is pantene cruelty-free

Is Pantene Cruelty-Free?

Is Pantene cruelty-free? Sort of. According to their site, Pantene does not test their products on animals. They seem to take pride in their cruelty-free hair products, from shampoo to sprays.

Now, let’s reel ourselves in a bit. Take a quick pause, one could say. It isn’t exactly time to celebrate yet. On the same page, Pantene states:

“In the case of governments that still mandate animal tests, such as in China, Pantene is committed to working alongside those authorities and scientists to have alternative testing methods recognized.” 

Consequently, Pantene does continue to test on animals where it is required by law. Sure, they are working towards the elimination of animal testing, but they continue to sell products in mainland China.

Pantene is the most popular hair care brand amongst U.S. women in 2023. It is on them to be open and honest with its consumers. Unfortunately, “cruelty-free” isn’t in legal jargon and a lot of things can be called “cruelty-free” without fully committing themselves. Talk about complicated!

This article covers all the need-to-know information on Pantene and what it means to be cruelty-free. We’ve also added brands that are not cruelty-free and those that are, for all our readers looking for alternatives. 

Is Pantene Tested On Animals?

Pantene’s website claims that they do not test on animals. Despite this, several organizations and individuals attest to the opposite. PETA states that Pantene does in fact test on animals.

Other sources such as Ethical Elephant clarify that Pantene tests on animals in countries where the practice is mandated: “Pantene allows its products to be tested on animals when required by law, including when selling in stores in mainland China.”

As of January 2023, China no longer requires animal testing in pre- and post-market settings if manufacturers meet certain conditions. The only other country implied to require animal testing is Russia, however, they vowed to stop animal testing by 2020.

Meanwhile, Harry Clarkson-Bennett’s article on notes that animal testing is only banned in 41 countries. For reference, that is less than half of the 195 countries around the world today. Purportedly, Pantene hasn’t taken steps to follow China’s new conditions to avoid animal testing.

Their site still reads that Pantene “is … working alongside those authorities and scientists to have alternative testing methods recognized.” Thus, there is a good chance that Pantene still tests on animals when distributing products in mainland China.

Is Pantene PETA Certified?

Despite its claims to be cruelty-free, Pantene is not certified by PETA or any other third-party organization. Their parent company, Procter & Gamble, is known to be actively still testing their products on animals. That’s not to mention the likelihood that Pantene hasn’t conformed to recent Chinese laws to avoid animal testing.

To be PETA certified, a company has to validate that they “and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, or pay for any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world.”

By continuing to test animals when selling their products to mainland China, Pantene cannot become PETA certified. Meanwhile, competitors like Tresemmé have been PETA certified since 2021. 

Neither Pantene nor Procter & Gamble are listed under PETA’s “Companies Working For Regulatory Change.” Interestingly enough, Procter & Gamble have partnered with Humane Society International in their #BeCrueltyFree Campaign. The parent company, also known as P&G, has stated that they are committed to making “animal testing obsolete” elsewhere on their site.

What Hair Brands Are Not Cruelty-Free?

“Cruelty-free” means that a product does not harm animals at any time during pre- or post-production. It is important to consider that there are no legal definitions for the phrase.

Therefore, companies can claim to be cruelty-free based on a few criteria: for example, if they are not actively testing products on animals. All in all, the label “cruelty-free” denotes a product or brand that does not go through animal testing.

There are a lot more hair brands known for animal testing than not. Hair brands that are not cruelty-free are as follows: 

  • Amway
  • Batiste
  • Bed Head
  • Clairol
  • Crabtree & Evelyn
  • Etude House
  • Head & Shoulders
  • John Frieda
  • Kerastase
  • Kiehl’s
  • L’Oreal
  • Matrix
  • Natural Instincts
  • Nexxus
  • Nioxin
  • OGX
  • Olay
  • Old Spice
  • Palmolive
  • Pantene
  • Peter Thomas Roth
  • Redken
  • Redken
  • Schwartzkopf
  • Sebastian Professional
  • Sexy Hair
  • Tigi
  • V05
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Wella
  • Yves Rocher

Note that these are hair care-only brands and do not include brands that specialize in skin care or oral health.

Here are some tips for making informed choices:

  • Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on products. This logo means that the brand has been certified cruelty-free by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC).
  • Check the brand’s website for their cruelty-free policy.
  • Contact the brand directly to ask about their animal testing policies.
  • By taking the time to learn more about cruelty-free haircare, you can make choices that align with your values and help to end animal testing.

What Shampoo Brands Are Cruelty-Free?

With the rising demand for ethical products, choosing cruelty-free shampoos is crucial for many consumers. However, navigating the vast haircare landscape can be confusing, with many brands making claims that don’t always hold up.

Here’s a guide to some truly cruelty-free shampoo brands you can trust, along with important information to keep in mind:

  • Alba Botanica
  • Amika
  • Aussie
  • Avalon Organics
  • Aveda
  • BioSilk
  • Carol’s Daughter
  • Curlsmith
  • Deva Curl
  • Dove
  • Dr. Teal’s
  • Ecco Bella
  • Fable & Mane
  • Florence by Mills
  • Garnier
  • Hempz
  • Herbal Essence
  • IGK
  • Joico
  • Kenra
  • Kevin Murphy
  • Madison Reed
  • Moroccan Oil
  • Natura
  • Not Your Mother’s
  • Nubian Heritage
  • Olaplex
  • Oshun Organics
  • oVertone
  • Pacifica
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Prose
  • Pureology
  • Shea Moisture
  • Suave
  • Sun Bum
  • Tresemme
  • Yes To

This is not an exhaustive list, but it includes some of the most popular hair brands that are cruelty-free.


  • Certification matters: Look for PETA or Leaping Bunny certifications for guaranteed cruelty-free status.
  • Research individual lines: Some brands might have both certified and non-certified products, so check carefully.
  • Consider your needs: Choose shampoos formulated for your specific hair type and concerns.
  • Support the cause: By choosing cruelty-free brands, you contribute to a more ethical beauty industry.

Always do your own research and choose options that align with your values and haircare needs. Together, we can support ethical beauty practices while enjoying healthy, beautiful hair.

Final Thoughts: Is Pantene Cruelty-Free?

To wrap everything up with a neat little bow, Pantene is not completely cruelty-free. However, this is not to say that Pantene isn’t actively taking steps to become a cruelty-free brand.

It may just take a couple more years for them to get there. Sorry to break it to you, folks. Pantene won’t be considered cruelty-free until they make changes to avoid animal testing in countries like China and—likely—Russia. That is, by PETA standards.

Their suppliers will also need to completely phase out animal testing. It is also important to note that Pantene claims they are committed to working with governments to find alternatives.

Despite this, they are not listed on PETA’s (shockingly short) list for “Companies Working For Regulatory Change.” Which, let’s be honest, is a little fishy.

However, it does not mean there are no behind-the-scenes efforts being made on Pantene’s end towards being cruelty-free. We understand it can be disappointing for consumers to find out their go-to shampoo still inhumanely tests on animals.

That is why we provided lists of hair brands that are not cruelty-free and ones that are. If you enjoyed reading this article, check out the next article in the series: “Is Pantene Shampoo Chemical-Free?