Sebastian (Wella)

Last Updated: March 15, 2023

How Ethical Is Sebastian (Wella)?

Make a positive impact by supporting companies with the same values and ethics as what matters most to you. To navigate and find ethical brands, here's a summary of Sebastian's ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Sebastian Professional cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Sebastian’s policies.
Sebastian Professional is NOT Cruelty-Free. Sebastian Professional engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Sebastian Professional sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Since Sebastian Professional’s products are animal-tested, we wouldn’t consider anything sold or produced by Sebastian Professional to be vegan.

About Sebastian (Wella)

Sebastian Professional provides iconic and globally recognized hair products.

Sebastian (Wella)

This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

Sebastian Professional is NOT Cruelty-Free!

Sebastian Professional allows its products or ingredients to be tested on animals when required by law including when selling in stores in mainland China.

Sebastian’s Animal Testing Policy

While researching to learn more about Sebastian Professional’s cruelty-free status, I couldn’t find its official animal testing policy anywhere on its website.

So I reached out to Sebastian Professional to ask for more information about their animal testing policy. More specifically, I wanted to know if they commission or allow others to test their products/ingredients on animals, including when selling in countries that require animal testing (like in mainland China).

And Sebastian Professional responded by saying:

“Thank you for your inquiry. At Wella Company, we do not test our products on animals and are committed to ending animal testing across our industry.

All our products are safe and have been developed, manufactured and packaged in compliance with the laws, regulations and guidelines applicable in each country in which they are sold.

Wella Company’s human safety experts review our ingredients, as well as the finished products, by applying the best science, based on the use of recognized alternatives to animal testing, existing safety data and the sharing of such data with other parties and industries.

Some governments or agencies stipulate the testing of finished products on animals in accordance with local legal and regulatory requirements. An example is China, where we continue to be involved in the dialogue with the Chinese authorities, including through our active membership of industry groups, to find alternatives to their use of animal testing.

Based on their response, it turns out that Wella owns Sebastian Professional. And Sebastian has the same animal testing policy as Wella Company. Both Wella and Sebastian Professional state they don’t test their products on animals but then state China’s animal testing regulations.

Policies stating China’s animal testing laws usually imply the company is selling its products in mainland China. That’s because cosmetics sold in stores in mainland China are required by law to be tested on animals.

Is Sebastian Professional Sold in China?

In my research, I discovered that Sebastian Professional products are indeed sold in stores in mainland China.

Below is a screenshot of Sebastian Professional store locator showing results in mainland China:

Sebastian Professional sold in China - NOT Cruelty-Free!
Source: Sebastian Professional’s website

But Doesn’t China No Longer Tests on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture its ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that Sebastian Professional has taken this route.

Additionally, the possibility of post-market animal testing is not completely ruled out and may be conducted on some cosmetics sold in physical stores in China.

As of May 1, 2021, cosmetic companies can also export and sell their ordinary or general cosmetics in China without animal testing only if they meet a set of preconditions first. However, meeting these conditions has proven difficult, and it’s still unclear what exactly is accepted according to the new regulations. So there’s no word yet of any company that has successfully done so.

Follow the highlighted lines in the graphic below to see why most cosmetics sold in China (like Wella and Sebastian) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

Because Sebastian Professional and Wella decided to sell in mainland China stores, they must consent and pay to have their products tested on animals. That’s why most cosmetics brands selling in mainland China cannot be considered cruelty-free in 2022.

Although Sebastian Professional may not be conducting these animal tests themselves, they knowingly allow Chinese authorities to test their products on animals to sell in China.

Many truly cruelty-free brands have chosen not to sell their products in China because of its animal testing laws. Unfortunately, Wella and Sebastian Professional refuse to do the same and therefore cannot be considered cruelty-free.

Is Sebastian Professional Certified Cruelty-Free?

Sebastian Professional is not certified cruelty-free by any third-party cruelty-free certifications like Leaping Bunny or PETA.

Because Sebastian Professional is not certified cruelty-free by a third party, no one is looking into or substantiating Sebastian’s cruelty-free commitments and claims.

Is Sebastian Professional Vegan?

Since we would not consider Sebastian Professional to be cruelty-free as their products are tested on animals when required by law, we also wouldn’t consider anything sold or manufactured by Sebastian Professional to be vegan.

In order for products to be considered vegan by ethical elephant’s standards, the products and their ingredients must not be tested on animals anywhere in the world. Also, they must not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

Cruelty-Free Alternatives to Sebastian Professional

Looking to switch to cruelty-free hair products? Here are some cruelty-free brands to check out:

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