27 Best Cruelty-Free and Vegan Shampoos for Every Hair Type! 
Picking the perfect shampoo for your hair is a formidable task, and the difficulty only ramps up when you add the “cruelty-free” requirement into the mix. Double that if you’re looking for something vegan.
That said, given the great strides the conscious consumer movements have made over the past few years, we are not without options. It is possible to find the shampoo that works just right for you if you know where to look.
In this guide, we’ll streamline that process and provide all of the necessary information to help you make an informed purchase and find the shampoo that fits you, and your hair type, best.
We have tested a huge range of vegan and cruelty-free shampoos (a few conditioners, too) and analyzed them in terms of their quality, price, ingredients, and more. Shampoo for oily hair, dry hair, damaged hair, frizzy hair, we’ve looked at them all, compared them, and below you will find the ones we believe are the best for healthy hair.
All products featured on this page are truly cruelty-free and 100% vegan.
On This Page
The 8 Top-Rated Cruelty-Free & Vegan Shampoos
|Editor’s Picks||Cruelty-Free & Vegan Shampoo||Rating|
|1. Best Overall||Giovanni Tea Tree Invigorating Shampoo||4.6/5|
|2. Best for Fine Hair||Renpure Rose Water Weightless Hydration Shampoo||4.5/5|
|3. Best for Oily Hair||Pacifica Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo||4.7/5|
|4. Best for Curly Hair||Avalon Organics Strengthening Peppermint Shampoo||4.6/5|
|5. Best for Dry Hair||Acure Mega Moisture Argan Oil Shampoo||4.5/5|
|6. Best for Dandruff||Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo||4.1/5|
|7. Best for Colored Hair||Briogeo Gentle Matcha and Apple Replenishing Shampoo||4.4/5|
|8. Budget Pick||Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo||4.6/5|
Our Top Pick
If you’re not really sure where to start and just want a simple, all-round, affordable option, our top pick is GIOVANNI Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo. It’s a Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free shampoo, suitable for all hair types, at an affordable price, and our all-rounder pick.
While still affordable online, this shampoo (like many others on this page) can be found for a better price in healthcare and drugstores (if you can find it). You could also consider getting a great deal by buying a gallon.
That said, we found that only a relatively small amount is required during a wash to really get the job done. You can expect this shampoo to last longer than other options.
Alongside being cruelty-free and vegan, this shampoo is organic, paraben-free, and sulfate-free.
We found using the product to be particularly pleasant – it has a mild minty scent (although one some may interpret as medicinal/herbal), which translates to a general feeling of “cleanliness” after use.
Overall, Giovanni’s Tea Tree Invigorating is a great option for anyone who isn’t sure where to begin and wants something that “just works”.
- Leaping Bunny Certified
- Based on organic/herbal ingredients
- Curly girl method approved
- We found it had a pleasant smell (but subjective)
- Versatile (suitable for all hair types)
Best for Fine Hair
Renpure “weightless” shampoo truly is “weightless”. If you have fine hair (but lots of it), this is a great choice to avoid getting weighed down. If you find your hair gets oily or greasy, this can also help with that.
Like all of the shampoos on this page, this shampoo is both cruelty-free and vegan.
The “rose” scent felt a bit on the strong side when first using the product. It wasn’t a chemical smell (Renpure does not use formaldehyde), but it wasn’t “mild” by any stretch. However, after a few uses, we found that the scent was not a major deal, and the smell that it leaves on your hair is actually very pleasant.
Beyond the smell, we found this product left our hair feeling hydrated and soft after use. We also tried Renpure’s partner conditioner and found that it was a great complement to the shampoo if that’s something you’re looking for.
- Great for fine hair
- Soothing, cleansing, and hydrating
- Light – doesn’t add weight to your hair
- No sulfates, parabens, dyes, phthalates, or propylene
- Strong smell (we got used to it)
Best For Oily Hair
Pacifica’s Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo is one of our favorite shampoos on our list for two major reasons:
- It is incredibly affordable,
- After washing with it, we didn’t need to wash again for 3+ days.
