As a proud vegetarian, who is cruelty-free, everything from the clothes that I wear, to the hair products that I use, are 100% cruelty free. I don’t use products that test on animals, frequently advocate for animal rights, and don’t wear products made from animals. In short, I am vegan in all, but my diet due to allergies, and health issues. Although I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years, it wasn’t until 2017, that I discovered the importance of buying cruelty-free products. As an animal lover, it broke my heart that animals were subjected to painful, and frankly deadly experiments, all for the sake of makeup, fashion, and even for the shampoos that we use to make our hair shiny and luscious. I realized it was time to educate myself, and adopt cruelty-free winter hair care tips, so animals didn’t suffer. From wearing non-animal materials, cruelty-free and non-toxic skincare, and vegan household products, every area of my life had changed, for the greater good of animals.
Animals after all, feel pain in many of the same ways as we do. From the way that they cry, to the way that they scream, when animals are used in laboratory research, they are tortured, mutilated, and are often killed for the sake of ‘research’. In makeup, skincare, household care, and even clothing, there is no need to hurt our animals, when there are ‘faux fabrics’, vegan friendly formulas, and a whole range of products out there, that puts animals needs first. I am not saying this to preach, as I believe we have the choice to excercise free will, but when it comes to testing on animals, that is something I am strongly against. Which is why I wanted to create a cruelty-free winter care routine, to show my audience how vegan hair products can still give you healthy hair, that is shiny, full of life, and glowing with colour. After all, when you stand up for animal rights, you create positive change for the greater good.
Switching to cruelty-free products, particularly non-toxic natural hair products, will give your hair the lease of life that it needs. By choosing to create a vegan hair routine, not only are you saving animals from cruel and unneccessary testing, but you are supporting brands who know that animals matter, and care as much about their welfare, as you do. In fact, there are over 7,000 ingredients that are proven to be safe, and thousands of cruelty free hair-care brands such as Lush, Noughty, Maui Moisture, and Pacifica, to name a few. With this wealth of choice, there’s no need to support brands who treat our household pets with such disregard. From cats, rabbits, rats, and dogs, these animals are deprived of their basic animal rights. Many countries such as the UK have banned animal testing, but there are a number of hair care brands such as L’Oreal, Aveeno, Batiste, Bumble and Bumble, and Clairol that are sadly still testing on animals.
What’s more, my cruelty-free winter care tips show how you can have a great hair routine without the cruelty. It teaches you to be a more conscientious shopper, and be mindful of the hair brands that you choose to support. It also shows you how to be a more sustainable, minimalist shopper, because you are carefully curating the vegan hair care brands that you are choosing to support. This helps save you money in the long run, and gives you a great confidence boost, as you know that your beauty routine is protecting the greater good. Whether you go Hairclubbing at Blade Soho, get your hair cut, have a blow dry, or treat yourself to a hair spa day, do it the vegan way. I don’t want to be preachy, but at the same time, I would love for more people to join me on my cruelty-free journey. Because honestly speaking, my hair looks, and feels better for it. And so can yours!
Use Non-Toxic Vegan Hair Products That Are Cruelty-Free
Before I get into the nitty gritty of cruelty-free winter hair care, it’s important to invest in vegan products that are non-toxic, and good for your hair. Why? Because many hair brands contain toxic ingredients that have been linked to hormone disruption, poisoning, cancer, and even death in rarer cases. Although non-toxic products can be seen as a ‘marketing claim’, generally it is a good thing to avoid products that have nasty chemicals such as Phthalates [found mostly in household products and shampoo and conditioner, they give products a uniform consistency and make them easier to pour.].
Other ingredients that you should avoid include formaldehyde (found in nail polish, hair gel and color cosmetics); petroleum (found in moisturizers and lip balms); asbestos (labeled as talc or hydrous magnesium silicate); lead acetate (found in hair dye and lipstick) and coal tar (found in hair dye and anti-dandruff shampoo). Making the switch to cruelty-free non toxic products, means that you are using products that are sustainable, green and free from harmful chemicals, that will damage your hair in the long-run. Brands like Tints of Nature, (who I personally use), have vegan, natural ingredients, without the nasty toxic chemicals that so many hair care brands use. During winter, your hair is especially prone to breakage, and damage, so non-toxic natural hair products like shampoos, conditioners, oils, and masks can help hydrate your hair without weighing it down.
