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Is Alterna Cruelty Free and Vegan? (2022 Update)

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Alterna is not cruelty free. This means that their products are tested on animals.

Additionally, Alterna is not 100% vegan as a brand because their products contain animal-derived ingredients or by-products. 

If you’d like to learn more about this brand and find out why they’re not cruelty free, keep on reading!

And if you’re looking for new cruelty free products to add to your hair care routine, make sure to check out the last section of this post where you’ll find some of the best Alterna cruelty free alternatives.

Let’s dive right in!

Is Alterna cruelty free? Are Alterna products tested on animals?

Alterna is NOT cruelty free.

In order to be cruelty free, brands:

  • Must not test their finished products or ingredients on animals
  • Must make sure that their suppliers don’t test on animals
  • Must not commission third parties to test their products on animals
  • Must not sell their products in stores in mainland China, or other countries where animal testing is still required by law

Alterna doesn’t have an official animal testing policy. However, they do have a page on their website where they have some more information regarding animal testing and the vegan status of one product line – “My Hair. My Canvas.”:

Finally, we’ve just achieved another significant milestone — My Hair. My Canvas. is now officially certified by PETA to be cruelty free, as none of our products are animal-tested.

Source: Alterna

So, in 2020, Alterna launched a new product line called My Hair. My Canvas. Within that specific product line, they only use vegan ingredients and don’t test on animals.

Because there wasn’t enough information, I reached out to this brand regarding the cruelty free status of the entire brand, and this is the answer (I’ve highlighted the important parts):

We aim to answer all questions about the safety of our products and the ingredients we use without any animal testing.

Wherever legally possible, we demonstrate the safety of our products and the ingredients we use through existing data or through accepted alternative test methods, thus avoiding animal testing.

Henkel only ever uses such tests if required by legal regulations or if no accepted alternative test methods are available for obtaining the necessary safety data.

• Naturally, at the same time, we comply with legal regulations that do not allow animal testing, e.g. testing in order to meet the requirements of the EU legislation on cosmetics.

• We would very much like to be able to answer all questions about the safety of our products and the ingredients we use without any animal testing at all. Unfortunately, however, it is not yet possible to avoid animal testing completely: This is because legally acceptable alternative test methods are not yet available for all safety aspects, and alternative test methods are not able to answer all questions relating to safety.

• We have been working intensively for more than three decades on the development of alternative methods to obtain the necessary safety data without animal testing. Significant examples include tests on cell systems – known as in-vitro methods ‏(Latin: “in glass”).

source: email communication with Alterna

So, Alterna admits that their products or ingredients are tested on animals where required by law.

Therefore, Alterna is not cruelty free.

Keep on reading for more information!

Is Alterna sold in China?

Alterna is sold in mainland China where animal testing is still required by law.

Why can’t cruelty free brands sell in mainland China?

Animal testing is still happening for products sold in physical stores in mainland China.

Pre-market animal testing is required for all special-use imported products, and non-routine post-market testing on animals may also be done in cases of customer complaints.

However, please keep in mind that this doesn’t apply to products sold in stores at the airports, or in Hong Kong.

Also, products can be sold online and shipped to mainland China without being tested on animals.

Is Alterna owned by a parent brand? If yes, is it cruelty free?

Alterna is owned by Henkel, a company that isn’t cruelty free.

Is Alterna vegan?

Alterna is not 100% vegan.

They have some products (and an entire product line) that don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients or animal by-products, and they’re appropriately labeled as vegan. 

However, please note that since Alterna products are tested on animals in China and are therefore not cruelty free, I wouldn’t consider them vegan-friendly.

Cruelty free and vegan alternatives to Alterna

Alterna is a beauty brand focused on hair care products.

There are so many beauty brands that are cruelty free! That’s why, in my opinion, there’s really no excuse for supporting brands that test on animals.

Some of the best cruelty free alternatives to Alterna are:




It’s A 10

Shea Moisture



Now it’s your turn!

What are your favorite cruelty free brands?

Let me know in the comments below!

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