TRESemmé Shampoo and Conditioner

And again, this is proving difficult. About a month ago, I neared the end of my shampoo and conditioner supply and knew that I would finally be able to replace the old Pantene Pro-V, a Proctor and Gamble product, with something from a cruelty-free company. I’ve written about Proctor & Gamble previously – they do test on animals. Instead of being smart about my replacements, however, I “saved on time” and went to the store without doing my research. Well, I did do research, on some other shampoo/conditioner companies, but their products are SOOO expensive for really small bottles. And I have thick, curly hair. So, while it is quite short at the moment, I still need to use more shampoo and conditioner than most people. Money does play a factor.

Anyway, while looking around the shelves at a drug store, I stumbled across TRESemmé. The back of their shampoo and conditioner bottles say THIS PRODUCT IS NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS. Awesome! I remember using these products as a kid and they seemed to work alright. Since I have been using this new combo, my hair does feel softer, which is a new feeling to me – thick, curly, hair doesn’t always lend itself to softness. My take on the product is that it is actually removing all my natural oils from my hair as well, because its definitely not been the same since switching. I don’t think I like that, personally.

As I set out to write my blog post this evening about this company that “doesn’t test on animals,” I wanted to make sure I had all the facts, so I did some research, and this is what I found on TRESemmé’s website (Unilever is their parent company):

Animal testing is a contentious issue, and there are strong and diverse opinions on the need for animal testing to underpin the development of new consumer products, particularly cosmetics. Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world. Where we are legally obliged to commission animal studies, we ensure that the minimum numbers of animals are used.

Unilever is committed to the elimination of animal testing for its business, and is at the forefront of research into non-animal approaches for assessing consumer safety. Currently, a very small amount of animal testing is still necessary to deliver innovative products that provide consumer benefits and are market competitive.

At Unilever, using non-animal approaches is the norm. Most of our products reach consumers without testing any of their ingredients on animals. We do not test our actual products on animals (any testing is undertaken on individual ingredients), and we do not undertake animal testing in our own laboratories (any studies are conducted by third party laboratories). A few countries still undertake product testing in their government laboratories. We are working with the local authorities to ensure the implementation of non-animal methods.

Unilever is working toward eliminating animal testing, but they’re not there yet, and their quotes about not testing their “actual” products on animals is a little sketchy, in my humble opinion. Unilever is also the parent company to a number of food brands and has this to say about Farm Animal Welfare:

Unilever recognises that many consumers do have concerns about animal welfare and we take these concerns seriously.

Accordingly, we encourage our suppliers to participate in initiatives to define good animal welfare practices and improvement programmes in the countries and/or regions where they are sourcing, processing and marketing products from animal origin. Good animal welfare practices should address issues such as housing, hygiene, feeding and feed, health management and the management of antibiotics, water supply, mutilations, transport, slaughtering practices and traceability.

Is anyone really keeping up on these practices? Or are they just paying lip service. I, honestly, don’t know and therefore, will not use their products.

Blerg, back to the drawing board I guess. Lesson learned: Do your research before hitting the stores. And sometimes, spending more money might be the only way to go. I’m dedicated to these changes in my life; guess I’ll have to find alternative ways to make more money. Anyone want to buy a cat? She comes complete with attitude. 😛


About alohastephsmile

I made a decision in the summer of 2011 to live a healthy, cruelty-free lifestyle. This is my journey.
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32 Responses to TRESemmé Shampoo and Conditioner

  1. Pingback: Cruelty-Free per the FDA | Healthy Cruelty-Free Living

  2. Pingback: Search for Soap | Healthy Cruelty-Free Living

  3. Sarah says:

    Products like this really confuse me. My St Ives says the same thing (another Unilever) but nothing on the website even says its cruelty-free. But how could they put that on the bottle if they do test? Gah. I’m so conflicted.

    • I feel the same way, Sarah. Unfortunately, there is nothing regulating what these companies can, or cannot, put on their product packaging. A lot of products say “final product” not tested on animals, this statement doesn’t include the ingredients used in the product. Sometimes the ingredients are tested on animals well before they hit that final product stage. Hopefully some day there will be better laws and regulations.

      • Nan Fariss says:

        I hate the statements the companies use that “some testing is necessary” ….plain bull!!!
        There are wonderful products WITHOUT testing of even the ingredients!!!! Just a cheap excuse to cover their behind and animals make such good victims!! They can only scream from the pain but cannot object to being used this way.
        Terrible people out there who make these excuses. Great example for NO ANIMALS BEING USED is “The Body Shop”!!!!
        Nan Fariss

  4. Patricia says:

    I just came across with your blog while i was doing my own research about treseme. Its sad to hear they do test on animals but believe me, there are a lot of cheap products out there that don’t test on animals, you just have to keep looking. Lovely post!!!

