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Best Cruelty-Free Vegan Conditioner Brands: Our Top 3 Choices

Have you been searching for hair care products that are going to make your hair look thick, shiny, and healthy? Are you finding that the products you find at most drug stores and super markets just aren’t cutting it? Are you a vegetarian or a vegan, and do not want to use any products that contain animal products or by-products, or that are tested on animals?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, then it is time to start looking at vegan hair care products, including checking out some of the best vegan conditioners.

Essential Oils for All Hair Types

We all have different hair types, and not all products work for all hair types. You need to find the right vegan products that will work for your particular hair type. Start by looking at the labels. If they just say, “organic,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a vegan product. Also, look for products that suit your hair type.

Vegan conditioners are made with essential oils, as well as other plant extracts. These ingredients all work in different ways to treat your hair. Some add moisture to dry, damaged hair. Some help to get rid of excess oils. Look for a formulation that is going to work with your hair to make it shiny, thick, and healthy. There are many different formulations available for all hair types, so you are sure to find one that suits you perfectly.

Look for formulas that are totally organic, and that are vegan (no animal products or by-products, and not tested on animals). If there are any non-organic ingredients, you need to weigh the pros and cons and decide if this is going to be the best choice for you.

Here are some of the most popular formulations for various hair types -

  • Dandruff
  • DRY HAIR
  • Oily Hair

If you suffer from dandruff, look for products that contain tea tree oil, which can help prevent flaking and itching by killing the germs that cause the dandruff.

There are also formulations that are great for all hair types, and that are formulated for men, women, and children. Other ingredients to look for in your hair care products include -

  • Witch Hazel
  • Aloe Vera
  • Makuna Honey
  • Other Essential Oils

Not all products are what they claim to be, and this is also true of some organic products. Just because the label says “organic,” it doesn’t mean that there are not any non-organic ingredients, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is vegan.

There are some ingredients that you need to watch out for, including -

Biotin

We hear about biotin a lot, a natural ingredient that is used in hair conditioners as a texturizer. The problem is that biotin is definitely not a vegan ingredient. Biotin is in all living cells, and it can be found in heavy doses in milk and yeast. So, if you see biotin in the ingredients, you know that the product is not vegan, and to avoid it. Vegan alternatives to biotin to look for in the ingredients list include plant-based sources of vitamin B, such as leafy greens, fresh berries, and carrots.

Hyaluronic acid

This is a protein that is often found in conditioners because it helps to add moisture to hair that is dull and dry; but, its source is not vegan. In most cases, it comes from either umbilical cords or the synovial fluid that can be found around animal joints. There are alternatives that can have the same results, but are vegan. These include vegetables and soy. Our bodies produce hyaluronic acid naturally anyway, so there is no great need to have it as an ingredient in our hair care products.

Keratin

Again, this is a natural ingredient, but not a vegan one. Keratin is a popular ingredient in hair care products because it can help to restore hair that is damaged and make it stronger. Some people say that it can even help to get curly hair to go straight. Keratin is also produced naturally by our bodies. In fact, it is one of the main components of human hair, skin, and nails, and it can be found in various animal parts, including horns, hair, feathers, and hooves. If you want a product that is truly vegan, do not use one that contains keratin. Many plants and herbs found in vegan products can have the same effects as keratin.

Benefits of Using an Organic Conditioner

One doesn’t necessarily need to be a vegan to enjoy the benefits of vegan hair and skin products. There are actually several reasons why someone might want to use vegan conditioner for their hair. It may be that a person has problems with thinning hair or is balding, and some vegan shampoos and conditioners promote hair growth and make hair look thicker and fuller. If someone suffers from dandruff, there are vegan conditioners for this condition as well. Or, it may simply be because the user loves the way it makes their hair look and feel.

Whatever the reason, most people who use it do find that there are several benefits to using vegan/organic hair care products.

Using the best organic conditioners has benefits such as -

Healthy Hair

When you use hair care products that are enhanced with chemicals, you are not doing your hair any good in the long run. While the ingredients in most shampoos and conditioners are touted to make your hair shiny and healthy, they actually do a lot more harm than good. Organic products are made with natural ingredients and include no chemicals. They are good for your hair, and they actually will help to make your hair healthy.

Healthy Skin

The health of your scalp plays a huge role in the health of your hair. Many chemicals found in non-vegan hair care products can cause irritation to the skin, so they end up irritating the scalp. Unless someone has an allergy to a particular ingredient in a vegan product, there is little chance of scalp irritations. These products are usually better for pregnant women as well, although when pregnant it is important to discuss any products used with a physician first.

