March 25, 2022

Is KEVIN.MURPHY The Cruelty-Free and Vegan Haircare Brand We Love?

KEVIN.MURPHY is a luxury haircare brand that considers itself a leader in sustainable beauty that delivers results. But, what does this mean for our animals? Are there cruelty-free and vegan policies reliable?  

Kevin Murphy is cruelty-free. It doesn't conduct animal testing on its products, nor does it distribute its cosmetics where animal testing is required by law. Kevin Murphy does offer a range of vegan hair care and hair styling products, but it is not considered a vegan brand.

KEVIN.MURPHY is named after its founder, a hairstylist with salon and editorial fashion experience. This Australian brand launched in 2004 with seven products – all of which encompassed fashion, performance, and environment as its core values.

It’s no wonder that KEVIN.MURPHY took off since the products were designed with more than just conventional haircare in mind. The brand disrupted the market when it used the advancements being made in skincare at the time to really up its game.

Sources estimate that KEVIN.MURPHY’s annual revenue is sitting at $76.8 million.

Before deciding on what to buy, here's what you need to know about KEVIN.MURPHY current animal testing policies, vegan ranges, formulation, and sustainability.

Is KEVIN.MURPHY Cruelty-Free and Vegan?

KEVIN.MURPHY is 100% Cruelty-Free

It does not:

  • Test any of its products or ingredients on animals;
  • Purchase any ingredients tested on animals within its supply chain; or
  • Distribute its products to any countries that require animal testing by law.

KEVIN.MURPHY is PETA certified and states on their website that they avoid using any ingredient that will harm or damaged animals.

The brand is owned by founder Kevin Murphy who isn’t associated with any animal testing as far as the public knows.

This brings us to our next point:


Although the brand is not entirely vegan, KEVIN.MURPHY has an extensive range of vegan products from which to choose.

We love their pro-vegan attitude – but it would be even better if their products could be labeled more clearly.

KEVIN.MURPHY only has a blog page where it discloses which of its products are vegan.


Taken from

The brand does not have any symbol or marker to help customers identify a vegan product as they select it online (which would make life much easier).

Some of the most common animal-derived ingredients that KEVIN.MURPHY uses are:

  • Honey and beeswax both these ingredients pose many health benefits to your skin and wellbeing. They have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are loaded with essential vitamins.
  • Silk Amino Acids (or Sericin) – are extracted from raw, unprocessed silk made by silkworms. It has a level of serine, excellent for moisture retention and preservation.

    It minimizes the effects of aging when taken as a supplement by reducing dryness and the formation of new wrinkles.

If you're interested in which products are vegan or finding vegan brand alternatives – keep reading or click on this link: KEVIN.MURPHY vegan products.

Animal Testing Policy and History

KEVIN.MURPHY has been cruelty-free since launching.

Reports from 2011 show that KEVIN.MURPHY’s cruelty-free accreditation from PETA was only awarded later in the brand's history.

Since 2015, the COLOUR.ME joined PETA’s Beauty Without Bunnie's designation. We applaud any brand that takes steps towards improving in this way.

Cruelty-Free Status in 2021

Here is a screenshot of KEVIN.MURPHY’s official statement regarding its cruelty-free policies and vegan products, taken from their website:

KEVIN.MURPHY Cruelty-Free Claim


Currently, KEVIN.MURPHY is PETA-approved which is not a bad start.

But we would love to see more certification from them since it’s a proudly cruelty-free brand.

While you might know PETA very well – it surprisingly doesn't hold the strictest cruelty-free regulations out there. It seems to only require a brand's written consent that abides by the PETA code of conduct.

Certification from Leaping Bunny is ideal because it holds rigorous standards and does regular audits to ensure they are upheld.

