11 best vegan shampoos and conditioners for lush hair this Veganuary
Rid your beauty regime of animal-derived products with these tried-and-tested hair saviours
Veganuary, the month where many of us go vegan for environmental and health benefits, is in full swing. But vegans don’t only avoid eating food with animal-derived ingredients, they steer clear of clothes and beauty products that contain them, too.
When it comes to shampoos and conditioners, watch out for keratin, an animal-derived protein, and milk, beeswax and honey. Products should also be cruelty-free, meaning they aren’t tested on animals at any point in the supply and manufacturing chain and are not on sale in countries such as China, which legally demands animal testing.
Everything on our list has either been approved by a reputable body such as Peta or the Vegan Society or been confirmed vegan by the brand.
We tested each one to assure you that they do your hair some good as well as the planet, noting how clean, shiny and voluminous they left it. There’s something for every budget, including some plastic-free bars for the extra conscious buyer.
You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Faith in Nature avocado shampoo and conditioner, 400ml each: From £5.49 each, Holland & Barrett
Natural British brand Faith in Nature has long been a favourite of ours, so we were excited to try this affordable avocado shampoo and conditioner from its new superfood-infused collection. Suitable for all hair and skin types, they’re approved by the Vegan Society, free from sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and parabens, and poured into fully recycled and recyclable bottles.
A known antioxidant, avocado oil helps nourish dull and damaged hair, making these products a smart choice if you frequently dye or heat style yours. We’re avid hair straighteners and it left our locks feeling and looking revitalised and silky smooth. Faith in Nature offers an extensive range of scents to choose from, of which the calming lavender and geranium is the bestseller.
We used it while camping at Glastonbury festival last summer and it left our grimy hair clean and shiny without harming the environment. Rose and neroli are fantastic for preserving coloured hair while the rosemary is gentle for those with sensitive scalps. Zero waste shoppers will appreciate that two scents now come in solid bars. Best of all, the fair prices are a bargain for the quality.
Dr Paw Paw everybody hair and body wash and everybody hair and body conditioner, 250ml each: £10.32 and £8.99, Amazon
These mango and coconut-scented multipurpose hair and body products are the best smelling on our list. British brand Dr Paw Paw has nailed the two-in-one formula, making a wash and conditioner that are sensitive enough to be used on both skin and scalp, regardless of skin type.
Papaya is the hero ingredient in both, backed up by olive and coconut oils to deliver a moisturising cocktail that replenished our tired winter hair and left our skin feeling as soft as a baby’s. Slathering these products over our hair and body felt practical yet luxurious and the delicious fragrance quickly filled our bathroom. The conditioner doubles up as a body lotion which we’ve enjoyed using out of the shower, too. They’re both approved by Peta and come in big squeezy tubes – cut the ends off once they start running out and scoop out every last drop.
Little Soap Company eco warrior shampoo bar, 100g: £3.75, Ocado
The beauty industry alone generates 120 billion units of packaging every year, as well as contributing heavily to rising CO2 levels and deforestation. Enter solid shampoo bars, which take plastic waste out of the haircare equation entirely. This little gem from the Little Soap Company is made almost solely from naturally-derived ingredients and comes with a stamp of approval from the Vegan Society. It’s infused with antibacterial orange and ginger essential oils and is surprisingly moisturising thanks to sustainably-sourced palm oil.
We found this shampoo bar faff-free to use: simply wet it and rub it through wet hair, massage into a lather and rinse thoroughly. We were impressed by how much it foamed up and how clean and soft it left our hair feeling – thanks to purifying pink clay, apparently. Both the shampoo and its packaging are biodegradable and we love how portable and cabin-friendly it is, without the risk of leaks.
Evolve Organic Beauty superfood shine shampoo and conditioner, 250ml each: £13 and £15 or £22 for the duo, Evolve Organic Beauty
Chic-up your bathroom with these minimalist hair products from organic beauty brand Evolve, handmade in small batches by artisans in an eco-studio in Hertfordshire. Infused with hydrating pomegranate, moisturising shea butter and softening baobab, the superfood duo has been specially designed to bring drier hair back to life – ideal if your hair is sun, heat or colour damaged. The shampoo and conditioner are 70 and 71 per cent organic respectively (and 98 and 99 per cent natural), so are sure to be a hit with anybody looking to steer clear of synthetics.
We found that our normal to oily hair visibly benefited from this richly nourishing, gel-like formula, looking shinier and feeling smoother after only a few washes. The subtle fruity scent is addictive, too. These products aren’t the cheapest on the market, but we only needed a small squeeze to lather up a storm and found we could wait an extra day between washes as our hair stayed fresher for longer.
Neal & Wolf blonde purple brightening shampoo and conditioner, 250ml, 200ml: From £13.75 each or £39.60 for a 950ml duo, Neal & Wolf
Luxury haircare brand Neal & Wolf has a vegan range that’s also free from potentially irritating sulphates and parabens. Our pick is the bestselling purple shampoo and conditioner, tailored to natural or dyed blondes who are fed up with the brassy-looking locks they’re left with after shampooing. When they say purple, they mean lurid purple, so don’t be alarmed when you squeeze (or pump, depending on the size) the product into your palm.
Our blonde tester found that this clever formula made her hair look lighter and more radiant – with no violet streaks in sight – as well as feeling soft and strong. Glycerine and vitamin B5 protect colour from fading which is great if you’re on a beach holiday and washing your hair more regularly. This duo will also brighten grey tones, making them less ashy and more silvery. For products that are stocked in over 1000 salons across the UK, the price point seems fair, though we recommend investing in the more economical duo.