Healthy Environment

Each time you wash your hair with regular shampoo and conditioner, you are rinsing chemicals down your drain, and then they end up going into the environment. This is not good for the environment, and over time, it is going to affect our water, and even the air we breathe. By using vegan hair care products, you are helping to protect the environment for future generations. Remember, many of these products are also packed in environment-friendly containers, so they will break down instead of taking up space in landfills.

Healthy Body

You may not think that a hair conditioner can do much to improve your overall health, but, you would be wrong. When you use chemical-based products, you are exposing your entire body to the chemicals; there is absolutely no way to avoid it. Over time, some of the product is going to end up absorbing into your skin, and then the chemicals will get into your blood stream and be processed by your body. This is not something that you have to worry about when you use products that contain only natural ingredients.

Are Vegan Conditioners Expensive?

We are not going to lie. Vegan conditioners do tend to cost more than the chemical-based conditioners you find on your drug store shelves. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are more expensive. First of all, the benefits for your hair and skin are worth the extra cost. But, there is more to add to the value of organic conditioners.

When you use these products, you don’t need to use nearly as much as you do when you use non-organic hair care products. So, they are going to last longer. When you do the math and figure out the cost of both compared to how long they last, you will likely find that the vegan hair products are actually the better deal in the long run.

How to Know if Your Conditioner is Truly Vegan

Because some manufacturers try to sneak non-vegan ingredients into products and still call them vegan, there are organizations that inspect these companies to make sure that they truly are 100% vegan, both in ingredients and in their manufacturing processes. You will know that a product is really a vegan one if you see any of these certifications:

Vegan Action’s ‘Certified Vegan’ Symbol

This is a “V” within a heart that is within a circle. When you see this symbol, you know that no animal products or by-products have been used to manufacture the product.

PETA’s Cruelty-Free Bunny Symbol

This pink and black logo means that the product has not been tested on animals. If the product contains no animal products or by-products, the symbol will read, “cruelty-free and vegan.”

The UK Vegan Society Sunflower Symbol

In the UK, products that are vegan and not tested on animals have the sunflower trademark.

Our Favorite Vegan & Cruelty-Free Conditioners

Now that you know more about vegan conditioners and what to look for, it is time to take a look at what we consider to be some of the best ones on the market today. Here are our top three choices for vegan hair conditioners.

ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Conditioner​

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ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Conditioner is free of sulfates, and is a wonderful treatment if you have dry or damaged hair. It also contains aloe vera, a great moisturizing ingredient, as well as white willow bark, burdock root, rosemary, and thyme. All of these herbs will work together to help restore moisture to your hair, as well as repair and strengthen.

How it works

This is a moisturizing formula that helps to restore hair follicles and keep your scalp healthy. It will give your hair the nourishment it needs, and the ingredients also help to protect your hair from the harsh UV rays of the sun. This formulation helps to keep your hair from getting frizzy, and it prevents breakage. The natural ingredients will help to add volume, texture and shine so your hair looks healthy and gorgeous.

Benefits

Other benefits include -

Cruelty Free

All of the ingredients found in this product meet the rigorous ArtNaturals standards for being 100% natural. There are no non-vegan ingredients, and the products are made in a cruelty-free facility.

Stronger Hair

The botanical extracts and essential oils in this conditioner not only help to make your hair look great, it also helps to strengthen each hair’s shaft, which prevents breakage. Your hair will be stronger and healthier the more you use this product

Color Safe

If you have color-treated hair, do not worry that this product is going to strip the color. This formulation is safe for all hair types, including color-treated hair. It will condition and provide moisture, making it an excellent choice for hair that is chemically treated.

Pros

  • Healthy Ingredients - This conditioner is loaded with natural, healthy ingredients, including vitamin E, white willow bark, burdock root, wheat, oat, and quinoa. These ingredients contain iron, potassium, and amino acids needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails.
  • Healthy Hair - This conditioner hydrates, nourishes, and restores hair so it is naturally shiny and beautiful. It absorbs into the hair shafts so it nourishes each part of your hair, as well as the scalp, leaving you with smooth, manageable hair.
  • Easy to Use - After shampooing, rub a quarter-size amount of this conditioner through your hair, working from root to tip. Leave in for 2-5 minutes, and then rinse well. For even better results, also use the ArtNaturals Leave-In Conditioner.