The Leaping Bunny association’s strict and reliable regulations stipulate that:

  • No animal testing is conducted on the ingredients, formulas, or final products they sell.
  • No animal testing is conducted by the brand suppliers or on their ingredients or formulas.
  • No animal testing is done by someone else that the company itself paid for.
  • Any other form of testing (beyond ingredient and consumer safety), such as worker safety and environmental health, are considered and evaluated.

But some certification is better than nothing at all.

If you see a bunny stamp at the back of your product bottle – that's an excellent sign. But don't be fooled by the image itself.

A lot of brands are using fake logos to fool consumers.

Do your homework and see which products are genuinely cruelty-free first. This article will help you: Which Cruelty-Free Logos Can You Trust?

Is KEVIN.MURPHY Sold Where Animal Testing is Required By Law? 

KEVIN.MURPHY does not distribute any of its products to China or any country that requires animal testing on any cosmetics by law.

China has a shocking track record. It is the country with the most amount of animal testing globally, with over 20 million animals used per year.

However, if you live in China or are concerned about its cruel beauty policies, there are a couple of loopholes to be aware of. Here's how to find cruelty-free cosmetics in China: Are Cosmetics Made in China Cruelty-Free?

What KEVIN.MURPHY Products Are Vegan?

KEVIN.MURPHY has a wide range of vegan products that continues to grow. This is a terrific addition to the upmarket haircare industry, which hasn’t fully taken to veganism just yet.  

As it stands, KEVIN.MURPHY only uses beeswax and animal-derived amino acids in some of its products, making it 100% vegetarian with an extensive range of vegan products.

To save you some time, here are some of KEVIN.MURPHY’s most popular and award-winning products to choose from:

  • DOO.OVER- Dry powder Finishing Hair Spray
  • FRESH.HAIR- Weightless, volumizing spray mousse
  • YOUNG.AGAIN- Weightless leave-in treatment oil
  • ANGEL.WASH- Shampoo for fine, colored hair
  • ROUGH.RIDER- Mouldable styling clay
  • HEATED.DEFENSE - a protective shield against heat damage

Better yet? KEVIN.MURPHY also offers 100% vegan in-salon hair treatments (yes, please!). They include:


For a complete list of KEVIN.MURPHY’s vegan products, you can visit their website.

Vegan Alternatives to KEVIN.MURPHY

Overall, Kevin Murphy is an excellent option for vegans and provides great vegan alternatives that other brands haven't cared to try yet.

They have a clean track record and noteworthy transparency with their consumers. For a multi-million dollar brand – it's commendable.

But if you will not support a brand that isn't entirely vegan – KEVIN.MURPHY might not be your first choice.

Luckily, there are many alternatives you can find that are certified cruelty-free and vegan to choose from.

If you're looking for 100% upmarket vegan hair care, here are some alternatives you can try:

  • Paradoxx Vegan Haircare
  • Maria Nila Haircare
  • The Beachwaver Co.
  • Together Beauty
  • Superzero

Is KEVIN.MURPHY Natural and Organic? 

KEVIN.MURPHY considers itself a natural brand. While it does use certain organic growing practices, it does not hold any organic certification from what we can see.

It also doesn’t state what percentage of each ingredient or product is natural or organic. This means it’s pretty difficult to know

KEVIN.MURPHY ensures its products are of high natural quality by sourcing ingredients from suppliers that use micro cultivation, organic growing practices, or ecologically sound wild harvesting techniques.

Clean vs. Natural Ingredients

The term "natural" is not regulated for cosmetics and hair care. In other words, it doesn't hold one specific meaning.

Usually, it means a product is free of certain more toxic synthetic ingredients, including parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and more. But people also interpret "natural" to mean ingredients of immediate plant origin.

When it comes to KEVIN.MURPHY – it means a bit of both.

But here's the thing – "natural" is not necessarily good. Just because an ingredient is natural (take chili peppers, for example) doesn't mean you should rub it on your skin.

Almost all products use a certain amount of synthetic ingredients in their formulas and KEVIN.MURPHY is no exception – but it chooses to use better or clean synthetics.