Because it uses less ingredients, and more nourishing ones at that, non toxic hair care, can help bring your hair back to life. I was always under the assumption that using non-toxic hair care, would strip my hair from its natural oils, leaving it dry, more prone to breakage, and dull and flat, but the reality is the complete opposite. My hair has more shine, has less split ends, and above all is healthier than it has been in a very long time. Although my hair is still naturally frizzy, I have found using non-toxic haircare has made my hair look and feel great. While in the beginning my hair took a while to get used to the natural products, eventually it restored my hair to the crowning glory that it deserved. By switching the products I have used in my hair, it has made me less prone to skin irritation, a flaky scalp, and even hair sensitivity.
You might also wonder what the difference between natural, non-toxic and organic hair care products are. After all, with so many hair brands out there, you will be forgiven for thinking that natural, organic, and non-toxic hair products are all the same. Actually they are not. Natural hair products have ‘some natural ingredients in its formula’, but it can often be seen as a marketing term, as it can still have a lot of synthetic ingredients. If you want a natural hair care brand, that does not rely on synthetic ingredients, try Original Mineral, which is PETA approved, uses native Australian extracts, and is gentle on sensitive skin. They are creating a clean beauty luxury movement for hair care around the world, and are a great vegan brand to support. I especially love their conditioning detangler, for unknotting my wavy/ curly hair. Organic hair care on the other hand uses ingredients that have been grown, and processed under a very strict code of cleanliness, with no pesticides or fertilizers, and absolutely no genetically modified organisms.
Opt For A Vegan Brush To Keep Your Locks Healthy
You might think I am silly for telling you to buy a vegan brush. After all, aren’t all brushes vegan? Nope, they are not. In fact a lot of brushes are made using boar hair, pig, and horse hair, and even squirrel fur. So next time, you buy a brush, look out for its label, to see what it is made from. That’s why choosing a vegan brush to keep your locks healthy, is kinder to animals and the environment. You can find vegan boar hair brushes, sustainable eco-friendly brushes made from bamboo and wood, and even the infamous Tangle Teezer (which I love for my wild hair), is vegan and recycleable. So why a vegan brush? Aside from using non-animal materials, it also tends to be better for the environment, purse friendly, and are the better option for healthier, shinier hair.
When it comes to cruelty-free winter hair care, knowing which vegan brush to buy, can seem like an obstacle course. After all, with so many options out there, how do you know which vegan hair brush is the right one for you? Well, first of all, you need to figure out what your hair type is, and what you are after in a hairbrush. For example, I have thick, long curly/ wavy hair, that is frizzy, and quite frankly wild. I have two brushes that I use; the first is the WetBrush Go Green Detangling Comb – Coconut Oil, which is made from sustainable bamboo fibres. The teeth are infused with oils and minerals to help moisturize and repair hair, and is a vegan brush that I use after a shower, to detangle my hair. Because my hair also gets very knotty, I use Tangle Teezer in the shade Pink Fizz, as well, as it is soft and gentle on my hair, minimizing breakage, and helping me get through my curly hair with ease.
But what if you have a completely different hair type to me? Let’s say you have thinning hair, and are worried about using brushes that rip out your remaining hair. Using a soft vegan boar bristle brush like Briogeo, will gently brush your hair, leaving it healthy and intact. You get healthier, shinier hair, without damaging strands and follicoles. As your hair is weak and brittle, the boar brush is so gentle, and will leave you with a luscious head of hair. If you have straight hair, paddle brushes like the Body Shop Large Bamboo Paddle Hairbrush, works through your hair evenly, while distributing oils. If your hair is prone to static though, a brush with a rubber pad will work better.
Although it might sound trivial to add buying a vegan hair brush to your cruelty-free winter hair routine, brushing your hair has many benefits. Asides from detangling your locks, and improving the condition of your hair, it also distributes oil from the scalp down the hair shaft, which conditions dryer ends. It also stimulates your scalp, which may boost hair growth, and gives your head the massage that it deserves. Obviously it is important to not over-brush your hair, but it is a great way to be mindful about your self-care, and what your hair needs.
Invest In Cruelty-Free Hair Extensions Or Wigs
One of the best ways to change up your look in winter, is to invest in cruelty-free wigs, hair extensions or even a new colour. However, it comes without saying that even synthetic hair needs to be looked after. For me, I love human-hair exstensions, like Clip Hair, who has over 6o incredible shades in stock. Whether you fancy being a brunette, blonde, have luscious black hair, strawberry blonde, or want to give Balayage a try, they have the best quality human hair extensions around. Unlike many other hair extension brands, they use human-hair, instead of animal hair, meaning that they are ethically sourced. Animals such as horses, yaks, goats, and sheep, are often used for extensions. While this is usually mixed with human hair, animals are being harmed for hair extensions and wigs, which is why I avoid animal hair extensions.