Cons

  • Dryer Hair - Some customers have reported that they find their hair to be very dry and brittle after using this product frequently. 
girl straightening hair

Beauty without Cruelty Conditioner

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If you are looking for a conditioner that is 100 percent vegan, and made from the best and purest organic essential oils, look no further. Beauty without Cruelty Conditioner is that conditioner, and it is going to give you healthy, gorgeous looking hair right from the very first use, and each time you use it. This conditioner is made with organic essential oils that work together to promote scalp health and condition your hair

How it Works

This product is a plant-based formula that has been specifically created for promoting a healthy scalp, and making hair shiny and manageable It is made with natural plant proteins, vitamins, and moisturizers, as well as essential oils for aroma therapy. It helps to strengthen each hair strand, while also protecting and revitalizing. This is a great product to use if you want to get rid of frizzy hair.

Benefits

If you have dull, dry, or damaged hair, you need a product that is going to add shine and life. This is just the product to try. It is loaded with ingredients that help to enhance shine, and make your hair softer and much more manageable.

Cruelty-free Product

Beauty without Cruelty became the first US cruelty-free company in 1963. All products, including this conditioner, are 100 percent vegan, and never tested on animals. All products are also made in the United States.

Healthy Ingredients

This conditioner is made with a number of healthy, natural ingredients that are going to make your hair look terrific. These ingredients include tea tree oil, jojoba oil, peppermint oil, rosemary, chamomile, lavender, nettle, and aloe vera. This product is gluten free.

Adds Shine and Volume

This product has ingredients that are going to help to make your hair shiny, and look thicker and healthier. It will help to add more volume to your hair naturally, without the use of any harsh chemicals.

Pros

  • Easy to Use - After shampooing, massage about a quarter-size amount of product through your hair, working from root to tip, covering the entire hair shaft. Leave in for 2-5 minutes, and then rinse clear.
  • Daily Use - This product is perfectly safe to use every day. Because there are no harsh chemicals, there are no ingredients that are going to strip the moisture from your hair. You can even use this product daily if you have color-treated hair.

Cons

  • Dryness - Some previous users have complained that this product actually made their hair look and feel dry and dull. It may be that they already had dry hair, and they need to accompany this product with a leave-in conditioner.

Nature’s Gate Pomegranate + Sunflower Hair Defense Conditioner

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Nature’s Gate Pomegranate & Sunflower Hair Defense Conditioner is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that are going to help protect your hair from the free radicals that can cause so much damage. It can help to nourish and repair dry, damaged hair, and it is ideal for color-treated hair. Ingredients like marshmallow help to keep your hair soft, smooth, and hydrated.

How it Works

One of the ingredients, sunflower seed extract, is high in polyphenols, which help to protect hair color from the UV rays of the sun, as well as from environmental pollutants. It can help to keep your color from fading, and it makes your hair shiny and healthy looking. The pomegranate also helps to protect the hair from free radicals, and it nourishes and repairs damaged hair.

Benefits

We love this conditioner because it is so much like our former favorite products in texture and fragrance. This is a nourishing conditioner. It is ideal for normal to dry hair, and can be used several times per week. This product is free of phthalates, and is one of the best vegan alternatives for color treated hair.

No Harsh Ingredients

This conditioner is gluten free, paraben free, soy free, and completely vegan. It contains no GMO’s, sodium lauryl/laureth/coco sulfates, butylene glycol, or artificial colors.

Daily Use

You can use this product daily and it isn’t going to damage your hair in any way. Simply massage a quarter-size amount into your hair from root to tip, leave in for 1-3 minutes, and rinse with clear water.

Restores Damaged Hair

We all know how much damage hair color can do. This product helps to restore hair so it is healthy and shiny looking, and it will protect your hair color so it doesn’t fade quickly.

Pros

  • Fragrance - This product has a lovely fragrance that comes from natural essential oils and other natural ingredients. There are no chemicals or phthalates used to create the scent, making it great for those who have environmental allergies.
  • Availability - Many vegan products are only available online. You can find this product online, as well as in a number of retail outlets, so it is really easy to get, and not overly expensive.

Cons

  • Fragrance - While this is also a pro, some users don’t like the fragrance, as it is quite feminine. Men may want to consider a different product if that is concerning. 

Conclusion

We really don’t like to use a lot of chemicals on our hair. Not only are they not good for us in general, they can actually cause a lot of damage rather than repair hair and make it look and feel healthy. These vegan conditioners are loaded with natural, healthy ingredients, and we have found that they all are great for restoring hair health. They are also all great for color-treated hair.

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