Going Cruelty Free #1: Haircare

Haircare can range from shampoo and conditioner to hairspray and hair oils/cream/serums, depending on your preference. For me, I have quite a big range of hair care products, as mentioned in my previous entry.

For years, the only shampoo I could use was Head & Shoulders, for the simple reason that it didn’t make my head itchy. Other shampoos would irritate my sensitive scalps and create excess dryness. When I decided to go cruelty-free, discovering immediately that H&S are far from animal-friendly, I looked to Lush. This wasn’t just because they definitely don’t test on animals, but also because their products contain purely natural ingredients. I figured what better way to treat my scalp than by avoiding chemicals altogether?

Lush (my first choice)

The shampoo I chose was ‘I Love Juicy’. When I say chose, however, I mean the ridiculously charismatic salesperson talked me into it. I had listed out my issues: sensitive scalp and oily hair. It seemed almost contradictory and I feared confusing the poor girl, but she chose this shampoo and so far, I can’t say I’ve had any issues. In fact, it’s actually better than H&S, which always retained a small percentage of my dryness. Not this!

Now I know what you’re thinking, Lush isn’t exactly affordable. As much as I love that store, buying just three products can amount to well over €50. I’m simply labelling this as an option. The stores have testers for you try before committing to the high prices, so make sure you’re happy with the product, especially when it comes to the smell. Just walking by a Lush store will give you an idea how pungent their products can be, but many smell heavenly.

NOTE: When I said Lush was my first choice, it did not mean that I have tried the other options listed below, but rather it was my first purchase of a cruelty-free shampoo. I have not yet sampled the brands listed below, it is simply a list of what’s available in Irish stores.

Other Options


Superdrug do not test their own brand products on animals and bear the infamous Leaping Bunny logo on the back of their products. However, there is some moral conflict. Superdrug donate a percentage of their income to cancer research, a practice that involves animal testing. It is up to the cruelty-free consumer to decide whether they feel they can bring themselves to shop here, or not.


We’re back to the pricey haircare products. This particular brand, JASON, you can only buy in health food shops (at least in Ireland), JASON also bear the Leaping Bunny logo. In the haircare range, they provide shampoos and conditioners.

Marks & Spencers

Though not as cheap as Superdrug, M&S own brand haircare products are affordable and, like, Superdrug, they bear the Leaping Bunny logo. Plus, they have a broader range when it comes to haircare.leapingbunny

The Body Shop

While The Body Shop’s products do not bear the Leaping Bunny logo, you will find that their products are recommended by most cruelty-free lists. However, they have recently been taken over by L’Oreal, a known animal-testing company, and while The Body Shop’s products remain cruelty-free, once again the shopper is left to decide whether or not they would feel ethical buying their products.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees products can be found in most health stores in Ireland. Their haircare products contain natural ingredients but can be pricey for the budget shopper. Their haircare products ranges include More Moisture, Supershiny, Very Volumizing, etc. They also offer hair treatments.


Dry shampoo, in my opinion, is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread! Due to my oily hair, dry shampoo is a life-saver when I have no time to wash my hair in the mornings before work. While they do not bear the Leaping Bunny logo, Batiste are cruelty-free. However, for those with sensitive scalps, overuse of this product can lead to itchiness and excessive dry scalp.


Eucerin is recommended to people who suffer with dandruff, sensitive and itchy scalps, and thinning hair. They can be found in most pharmacies and health stores. Though pricey, this brand is highly recommended by professionals.

Products that need more investigation:


A majority of L’Oreal products are tested on animals, however, their Ever Pure line is rumoured to be cruelty-free but I have yet to find concrete reassurance from my favourite cruelty-free sources.

Yes to Carrots

This is listed on the Leaping Bunny website, however, when I investigated the products personally, I could not locate the Leaping Bunny logo on the packaging.

Herbal Essences

While rumoured to be cruelty-free, their parent company, Clairol, does test on animals.

If anyone knows any more about the products I’ve listed, please comment below. I will also do a follow-up entry at the end of this series about products that try to fool you into believing that they’re cruelty, when in fact they’re not.