The Best Cruelty-Free Shampoo & Conditioners

Every woman needs shampoo and conditioner. There is no way around it. Unless you have a shaved head or you are going for the ‘au naturel’ look, then you need it. Really, you do. But have you ever tried reading the ingredient lists on the back of some shampoos and conditioners? It is in Roman Latin Luca, aka, mumbo jumbo and I completely understand when most people say they do not even read the back of the bottles. I read the back of half of these bottles sometimes and I can’t even pronounce the ingredients. Ph…phth..phth….phth…phthal..phthalates… what the hell is that! I can’t even say it! And who even spells a word like that!

Looking out for ingredients such as formaldehyde, sodium laureth sulfate, parabens, artificial fragrance and phthalates (that stupid word again) is important but you should be also keeping an eye out for sneaky animal-derived ingredients that slide onto the ingredient list with the hope you don’t notice. For example, ingredients like amino acids, vitamin B and panthenol can be either animal derived or plant derived. Always make sure you are going with a brand that is certified vegan or one that has confirmed their ingredients are plant derived. If you’re unsure about something, don’t buy it. Research it, then make a decision whether to buy it or not based on what you have learnt about the brand and the product.

To add insult to injury, there is still an abundance of companies testing their products on animals. L’oreal, Redken, Kerastase, Matrix, Aussie, Dove, Garnier, Herbal Essences, Pantene, the list goes on and on and on. Please do not support these companies. They profit off the suffering of others whether that be dogs, cats, rabbits, mice or rats. If you are not interested in purchasing a vegan product then at least ensure you are purchasing a cruelty-free one. 

For a full list of companies that test on animals, please have a look at this guide.ppub_ptesting_rabbit_030

Personally, I have fine hair but lots of it. Like, lots of it. I make Rapunzel’s hair look like a bowl cut. It is in pretty good condition, but there comes a time when I need to call for reinforcements and these are the guys I always turn to to help me out. My main hair ‘goals’ are normally hydration and volume, so I have included a mixture of both. I like my hair to look like i’m constantly standing in front of a wind machine and that the bounce and volume it has is just how my hair is. In my dreams.

All of the below brands and products have been tried and tested and these are the ones that have won best on ground (it’s sickening how many bottles of shampoo and conditioner I have in my bathroom). I have mentioned in other posts before that I can be a bit of a tart with my beauty products and I like to get around a bit. I have used some complete duds, but these ones below are simply superb.

Hot Tresses

REHAB Shampoo & Conditioner

The bees knees of shampoo and conditioners. Hot Tresses is a product I have only recently stumbled across and I am absolutely obsessed with it. It makes my hair super shiny and manageable whilst providing much needed hydration from the roots right down to the ends.

The Hot Tresses Sulfate-free REHAB Shampoo & Conditioner contains ingredients such as paw paw, pumpkin, French green clay and a signature blend of castor seed, coconut and ylang ylang oils. Together, these ingredients actively cleanse, exfoliate, detox and stimulate the scalp and prepare the hair for maximum absorption of beneficial ingredients. These products are my Knights in shining armour.

RRP: $29.95 each

Available from Neena Online. (my favourite online website – EVERYTHING is cruelty-free and vegan friendly)

Hot Tresses Neena Online

O & M Original Mineral Haircare

Hydrate & Conquer

Cruelty-free, sulphate-free, paraben-free and one of my favourites for dry and damaged hair. My hair, for example, goes crunchy and a bit feral after too much swimming and I use this to inject life back into it. It smells like a mixture of heaven and… heaven and I really love the simple packaging.

This conditioner in particular packs a powerful punch and is brilliant at detangling and hydrating my long mane. A little bit goes a long way with it which takes you even closer to achieving life goals like finishing your shampoo and conditioner at exactly the same time. 

It contains Tasmanian Sea Kelp, 13 different amino acids and Vitamins A, B, C and E to strengthen hair and stimulate growth. A real winner in my eyes!

RRP: $29.95

Available from The Natural Supply Co.Original-Mineral-Hydrating

Acure Organics

Argan Oil COQ10 Shampoo and Conditioner

Another fantastic one for nourishing and hydrating locks that tend to be more on the dry side.
My hair feels super soft, smooth and shines like a disco ball after using this.

Acure products are free from sulfates, gluten, phthalates, animal-derived ingredients and cruelty. They are also fair trade certified. Pumpkin seed oil and its high concentration of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids adds shine, soften and repair and the mixture of organic argan oil, argan stem cells, CoQ10 and organic sea buckthorn oil provide a potent mix of Omega 7.

Acure’s triple moisture system is patent-pending and does the job it’s designed to do.

RRP: $16.95 each

Available from Nourished Life.



Volume Senses

The Volume Senses shampoo and conditioner are both simply fantastic. My bathroom cabinet is also scattered with a few of Davroe’s other products and they are all great and do a job that is well above par.

Davroe is an Australian company based in South Australia that provide natural-based and low irritant products that care for your hair and the environment. Their entire range is plant-based and use only the finest naturally-derived ingredients.

Volume Senses is free from parabens, petrochemicals, sulphate and of course, animal-derived ingredients. It has a fresh citrus scent that is an absolute delight to the senses.

Highly recommend.

