is head and shoulders cruelty free

Is Head and Shoulders Cruelty-Free?

Does Head and Shoulders test on animals or sell in China?

Head and Shoulders is a well-known dandruff shampoo that can be found all over the world. But is Head and Shoulders cruelty-free?

For a company to be considered cruelty-free they have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Do not test any of their products or ingredients on animals
  • Don’t allow others to test on their behalf 
  • Do not sell in a country where animal testing is required. 

After doing a bit of research, I found that Head and Shoulders doesn’t meet the above cruelty-free requirements and is not considered to be a cruelty-free shampoo brand. 

Let’s look into what all of that really means and what you can do about it.

Is Head and Shoulders Certified Cruelty-Free?

When researching a brand’s cruelty-free status my first stop is the certified cruelty-free list. There are three organizations that give official certifications to brands around the world: Leaping Bunny, Peta, and Choose Cruelty-Free.

Head and Shoulders is not found on any of these organizations’ cruelty-free lists. However, they are found on Peta’s list of brands to avoid

head and shoulders peta

Does Head and Shoulders Test on Animals?

The next step in my research is going directly to the company’s animal testing policy to see where they stand. Head and Shoulders’ policy can be found in the ‘Transparency’ section of their website. Here is what it states:

“We believe that eliminating animal testing is the right thing to do. We do not test our products on animals. In fact, animal testing on cosmetics is banned in Europe and we have not tested a finished product on animals in over a decade.”

head and shoulders animal testing

Further along the page the below question and answer come up.

Do you test products in China?

“In China, regulatory authorities do animal tests at their own discretion without any involvement of the manufacturer. These tests are scientifically unnecessary. That’s why we have been closely collaborating with international experts and Chinese authorities on the acceptance of safety assessments using non-animal tests. As a result of all of these efforts, Chinese authorities recently announced the acceptance of non-animal alternative safety assessments for a broad variety of products. We will continue to work with authorities on the acceptance of non-animal alternatives, in China and globally.”

Head and Shoulders’s animal testing policy contradicts itself. It states that they do not test on animals and haven’t done so in 10+ years. However, they choose to sell in China where animal testing is required for imported cosmetics. Therefore, Head and Shoulders does allow animal testing on their products.

Is Head and Shoulders Sold in China?

Yes, Head and Shoulders does sell in China. After doing a quick Google search I was able to locate Head and Shoulders Chinese website. A brand doesn’t create a website for another country unless it is serving those customers. I’ve included an image of the website below. 

head and shoulders china

What About China’s New Animal Testing Laws?

China has announced that as of May 1, 2021, general cosmetics such as shampoo, body wash, lipstick, lotion, and makeup can be sold without being tested on animals. However, a company is required to jump through various hoops for this to happen. As of now, Head and Shoulders have not been exempt and their products can still be tested on animals by the Chinese health authority. Even if an exemption happens it is still possible that the products can be subjected to post-market testing

Is Head and Shoulders Owned By a Parent Company?

Yes, Head and Shoulders are owned by Procter & Gamble, a company that tests on animals. You can view a full list of brands that they own to see which other companies you should avoid. 

Is Head and Shoulders Vegan?

Head and Shoulders are not considered to be vegan because they test their products or ingredients on animals or allow others to do so on their behalf. So, until this changes, we choose not to look into whether they may or may not have products that don’t contain animal ingredients. 

What are Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Head and Shoulders?

There are several cruelty-free haircare alternatives to Head and Shoulders. Check out the list below:

Wrap Up: Is Head and Shoulders Cruelty-Free?

No, Head and Shoulders is not a cruelty-free skincare brand. Even though they claim to not test on animals, they choose to sell in a country that requires imported cosmetics to be tested on animals.

Therefore, Head and Shoulders is not considered to be cruelty-free. They will be added to my list of brands that test on animals

Now I’d like to hear from you…What are your thoughts about Head and Shoulders? Please leave your comments below!

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