A Cut Above The Rest: 12 Cruelty-Free Salons

1Photo: Courtesy of Starship Salon.
A quick glance at my Facebook timeline from 2008 to 2012 forced me to come to an important conclusion: Cutting one’s own hair = BAD IDEA. You see, much like a car needs a legit mechanic, hair is often one of those things that can benefit from an expert’s intervention. But, I like my salons how I like my makeup — cruelty-free, so I scoured the country for some of the coolest compassionate salons that not only give you model hair but also use only cruelty-free (and often vegan) products and have eco-friendly approaches, without sacrificing the luxury or results. Now, this list isn’t exhaustive, so if you know of a good spot that’s missing from this list, please let us know in the comments. The animals — and my hair — thank you.

The Parlour St. Johns
Portland, Oregon
You can get your hair cut at a lot of places, but at very few of them can you get your hair cut and a tattoo. This vegan-friendly tat parlor and salon recycles hair foils and donates strands to mop up environmental oil spills.
What you've gotta try: If you’re going for Bettie Page bangs or that sexy Chris Isaak crooner hair, this is the place to go.

Starship Salon
Chicago, Illinois
Say buh-bye to keratin (which is the farthest thing from vegan) and hello to Starship’s 100% vegan, nontoxic smoothing system by Zerran. Try moondusting, a fusion of ombré, frosting, and balayage that creates subtle, soft color variation and contrast throughout the hair.

4Photo: Courtesy of Wicked Salon.

Wicked Hair & Make-Up Artistry
Venice, California
Feast your eyes on nontoxic and animal-friendly products by Neuma, fruit-pigmented makeup and skin care by 100% Pure, and Natural Color Process hair color while your locks are pampered. Check out its customized, all-natural hair and scalp treatments, which are freshly hand-blended with USDA-certified organic ingredients and essential oils.

Salon Champu
New York, New York
A menu of vegan-friendly color options and bespoke services like vegan Brazilian keratin treatments mean your hair won’t miss a beat as you switch to cruelty-free. Try the Vegan Japanese Straightening; it's pricy but apparently very effective for thick and unruly locks.

Virtue Salon
Columbus, Ohio
Right down to the coffee, tea supplies, and furniture, Virtue is free from animal products, parabens, and sulfates. Plus, the salon insists all products be shipped to it in recyclable packaging. Get festival fabulous with balayage, a freehand highlighting technique using nontoxic color that gives hair healthy dimension.


Pouf Salon
Dallas, Texas
Find Kevin Murphy vegan hair care and Glo Minerals cruelty-free makeup in the heart of the Big D. The salon offers voluminous, healthy-looking blowouts that would make Sue Ellen proud, and the braid crowns are so festival-worthy.

2Photo: @poufblowout.

Juju Salon & Organics
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Committed to sustainability, Juju is PECO Wind Powered, much of the furniture has been repurposed or salvaged, and guests enjoy filtered water — no unsightly plastic bottles! Try Juju’s Peppermint Tea Tree pedicure, in which feet are soaked, massaged, treated to a hydrating masque, and painted with Zoya’s vegan and 5-free polish.

Portland, Oregon
Compassionate cred: Vegan and eco-friendly since 2006, Akemi uses Davines, Keune, and Loma products. From edgy cuts to deep conditioning and updos, everything’s a safe bet here.

Terra Salon and Day Spa
St. John, Indiana
This little gem of the Midwest features products that are free of parabens, ammonia, formaldehyde, thioglycolate, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), and animal testing. This is a day spa, so feel free to combine your face-framing layers with a Non-Surgical Facelift facial…and a glass of Champagne.

3Photo: Courtesy of Salon ColourBar.

Salon Colour Bar
Austin, Texas
Here, find PETA-certified and vegan Organic Salon Systems color and Kevin Murphy hair care. Dogs are welcome, and the salon recycles all plastic, glass, and paper. The Micro-Foil Highlights lend a believably sun-kissed look, or do like actress Eva Mendes and get the Luxury Blow Out service.

John Bruno Organic Salon
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Lather up with Shear Miracle Organics Hair Care products, which are organic and certified cruelty-free and and vegan by both Leaping Bunny and PETA. Bruno works solo and is known for his short cuts and vibrant color that look edgy without being gauche.

Pure YL Organic Salon
Laguna Beach, California
Focused on health and toxin mitigation, this appointment-only salon features an extensive and entirely vegan menu of services for hair, skin, and body.
You’ve gotta try its henna coloring, Healing Vegan (like the Turmeric Glow and Shine for brides) and Ayurvedic facials, Speed waxing, and threading.

More from Hair

R29 Original Series