Is Paul Mitchell Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

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Is Paul Mitchell Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

Paul Mitchell is an American manufacturer of professional hair care products and has a longstanding commitment to ending animal testing globally but is Paul Mitchell still cruelty-free and vegan?

Is Paul Mitchell Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Paul Mitchell is Cruelty-free! None of Paul Mitchell’s ingredients, formulations, or finished products are tested on animals, anywhere in the world.

Paul Mitchell has confirmed they do not test their products or ingredients on animals, they do not allow others to test on their behalf, and their suppliers also do not test on animals.

Below is what’s currently stated on Paul Mitchell’s website:

Paul Mitchell's animal testing policy

Paul Mitchell Sold in China?

Several cruelty-free consumers have informed me that Paul Mitchell is now selling their products in China but claim to still be cruelty-free.

Here is what’s currently stated on Paul Mitchell’s website:

Paul Mitchell Sold in China?

I emailed and asked Paul Mitchell how they were able to market select Paul Mitchell products in China while bypassing China’s animal testing requirements.

They informed me that with the China FDA’s cooperation, they agreed to test a small selection of products for approval without the normal animal testing required and as a result, Paul Mitchell was granted approval to market a select offering of Paul Mitchell and their Tea Tree products in China without animal testing.

“Thank you for your inquiry. In 2012, John Paul Mitchell Systems® partnered with an American company that is at the forefront of tissue engineering and is a world leader in the production of innovative 3D reconstructed human tissue models. Their innovative use of non-animal (in-vitro) testing had the powerful synergistic effect of lower costs and significantly improved product safety.  

John Paul Mitchell Systems® brought a group of respected scientists from China to work side by side and train with their team and, as a result, the China FDA accepted the impressive results and reproducibility of the non-animal test alternatives and agreed to test a small selection of products for approval without the normal animal testing required. Subsequently, we were granted approval to market a select offering of Paul Mitchell® and Tea Tree products in China—without animal testing.  
Due to the hard work and dedication of the team, and in compliance with local laws, John Paul Mitchell Systems® is now able to service hairstylists and guests in China while maintaining its core corporate value of zero animal testing. Thanks to years of research and diligence, John Paul DeJoria’s steadfast commitment to providing the finest-quality, cruelty-free professional products continues today.    

According to co-founder and Chairman of the Board John Paul DeJoria, “Since the Paul Mitchell brand was founded in 1980, we have always adhered to our strict no-animal testing policy and will continue to do so in the future. We are proud to be the first professional beauty company to announce that we don’t conduct or condone animal testing.” 

I then asked about the issue of post-market animal testing where Chinese officials will pull product off from store shelves and test them on animals and this is often done without the company’s knowledge or consent.

Paul Mitchell reassured their products are not subject to post-market animal tests in China and stated, “As long as the products are properly registered and shipped to approved outlets, they will not test.”

It’s from my understanding that Paul Mitchell is only offering a small selection of their approved products to specific outlets in China, specifically for use in hair salons or by hairstylists in China and therefore these products are not required to be tested on animals.

Paul Mitchell is included on our List of Cruelty-Free Brands.

You can find Paul Mitchell products on Amazon and Ulta.

Is Paul Mitchell Vegan?

Not all of Paul Mitchell’s products are vegan as some of their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products. However, Paul Mitchell does have some vegan options.

Please reference below for a list of Paul Mitchell vegan products.

Which of Paul Mitchell Products is Vegan?

Below is a list of Paul Mitchell products that are suitable for vegans and do not contain any animal-derived ingredients or by-products.

You can also find out which of their products are vegan as they’re labelled accordingly on their website under each product description.

Shampoo – Paul Mitchell Vegan

Conditioner – Paul Mitchell Vegan

Hair + Scalp Treatments – Paul Mitchell Vegan

Hair Styling Products – Paul Mitchell Vegan

Skin Care + Body – Paul Mitchell Vegan

Hair Color – Paul Mitchell Vegan

  • All Paul Mitchell Professional Hair Color products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients and are 100% vegan, including the color XG, The Demi, and The POP XG.

This vegan product list is updated as frequently as possible, please be aware that formulations may have changed since the publication of this post. If you have new information to suggest one of the above products isn’t vegan, please email me at info@ethicalelephant.com to let me know.


Not Vegan – Paul Mitchell

The following Paul Mitchell products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products and are not suitable for vegans. This non-vegan product list was provided by Paul Mitchell.

  • Flexible Style ESP – not vegan
  • Flexible Style Spray Wax – not vegan
  • Tea Tree Grooming Pomade – not vegan
  • Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner – not vegan
  • Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Spray – not vegan
  • Tea Tree Scalp Care Anti-Thinning Tonic – not vegan
  • MITCH Matterial – not vegan
  • MVRCK (all products) – not vegan
  • Awapuhi Wild Ginger (all products) – not vegan
  • Marula Rare Oil 3-in-1 Styling Cream – not vegan
  • Marula Rare Oil Style Extending Primer – not vegan
  • InvisibleWear (all products) – not vegan

Is Paul Mitchell Ethical?

Based in: US

Products Manufactured in: Paul Mitchell styling tools are manufactured in China and their liquid lines are manufactured throughout the US.

Sustainability & Environmental Initiatives: Paul Mitchell states, “We’ve searched the world for natural and sustainable ingredients, from establishing a solar-powered awapuhi farm in Hawaii to wild-harvesting marula oil, a beauty secret from Africa. […] We pride ourselves on being eco-conscious and environmentally friendly as we continually search for sustainable ingredients and work toward adopting the most current green practices in packaging and supply chain.”

Eco-Friendly Packaging Initiatives: Paul Mitchell states, “This year, we’re taking our commitment to reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling up a notch. We already use recyclable and/or post-consumer recycled (or PCR) material in all of our paper-based packaging, but we’re very excited to announce that, starting this year, Tea Tree will begin phasing in post-consumer recycled packaging for all bottles, tubes and pucks!”

Giving Back Initiatives: Paul Mitchell has a long list of charities and causes that they have and continue to support over the years. “John Paul Mitchell Systems® and Paul Mitchell Schools have donated millions of dollars to hundreds of philanthropic causes: from environmental protection to children’s charities and human rights.”

Ingredients and Formulations Claims: Some of Paul Mitchell products claim to be Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, or Sulfate-Free, but not all, check their website’s product description to see each product’s claims.

I’d love to know, what are some of Paul Mitchell products you would recommend?

What do you think?

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4 Comments
  • Molly Butler
    July 27, 2017

    I checked Leaping Bunny and they don’t come up on the list. It also stated that they didn’t recommit to the program. Of course, this was last year, so maybe it’s different this year. I’m not sure if that means anything or not. Ugh. What to do? Also, as a recent convert to veganism, I want to thank you for all the time and effort you put in to this site. It’s been soooo helpful to me.

“Make ethical choices in what we buy, do, and watch. In a consumer-driven society our individual choices, used collectively for the good of animals and nature, can change the world faster than laws.”― Marc Bekoff

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Is Paul Mitchell Cruelty-Free and Vegan?