Is shampoo vegan? – ingredients and animal testing

Is shampoo vegan?articles

In this blog, I am going to discuss whether or not the shampoo is vegan.

There are many vegan shampoos on the market worldwide. But, the majority of shampoo products are not vegan for two reasons.

  • They contain animal-derived ingredients.
  • They are tested on animals.


What is animal testing?

Animal testing. The purpose is to make sure the chemical substances in products or drugs are safe for humans. Animal testing has been banned in many countries after the EU has done at first. Animal testing is now illegal in the following countries.

  • EU member countries
  • Canadawhat is animal testing?
  • Israel
  • India
  • Guatemala
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey

More countries are in the process of banning animal testing. Yet, there are still animal testing ongoing in the cosmetic industry. Animal testings are also in the pharmaceutical industry and academic research.


Pros for animal testing

  • The human body is a complex living system. Researchers need to test chemical substances with a similar complex living system. It is an animal. There is no alternative.
  • If the substance is toxic, it is not good to use the human body for testing from an ethical point of view. But, it is acceptable to do testing on animals.
  • The life cycle is shorter on animals. So, researchers can track the effect on the full lifespan as well as on the next generations.
  • Women use a cosmetic product on a daily base, it is very important to check the safety. For example, China does not give permission to sell cosmetic products to companies that haven’t done an experiment on an animal.


Cons for animal testing

  • Animal testing is cruel.
  • There are alternative methods of using human cells. The method can give more clear data than animal testing. Because, it is a human cell, but, not an animal cell.  
  • Metabolic and cellular systems of animals are different from human’s. So, the test result of animal testing is not reliable.


What are animal-derived ingredients?

Amino Acids

Different kinds of amino acids combine together and become a protein. The amino acids are in all kinds of life forms including animals and plants. The animal-derived amino acid is common in shampoo.What are animal-derived ingredients?

what is a substitute for animal-derived amino acids?

The amino acid is also in plants.

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is from flowers by bees collecting. there are shampoos containing bee pollen.

what is a substitute for bee pollen?

A human can collect pollens. Plant amino acids is also a substitute.


Biotin is got from milk and yeast.

What is a substitute for biotin?

Plants can be the source for biotin.


Carmine is a red dye derived from insects.

What is a substitute for Carmine?

plant-based red colorants such as beet and alkanet root are alternatives.


Cholesterol is got from animal fat, blood, and egg.

What is a substitute for Cholesterol?

Sterols from plant sources are alternatives.


Collagen is produced from animal tissue. Collagen is popular as an anti-aging agent. In fact, the collagen molecule is too big to go into skin or hair. So,  applying collagen to skin or hair can not give any effect to collagen in the skin.

what is a substitute for collagen?

Collagen is not necessary for shampoo. For anti-aging purposes, eating fresh vegetables and fruits is better. So, you can get antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory substances from them.


Gelatin is a protein derived from the skin, ligaments, and bones of cows and pigs.

What is a substitute for Gelatin?

Seaweeds and fruits pectin are alternatives.


Usually, glycerin is from animal fat. Glycerin is a humectant. It means that glycerin can take and hold humid when humidity in an environment is 70 percent or higher. The purpose of Glycerin in shampoo is to keep moisture in the hair. Glycerin is in hair care products, soap, makeup products, and moisturizers.

what is a substitute for lanolin?

Plant oil such as soybean oil and coconut oil can be the source of glycerin.


Guanine in shampoo is from fish. Guanine is in all kinds of life because it is a component of DNA and RNA.

What is a substitute for guanine?

Plants also contain guanine.


Keratin is a protein. Keratin in shampoo is from an animal. Horns, hoofs, feathers, and hairs are materials.

what is a substitute for keratin?

Soy protein, almond oil, and amla oil can be alternatives.


It is thick fatty oil in sheep wool. Because of lanolin, sheep wool is waterproof. Usually, lanolin is told as natural or organic because it comes from sheep. Lanolin is not the best choice for people who has seborrheic/atopic dermatitis. Lanolin can also cause hypersensitivity on the skin.

what is a substitute for lanolin?

Lanolin alternatives are coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, or coconut butter.


Lectin is from the nervous tissue of animals, eggs, blood, and, milk. Lecithin in shampoo helps hair healthy and shiny looking.

what is a substitute for keratin?

Soybean lecithin is available.

Oleic Acid:

Oleic acid is fatty acid and used as a surfactant or opacifying agent in hair products. Oleic acid is in various animal and plant fat.

What is a substitute for oleic acid?

Oleic acid is also in plants such as coconut, olives, and nuts.


Panthenol in shampoo is from animal, plant, or synthetics.

what is a substitute for panthenol?

Panthenol is available as synthetics or plant-soused.


The placenta grows in the uterus during pregnancy. The placenta can get from pregnant animals.

what is a substitute for the placenta?

kelp is a good alternative.


Propolis is a tree sap collected by bees.

what is a substitute for propolis?

A human can collect tree sap. Or, synthetic is also available.

Sodium Caseinate:

Sodium caseinate is from casein with combining with a sodium compound. Casein is a protein found in mammalian milk such as a cow. The hair conditioner contains sodium caseinate.

what is a substitute for sodium caseinate?

Soy protein and plant-based milk such as soy milk can be alternatives.


Spermaceti is a waxy substance that is got from whale’s head or dolphins. Recently it is also from petroleum.

What is a substitute for spermaceti?

Plant-based emollients such as Jojoba oil or synthetics are available.


Squalane is an organic compound found in our skin. Squalene in beauty products is usually derived from shark liver oil. Squalene functions as a lubricant, which means to give hair soft and smooth looking. Squalene is a hair conditioning agent.  

what is a substitute for squalane?

Olives, wheat germ, and sugarcane contain squalane.

Stearic Acid:

Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid found in animal and plant fat. Stearic acid in hair products is usually derived from pig stomach. Cows and sheep are also used. Stearic acid in hair products can coat the hair shaft, but without making it heavy. Stearic acid is in shampoos, conditioners, and hair styling products.

what is a substitute for Stearic acid?

Plant-derived stearic acid is available.


Urea is from animal urine and body fluid.

What is a substitute for urea?

Urea can be synthetics.


which ones are vegan shampoo brands?

The world is beautiful. A vegan lifestyle is becoming a trend.

In fact, it is difficult to find vegan shampoos in an ordinary supermarket (at least in Japan). But, now we can find many kinds of vegan shampoo and hair care products from the internet.For example, you can browse in amazon.


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