RRP: $24.95 each

Available from Davroe or Hairhouse Warehouse.davroe-volume-senses-shampoo-350ml


Obliphica Balancing Shampoo & Hydrate Conditioner

An independently owned boutique company, Amika is a brand that means serious business and leaves your hair soft, manageable and voluminous. The Obliphica Balancing Shampoo and Hydrate Conditioner are infused with sea buckthorn berry which is super high in antioxidants including Vitamin C and E, Omega 3, 6 and 9 and also the relatively rare Omega 7. It also contains Moroccan argan oil for extra nourishment and is free from parabens and artificial colours.

The packaging is bright, loud and in your face and at a reasonable price point for the quality of the product.

RRP $24.95 each

Available at Strawberrynet.amika-balancing-shampoo-and-hydrating-conditioner

Rahua by Amazon Beauty

Voluminous Shampoo and Conditioner

Rahua (said ra-wa) is organic, 100% natural, vegan, free from parabens and sulfates and also gluten free.

Rahua Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner is definitely one of my favourites. Again, a little bit of this product goes a long way as the ingredients are incredibly potent and really penetrate your hair follicle.

 The packaging is tasteful and simple and this product is ideal for colour treated hair. After washing, you’re left with hair that feels light, super clean and bouncy and you seem to get longer between washes when using these little rippers.

Highly, highly recommend.

RRP: $39.95 each

Available at Nourished Life.7338041926_253163ccfe_z

Paul Mitchell

Ultimate Colour Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

To say I love Paul Mitchell would be a complete and utter understatement. Way back in the 80’s, the Paul Mitchell company was the first to oppose animal testing by signing PETA’s statement of assurance, pledging never to conduct animal testing for any of their products. They have never tested their products on animals and emptying my coin purse for companies like this is always a pleasure. Their other earth-friendly efforts include harvesting botanical ingredients without harm to ecosystems and using solar powered energy at their farms.

The Ultimate Colour Repair Shampoo and Conditioner is again, one of my favourite products. It is paraben and sulfate free, safe for coloured hair and offers UV protection. The high protein content of quinoa is used to lock in hair colour and repair hair strands from within and sugar cane and lemon peel are used to add shine and manageability.

Tried and tested – this one is fantastic. And if you go onto the Paul Mitchell website and click on the products you are interested in, it clearly outlines which ones are suitable for vegans. Bravo!

RRP: $27.95 each

Available at Active Skin


Some notable mentions…

DeLorenzo products are Australian owned and made locally on Australian shores. All of their products are vegan friendly, contain no petrochemicals and are of course cruelty-free. I haven’t had the pleasure of using their shampoo and conditioners myself, but I have used a number of their other products and I can only speak highly of them.

Pureology is a brand that my hairdresser uses and it is a really wonderful product. However, the reason I haven’t included it in my list is because L’oreal bought the brand out in 2007 and I avoid putting money in L’oreal’s pocket at ALL costs.

However, in saying that, I do appreciate my hairdresser using a vegan and ‘cruelty-free’ product, even if it is owned by the mega-bastards and it would be on my list if it wasn’t owned by L’oreal.


  • Amanda Bliss says:

    Good evening, my name is Amanda Bliss and I am currently seeking companies to work with doing product reviews on my social media accounts. I would love to work with your company! If you are interested and able to send any products for me to review, I would be so greatful. Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Amanda Bliss

  • Marissa says:

    So deeply saddened to recently find out that two of my favorite brands (Aveeno & Redken) are not cruelty free. I always make sure all of my makeup products are 100% cruelty free & not even connected to companies that are not. My hair dresser recommended Redken to me because of how dry & damaged my hair was & I have truly seen improvements since using it, but I will no longer use it at the cost of these defenseless creatures. As for Aveeno, I use this brand for makeup remover wipes, face lotion, body lotion, & baby lotion for my 7 month old. Do you have any suggestions for those products in the same price range as aveeno. I am a mom on a budget, who will not support animal cruelty.

    • Ash E says:

      I’ve seen somewhere that Riteaid and Cvs brands are cruelty free, so I just switched out an Aveeno lotion with a Riteaid version of it and I love it. Not sure if vegan tho.

  • Brenda Hamner says:

    I have been using the Pro Naturals and works really well for my hair 😉

  • Brittany says:

    I have been on the hunt for a super moisturizing conditioner after giving up my beloved Redken all soft. I finally found one thats pretty amazing. Alba Coconut conditioner. Not only does it smell good but it leaves my hair so soft and really helps with frizz. Im so in love I thought maybe you might want to include it or give it a try.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Brittany,

      Thanks so much for the tip and i’m glad you gave up Redken! I’ve never used the Alba Coconut conditioner before, but I use their body moisturiser sometimes and absolutely love it. I’ll have to try this one next time!

  • Kirstin Burdett says:

    Hi! I have two questions! First, is there anything else you’d recommend like O&M (for dry/damaged hair) that is cruelty free that might not be so expensive? I’m ok with the $10-$20 range but $30 is hard to stomach. Secondly, is there a “deep conditioner treatment” that you’d recommend?

    Thank you!


    • Anna says:

      Hi Kirstin,

      Have you tried any of the Sukin hair products? I’ve used their shampoo and conditioner before and thought they were quite good. They do a great nourishing shampoo and conditioner.

      Also, in terms of a treatment, I personally haven’t used it but i’ve heard good things about the Sukin Protein Hair Treatment. It’s about $12.95. Alternatively, you could make your own from coconut oil, olive oil, mixed with some fragrant essential oil and let it sit in for half an hour before washing it out.

      Hope that helps!

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