Many people with oily hair may find that they have to wash their hair every day (with an intensive regime), and this shampoo sets out (successfully) to address that problem.
After using the shampoo, we found our hair would feel hydrated (but not greasy), soft, and voluminous. This effect lasted for days, and it looked great. The feeling immediately after washing with this product was super “refreshing”.
In terms of scent, despite being marketed as “rosemary and mint”, we found the rosemary to barely be there and the mint to be more prominent, but still fairly mild.
Unlike some of the other shampoos on this list, we found that it was important to be quite liberal in how much of the product you lather for the best effect. But for effect it gave – it was worth it.
- Great for those with oily hair
- Mild but pleasant smell
- Sulfate, paraben, phthalate, and mineral oil-free
- Leaves hair soft and smooth (but not greasy) and scalp refreshed
- Effect lasts for a few days
Best for Curly Hair
The scent and feeling given by the peppermint in this product is invigorating but not overly strong. Using it first thing in the morning really gives a “wake-up” boost.
Curly hair can often be super dry, and this is amplified by sulfates and silicones found in many typical drugstore shampoos. Thankfully, Avalon’s shampoo contains neither of these:
As the brand name implies, Avalon Organics uses only organic ingredients, so if you have any chemical sensitivities, they shouldn’t be an issue when using this product.
While Avalon’s prices online are good, they are a brand stocked in many stores, so it’s worth checking out your local Walmart to see if you can get a deal.
- PETA and Leaping Bunny cruelty-free certified
- Does not contain parabens, synthetic colors, chemical fragrances, or sulfates
- Curly Girl Method approved
- Stimulating peppermint scent
- Leaves hair feeling soft and manageable
Best for Dry Hair
Any shampoo with Argan Oil is likely to be a great option for those with dry hair because of its hydrating qualities. The reason Acure’s take on Argan Oil stands out to us is that it won’t weigh your hair down, and has quite a “light” effect.
Acure offers a great, affordable, natural product line. This particular shampoo is very moisturizing and left our hair feeling voluminous, clean – and most importantly, not dry. This effect lasted for 2 – 3 days!
The product’s scent is somewhat unusual. We would describe it as “almond-like” when used, but the scent is barely noticeable after washing out.
While this shampoo works as a standalone product, we strongly recommend pairing it with a good cruelty-free conditioner to really work best for those with dry hair.
- Recyclable and sustainable packaging
- Free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and silicone
- Very affordable
- Mild “almond-like” scent
- Certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA
Best for Dandruff
Getting heavy dandruff can be a real pain, especially when it often comes along with things like an itchy scalp. If you’ve tried many different shampoos and/or conditioners without much luck, it may be something worth seeing a dermatologist over.
If you’re not quite there yet, then Jason Dandruff Relief Shampoo is a great cruelty-free and vegan option that has been formulated specifically to deal with dandruff.
To have the best effect, we suggest applying the shampoo directly to your scalp (to the extent you’re able to) and really working it in. You could then condition your hair (without washing out the shampoo) and let it all sit for a while before cleaning off.
In terms of scent – the team had mixed opinions. The best consensus we could reach was a particularly strong mint/chemical smell, but your results may vary. Any scent was mitigated by the conditioner trick we mentioned above and wasn’t really noticeable after a final rinse. Regardless of what may be seen as a minor issue, this was still the best anti-dandruff cruelty-free shampoo we reviewed.
- Formulated for dandruff relief (and effective at doing so)
- Helps with itchy scalp
- The active anti-dandruff ingredient is salicylic acid
- Somewhat pricey (but understandable given its niche)
Best for Colored Hair
A gentle and color-safe replenishing shampoo with no sulfates or parabens.
One of the main reasons dyed hair fades so fast is the harmful chemicals many shampoo brands contain, including sulfates and parabens, which prematurely oxidize artificial color.
Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha and Apple Replenishing Shampoo is a color-safe shampoo that contains neither of these ingredients, to keep your color-treated hair clean whilst retaining vibrancy and mitigating fading.
Along with being sulfate and paraben-free, this cruelty-free shampoo has a low PH that keeps cuticles closed and color locked in and doesn’t cause stripping.
