Veganism is a big trend that seems to be here to stay. Now companies are jumping on the band wagon by creating vegan products. I recently received some products from L’Oréal Professionnel’s new vegan line, Source Essentielle – so the questions is, are they doing it just to cater to a specific market or does the company plan to eventually be completely animal-product free?
I’m not vegan, and I was naively unaware of all the animal products that go into things like shampoo. Did you know that plastic bags have stearic acid which stops bags from sticking to each other, and comes from the rendering of beef fat?! I had no idea. Crayons also have stearic acid in them. And many shampoos have keratin which can come from animal hooves, hair, horns, and scales.
A lot of questions come up that I don’t have answers to yet which is why I can’t take a stand on vegan versus non-vegan products. For starters, when using animal products, are they culling animals in order to get the hair or are they getting it from animals that have already been killed for other more sustainable purposes (ie. using the whole cow for food as well)? Just what is the responsible use of animal products, if any? Also, what are vegan companies adding to their products to make up for the animal product that was in it?
It’s a tricky conversation for another time. For now, I’ll just speak specifically on what it’s been like for me to use the L’Oréal products, and what I know about them. For one, all L’Oréal products sold in Canada are manufactured in Canada. So that’s cool. And the company doesn’t do any animal testing, which is awesome.
What are the products like?
Jasmine Flower & Sesame Oil Shampoo
The shampoo has a nice, soft, natural type of smell. It’s rather subtle, so if you’re looking for something with a lot of punch this won’t do it for you. I prefer a lighter scent (intense ones give me a headache), so it works for me. It does make your hair quite squeaky because it cleans it quite well and doesn’t have any silicone (which is a good thing because silicone tends to build up on your hair), so you definitely want to use the conditioner after to make your hair feel softer.
What’s cool about the shampoo bottles is that they have an indent on the bottom so that they can be stacked on top of each other. This saves space which is better for shipping because there’s less packaging (a win for the environment).
It does seem like I need to wash my hair a little more frequently using this shampoo, but perhaps the natural oils in my hair just aren’t being stripped as much as other shampoos, which may actually be a good thing.
The product is made with 96% naturally originating ingredients which is obviously good, but they still needed to use some synthetic products to preserve the integrity of product. Good, but not perfect.
Sesame Oil Nourishing Balm
The conditioner, or nourishing balm as they call it, is lovely. My hair feels really nice and soft after conditioning. I have a lot of hair so I have to use a fair amount, but I’m used to that. It’s slightly less convenient to apply than the shampoo because you can’t just squeeze the bottle. You need to open the lid and put some on your finger, then close it again. It’s not a big deal, just a slight inconvenience.
This one is made of 99% naturally derived ingredients, which is a lot better. Still not perfect, but certainly close. The scent is subtle and natural.
Lavender & Everlasting Flowers Infusion Radiance Oil
I love the oil. You hardly need any at all – I have very long hair and still only use about 2-4 drops. With that said, make sure you don’t use very much! The back of the bottle says to use 3-6 drops, but I’d start with less, especially if you have short hair, and see how it looks and feels first. Otherwise your hair may seem really greasy. Less is more with this product. That means the bottle will go a long way which is great. It gives my hair a nice shine – something my hair is begging for with all the bleach and sun damage! (What can I say, I love the sun. I’m permanently chasing summer). It has a gentle lavender, coconut & sunflower seed oil smell, which is quite lovely.
The oil is made from 100% natural ingredients. Awesome.
When L’Oréal gave me the products, they handed everything to me in this cute reusable cotton bag. It would have been really ironic if they’d given us a plastic bag to carry everything in, so that was definitely satisfying. It’s obviously a lot better for the environment. I also found out that you can refill the shampoo at any salons that carry Source products. And all the bottles are made from 100% recycled material that you can recycle as well.
Overall, the products are good and are certainly more natural than your average shampoo and conditioner. The company is making the effort to go vegan which is also quite cool. I need to do more research on vegan practices and animal products in order to accurately discuss just how well L’Oréal is doing on that front, but at least I can say they’re making an effort. Well done.
Try out the products and let me know what you think!