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Is Tresemme Cruelty-Free?

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Tresemme is Not a Cruelty-Free Brand

Recently Kalyn Nicholson, an outspoken vegan vlogger and Youtuber, with almost 1 million subscribers, made a video tutorial of 3 Springtime hairstyles that was sponsored by Tresemme. Although in her introduction, she admits that she hasn’t gone 100% cruelty-free yet with all of her beauty products but she implies in the video that after her research, she believes Tresemme to be a cruelty-free brand.

…as a very quick disclaimer, as you guys know I try to keep the products that I use on a day-to-day basis as cruelty-free as possible. Now I’m not saying that I’m 100% cruelty-free. I always like to do research with the brands that I am working with before I ever jump on board with anything. ~Kalyn Nicholson

This post is not an attack on Kalyn, I love watching her videos but I wanted to clear things up because Tresemme shouldn’t be implied to being a cruelty-free brand and Unilever (the parent company of Tresemme) is misleading their customers into believing they care about animals.

The animal testing statement that Kalyn links in the description box of her video is to Unilever’s Developing Alternative Approaches to Animal TestingIt’s a rather long statement which I go into detail about it here and explain why Unilever isn’t cruelty-free.

But I managed to find another (and more condensed) animal testing statement on Tresemme’s very own website.

What is Tresemme Animal Testing Policy?

Tresemme's Animal Testing Policy

It is very clear from this statement that they (Unilever and Tresemme) commission animal testing for their ingredients to third party laboratories, in order to sell in certain countries that require safety data from animal tests.

They actually use 3 out of 5 of the cruelty-free loopholes that I cover in this post.

1. They say “we do not test our products on animals” when they test their individual ingredients on animals instead.

2. They say “we do not test on animals” when in fact, they ask and pay others to test on their behalf

3. They say “Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world” to make it sound like it’s out of their control when in fact, Unilever (and Tresemme) have full control over which countries they want to distribute their products in.

Does Tresemme Sell in China?

One of the countries that still require animal testing for imported cosmetics is China. In both statements from Unilever’s and Tresemme’s website, they never explicitly state that they sell in China. So I am unable to confirm whether or not Tresemme products are available for sale in China.

However they do state that “a few countries still undertake product testing in their government laboratories” which I can only speculate that Tresemme is sold in China. It is certain that they are selling in countries that require animal testing, whether if that country is China is unclear.

Tresemme is Not Cruelty-Free!

Regardless and based on Tresemme and Unilever’s animal testing statements, these brands are far from being cruelty-free where

  • their ingredients are tested on animals,
  • they ask others to test on animals on their behalf, and
  • they are choosing to sell their products in countries that have them pay for animal tests.

I was happy to hear that Kalyn does her own research before choosing who to work with. But it’s just as important to use different sources other than relying and trusting the people who are trying to sell you their products.

For other cruelty-free hair styling brand options, I’d suggest Giovanni, Paul Mitchell, Yarok, and EVOLVh.

Photo by hongatar, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

12 Responses
  • Madie
    January 8, 2018

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been using Tresemme for years because I believed they were not involved in animal testing. I recently heard otherwise and decided to research it again, obviously I didn’t do my research well the first time. You are a great writer, thank you!

  • Skyla
    July 21, 2017

    Peta have a good list of cruelty free products on their website. I have also just downloaded an app called bunny free which seems to give pretty accurate results.

  • Stephanie
    February 9, 2017

    I’m so disappointed to know they test on animals.

  • Ado
    May 13, 2016

    Bravo!! I’m fed up with people buying all the propaganda about certain brands being cruelty free when their parent companies are not! The money ends up in the same place, so no difference.

    Thanks, Vicky, for speaking the truth =)

  • Caitlin
    May 11, 2016

    it can be so difficult to know for sure if a company is cruelty-free. for individuals not well versed in understanding the language, what to look for, and the ways companies can disguise their animal testing policies, it’s like reading a different language. i can understand how kalyn could be ok with being sponsored by tresemme, especially if she is not 100% committed to using cruelty-free products.

    on a side note, i find it humorous when people claim to love tresemme because, back in the day before i was a conscious consumer and my mom would buy whatever was on sale at the supermarket, i freakin hated tresemme- the smell was terrible and it made my hair look dry and frizzy. maybe their product has improved in the last 15 years…

    • Vicky Ly
      May 11, 2016

      exactly! there are so many people (like Kalyn) who are honestly trying to make informed cruelty-free choices but get these ambiguous responses from companies and misled into believing they don’t test or condone animal testing when that’s far from the truth.

      I know exactly what you mean.. I grew up using Tresemme too! because my mom always bought it and I’d just take it off her table haha. Man, that stuff was awful to use.

  • Erin
    May 10, 2016

    Companies are so tricky with their wording! I can’t stand it. I had someone tell me L’Oréal was cruelty free once and they genuinely believed that they were due to the way their testing stance is worded. It makes me so angry! We need regulations for the term “Cruelty free”!

    • Vicky Ly
      May 11, 2016

      I know!! It’s so frustrating! Even when you personally reach out to some of these companies.. they’ll have some sort of cut and paste response that they tell customers whenever someone asks about their animal testing policy!

      It’s also kind of hard to tell who is actually believing their words versus who is just using it as an excuse to keep buying from them. Because I know that despite my article disputing all of Tresemme’s cruelty-free claims.. there’s gonna be a handful of people that aren’t willing to accept the truth and will continue to buy their products =(

      Ahh.. I dream for a cruelty-free world!

  • Phyrra
    May 9, 2016

    I’m so tired of brands using misleading text to imply that animal testing isn’t done, that the brand isn’t doing it itself, and that they’re not responsible for it. Animal testing isn’t required by law in the USA, but they make it sound like it is required ‘in a very small amount’ when in fact they’re choosing to sell in countries that require animal testing. Good on you for pulling out the facts!

    • Vicky Ly
      May 11, 2016

      YES! I totally agree! =)

      Whether these companies are testing 99% or 1% of their products/ingredients on animals.. it’s STILL called animal testing!! It drives me crazy when companies try to downplay it and claim only a small portion is tested on animals.

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