Despite the recent joyous news that Australia has passed a law to ban animal testings on cosmetic ingredients, it still can be a minefield navigating professional hair colour and care products.

I mean, it’s one thing purchasing your own products – you can check for Cruelty Free and Vegan Certification logos, read the ingredients list, or even scan the bar code using a clever app like The Fussy Vegan, but once you step into a salon for professional colour, who knows what is going on your hair? And how many of us have even thought to ask?

Thank goodness, we can rest easy, with more and more leading hairdressers choosing vegan and cruelty-free.

Raw Hair in Sydney is one such salon. An animal lover and advocate from way back, owner and celeb stylist Anthony Nader was adamant when he opened his doors five years ago that all colour services in the uber-chic Surry Hills salon were vegan (all but a few of the care and styling products used by the salon are vegan-friendly, too).

When choosing which brand to use to highlight, add gloss, lighten or infuse shine into his clients’ locks, Anthony said it was a no-brainer.

“We went with Muk Hybrid Cream Colour,” he says with as little hesitation as he used to make the decision. “It’s an Australian-made brand that is PETA-approved and certified vegan and cruelty-free. We were actually involved in the trial process of the product, with the company owner including the salon in testing of the colours before it went to market, so we know it back to front.

“We know it’s going to be kind to our clients’ hair, as well as to the animals. I needed to choose a formula is going to benefit the health of my customers’ hair – now and in the future. The fact that it’s also doing no harm to animals is amazing, too.”

With over 103 intermixable hybrid shades, colourists can create bespoke shades for blondes, brunettes and redheads, and even add some unique shades that really pop, like pinks, blue or purple, thanks to another vegan range by MUK called Direct Dye. They can also offer permanent colour, blonde toning, demi-permanent, intense demi-permanent, colour balancing or men’s grey blending.

“The colour range is vast and excellent,” says Anthony, “especially the blondes. My team of colourists were so excited about it and the clients have been commenting on the longevity of colour as well as how soft and shiny their hair is – even those with really coarse, curly or unruly hair!”

Of course, coloured hair requires great care at home, too.

When I tested the blonde colour treatment in MUK Hybrid, I was super impressed, but to keep the results as fresh as the day they were achieved, Anthony sent me home with a selection of R+CO vegan hair care and styling products. They included:

– Sunset Boulevard Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner, $45 each.
Not only are these a joy to use – they feel amazing, lather up beautifully, detangle like a breeze and smell divine – they leave my blonde hair hydrated, manageable and clean of colour (read: not a trace of yellow or brassiness).

– Gemstone Color Shampoo, $35, and Conditioner, $36.
Hydrating, shine-infusing and a smell that’s sent from heaven, these are great for girls with darker hues, redheads and even blondes. I’ve been using them every second or third shampoo and absolutely love them.

– Dallas Thickening Spray, $39.
This is everything for a fine haired gal like me. It actually helps detangle my tresses before I blow-dry and then when I do heat style, it helps add so much oomph that I don’t need to worry about flat roots for a few days.

– Chiffon Styling Mousse, $38.
because I subscribe to the theory, ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God,’ I double up with this thickening styling foam after I’ve applied the aforementioned thickening spray. It does the job, without tacky the gluggy feeling that some mousse formulas leave you with.

– Death Valley Dry Shampoo, $44.
I’m a massive fan of dry shampoo, to disguise regrowth, to soak up oil ion between washes and to add mega body to my fine hair. This one ticks every box, and it doesn’t leave a chalky powder like so many dry shampoos do, which makes it fantastic for all hair hues.

Raw Hair is located at 100 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney. Call: 02 9211 4444
rawhair.com.au

To find a salon near you that offers MUK Vegan Colour, visit: mukhair.com

To purchase R+ CO products: randco.com

Images courtesy of Raw Hair.