Instead cruelty free hair extensions can give your hair the oomph you are after, without harming animals. But how do you take care of your extensions in winter? Well, i’ll talk about this in more detail later on, but generally speaking, limiting its exposure to heat, will help keep your locks healthy. Why? Because using hair straightners, heat curlers, or hair dryers can lead to raised cuticles and porous hair, resulting in hair damage. On the same note, avoiding hot showers is a must when you wear extensions or wigs, as the follicles of your hair open, leaving it exposed. It might cause breakage, so when washing your extensions or even your ‘real hair’, make sure you turn the shower down a few degrees to protect your hair. I usually have a hot bath, pop a shower cap on, and then when I am ready to wash my hair, i’ll wash it with a lukewarm shower, to monitor the temperature that is being applied to my hair, wig, or extensions.
It is also important to note that your extension hair aftercare, is just as important as your hair routine. Make sure you brush your hair, with a soft vegan wide toothed comb, and be gentle about how much pressure you apply. If you work your way from the bottom up, as opposed from the top to the bottom, you are less likely to cause the hair strands to break. With Clip Hair, their extensions are extremely high quality, so it is important that you take extra care of them in winter. For people who are wondering whether clip-in extensions damage your natural hair, removing them carefully will prevent any accidents. Plus if you treat them well, they can last from six months, up to a year, making them an investment worth making, if you want to change up your hair.
For me, I have my eye on a Curly Full Head Remy Clip In Human Hair Extensions in Darkest Brown, because it is close to my natural hair colour, but has an elevated look. My hair is prone to frizziness, and while it has some curls, it is more wavy, so I love the deep curls that this extension set offers. Its natural, bouncy, and voluminous, just the way I like it! What’s more, as Black Friday is coming up, you can save up to £60 on all orders (24th-29th). This means you can get more high-quality hair extensions for less, and up your winter hair routine, the vegan, cruelty free way. If you are worried about finding hair extensions that suit you, they also offer free colour matching, where you can submit three photos, and receive your bespoke match within 24 hours. You can choose from product categories such as streaks/ highlights, classic full head, and even a Nano or Micro Ring.
Moisturize Your Hair And Scalp With Vegan Hair Oil
One of the best ways to look after your hair in winter, is to moisturize your hair and scalp with vegan hair oil. Not only will it make your hair feel like silk, but it is a great way of nourishing your hair during the colder months. As we crank up the heating, it tends to dry our hair out, leaving a dry, flaky scalp. In some cases it can lead to dandruff, skin sensitivity, and hair that is in desperate need of moisturizing. I should know, I have the uneviable combination of hair that is dry, yet oily. The scalp gets oily quickly, and the ends of my hair get incredibly dry and frazzled. My remedy? I have a few rescue products for my winter hair routine, such as cruelty-free hair elixirs, hair oils, and once a week masks, to hydrate my hair.
Coco & Eve, have a fantastic ‘Miracle Hair Elixir’, that I love to use, to combat dry hair. Vegan and cruelty free, it is a multi-tasking hair oil, that has a lightweight, non-greasy, silky finish. It boosts hydration, does wonders for my frizzy hair, and smells gorgeous too. With a coconut and fig scent, I find that it absorbs quickly into my hair, and feels incredibly nourishing. It is rich in vitamins which makes my hair shinier and has Balinese botanicals including mangosteen, papaya and raw virgin coconut oil, rich in fatty acids to nourish, hydrate and repair hair. Other oils that can help revitalize your hair during the winter, include Argan Oil, and Jojoba oil. Argan oil is rich in vitamin E,which provides a fatty layer to your hair and scalp that may help prevent dryness and can help reduce fizziness and boost shine. This is especially suited to those who have dry hair.
On the other hand Jojoba oil has vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin E, copper, and zinc, which is known for making hair stronger. Because it strengthens hair, it is also thought that jojoba oil can prevent hair loss and promote hair thickness. You can smooth this through your hair after blow-drying or straightening, for that just-stepped-out-of-the-salon shine.But what type of cruelty-free hair oil, should you use? Well it depends on what you are after. Because my hair is dry, yet oily, curly, thick, and long, I mainly use Argan oil, because it helps restore the shine that my hair needs. But I have also used coconut oil as well, as a pre-shampoo treatment that helps to detangle my hair, and calm its frizz.