Even without dyed hair, we found this to be a really nice shampoo to use. Use over the course of a week left our hair feeling hydrated and silky and looking great. It smells amazing but not overpowering.
- Color-safe shampoo (perfect for dyed hair)
- Sulfate and paraben-free
- Smells great
- Contains matcha, spinach, and apple
- Certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny
Best Budget Pick
Some of the products on our list are on the pricier side, usually because they are specifically designed to fulfill a particular purpose or hair type.
Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo avoids that pitfall by being a super affordable option that we found perfectly serviceable in a number of different situations. Leaving it on your scalp for a few minutes creates a tingling feeling that we found to be refreshing, and it ultimately left our hair feeling very clean and fresh.
It is worth noting that this shampoo costs only $3.99 if you buy it in-store at Trader Joe’s. If this shampoo works for you at that price point, you should never need to look elsewhere again. However, at the online prices offered, you may benefit from exploring the other options on our list.
That said, being just $3.99 in-store, this is by far the best value vegan shampoo we could find on the market right now.
- An incredibly affordable option (in-store)
- Certified cruelty-free by PETA
- Suitable for all hair types (including oily and curly)
- Leaves a pleasant scent
Making The Best Choice For Your Hair Type
Above, we set out the best cruelty-free shampoos we reviewed for specific hair types, but naturally many people are unsure of exactly what their hair type is. Even those who think they know what their hair type is, but have been unable to find a product that works for them, might not be as much on the right track as they think.
Hair texture is perhaps the most obvious to most people and refers to the natural shape of your hair.
Typically speaking, there are four main categories: Straight (Type 1), wavy (Type 2), curly (Type 3), and coily (Type 4).
The best way to work out which category your hair falls under is to wash it without using any products and let it air dry.
After drying, if your hair dries without any curls, it is straight. If it has slight but undefined curves, it can be considered wavy. If it has defined curls/waves, it is curly. And tight curls or spirals can be regarded as “coily” or “kinky”.
If you’re unsure, you can refer to the graphic below which shows examples of these four core hair textures:
If you have curly or coily hair, you may have difficulties keeping your hair in the best shape it could be. For this, we recommend the Curly Girl Method (CGM) developed by Lorraine Massey. In short, following the CGM, you should look for shampoos that are both gentle and sulfate and silicone-free (which thankfully, most cruelty-free shampoos are), like Avalon Oranics’ Strengthening Shampoo mentioned above on our list.
Some people have dry hair, some have oily hair, and some sit in the middle. The best way to determine where you stand is to inspect your roots the day after you last washed your hair. If they feel greasy, you probably have “oily” hair. If you have any dandruff, you may have dry hair. Otherwise, you’re probably in the middle.
If you’re unsure, you should ask your hairdresser next time you’re at the salon. The moisture of your hair and scalp will influence the best shampoo you can choose for your hair type. If you have dry hair, you probably want to look for something more moisturizing, if you have oily hair, you may want to consider something like Pacifica’s Rosemary Purify Invigorating Shampoo, which provides a more deep cleanse.
Another factor that can affect which type of shampoo routine you should be treating your hair with is the thickness of strands of your hair. Again, this can broadly be broken down into three main categories: fine (Type A), medium (Type B), or thick (Type C), using a standard piece of sewing thread as the standard for “medium”.
If you’re unsure, again, you should ask your hairstylist – they will be able to give you a definitive answer.
Choosing The Right Shampoo
Given that you’re on this page, you likely want to find a shampoo that is truly cruelty-free. Because “cruelty-free” is not a legally regulated term, some products are falsely labeled “cruelty-free” or “not tested on animals”, when this isn’t entirely true.
To ensure that any shampoo you purchase is truly cruelty-free you should look for one of the following logos on the product packaging or page. These are the logos for Leaping Bunny’s Cruelty-Free certification, PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnies, and Australia’s Choose Cruelty-Free programs:
By purchasing products labeled with one of the above logos you can be certain that the product, any other products manufactured by the same brand, and any of the brand’s suppliers, do not engage in any animal testing of products or ingredients.
