The brand has a great moral compass and pretty great products too. I’ve tried several items from the Carol’s Daughter brand and I personally like their Black Vanilla line. It’s super moisturizing and seems to have a product for every step of the wash process. They have 8 pieces to this collection and it can really do wonders for natural hair.
Check out my favorite Carol’s Daughter products here or find it as your local drug store or beauty supply store
Now y’all know, Giovanni is a throwback! I haven’t use this stuff since my natural journey began in 2012. However, I remember being very impressed with their Direct Leave-in Conditioner. I have fine strands so I loved how light and airy it was but also easily penetrable into my hair. It’s a been a hot minute since I've used this, but for those interested in revisiting some products you haven’t used in a while, Giovanni is one I would try again. Then, come to find out they’re a certified cruelty-free product by Cruelty-Free International, I fell in love all over again.
Check out Giovanni’s Direct Leave-in here or at your local drug store or natural food store
7. Yes to Carrots
Much like Giovanni, I haven’t used the Yes to Carrots Nourishing Conditioner since the early days of my natural hair journey in 2012. However, I do remember using this product because of its smell, the pretty good slip and the quantity. This was such an affordable conditioner for its size. I also read the ingredients on the back and felt very comfortable at the time putting the product on my hair. Yes to Carrots' products are still great choices for those looking for natural products that can really stretch the dollar. They are certified by PETA as cruelty-free.
Check out my favorite Yes to Carrots products here or at your local natural food store
8. Nature’s Gate
Nature’s Gate is a super natural company that I’ve used for years. I’m more accustomed to their Papaya lotion (which has literally faded scars and evened out my skin tone). However, I’ve heard wonderful things about their products from other naturals. Their conditioners contain ingredients like horsetail and pansy which I know create excellent slip and improve moisture retention in my hair. I would highly recommend their Papaya lotion but do give their Jojoba and Sacred Lotus Conditioner a try. Nature's Gate's products are certified Cruelty-Free by PETA.
Check out some great Nature’s Gate’s products here or at your local natural foods store
9. Aztec Healing Clay
I bet y’all didn’t know this one was on here. Yes, the Aztec Healing Clay brand is now one of my new favorites. I’ve recently begun doing clay washes in place of my shampoos. The definition I get is unreal. If you haven’t tried using clay washes, you may be missing out. Using this vegan and cruelty-free clay has not only transformed my hair but it’s also given me a really good reason to reduce my waste and go for sustainable cosmetic choices. Aztec Healing Clay is fairly affordable and can be found most places.
Check out Aztec Healing Clay here or go to your local natural food store
10. African Black Soap
Now this is an oldie but a goodie. I’ve used African Black Soap for my body and a few times for my hair. It’s a very natural soap made primarily in West Africa. It’s made of cocoa pod, plantain, palm tree leaves, water and various plant oils. It’s a super natural and very sustainable soap. It is not officially certified by American or International cruelty-free companies but it doesn’t need to be. The ingredients alone speak for themselves. Combining ground up pieces of African Black Soap with water can create a really nice, clarifying shampoo that leaves the hair feeling clean but not stripped.
Find African Black Soap here
I hope this list of cruelty-free and vegan natural hair friendly brands helped you. If you have tried any of these products and want to vouch for them, leave a comment below.