The Best Shampoos & Conditioners That Are Vegan & Cruelty-Free

Elite Daily/Amazon

In an effort to curate a kinder beauty routine, consider the five best vegan shampoos and conditioners featured here, which are all completely free of animal-derived ingredients. Keep in mind that “vegan” doesn’t necessarily mean “synthetic-free,” but any ingredients that don’t come directly from the earth are very low-risk. And you’ll still find a good amount of plant-derived oils and extracts in these formulas to promote stronger, softer hair.

If you’ve done any amount of research into vegan (and non-vegan) beauty brands, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that animal byproducts can sneak their way into pretty much everything — though you wouldn’t necessarily know it, unless you took a very close look at the ingredients list. Some of those sneaky, non-vegan substances you might find in shampoos and conditioners include keratin, hydrolyzed animal proteins, palmitic acid, some types of panthenol, cetyl palmitate, and honey, among tons more. None of which, of course, you’ll find in the shampoos and conditioners listed ahead.

Strangely enough, not all vegan products are certified cruelty-free — meaning the brand doesn’t use animal byproducts, but they may still conduct animal testing at some stage in the production process. But the vegan shampoos and conditioners included here are both vegan and cruelty-free, so they’re truly some of the most animal-friendly hair-care products you can find.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Best For Color-Treated Hair

Regularly dyeing your hair, a necessary evil for some of us, makes your hair look amazing — but often, it's left feeling brittle, dry, and dangerously straw-like. The fix: This Pureology Hydrate shampoo and conditioner. It’s formulated specifically to replenish dry, color-treated hair with a blend of jojoba oil, vitamin E, and green tea extract, and it’s free of heavy silicones and stripping sulfates. The brand’s patented Antifade Complex also helps protect your hair from UV rays and other pollutants that can fade your color. The Sheer formulas linked to here provide lightweight moisture for fine hair; but if your hair is on the thicker side, go for the regular shampoo and conditioner.

  • Leaping Bunny certified
Best For Damaged Hair

Speaking of dry, straw-like hair: There is arguably no better system for repairing damaged hair (whether through coloring, bleaching, overusing hot tools, or myriad other, necessary evils) than Olaplex. The brand’s shampoo and conditioner are foolproof ways to work some of that healing magic (actually, it’s science) into your routine: Both rely on the brand’s signature bond-building molecule to repair fundamental damage, making it smoother, shinier, and less prone to unwanted frizz. Argan, avocado, and grape seed oils also infuse each strand with replenishing fatty acids.

Olaplex hasn’t been certified by PETA or Leaping Bunny, but the brand confirms that they’re both vegan and cruelty-free. They’re also approved by Cruelty-Free Kitty, a respected, independent vegan and cruelty-free brand resource.

Best Clarifying

This ACURE clarifying shampoo and conditioner cuts through grease, oil, and product buildup without the use of harsh, potentially irritating chemicals. Lemongrass (a proven dandruff treatment) gives your scalp a deep but gentle clean, sea buckthorn oil stimulates healthy hair growth, and argan oil nourishes dry strands. This has enough “degreasing power” for extra-oily scalps and thick hair, Amazon reviewers report, and tons of others confirm that it left their hair feeling soft and moisturized — a rare feature as far as clarifying shampoos go.

  • Leaping Bunny & PETA certified
Best Volumizing

Add some body and lift to fine, limp hair with this Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner. Both are infused with vegan panthenol, a superstar vitamin that helps strengthen hair, and can potentially even make it appear thicker and fuller. It also contains wheat-derived ingredients for smoothness and silkiness, though one Amazon reviewer noted that it gave their hair some much-needed texture, too. Of course, the lightweight formula won’t weigh down super-fine hair, either.

  • PETA certified
Best Unscented

Unscented shampoo and conditioner duos can be tough to find, but a requirement if you’re allergic or sensitive to added fragrances. This Jason shampoo and The Honest Company conditioner aren’t a set, but both are highly rated and well-reviewed on Amazon — and, of course, both are vegan and cruelty-free. Both are extra gentle for sensitive scalps, too: The shampoo is infused with soothing aloe and free of other potentially irritating additives, like SLS, parabens, and phthalates, and the conditioner is technically formulated for babies (but you, too, will appreciate the detangling, no-tears formula).

  • Both PETA certified