Getting Started with Cruelty-Free Shampoo

Top Leaping Bunny Certified Brands

So you’re thinking about taking a leap (a Leaping Bunny certified leap, perhaps…more on this in a bit!) to purchase cruelty-free hygiene products. Let’s take the first step and replace the shampoo you’ve used for years with something that still makes you feel like a million bucks getting out of the shower, sans the cloud of guilt of being unsure if your favorite shampoo was developed at the expense of animals. 

In addition to saving animals from pain, torture, and unnecessary suffering, there’s plenty of reasons to buy cruelty-free. By purchasing and using products that have not been developed via testing on animals, there’s a better than good chance you’re avoiding many artificial ingredients that can cause skin irritations and breakouts. The idea that the simpler, the better, really does make a big difference here. With plenty of affordable cruelty-free shampoos on the market, your newfound focus for humane shopping won’t be at the expense of your wallet. 

Animal cruelty isn’t just inhumane: it’s simply unnecessary. With thousands and thousands of cosmetics ingredients deemed safe by the USDA, animals no longer need to be used for testing to develop products. By purchasing and supporting cruelty-free brands, you’re sending a clear message to companies that you’re not willing to support these outdated developmental tactics by hitting them where it hurts the most: their bottom line.

It’s a noble feat to want to support brands that do not test their products on animals, but it can be pretty daunting trying to find what brands, and products, are truly cruelty-free. Labels are notorious for many tiny words, full of confusing ingredients, and overly complicated usage instructions (lather and rinse twice, says the company selling you their product – go figure!).

Before you head to your closest drugstore to spend an hour scouring each and every label of each and every shampoo bottle (if that’s your style, go for it!), a bit of homework in advance can save you tremendous time and money.

Let’s get started on specific shampoo brands that are Leaping Bunny certified. Why? Because it’s one of the easiest ways to know that you’re buying cruelty-free shampoo when you see the official Leaping Bunny logo on the label. It’s that simple.

In 1996, the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics in the US and Canada founded the Leaping Bunny Program. It requires that to be certified, “companies must pledge to end animal testing at all stages of product development in addition to recommitting to the program annually and being open to third-party audits.” By creating this certification, the Leaping Bunny Program was able to qualify and solidify the idea of “cruelty-free” through standards established by animal protection groups.

Other certifications exist regarding ensuring there hasn’t been animal testing while developing a product; PETA and CCF provide their own unique certifications. But the Leaping Bunny Program is the only internationally recognized certification organization for cruelty-free brands.

And that’s why we’re starting here: you can be sure, 100%, that due to the rigorous standards placed upon companies by the Leaping Bunny Program, that companies displaying the Leaping Bunny logo will meet your criteria for a genuinely cruelty-free shampoo.

Numerous shampoo brands label their products as cruelty-free but are not certified. Brands such as Giovanni, JĀSÖN, Hask, and Acure are cruelty-free and certified to carry the Leaping Bunny Logo. Double-check that all purchases display the Leaping Bunny Logo to ensure that they are truly cruelty-free. And remember: not all cruelty-free shampoos are vegan, and vice-versa.

Let’s clarify that last part: “cruelty-free” and “vegan” are not interchangeable terms. “Cruelty-free” describes products that were developed without any tests on animals. “Vegan” describes products that do not include animal-sourced ingredients. For example, a product could be cruelty-free regarding its testing practices but could still be made with non-vegan ingredients. 

If you’re interested in living a vegan lifestyle, be sure to make sure your upcoming shampoo purchase checks off boxes for being both cruelty-free and vegan.

Now that you know what you’re looking for let’s get you empowered on your journey to buying more cruelty-free products. We’ve saved you the hassle of research by curating some of our favorite brands to check out that are not only cruelty-free but Leaping Bunny certified.

Most Widely Available


Where To Buy: Walgreens, Target, Walmart, Ulta Beauty, CVS Pharmacy,, Kroger

Not only is HASK a Leaping Bunny certified organization, but all of its products are also free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, and aluminum. Transparency is a huge selling point for the brand, as they boast a vast “banned ingredients” list of ingredients and chemicals they refuse to use in their offerings.

Variety certainly isn’t lacking. On the HASK website, they currently offer 18 different styles of shampoo, all with varying benefits like “moisturizing,” “repairing,” “weightless moisture,” and more. Many varieties are also offered in a dry shampoo (for those frantic mornings when there’s just not enough time to pop in the shower!). 

Best Value

Giovanni |

Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Walmart, Fresh Thyme, The Fresh Market,

Boasting more than a dozen styles of shampoo, Giovanni provides serious salon quality without the salon price. Giovanni has been creating personal care products since 1979, focusing on creating products that are formulated to deliver high-performance, salon-quality results while remaining gentle on hair and skin. 

If you really want to get the best bang for the buck, their three biggest sellers are available in 128oz (yes, that’s one gallon) containers at great prices. A nice bonus for you plant-based people out there: the vast majority of their products are suitable for vegans. Their products do not contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, mineral oil, Formaldehyde, or Propylene Glycol. 

Vegan + Cruelty-Free

Acure |

Where to Buy: Thrive Market, Ulta Beauty, Whole Foods, Target,

Take a stroll to Acure’s website, and you’ll get an idea for who they are pretty quickly, as their banner reads: 100% VEGAN. 0% PRETENTIOUS. They’re an entertaining brand that specializes in body scrubs, skin moisturizers, and eye masks, in addition to their shampoo. With dry shampoo and shampoo bar offerings, you won’t be disappointed by a lack of variety, especially from an across-the-board cruelty-free and vegan brand.

Acure’s products are free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and formaldehyde. They’ve gone the extra mile for sustainability with Terracycle, a program that allows customers to recycle used containers of Acure products.

Great Company to Support


Where to Buy: Whole Foods, Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart, Meijer

JĀSÖN, meaning “healer” in Greek, has been around since 1959 and is refreshingly transparent about its product production and ingredients. They proudly proclaim a “Code of Honor” regarding what ingredients will never be used in their products. They have “therapy shampoos” (for dandruff, deep-cleaning, etc.) in addition to their “everyday shampoos.” Their fragrance-free option is available in larger containers for those looking to maximize their value.

All products are suitable for vegetarians, and only a few items contain beeswax, making this company very close to being completely vegan. They also feature other personal hygiene items like body wash, toothpaste, deodorant, and more.

We hope this helps you make decisions with a clean conscience when shopping for cruelty-free shampoos. Learn more about the Leaping Bunny Program at

For more tips and insights on the best cruelty-free products, be sure to check out more from our blog at

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