ALL THE VEGAN THINGS: SHOWER/HAIR CARE
Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo
This is my current go-to shampoo. It has a matching conditioner, but I have another that I pair with it instead because it rarely seems worth it to buy a large-sized conditioner with my length of hair. This shampoo smells like lemons, kind of in the neighbourhood of lemon cleaning products/candles. It really cleans your hair and scalp without stripping (it’s sulfate-free) and I’ve gotten it at both London Drugs and Winners for ~7$.
LUSH Veganese Conditioner
I LOVE this. It also smells of lemons, though more in a dessert kind of way. The best thing about it is it’s super light but actually conditions your hair. If you hair is short or fine or you just don’t like heavy conditioner, you will love this. Also, if you’re like me and use a lot less conditioner vs. shampoo, you can buy this in the baby size (100mL) for about 10$.
LUSH Rehab Shampoo
If you’re looking for another LUSH product, this is a nice, spicy smelling one. In addition, this is the only one I’m mentioning which contains sulfates. If a stronger cleaning agent doesn’t bother you, your hair isn’t colour-treated, or you prefer more lather, this is a good option.
Kiss My Face Whenever Shampoo and Conditioner
This was the first vegan shampoo/conditioner set I tried, and I loved it. I ended up trying others because this wasn’t available as widely when I moved back to Edmonton (I used to get it at Superstore in NS - I have since seen it at Winners and Save On Foods). The scent is described as green tea and lime, but it straight up smells like artisanal Mountain Dew. It’s really gentle, good for all hair types, and you get a large bottle for the price.
Giovanni Avocado and Olive Oil Shampoo and Conditioner
This is primarily available in health food stores, but it’s at Winners quite often, too. You get HUGE litre bottles (and at Winners they’re roughly 14$). I’d recommend this more for dry hair (it’s more on the creamy side) or if you like slightly more masculine scents (it’s not spicy, but the olive oil is prominent). Note: the bottle says “vegetarian ingredients” but the brand is entirely vegan apart from their lip balms.
Every Man Jack 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner
If you’re a dude, you like spicy, muskier scents, or you want a 2-in-1 that’s actually conditioning, these are a good bet. They’re available in health food stores, but are much cheaper (10$ range) at some drugstores. I’ve tried both the citrus and sandalwood versions, and I like the citrus one a hair more (ha). It’s important to note that these are very thick and rich, kind of clear and goopy in formula, which may or may not appeal to you.
Briogio Be Gentle, Be Kind/Rose R’Darco Shampoo and Conditioner
I got a sample of the Rose D’Arco conditioner in a subscription box, and I eventually got the Be Gentle, Be Kind shampoo for half off at Winners. This is the priciest option I’m recommending (regular price is ~35$), but I know there are people who enjoy hair/skin care from Sephora, and this is one of the few CF + vegan options. These are very gentle and smell lovely. I wouldn’t say they’re definitely “better” than the others I’ve recommended, but if you like to treat yourself with such things, it’s a lovely experience every time.
LUSH Dirty Springwash Shower Gel
Okay, so I’m OBSESSED with this. I finally bought the very large size after using several small ones incredibly sparingly. I believe this is marketed as “for men” (the cashier asked if it was for my dad) but seriously, this smells like everything good and lovely in the world. The overall note is spearmint, but it’s not that harsh, sharp minty smell you’re used to. There’s an herbal undertone to it that just makes you feel super clean and ready for anything.
Also, as a migraine sufferer, this stuff is incredibly therapeutic when I’ve got a terrible headache. You may have heard that mint helps soothe migraines (Saje has a temple/head dauber for this). It’s become my go-to to take a shower with this (in complete darkness if possible) when I feel a migraine coming on.
LUSH Happy Hippy Shower Gel
If you like LUSH shower gels but don’t want the greatest scent ever devised (ahem), this is also a good option. It’s basically a classic, squeaky clean grapefruit scent. V. summery.
Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Body Wash
This was a “I’ve run out of body wash and only have access to a Wal-Mart” find. After some quick googling, I found that these are indeed vegan and very reasonably priced (I think about 8$ for a large bottle). The scent I’ve used most is lavender (there’s also a eucalyptus), and for me, it has that pleasantly medicinal quality. It also lathers really nicely and is the one I don’t feel bad about using a lot of because it’s less expensive. And I like the old-timey medicine show look to the bottle. (these are the hard-hitting reasons behind my purchases).
Kiss My Face Active Athletic Shower Gel
Similar to my comments on the shampoo/conditioner, this was the first CF+ vegan body wash I tried. I forget the actual scent description, but it smells like hand-crafted root beer. So basically if you like washing your hair and body with soda, give KMF a try.
Giovanni Avocado and Olive Oil Body Wash
My only complaint is that the packaging for the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash all looks exactly the same, and I have definitely applied various products to questionable places in my early morning stupor. But apart from that, it’s very moisturizing and soothing. Again, look for this at Winners (and read the labels carefully!)
Every Man Jack Body Wash
This has the exact same scent options as the 2-in-1, so if you like those, you will presumably like these. They have that same goopy, clear texture, and the scent lingers on your body a lot more than most of these other options.
Kiss My Face Moisture Shave
While I don’t currently use shaving cream, I liked this one a lot when I did. It has a pump and the formula is really interesting, kind of runny and almost oily. It reminded me of using conditioner as shaving cream, except that it coated the skin a lot more evenly. I’ve only used the fragrance-free version, but there are scented ones, too.
LUSH No Drought Dry Shampoo
While not technically a shower product, this does fall under hair care. I haven’t come across any CF + vegan dry shampoo at drugstore level, nor do I believe there are any widely available non-aerosol ones even in more expensive ranges (Drybar has foam/spray ones but they are very pricey).
As a migraine sufferer, I steered clear of dry shampoo in general for a long time because strong scents near my face can trigger headaches. When I saw this at LUSH, I decided to give it a try and I probably use it a couple times a week now.
It is basically a cornstarch powder with lemon/lime oils for a light scent. It doesn’t really give texture the way some dry shampoos do, but it removes enough oil to make my hair feel fresh, and it’s not totally sticky and gross by the end of the day either. Plus it cost about 9$ and I’ve barely made a dent in it over 6 months.
That’s it for shower/hair care. If you love something in there or want to try it, do let me know. And stay tuned for skin care, body care, makeup, and food versions of this in the future!