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10 best vegan shampoos and conditioners for guilt-free and gorgeous hair

·8-min read
Every product in our round-up has been confirmed as vegan by its brand (iStock/The Independent)
Every product in our round-up has been confirmed as vegan by its brand (iStock/The Independent)

Giving veganism a go for Veganuary? Great, but if you’re doing it for animal welfare or environmental reasons, then you’ll need to consider more than just your diet!

Vegans avoid animal-derived ingredients in beauty products, as well as food. When it comes to shampoos and conditioners, this usually means steering clear of any formulas containing milk, honey, beeswax or keratin.

Every product on our roundup has been confirmed as vegan by its brand, with some also certified by trusted regulatory bodies such as Peta and The Vegan Society.

They’re all cruelty-free, too, meaning they aren’t tested on animals or sold in China, where animal testing is required by law.

To find the best vegan shampoos and conditioners that’ll leave your locks looking lush, we tested a wide range of new and bestselling products on lightly wavy hair that’s prone to dryness.

During each trial, we noted how easy the product was to dispense, whether we liked its scent, how well it lathered up and how clean, shiny and bouncy it left our mane.

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.

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Maui Moisture nourish and moisture coconut milk shampoo and conditioner

Hawaii may feel further away than ever right now, but this vegan haircare brand’s tropical-inspired products promise to bring a hint of sunshine to your shower. Naturally moisturising aloe vera is the hero ingredient of Maui Moisture’s eight-strong range, our pick of which is this nourishing coconut milk duo. Both products smell like summer, thanks also to guava oil and mango butter. The pearly shampoo foams up well, leaving our roots and scalp feeling fresh, and the creamy conditioner detangles a treat for silkier hair. Both are a joy to slather onto dry winter hair, but squeezing them out of their bottles can be tricky, so we recommend removing the lids. Curly-haired shoppers should look to the curl quench collection for extra definition and softness. £5.99 each for 385ml.

Buy now £5.99, Boots

Faith in Nature wild rose shampoo and conditioner

This Vegan Society-approved beauty brand has long been one of our go-to’s for natural hair and body products that won’t break the bank. Wild rose is the subtle new scent on the block, packed with organic rosehip oil that helps repair damaged hair, promote growth and relieve itchiness. The shampoo is on the runny side so expect to get through it quickly, but it left our hair feeling lighter after use. The thick conditioner noticeably moisturised and added shine, with a little going a long way. Both squeezy bottles are faff-free to use, attractive and recyclable. Faith in Nature also sells five-litre refills, making eco-friendly hair-washing easy and economical. £4.63 each for 400ml.

Buy now £4.63, Holland and Barrett

Function of Beauty bespoke shampoo and conditioner

Here’s a fun one from what must be the world’s most Instagrammable vegan beauty brand. Stateside favourite Function of Beauty has a cult Gen Z following, despite its high prices. Our eyebrows were firmly raised before testing, but we enjoyed the online quiz that helps you create a bespoke formula for your hair type, before asking you to choose its colour, scent and name. You even get stickers for decorating the bottles! Style and silliness aside, we rated our custom samples. The shimmery shampoo lathered up quickly and cleansed thoroughly, while the avocado and argan oil-infused conditioner helped smooth, soften and strengthen as promised. We couldn’t afford to buy them on the regular, but they’d make a unique (literally) gift for a teenage relative. £29 for both 227ml bottles.

Buy now £29.00, Function of Beauty

Grow Gorgeous intense thickening shampoo and conditioner

Give thin hair a boost with these thickening saviours from a Peta-certified vegan haircare brand. Both the shampoo and conditioner harness the power of caffeine to stimulate roots, while rice protein helps tame flyaways and add shine. Expect bouncier, healthier-looking hair after a week of use. Our hair felt thicker and softer, and our scalp was less prone to flaking. The squeezy tubes have a salon-style aesthetic and we liked the spa-like scent too. Though on the pricey side if buying both, they last longer than cheaper alternatives so shouldn’t need replacing as often. £11.20 for 250ml (shampoo), £12.60 for 250ml (conditioner).

