What’s So Vegan About Vegan Beauty Products?

October 2, 2018

Noughty, by nature.

When it comes to the ingredients in our beauty products, we’re discovering more every day.

Granted, some of what we’re learning — such as the fact that our shampoos and conditioners may contain potentially harmful and unnecessary ingredients such as parabens and sulfates — is scary. (Not to mention that using products that are harsh on the hair can lead to a variety of hair emergencies.) But even scarier is the fact that these ingredients don’t tell the full story about what’s in your hair products. 

Lorna Mitchell and Rachel Parsonage, the co-founders of Noughty Haircare, found this out and decided to do something about it with the help of beauty botanist Jennifer Hirsch.

“We started Noughty haircare in 2016 because we couldn’t find a product on the high street that offered high-performance results with natural ingredients,” Mitchell and Parsonage explain. “It was important for us to create an inclusive brand that’s vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and free from the ingredients that we felt strongly do not belong in haircare, like high fragrance levels, silicones, parabens, and sulfates.”

Even natural-sounding components can be misleading (consider products like gummy bears — seemingly so innocuous, and actually very non-vegan and derived from the collagen of pigs’ skin and bones).

Non-vegan beauty products can contain ingredients such as keratin, lanolin, beeswax, and silk proteins which are derived from animals,” say Mitchell and Parsonage, who add that with high-tech plant actives and botanical chemistry, there’s no need to use animal-derived ingredients in beauty products. “From algae and seaweeds to plant oils and stem cell extracts, the inherent activity of plants is being researched, extracted and harnessed for benefits that deliver real performance on hair.”

The Noughty haircare products are as expansive as the naturally-derived powers that are utilized to make them. Lemon and chamomile are used in Blondie Locks, their blonde-enhancing line. In their Pumped Up Shampoo and Conditioner, limp locks get a boost from Vitamin B5. These are vegan to boot and instead of containing high fragrance levels, they use delightful, delicious-smelling ingredients such as passion fruit, rosemary, and mint. As a curly girl, I’m a huge fan of their Wave Hello Shampoo, Conditioner, and Taming Cream, all of which go on lightly and smell divine while smoothing and defining.

As Mitchell and Parsonage explain, using natural products has both short-term (healthy hair, cruelty-free products) and long-term benefits: “There are the social and environmental impacts of sourcing natural ingredients. A natural ingredient benefits a whole chain, the community involved in its growth, harvest, and processing. And the more of us who use natural products, the more research and development money goes into isolating more and more effective extracts. Which means more innovative and effective hair care for you, and more money for the communities growing the natural ingredients at the core of Noughty.”

So where to begin?

Noughty’s Detox Dynamo is a good place to start if you have been using products with silicones as it speeds up the detox process, revealing your freshest, healthiest hair faster,” suggest Mitchell and Parsonage. “It contains peppermint and sorrel extract which are natural purifiers and detoxifiers.” If your hair is damaged from numerous chemical treatments and heat styling (hello, me!), Mitchell and Parsonage recommend their Intense Moisture Treatment with restructuring black oats.

While Mitchell and Parsonage recognize that “it is our mission to provide transparent, honest information in a language you can understand,” it’s also important to note that the Noughty brand goes even beyond its original goals of providing healthy, natural, and cruelty-free products. “We’re proud to say that in the past two years we have developed a Noughty community: a team of passionate women in beauty all over the world who, like us, advocate self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-development, and self-love.” 

Comment: How important is it for you to use hair care products that are not just naturally-derived, but cruelty-free? 

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