Wella Professionals

Last Updated: October 24, 2022

Is Wella Professionals Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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 Wella’s ethics and initiatives.

Ethical Analysis

Is Wella cruelty-free or vegan? We’ve got the answers here! Read below for more details on Wella’s policies.
Wella is NOT Cruelty-Free. Wella engages in animal testing by allowing its products to be animal-tested.
Yes, Wella sells its products in stores in mainland China under conditions where animal testing is still legally required.
Wella claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Wella engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Wella to be vegan.

Wella Professionals

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Wella is NOT Cruelty-Free!

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

Wella’s Animal Testing Policy

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

So I reached out to Wella 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 Wella 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 the response I received from Wella, the company states that some governments stipulate the testing of finished products on animals in accordance with local regulatory requirements.

Policies stating “some governments require animal testing” and 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 Wella Sold in China?

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

But Doesn’t China No Longer Test on Animals?

Companies can bypass China’s pre-market animal testing by choosing to manufacture their ordinary or general cosmetics in China, but it’s not stated anywhere that Wella 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) are still required by law to be tested on animals in 2022.

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

For those reasons, we would not consider Wella to be cruelty-free by our standards.

Cruelty-Free Policies

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

At ethical elephant, we always assess a company’s cruelty-free policy using our Cruelty-Free Checklist. This ensures no animal testing was performed by the brand itself, its suppliers, or by any third parties, including when required by law.

See below for our complete cruelty-free checklist. Since Wella already does not meet the last two, we cannot classify the brand as being cruelty-free.

Complete Cruelty-Free Checklist

Is Wella Certified Cruelty-Free?

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

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

Is Wella Owned By A Non-Cruelty-Free Parent Company?

Yes. Wella is owned by Wella Company, a parent corporation that still engages in animal testing in 2022.

Some cruelty-free consumers may choose to purchase and support cruelty-free brands owned by animal-tested parent corporations as they hope it will convince the parent company to become cruelty-free.

But in this case, Wella is NOT cruelty-free and neither is its parent corporation, Wella Company.

Is Wella Cruelty-Free?

To sum up, by choosing to sell in mainland China, Wella must have its products tested on animals. Therefore, we would NOT consider Wella to be a cruelty-free brand.

Currently, Wella is on our List of Brands to Avoid – Animal Tested.

Is Wella Vegan?

Wella claims to offer some “vegan” options that are free of animal-derived ingredients, but because Wella engages in animal testing, we wouldn’t classify anything sold or produced by Wella 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 Wella:

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

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