31st State 2-in-1 hair & body wash, 250ml: £8.99, Asos
31st State is a vegan skincare brand geared towards Gen Z guys who have limited options to choose from and don’t want to waste any longer than necessary in the shower. This two in one product saves space in a gym bag or pokey student bathroom and has a refreshing marine fragrance. Developed specifically for teenage skin, the allergen-free formula makes it suitable for all skin types. Zinc and silver are natural disinfectants that help tackle both body odour and the bacteria that causes acne.
Inspired by the easy-going state of California, this hair and body wash is simple but effective. Our male tester liked the crisp scent and found it left his skin feeling smooth and his hair looking clean and bright. The squeezy tube looks hip but the obvious downside is the price, which may prove too steep for the target consumer base.
Umberto Giannini curl jelly wash shampoo and curl jelly care de-frizz conditioner, 250ml each: £5.33 each, Boots
If you’ve got curly hair, you know that finding a shampoo and conditioner that keeps them looking luscious and frizz-free is of paramount importance. Luckily, we’ve found a star lurking among Umberto Giannini’s huge range of vegan goodies – the curl jelly products smooth and hydrate every strand from root to tip, thanks to vitamin B5’s moisturising power.
The new shampoo is free from sulphates and the new conditioner feels weightless, defining every curl and tackling the stubbornest of tangles. The bright pink packaging brings a pop of colour to your bathroom and the scent is slightly floral without being overpowering. We found this shampoo and conditioner to be great value for money, especially as a small squirt goes a long way. Our curly-haired tester is a convert after being left with bouncy, silky soft locks after trying them.
Moo Hair miracle shampoo and conditioner, 250ml each: £22 each, Moo Hair
If you haven’t tried Moo Hair yet, give this family-run Scottish brand a go. Co-founder Suzie started her company after running an eco-salon and struggling to find salon-standard vegan and ethical products that didn’t need flying in from abroad. Based in Edinburgh, its seven-strong, palm oil and paraben-free range comes in eco-friendly glass bottles with Scandi-style labels. Pump applicators mean you don’t need to risk an accident by handling them with slippery hands.
Icelandic moss and marula oil are among the natural ingredients that help protect hair from the harmful effects of UV and environmental toxins, while the formula is gently nourishing without irritating the scalp. We liked the lightweight texture and soothing scent of both the shampoo and conditioner and our hair felt fresh and well-moisturised after use. Those with fine, flyaway hair might like to try the volumising spray mist, too, but given the price, we’ll be saving these products for special occasions or gifts.
Lush big sea salt shampoo, 130g: £8, Lush
We were sceptical about trying this shampoo made with chunky sea salt, concerned it may leave us with dry, straw-like locks. Happily, our fears were unfounded, as virgin coconut oil and protein-rich seaweed come into play and soften up the formula. The product has a fresh, subtly floral scent and a gritty texture that feels like exfoliator in your palms. This takes a bit of getting used to, but applying it feels like a scalp massage and our hair quickly felt squeaky clean – just be careful not to tear it once the foam rinses out.
Following a quick blast of the hairdryer, it was clear that the coarse salt had added impressive lift to our roots – great news if your hair is on the thin side. Our hair looked shiny, apparently thanks to zesty lemon and lime flattening hair cuticles so they reflect more light. Though pricey, only a small amount of shampoo is required, and we love how easy it is to scoop out of the recycled pot, minimising waste. Best of all, our hair stayed non-greasy for longer so we got away with delaying a hair wash for one more day!
Grow Gorgeous intense thickening shampoo and conditioner, 250ml each: £16 and £18, Boots
Those with thinner hair will appreciate this thickening duo from vegan-friendly hair care brand Grow Gorgeous. Both products are designed to re-stimulate roots and boost volume, using ingredients such as caffeine, biotin and rice proteins. If you suffer from a dry and flaky scalp, rest assured that this formula helps reduce water loss and lock in moisture.
Our hair is already fairly thick, so we asked a tester with finer hair to give these a try. Her hair had more of a bounce to it after a week of use and generally looked healthier. The recently revamped, salon-style branding and lasting spa-like scent also got the thumbs up. The price took as aback, however – it’d be hard to justify splurging nearly £20 a bottle on the regular when there are many equally impressive, and more affordable, products on our roundup.
Superdrug pro-vitamin shine shampoo and conditioner, 400ml each: £2.29 each, Superdrug
Superdrug tends to be a hit with vegans thanks to its clearly-labelled, extensive range of vegan products. The own-brand pro-vitamin line offers unbeatable value at under £3 for a big bottle. We tried the “shine” edition, which lived up to its name, leaving us with shiny hair that lasted a good two days before another wash was due. It's been specially formulated with nourishing argan oil to give grease-prone hair a deep cleanse and tame flyaway locks, without weighing them down.
The shampoo lathers up well considering the relatively thin consistency and we noticed less static in our hair after use. We found we had to use more conditioner than we usually would to get the same silky effects, but it’s so affordable that this isn’t a deal breaker.
The verdict: vegan shampoos and conditioners
Faith in Nature’s natural hair care products won our coveted best buy spot on account of how fabulous they smell and how clean and shiny they left our hair, coupled with the brand’s ethical ethos and excellent value for money. Little Soap Company’s shampoo bar is well worth a try if you’re looking to cut down on plastic waste this year, while Evolve’s organic offerings are richly moisturising if you’re willing to splash out a little more.
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