If a synthetic ingredient is "clean," it is safe and non-toxic for us. Its purpose is to preserve the stability of a beauty formulation.

Does KEVIN.MURPHY Use Safe Ingredients?

According to Skin Safe, KEVIN.MURPHY has a 64%- 91% allergen-free ranking for 39 products listed.

Many of KEVIN.MURPHY’S products are free of allergens such as parabens, glutens, coconut, top common allergy-causing preservatives, nickel, topical antibiotic, MCI/MI, and dyes.

Reading the ingredient list is crucial because KEVIN.MURPHY is not 100% hypoallergenic or non-comedogenic, and they do not claim to be.

However, certain products are specifically for these concerns, so make sure you buy what your hair care needs.

It's also important to note that not all common allergens are harmful ingredients.

A typical example is lanolin, which has many benefits to your skin too. Find out more here: Can Lanolin Be Cruelty-Free?

Luckily, most KEVIN.MURPHY products are free of these harmful ingredients altogether, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check. All ingredients are subject to change so keep your eyes open.

The EU/UK Have Stricter Ingredient Regulations

As a conscientious shopper, you must read up on any brand's ingredient list before you make a purchase – especially if you live within the United States.

This is because the FDA has only banned or restricted 11 harmful chemicals from cosmetics within the country. Europe and the UK, on the other hand, has banned 1,328!

Given KEVIN.MURPHY is Australian-made; you don't need to worry too much.

Australia adheres to the same laws for all cosmetic product ingredients as for industrial chemicals to ensure they are safe. Yup – this even includes natural ingredients like essential oils.

With haircare, you want to avoid these ingredients:

  • Benzophenone
  • Butylated compounds: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • Coal tar
  • Ethoxylation
  • DEA, MEA, and TEA
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs)

Are Cruelty-Free Ingredients Safe?

If you're worried about how safe it is to use cosmetics that are not tested on animals – please relax and take a sigh of relief.

There is no reason why cruelty-free products shouldn't be just as safe, if not safer, than anything tested on an animal.

Not only is it easy to test ingredients without using animals altogether, but there are so many pre-approved ingredients you can use to make cosmetics that there really is no need.

Here's more on the subject if you're interested: Are Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Safe?

Is KEVIN.MURPHY Sustainable and Ethical? 

KEVIN.MURPHY has some strong sustainability and ethical initiatives as it ties in with the company values. Everything about how they treat the planet makes them a Cruelty Free Soul favorite!

Along with being cruelty-free, its professional line is biodegradable, paraben-free and sulfate-free. On top of that, all KEVIN.MURPHY product packaging is 100% recyclable too.

It's no secret that the world has a huge waste problem, and cosmetic brands are only making it worse by using unsustainable packaging and harmful ingredients.

As it stands, the brand:

  • Creates products that only use natural and sustainable sources in ways that do not harm the environment.
  • Designs packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable.
  • Supports causes like The Climate Reality Project, Wings of Karen, and Culture is Life.
  • Has a partnership with Ecoheads to use water more consciously in salons.
  • Has a series of Green Salons, an initiative to virtually assist salons around the globe in reducing their carbon footprint and overall impact on the environment.
  • Does not use palm oil or any of its derivatives at all in its product ranges – which is a great initiative to prevent deforestation.

Final Thoughts

KEVIN.MURPHY is a thoughtful hair care brand that strives to deliver salon-quality performance and considers various ethical factors.

The fact that they are cruelty-free is a step towards a more sustainable future in cosmetics.

We appreciate that it has a transparent environmental policy and is open to the public about its testing, purchasing, and distribution policies.

Of course, since KEVIN.MURPHY is not 100% vegan – it might not be the best choice for activists who go the extra mile.

But we wouldn't shut it down so quickly if we were you. This young brand is developing and listening to your needs, so keep following its movements.

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