As of now, we would not trust any brand that uses a symbol or logo to denote their purported cruelty-free status other than the ones above. If you’re still unsure, you may wish to review our database of cruelty-free brands.
While a point of contention in the cruelty-free and vegan movements, generally speaking, just because a product is considered cruelty-free does not mean that it is necessarily vegan and free from animal-derived ingredients.
In theory, it should be simpler to identify whether a product is vegan as opposed to being cruelty-free; anyone can simply review the list of ingredients to ensure that none of them are animal-derived.
Of course, in practice, this can be a time-consuming (and memory-intensive!) exercise. However, if the shampoo has either of the following logos from Vegan.org or The Vegan Society, you can be confident that they are 100% vegan:
Some brands will use a logo different from the ones above, and the ones we would consider trustworthy can be found on this page. In any case, we would seriously recommend doing further research and/or reviewing the ingredients list if you don’t recognize the symbol. Sadly, in our experience, many products that claim to be vegan still include ingredients like honey!
Ingredients to look out for include:
- Lanolin (derived from sheep wool, used to add moisture),
- Shellac (derived from lac bugs),
- Glycerine (Note: Vegan glycerine also exists),
- Stearic Acid (Note: Vegan stearic acid also exists),
Brands To Avoid
If we listed every brand that is not cruelty-free and vegan, the list would be endless. But there are a few mega-brands involved in animal testing that you should be aware of. These are ones you will likely find in supermarkets and drugstores and should be avoided as they are not cruelty-free:
- Estee Lauder,
- Johnson & Johnson,
- Head & Shoulders.
For Your Hair Type
Oily Scalp: Try to avoid moisturizing and hydrating shampoos. Clarifying and strengthening shampoos will do a better job of preventing the accumulation of oil.
Dry Scalp: The opposite of oily scalps, you will probably benefit from moisturizing/hydrating shampoos. You should avoid products that contain sulfates, as these promote further drying.
Fine Hair: Thickening shampoos can help add texture without adding excessive weight.
Thick Hair: Thick hair can often be quite dry; moisturizing/hydrating shampoos can help add vibrance and smoothness.
Damaged Hair: Clarifying and strengthening shampoos can help improve hair condition, but if the damage is excessive, we would suggest consulting with your hairdresser.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Shampoo is the Most Sustainable?
The most eco-friendly shampoo is one you make at home, recently popularized by the “no-poo” movement. After that, shampoo bars (such as those from Lush) typically use paper packaging that can be recycled. Finally, standard plastic bottles of shampoo can be sustainable when they use recyclable packaging.
One way you can reduce your carbon footprint is by buying larger quantities of shampoo at a time (e.g. once you have a shampoo you like and works well for you, you could buy a gallon bottle rather than, say, 8oz).
What Cruelty-Free Shampoos are Available at Walmart?
SheaMoisture cruelty-free shampoo is available at Walmart. SheaMoisture offers a variety of vegan product options, such as the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl and Shine Shampoo. Paul Mitchell and Giovanni hair care products can also be found at great prices on the shelves at Walmart.
Is Vegan Shampoo Better for Your Hair?
Vegan shampoo is usually healthier for your hair. It is typically free from the harsh chemicals in traditional shampoos that may damage your hair. The predominantly natural ingredients are gentler on cuticles and hair follicles.
Is Vegan Shampoo Color Safe?
Most vegan shampoos are color-safe because they don’t typically contain color-stripping chemicals such as sulfates and parabens, which prematurely oxidize color.
However, this does not apply to all vegan and cruelty-free shampoos, so it is always important to check the ingredient list. We are a big fan of Briogeo’s Be Gentle, Be Kind Matcha and Apple Replenishing Shampoo color-safe shampoo.
Other Vegan & Cruelty-Free Shampoos We Reviewed
Dry shampoo is a type of shampoo you can apply to your hair when it’s dry. It is applied to the parts of your hair/head where oil accumulates and doesn’t need to be washed out. Dry shampoo is not a replacement for traditional shampoo but a supplement that soaks up oil and grease and can keep your hair looking better for longer. Our favorite dry shampoos are:
This is a lightweight dry shampoo, sulfate, paraben-free, and 100% cruelty-free and vegan. We found this product did a great job of soaking up oil and odor and lasted a long time. Unlike some other dry shampoos we tested, this product did not leave visible residue. To top it off, the price is great.
