My Favorite Vegan Haircare

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Keeping your hair shiny, your color vibrant, and those flyaways tamed in-between routine cuts can be tricky, especially for a vegan.  While drugstore covets and Sephora hidden gems may work for the traditional beauty blogger, for the more conscious-concerned, we have to take a few extra  steps to figure out which products will not only work for our hair, but for our lifestyle, too. Lucky for you, I've tried out quite a few of the vegan drugstore and high-end hair products on the market, and today, I'm rounding out the best of the best (in my opinion, of course). To my knowledge these products are all vegan (duh) and cruelty-free, but I'll update this post in case any of that changes, for whatever silly reason. :) 

SHAMPOOS + CONDITIONERS

By far, my favorite vegan shampoo is Lush's "Daddy-O".  Being a purple shampoo, it is perfect for bottle blondes and brassy brunettes alike. Since I balayaged my hair earlier this year, I've been using this purple shampoo, and it has helped do wonders to preserve my color, and keep my hair from turning brassy.  I buy the small, travel-sized bottle (~ $11.99) and it lasts me about a solid three months, which I think is completely worth it for the price.  

My next favorite color-preserving shampoo is this time a drugstore (re: Sally's Beauty Supply) pick, and that is the ION Color Treated shampoo. While I don't use the shampoo, I use the conditioner, but I assume they're pretty much like the same thing.  This shampoo + conditioner duo has the loveliest smell, and is so ridiculously affordable (~ $14 for the giant bottle).  I've been using this product for probably about three or four years now, and the giant bottle seems to last me about a year, which I think is incredible, if you ask me.  I love this product so much, I've even gotten my mom and sister on it. We all love it, and because of it, we all walk around with the sweetest smelling hair all the time. :) 

If your hair isn't color treated, then I totally recommend Lush's shampoo bars.  A zero-waste alternative to traditional shampoos, I used to love using these before I had color-treated hair. Basically, you rub them in your hands like a bar of soap, and they lather up just like shampoo.  I've tried a few different ones, and they all seemed to do pretty much the same thing, but my favorites- purely based on smell- would have to be Godiva and Jason and the Argan Oil.   The reason I don't recommend these for color-treated hair is because I found that, when I used them on colored hair, they tended to strip the color faster than traditional shampoo. Maybe this was just a weird fluke I experienced, but for me, I found these were a much better option when my hair was virgin.  

Rounding out this section of haircare products are the Aveda "Shampure" shampoo and conditioners. Although I haven't used Aveda in quite a few years, I loved this line of shampoos, and use to use it frequently.  Aveda products are some of my favorites, not only because of the ethics behind them, but because of how absolutely amazing they smell and how gentle they are on your hair and skin.  Their price range is probably a little above Lush's, so this isn't the best option for someone on a budget, but if you have a little extra spending room within the hair department, I definitely recommend checking this line out.  

STYLING PRODUCTS

When it comes to styling products, I'm pretty picky with the brands I use. Predominately because I have such crazy sensitive skin that almost everything breaks me out, but also because finding quality products that'll hold your hair and not break the bank can be tough. However, in terms of styling products, I've found two brands (so far) that I truly love. One is on the higher-end scale, and another is dirt cheap, so there should be something to accommodate even the tightest budgets. 

The first brand, and the one that is so ridiculously inexpensive that my jaw dropped, is Not Your Mother's. I like to refer to this brand lovingly as the "holy grail" of vegan/cruelty-free haircare products. I actually discovered this brand while looking for a cornstarch-free dry shampoo, and absolutely fell in love with their "Clean Freak" dry shampoo. For a giant 7 oz can, it'll cost you only $5.99, which I think is an incredible deal. I personally love the "Warm Sugar" scent tapioca starch dry shampoo, but their original one is equally as great too.  

Another product I absolutely love by them is their "Kinky Moves" Curl Cream. Being a naturally curly girl, I love putting this into my wet hair before styling to enhance my natural curls, or putting it in my styled hair (see photo above) to help hold and maintain shape and volume throughout the day. Oh, and their Thermal Heat Protectant Spray is my favorite hairspray. As crazy as that sounds, it truly works better as a hairspray, in my opinion, than as a heat protectant. I usually use it in my braids to help hold their structure and maintain shape throughout the day.  

The next brand of styling products that I love is- you guessed it- Lush.  One thing you'll find reading this blog is that I love absolutely anything and everything Lush, and their styling products are definitely no exception.  My favorite product is by far their Sea Spray, which is, in my opinion, the best beach wave sea salt spray out there. I've tried ION's, I've tried Not Your Mother's, but Lush's is far superior to all of them.  At $17 for ~ 3 oz, it is one of the pricier sprays on the market, but to me, it's absolutely worth it if you like wearing your hair in beach-inspired waves.  


And those are my favorite vegan haircare products! Of course, I'll update this list as I discover new products, but for now, to me, these are the best of the best. If you have any other suggestions of products I should try, let me know in the comments below! And if any of these products made it on to your personal favorites list, tell me which one. I'd love to know. 

For those who are new to vegan living, you may have been reading this post and wondering just what the heck could be in hair products to make it non-vegan. I found this resource from One Green Planet, an environmental website that I absolutely adore, that lists all of the animal-derived products that could possibly be found in hair care, plus why they aren't vegan. It's a great list and they explain it way better than I ever could. 

Oh, and one lat thing: remember to take care of your hair! Treat it kindly with great (cruelty-free) products and it'll thank you with vibrant color and rapid growth. :)


Photography by: Julia O Test (edited by me)

Location: Berkeley, CA

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