Is Goldwell cruelty-free in 2021?

Is Goldwell cruelty-free?

Currently, I am looking for a cruelty-free salon in Germany. In Malta, till now I have an idea where to go to. However, in Offenburg, it’s a bit harder for me. You might be wondering why after nearly 4 or 5 years living in Offenburg, I haven’t already found one. The prices in Offenburg hair salons start from double the price that I am used to in Malta. Being unemployed in Germany, I took the more affordable option of dying and cutting my own hair. However, as our wedding is approaching, I am now looking for a hair salon. One of the brands which seemed to be common in some of the salons I checked is Goldwell. Just by following my checklist to evaluate whether a brand is cruelty-free or not, I came to the conclusion that Goldwell is not cruelty-free. Let us go through my checklist together.

Does Goldwell test on animals?

On their official website, I could not find anything. However, Google suggested that I go through their parent’s website (Kao) for the answer and this is what caught my eyes:

  • In our development of cosmetics, we do not and will not conduct animal testing nor do we outsource this task to anyone. This excludes instances where we need to respond to societal expectations to evidence the safety of a product or when required to do so by government agencies in particular countries.
    … our policy is to not conduct animal testing unless it cannot be avoided due to lack of availability of alternative methods, regulatory requirements or other similar reasons. If testing on animals is unavoidable, we keep such testing to a minimum following the principles of animal welfare of the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement)
    Just by reading the first sentence, I would have replied to this answer with a no, they don’t test on animals. However, when reading further I started getting doubts. So since in rare cases they have to test on animals, it would be safe to say yes they do test on animals when required by law if they, for example, sell in China. We will check the China part later in this post.

Is Goldwell owned by a parent that is not cruelty-free?

As I mentioned, Goldwell is owned by Kao. On the PETA website, Kao is listed as a brand that tests on animals. So yes, Goldwell parent brand is not cruelty-free.

Is Goldwell certified cruelty-free?

No, Goldwell is not certified cruelty-free.

Is Goldwell cruelty-free?

Cruelty-free is a term reserved for the certified brands. Goldwell doesn’t seem to be cruelty-free certified, so no Goldwell is not cruelty-free.

Does Goldwell sell in Mainland China?

This requires a bit of digging. The easiest way is to go on the brand’s official website and check if they have a country selector. By country selector, I mean a feature where you can change the country of the website. Most of the time this is a dropdown list found at the very top or very bottom of the website. On the Goldwell website, I found China in their country selector list. You might say maybe it’s just for Hong Kong or another region of China that does not require any animal testing. In such cases, they usually specify Hong Kong for example and not China. When they say China, it’s usually meaning Mainland China. So yes, Goldwell sells in Mainland China. However, there are cruelty-free cosmetics brands that sell in China products which the Chinese authorities don’t consider to be cosmetics.

Update 2021

I have emailed Goldwell to learn if and how they are avoiding animal testing in China. If their Mainland China range hasn’t gone through animal testing by authorities, there is the chance that they are still a brand that does not support animal testing, which for me is equal to a cruelty-free brand. In the meantime, I will list Goldwell, a grey area brand and will do the necessary changes, once they reply.

Which brands should I support instead?

If you are looking for a certified cruelty-free brand. Check my list of brands that are against animal testing.

Source: Goldwell Mainland China website and Kao animal testing policy webpage as at 19/1/2020 




(a.k.a. Fiona Henschel) Malta-born blogger. I have been blogging during these last 6 years on my cruelty-free lifestyle including recipes, beauty and makeup products that I discover, receive, buy and try.