Cruelty-free brand Lush’s entry also does a great job absorbing excess oils and keeping hair looking and smelling great between washes. The scent is citrusy and not overpowering. We found using too much could make our hair sticky, but a small amount does the job fine and without issues.
Oribe’s Gold Lust Dry Shampoo is truly something special. Expensive, but worth it, this is a luxurious vegan dry shampoo that leaves no residue and smells seriously amazing. Despite the price tag, if we ever needed dry shampoo to be part of our regular hair care regime, this would probably be it.
Many people are switching to shampoo bars as an alternative to traditional shampoos as they are a more environmentally friendly and sustainable option, not requiring plastic packaging. Furthermore, in our experience, we found bar shampoo to last 2-3x as long as traditional shampoo on a price-to-price basis.
Our favorite shampoo bars are:
This is a great vegan shampoo bar from cruelty-free certified brand Aspen Kay. We found it to be a portable, pleasant, alternative to traditional shampoo. It left our hair feeling smooth, frizz-free, and healthy. The scent is nice and natural, and the product leaves no residue behind.
Ethique has a huge range of cruelty-free and vegan shampoo bars that are plastic-free and easy to use. There are many options for different smells and strengths, but we really liked their “Mintasy” formulation. It smells amazing and left our hair and scalp feeling healthy and refreshed. However, it is worth noting that this product does contain sulfates.
Purple shampoo contains purple pigment to help bring out great color on blonder and lighter hair. It helps prevent brassy hair. Thankfully, there are several great cruelty-free options:
Paul Mitchell offers a great purple shampoo that can help keep blonde or silver hair from getting yellow or brassy. After just two washes, we noted a huge difference, with our hair being brighter and whiter. It has a pleasant scent and washes and lathers perfectly.
While on the pricier side, AG’s toning shampoo is a super effective purple shampoo that eliminates brassy and yellow tones from blonde and silver hair. It left our hair cleaner and more vibrant. Some of the purple shampoos we tested left our scalps feeling itchy, thankfully this once appears to have a much more gentle formulation and we had no issues in this regard.
Most of the shampoos on our list are easy to buy online, but sometimes you’re at the drugstore or supermarket, and you want to pick something up quick (and hopefully cheap!). Below we set out a few of our top picks which we could find on the shelves at stores including Ulta, Target, and more:
We found this vegan shampoo left our hair smelling great and was really nice to use. Because it is sulfate-free, we recommend focusing the wash on your scalp and letting it flow through your hair. At the price point offered, we seriously recommend checking Cake Beauty out.
Sukin’s Natural Balance Shampoo is another excellent drugstore shampoo available at Target, Walmart, and more, that we really love. This shampoo contains natural ingredients, including burdock, nettle, and baobab oil, at an excellent price. While the product purports to smell like honey, it does not actually contain honey. We actually found that it smelt more like sweet oranges.
Finally, there are some shampoos that just don’t fit into the categories we’ve set out above – but we like them and think it’s worth including them here – because you might do so too:
|Honorable Mentions||Cruelty-Free & Vegan Shampoo||Rating|
|Great for Thinning Hair||SheaMoisture Strengthen and Restore Shampoo||4.6/5|
|Great for a Sensitive Scalp||Pureology Strength Cure Shampoo||4.7/5|
|Hemp Based||Hempz Triple Moisture-Rich Daily Herbal Replenishing Shampoo||4.6/5|
|Shampoo & Conditioner Set||Common Ground Natural Shampoo and Conditioner Set||4.3/5|
|Great for Hair Volume||Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo||4.0/5|
|Organic All-Rounder||Christina Moss Naturals Original Shampoo||4.3/5|
|Sensitive-Scalp Friendly||ATTITUDE Unscented Volumizing Hair Shampoo for Sensitive Skin||4.4/5|