Difference between Cruelty-free and Vegan


It wasn’t until I started working at The Hair Routine that I learned the difference between cruelty-free and vegan products. Well actually, I had the basic idea, but I was always getting confused or making the wrong assumptions.

You would think that in 2018 there would be little to no more companies experimenting with animals to test their products. Wrong. According to Cruelty-Free International, there are still 115 million animals being used worldwide. Many self-care articles are still being tested on animals: lotions, perfumes, makeup, hair products, etc. In China, for example, you cannot produce cosmetics if they have not been tested on animals first. There’s still a lot to be done to end it. With this in mind, I decided it was a good idea to write an article explaining the differences between vegan and cruelty-free products.

Difference between Cruelty-free and Vegan | The Hair Routine

Difference between Cruelty-free and Vegan

Cruelty-free does not mean vegan, and vice versa. If a company does NO testing on animals: the product is cruelty-free. Simple as that. But what if the same company uses animal-derived ingredients for their products? This means the product is cruelty- free but not vegan, and the same goes the other way around. Some products are vegan-friendly (no animal components in the ingredient list), but they are tested on animals. This means the product is vegan but not cruelty-free.



It is up to you. Some brands sell both cruelty-free and vegan-friendly products and there are some that only apply to one of the two. If you are vegan and live a vegan lifestyle, then you’re probably very strict about using animal by-products. Therefore you probably look for the Vegan-friendly label before anything else. But if you are concerned about both (and you should), then you can always check out the company’s webpage for more information. Most brands will be proud to state that they are cruelty-free and vegan and it will read somewhere on their webpage, just make sure it is true.


Real talk now. I made a lot of research for this journal entry, and I found shocking information about animal testing. For example, it is not reliable! Why? It is pretty simple actually. Animals and humans are different. Therefore reactions to products and medicines are different too! So not only it is cruel, but it also, doesn´t make any sense to test products that are intended for human beings on animals.

From now on I will be more careful about the brands I support and the products I use. Maybe I won’t save the world on my own, but I’ll know I am not giving my dollars to companies that don’t invest in looking for alternatives. I believe it’s on all of us to shape the world we want to live in.



Be curious. Get informed. Make a list of the top 10 brands you use for personal care and look them up on the internet. Read their values and beliefs, and make sure they resonate with YOUR values and beliefs. And if they don’t? Time to go shopping baby! Do field research and find similar products that are sold by companies that you want to support. There is always a solution.






We believe in connecting with everything that surrounds us and giving back to the environment.

We believe in conscious choices that do not compromise our planet. 

We believe in respecting all forms of life. We stand up for the equality of all living beings.

We are vegan and cruelty-free!


I hope this cleared out the differences between cruelty-free and vegan. Remember, not because it is vegan, means it’s necessarily cruelty-free and the other way around too. If you have any questions regarding The Hair Routine products, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are always happy to help.

´till next time,