One of the best cruelty-free hair color products is henna. PETA recommends Morrocco Method and LUSH. For bright colors, PETA recommends Manic Panic, and for salon service, the group recommends Paul Mitchell and Aveda. Other vegan and cruelty free brands include Herbatint, Naturastyle and Organic Salon System.
The MSPCA warns that labels that read "cruelty-free" and "not tested on animals" may not always mean what they say. As no government agency currently defines these terms, nor sets standards for their usage, it is left to each company to determine what its "cruelty-free" label means. Many scientists, including those who support alternatives, believe these ambiguities can make labels like these meaningless.
"Cruelty-free" appears to imply that neither the product nor its ingredients have ever been tested on animals. This is highly unlikely, however, as almost all ingredients in use today have been tested on animals at some point. It is likely that the ingredients have been tested on animals, but the final product has not, or the manufacturer itself did not conduct animal tests. Companies often rely on suppliers to test for them, or refer to another company's previous animal-test results. It is also possible the testing occurred in a foreign country, where laws protecting animals are weaker than in the U.S.
Products bearing the logo of the CCIC’s Leaping Bunny Program use the term "cruelty-free" to imply neither the ingredients nor the products have been tested on animals after a certification date. These products will also not be tested on animals in the future.