The big V – What does it actually mean if a hair product is vegan?

6.8.2021, Meri

Vegan, cruelty-free, ecological, natural – you name it. All things are equally important, but still a little unclear to many of us. Fortunately, veganism is a topic we could go on about for hour. So much so that we made all our products vegan! We wanted to tell you in detail what we have done to make our products vegan and what “the big V” actually means when it comes to our hair products. Now’s the time to break those myths regarding vegan hair products!

Let’s start from the very beginning: what exactly are vegan cosmetics? We’re going to jump right in, so hold on to your hats. Vegan cosmetics refer to products that do not contain any animal or animal-derived ingredients. These well-known ingredients include keratin, collagen, lanolin and beeswax. You may have heard of “silky hair”. This kind of silkiness can be achieved, for example, by adding – you guessed it – silk protein into the hair product.

Animal-based ingredients can be used in cosmetics for their conditioning and repairing qualities that add sheen to the hair as well as to change the product consistency. But they are not necessary and there are other alternative products.


We chose to be vegan

Products are vegan when all the ingredients are either plant based or synthetic. All renewed Four Reasons products are completely vegan. That’s right, all this: Four Reasons Original, Four Reasons Professional, Four Reasons No Nothing, Four Reasons Color Mask, Four Reasons Nature, and Four Reasons Takeaway Color. Did you know that animal testing has been banned for all cosmetics in the EU since 2009? Therefore, we do not use animal testing in our products or ingredients.

Previously some of our products contained hydrolyzed keratin, hydrolyzed silk protein and lanolin. Keratin and lanolin are extracted from wool, and hydrolyzed silk protein comes from the cocoon of the silk butterfly’s larvae. In 2018, we set a goal to make all our products vegan. In 2020, we stopped using animal-based products, and since then, our new products have been vegan – yay!


How can you tell if a product is vegan?

Labeling a product vegan is voluntary, and there are many products on the market that are vegan even if it is not stated on the packaging. Manufacturers can also prove their product to be vegan with certifications, but they are also voluntary. All the renewed Four Reasons product packaging is marked with BTW, I’m vegan or 100% vegan that assure you that the product is vegan.


Time to break myths!

There can be many unanswered questions and ambiguities regarding vegan cosmetics and hair products. Because we want to make the subject approachable, we highlight four common and false misconceptions about vegan hair products and state a few facts. After reading this, you can happily go shopping for hair products and select products that genuinely are vegan!


#1 Vegan hair products are always natural cosmetics (guess again)

Despite what you may think, vegan is not always synonymous with natural cosmetics. You, see vegan products may also contain synthetic ingredients. On the other hand, natural cosmetics are not always vegan either, as natural cosmetics can often contain ingredients of animal origin, such as beeswax or honey. So, be careful when shopping in the natural cosmetics aisle if you’re specifically looking for vegan products!

Various certifications guarantee that, for example, the manufacturing process of the product is standardized and that only ingredients that comply with standards of the certification can be used in the product. Such certifications include, for example, natural cosmetics certificates issued by Ecocert®. Our Four Reasons Nature product line has been issued an Ecocert® Cosmos Natural certification that guarantees the natural nature of the ingredients and the sustainability of the packaging and manufacturing processes.


#2 Vegan and cruelty free means the same thing (we don’t think so)

Vegan ingredients are not synonymous with cruelty free, which is something to keep in mind. Vegan refers to the origin of the ingredients whereas cruelty free refers to the testing and development process of the product. Under EU law, it has been forbidden to test cosmetic ingredients on animals since 2009 – thank goodness!


#3 Vegan hair product automatically means that the product is also environmentally friendly (oh, if only)

It does not mean that, but fortunately it CAN. For example, all Four Reasons products are sustainable as well as vegan. We use recycled plastic or bio-based plastic in all packaging when possible. For example, the plastic packaging of Four Reasons No Nothing and Original products is made entirely of sugar cane-based bioplastic.

Being vegan and taking the environment into account in the manufacturing of hair cosmetics products is therefore entirely possible, albeit voluntary. At least, if somebody asks, we raise our hand. 😉


#4 Vegan products are not as effective as other hair products (laughing so hard tears start falling)

The answer to this is clear, if you’ve ever tried, for example, Four Reasons Original Ultra Moisture Treatment intensive treatment or Four Reasons Professional Root Booster root lifter.


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