Buy now £11.20, Grow Gorgeous

Dr PawPaw everybody hair and body wash and everybody hair and body conditioner

This Peta-approved two-in-one hair and body products will suit busy bees who need to shower quickly. Both the hair and body wash and conditioner contain a hydrating, smoothing and nourishing trio of pawpaw (better known in Britain as papaya), aloe vera oil and coconut oil. Suitable for all hair textures and skin types, the natural mango and coconut scent offers a cheery pick-me-up each morning. The shampoo lathers up in no time to provide a deep cleanse, while the conditioner makes a fantastic dual hair and body moisturiser. The product squeezes easily out of the colourful tubes, but they’ll need replacing regularly if used on your body too, which may prove too pricey. £8 for 200ml (shampoo), £8.95 for 200ml (conditioner).

Buy now £8.00, Beauty Bay

Superdrug pro vitamin volume shampoo and conditioner

Whether you have fine tresses or simply want an affordable shampoo and conditioner that’ll leave your hair looking lively, this vitamin-packed duo from Superdrug’s extensive, clearly-labelled vegan range is a steal. Formulated with wheat amino acids to clean and restore lacklustre locks, they leave hair shiny, but not greasy, and noticeably fuller. The shampoo lathers up surprisingly quickly given its thinner consistency, though we had to use more conditioner than we usually would for a silky effect. Still, these big bottles are an indisputable bargain. £2.29 each for 400ml.

Buy now £2.29, Superdrug

Umberto Giannini curl jelly wash shampoo and curl jelly care conditioner

This sulphate-free shampoo and defrizzing conditioner are designed for wavy, curly and coily hair. Vegan throughout its 30-year history, Umberto Giannini also offers ranges for other hair concerns, including lengthening and colour care. The jelly shampoo with moisturising vitamin B5 feels gentle to use, restoring spring to coarse curls before the creamy conditioner smooths and detangles without weighing them down. The bright pink tubes bring a welcome pop of colour to your bathroom and are easy to find in a gym bag, but the floral scent is a tad too strong for our liking. £5.50 each for 250ml.

Buy now £5.50, Boots

Love Beauty and Planet hope and repair coconut oil and ylang ylang shampoo and conditioner

This vegan beauty brand has Peta’s hard-won seal of approval. If you’re a regular heat styler looking to bring your damaged tresses back to life, try the hope and repair formula made with organic coconut oil and exotic ylang ylang. Both products spread easily through our hair but we needed more shampoo than usual to generate all-over suds. That said, it left our hair feeling so refreshed that we found we could add an extra day between washes. Squeezing out the thick conditioner hurt our hands a bit, so we took the lid off, but we loved its holiday-ish scent. The new plastic-free shampoo bar is also worth a try, but, like most bars, it doesn’t lather up as well as its bottled counterpart. £6 each for 400ml.

Buy now £6.00, Amazon

Nine Yards all in moist shampoo and just right moist conditioner

This brand new Swedish vegan haircare brand is one to watch with its edgy geometric bottles that will sit stylishly in any modern bathroom. Cool Scandi design comes at a high price, but if you want to moisturise dry, curly or coarse hair deeply without it looking greasy, these paraben-free products will do just that. Brimming with natural goodies including broccoli seed oil, aloe vera and shea butter, we found they cleansed, hydrated and nourished our hair, leaving it feeling silky and not at all weighed down. Check out the volume range if you need to give thin, limp hair a boost. £19.50 each for 300ml.

Buy now £19.50, Nine Yards

Wild Science Lab leaf and seed head first scalp relief shampoo and head way scalp recovery conditioner

This chic new vegan haircare brand has only just launched, but we were instantly drawn to its use of pure CBD, a chemical substance found in cannabis with medicinal benefits, for soothing stressed scalps and increasing blood circulation to stimulate hair growth. Our hair is fairly thick already but our scalp felt deeply cleaned and our mane looked more voluminous after shampooing, while the coconut and avocado oil-infused conditioner helped with dryness. We liked the pump packaging which made dispensing easy in the shower but the luxury price tags mean we’ll be keeping them for special treats. £24 each for 300ml.

Buy now £24.00, Wild Science Lab

The Verdict: Best vegan shampoos and conditioners

Maui Moisture’s evocative scents (we’ll holiday again one day...), colourful bottles and wide range of hair type-specific products make it a worthy winner that also comes recommended by several of our vegan friends. For an unbeatable bargain, look to Superdrug’s volume boosting duo, or have fun customising your own formula and playing with stickers, courtesy of Function of Beauty.

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