  5. Sue says:

    To be 100% sure that your purchases were in no way tested upon any animal, at any stage of development, only buy Leaping Bunny sanctioned products!


  6. Mich says:

    Tresemme used to be manufactured by another company Alberto Culver, this company never tested their ingredients or final products on animals. They were only “recently” taken over by unilever. Perhaps Unilever has left the product in it’s original form which would mean that although buying the product one is supporting a company that tests on animals, the product it’s self hasn’t been tested on animals? Which in our end of the world isn’t a bad compromise

  7. Very helpful – thank you!

  8. tabinekotaro says:

    Thanks for this information! I’ve been buying cruelty-free products for years, and am trying to be more frugal about my purchases, which led me to Tresemme, St. Ives, etc. The comments above regarding compromise are very practical. Unfortunately it is very difficult to avoid such compromises in today’s environment of mega-corporations. For example, Silk soy milk is a subsidiary of the dairy conglomerate Dean Foods, while Blue Diamond (maker of almond milk) is owned by Kraft. Just as in cruelty-free beauty products, there are other brands, but they may be less easily available and/or more expensive. I think everyone has to be as informed as they can be about what they are buying and do the best that they can given the resources available.

    • tabinekotaro says:

      I was incorrect about Blue Diamond. I know that it is off-topic to this post, but since I cited it as an example of a similar compromise, I don’t want to leave misinformation!

    • You are absolutely right. I’m afraid that this situation will just get worse as the world moves forward. Companies buying/absorbing other companies to the point where we could lose all completely cruelty-free companies and their subsidiaries. I truly hope that won’t be the case and that the world will become more conscientious and prefer the better options for the animals of the world. 🙂

  9. Andrea says:

    Hey, I try REALLY hard to have a cruelty-free household, I regulary check on the products I use, and it’s difficult. Tresseme was owned by Alberto-Culver, along with VO5 and some others. They have been bought by Uniliver as well as St. Ives, The No Animal Testing claim is gone now. I wrote them twice about this and received no response.

  10. Benita says:

    In my opinion, testing the ingredients on animals is no different than testing the final product. I stopped buying St Ives for the same reason. They say its for other countries. Well the “other countries” is China. It is disgusting.

  11. Elena says:

    I’m with you on the thick curly hair. Pantene works so well… but I won’t buy it. And I did the exact same thing you did. Checked the backs of products at the store and brought home TreSemme. My hair is now like straw. And here I read that they actually aren’t as cruelty free as the bottle mislead me to believe. Can anyone here recommend a shampoo and conditioner for thick curly hair that WORKS and isn’t tested on animals at all?

    • Hi Elena! I have found Desert Essence Tea Tree Replenishing Conditioner to work incredibly well for my overly curly hair. They are a cruelty free company, I just have yet to write about them. Maybe that will be my next post! Thank you for commenting.

  12. Tracy says:

    I just found this out about Tresemme too. Many of their products also contain animal ingredients. I’m going to try Organix. They take a strong cruelty free stand. Also read elsewhere that Trader Joes shampoo is cruelty free, inexpensive and really great.

  13. gracie says:

    You should try Yes To Carrots! It’s a natural shampoo that’s also cruelty free! There stuff is fairly priced too and free of all those bad chemicals.

  14. Helmi says:

    I’ve recently become invested in cruelty-free products. I also strongly prefer bargain hair products. I found that c.Booth and Freeman Beauty have multi-purpose washes, conditioners and hair masks under $10 and available at Ulta stores, Walgreens, CVS and select grocery stores. Their online shop is also very easy to use and quick! & CCIC approved)
    Happy Bunnies and Happy Shopping 🙂

  15. Pingback: Desert Essence Shampoo and Conditioner | Healthy Cruelty-Free Living

  16. Amanda says:

    I know this topics old, but a few years ago, I was in the same boat trying to find a shampoo/conditioner that wasn’t tested on animals. I wrote a bunch of companies to do my research. Garnier Fructis (not sure on spelling) hair products are tested on melons (don’t ask me how that works, but that is what the company replied to me. They said in no way was testing on animals something they were doing and they found a type of melon that responded the same way). So, they’re also a safe brand. Unless, they’ve been bought out since I did my research.

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