If you are trying to prevent split ends, castor oil is great as it contains antioxidants, which support the keratin in hair, making it stronger, smoother, and healthier. If you get this oil, make sure you get the cold-pressed variety, as it can control hair loss, fight scalp infections, and even dandruff, due to its anti-fungal properties. Just bear in mind that castor oil is thick, so you could always mix it with another oil like coconut, for easier application. Olive oil is another great vegan hair oil to use that is natural, although use it sparingly. It has emollients which soften and smooths hair, and is high in vitamin E, which fights off free-redical damage from sunlight and pollution. It acts as a natural heat protectant, and is great for those who have damaged hair, that needs concealing.
Avoid Frequent Hair Washes So You Don’t Dry Out Your Hair
Speaking of dry hair, a big no no is washing your hair too much in winter. Overwashing your hair, will strip it of its vital natural oils, which help keep the hair moisturized and protected. While it can be all too tempting to wash your hair everyday, your hair will become dry, brittle, and worse of all, could become greasier faster. It’s like shaving, the more frequently you do it, the quicker the hair grows back. When it comes to your hair, the more you wash it, the more likely you are to develop split ends, a flaky scalp, and your hair may become more frizzy. As someone who has gone from washing her hair everyday, to washing it 2 times a week, I can tell you that my hair can really feel the difference. It takes longer to become greasy, and my hair stays hydrated for longer.
This is especially important during the colder months, so try and find the perfect time period for your hair. I went from washing my hair everyday, to every two days, and now twice a week. I have learned that it is OK for your hair to be greasy for a day or two, because it provides my hair follicles with all the vitamins and nourishing components it needs to stay healthy. This, and limiting the amount of heat you put on your hair, is probably one of the best things you can do to create a stellar cruelty-free winter hair routine. If you still find that your hair is lacking moisture, you can try washing your hair every three days, depending on your hair type.
To make sure you don’t overwash your hair, you can use dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair smelling and looking fresh. I personally reccomend, Colab Dry Shampoo Spray in original, as it is vegan, and has an effortlessly cool, bergamot and rose scent. If you suffer from dry hair, and your roots aren’t too oily, you can wash your hair with conditioner, and skip the shampoo altogether, though this does depend on your hair type. For me, I only do this occasionally, as otherwise my hair gets weighed down by the conditioner. If you do want to try this conditioner hack, I would go for the Noughty Intensive Care Leave In Conditioner, which is 97% natural, and uses shea butter and argan oil, to protect your hair.
Limit Heat Styling To Protect Your Hair
Heat can have a damaging impact on our hair. Whether it is washing our hair with hot water, using curling wands, or blowdrying our hair, heat is a major culprit for dry, damaged hair. This is especially true during winter, as the dry, cold air strips our locks of moisture, and natural nutrients. When your hair is already fragile from exposure to the cold, snow, wind, and rain, heat styling amplifies the problem. I am not saying to never use hair straighteners, curling wands, or other heating styles, but its all about doing things in moderation. For me, I went from always straightening my hair during my teen years, to embracing my natural curly, wavy hair, and making the most of what I had. I dry my hair naturally, and if I do use heating tools, I always use heat protectors.
A heat protector like the Body Shop Moringa Shine and Protection Hair Mist, instantly brightens your hair, even after using a heating tool, or spending time in the winter sun. Sure in the UK, sun in winter is a meagre effort, but regardless its important to stay protected. When you use a heat protector, you can stop the heat attacking your hair strands, minimize dry hair, and prevent against unwanted split ends. If you want to follow my cruelty-free winter hair care routine, I add a few drops of hair oil to tame my frizz, while drying my hair naturally, and use the colder months to experiment with hats, headbands, and accessories, to protect my locks, while looking fabulous.
You can also use this time to experiment with heatless curls and waves, which gives you the same salon ready look, without exposing your hair to heat, chemicals, and nasties. Instead you can elevate your hair the natural way, and even try ponytails, buns, twists and plaits to change up your hair. I like to wear a simple loose plait which requires minimum effortb but helps tighten my curls, and add structured volume to my hair without heat. I can’t make your hair straighter without using heat, but I can certainly make my hair curlier if I wanted to.
What Are Your Cruelty-Free Winter Hair Tips
Please note, this post is is in collaboration with Clip Hair, but all thoughts are my own and are not affected by monetary compensation.