Vegan hair products are shampoos, conditioners and styling products that do not contain ingredients derived from animals. You probably do not think that this is in the products you use after all, but look at the label. What do you think, for example, of the well-known keratin? Keratin is an animal protein found in the skin, beak and feathers of animals, among other things. Ai! Without you realising it, almost everything you use contains animal ingredients. But fortunately, more and more vegan hair products are coming onto the market.
WHY VEGAN HAIR CARE?
A vegan lifestyle is an integral part of our society. The goat woollen socks image of the past has completely disappeared, it is now even more considered hip. The oat latte’s fly around your ears, vegan leather is no longer an unknown concept and even nuts are transformed into ‘cheese’. But why is that? There are several reasons for this. Of course, a vegan lifestyle prevents a lot of animal suffering. In addition, more and more people are becoming aware of the positive effect a plant-based diet and lifestyle has on the planet. The most important step you can take against climate change is to stop eating meat, eggs and dairy products.
INCREASING DEMAND FOR VEGAN
As a result, demand for vegan products has generally risen sharply. And with it the demand for vegan hair products, because veganism is not just about eating. And hair care brands are responding well to that! For example, by looking for new alternatives to animal substances. More and more vegan products are being launched and some brands even ensure that their entire hair care lines are vegan. According to The Vegan Society, the search term ‘vegan’ on Google quadrupled in the five years between 2012 and 2017. And there was a massive response from beauty brands: in 2016, the number of vegan beauty products launched rose by 50%!
THE BENEFITS OF VEGAN HAIR CARE
Actually, there are only advantages to vegan hair care products. They are not tested on animals and no animal ingredients are used. That is better for animals, but it is also better for people. Vegan hair products contain fewer and milder ingredients. As a result, they are finer on your skin and you will not easily have an allergic reaction. In addition, vegan products are often eco-friendly because they are sold in recyclable packaging.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF HAIR PRODUCTS ARE VEGAN?
In order to check whether a hair care product is vegan, you need to take a good look at the label. A quality mark is often used to indicate whether something is vegan. But sometimes it also says ‘natural’ or ‘cruelty free’, and that doesn’t mean the same thing. That is why we have listed a number of important questions:
WHAT ARE ANIMAL INGREDIENTS?
Vegan hair care products are shampoos, conditioners and styling products that do not contain animal ingredients. But how do you recognise them? This list of ingredients in hair products may be of animal origin:
- Amino acids: chemical molecules found in all living things.
- Beeswax: a natural wax made by bees in the production of honey.
- Collagen: a glue-forming protein found in the connective tissue in the body of humans and animals.
- Elastin: an elastic protein.
- Honey: a natural substance made by bees from flower nectar.
- Carmine: a natural dye made from female cochineal lice.
- Keratin: an animal protein found in the skin, beak, feathers, hooves, claws and ribs.
- Lanolin/wool fat: the fat found in the wool of sheep.
- Natural hair
- Panthenol: a form of vitamin B5
- Furthermore, gelatin, egg, milk, hyaluronic acid, stearic acid, placenta, snail mucus and silk also have no place in vegan hair products.
WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVE INGREDIENTS?
An example of an alternative ingredient is coconut oil. This is one of the most versatile natural products; truly a panacea! You can use it in the kitchen to bake with, as body lotion for your skin, and as a deep conditioner or leave in for your curls. It is a natural emollient and therefore completely Curly Girl-proof.
Other alternative ingredients may be:
- Argan oil: the golden oil from argan nuts, which is known for its soothing properties.
- Coconut water: the water from young green coconuts, which is known as an extremely hydrating ingredient.
- Muru muru butter: just like coconut oil, it comes from the white fat in the nuts of a palm tree and is a good moisturiser.
- Shea butter: an ingredient derived from shea trees, which only bear fruit after 10 to 15 years. It is known for its moisturising properties.
ARE VEGAN AND NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS THE SAME THING?
No, they are not. In the case of natural hair products, the majority of the ingredients have retained their original structure after the production process. So this says nothing about the origin of the ingredients. However, the term ‘vegan’ does refer to the ingredients: they are plant-based and free of animal testing. Sulphates, silicones and parabens, for example, are never found in natural hair products, but can occur in vegan hair products.