August 2020 - Hair it is!

Hair it is!

Dear Compassionate Consumer,

If you are like us, you are scratching your head in disbelief that the summer is already drawing to a close. Yes, summer has disappeared quicker than ever this year, but we hope you were still able to enjoy it within our new socially-distanced normal.

One thing is for certain, Leaping Bunny has continued to keep busy certifying companies, and we recently realized that so many are hair care companies! Sometimes, the most obvious personal care products can be overlooked when it comes to showcasing the latest and greatest trends. But hair care is a category most, if not all, of us can agree is a necessary part of everyday grooming. So, why not dedicate an entire enewsletter to all the wonderfulness that is cruelty-free hair care?

First up, Kim and Caitlin are here to share their latest favorite hair care products. Considering they have completely different hair types and needs, you may find something that checks off one of your boxes, as well! Next, we’ll give you a lesson on the at-home hair care treatment, known as “plopping,” that’s creating quite the buzz on social media, along with some amazing cruelty-free products that can help you also achieve the sought-after look. As always, we share some of our most recently certified brands, many of which are hair care brands! And we finish this month’s enewsletter by interviewing Carli Abrams, founder and formulator of hair care and personal care brand, Pollynation Apothecary. Also, be sure to scroll through to the end for exclusive promos from BKIND, Coral Sun, Farryn Amber, Allyoos, Fekkai, and My Alchemy Skin Care.

For the animals,

Caitlin McGrother
Leaping Bunny Program Administrator


Hair for It

We have been so lucky lately to receive such amazing cruelty-free hair care products to try out. The quality, effectiveness, and scents have been so impressive. Here are a few of our favorites we want to share with you!

Allyoos A Quick Clean, One-Step Wash

If you’re looking for something that cleanses hair a bit more than dry shampoo but not as deeply as a shampoo, Allyoos’ A Quick Clean is your ticket. This amazing formula cleans and refreshes your scalp without suds. It’s such a refreshing thing to do after a workout when your hair isn’t really dirty but your head could use a good clean. It’s packed with such nourishing ingredients like coconut oil, avocado oil, and aloe leaf juice that you don’t even need to apply conditioner. It is the best of both worlds when it comes to hair cleanser.


Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner

Due to my dry hair, I only wash it once or twice a week. Therefore, I have very specific criteria for the shampoo and conditioner I use. First of all, the pair must be both hydrating and clarifying. Second, as an individual with the habit of consistently pulling my hair in front of my nose to smell it, they must have a very nice scent. Hask’s Monoi Coconut Oil Shampoo and Conditioner check off all of my boxes. I love the light, yet hydrating consistency, which works so well to cleanse and condition, while leaving me refreshed. Also, the coconut scent makes me feel like I am showering in a tropical paradise.

FEKKAI Technician Color Line

With lots of funky purple and blue colors in my hair, my main goal when washing and conditioning, aside from cleaning, is preserving my color. The Technician Color line does just that. My hair is totally cleansed from the shampoo and the Flash Mask conditioner is the bomb; it combines all the nourishment of a traditional hair mask, but it only needs to stay on your hair for two minutes. My hair colors look vibrant and my hair smells great from the delicious scent.

Mane Club Voodoo Oil Weightless Hair Oil

Weightless and oil are not usually synonymous. I am always skeptical of oil-based hair styling products, which tend to weigh down hair and leave it looking greasy. However, this product from Mane Club shattered all of my preconceived expectations. I use a few drops on its own before blow drying my hair and it leaves my hair soft, shiny, straight, and healthy looking. Considering the fact that I typically use multiple products to achieve a similar, but not as good, result, this weightless hair oil truly is a gamechanger.

Plop till you drop

As we continue to do our best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we’ve noticed an ever-growing trend of at-home beauty treatments. The most recent one trending on social media is the curl-enhancing process known as “plopping.” It’s a way to enhance curls and cut down on frizz for those of us with wavy to curly hair. The process utilizes a t-shirt, which not only holds the curls in place while hair dries, but also absorbs excess product.

If you’ve never heard of this technique before, you’re not alone. However, rest assured, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds, and you need only two tools to do it: a leave-in hair styler and a stretchy t-shirt (long or short sleeve, but the stretchier, the better).

Check out these basic steps to plopping and our recommendations for some amazing leave-in products that are Leaping Bunny certified!

  1. After showering, squeeze out excess water and detangle hair with a comb.
  2. Apply leave in styler, making sure to get on all strands.
  3. Lay the tee on a bed with the sleeves and neck closest to you.
  4. Bend over and place your head face first with the top of the tee at your forehead and the ends of your hair in the center. If your hair is long, you can fold it accordion style.
  5. Take the bottom of the tee and fold it over to the nape of your neck.
  6. Tie the two sides together (ideally the sleeves) at the nape of your neck.
  7. Tuck in any loose ends and leave in for 20 minutes to overnight.
  8. Optional: Use a diffuser to finish drying hair.

Leaping Bunny Certified
Leave In Stylers

Mane Club Honey That’s How I Roll Curl Defining Cream

The product smells great, is not at all heavy, and is effective at bringing out curl definition on even minimally wavy hair.

Better Not Younger Lift Me Up Hair Thickener

This fabulous spray brings out the best in your hair, has a lovely scent, and doesn’t weigh hair down.

Giovanni Hemp Hydrating Leave-In Conditioning & Styling Elixir

This duo leave-in conditioner and styling product gets rid of the frizz, helps detangle hair, and leaves a shiny, lightweight finish. Plus, it smells refreshing.

New Companies

With autumn right around the corner, now is the perfect time to refresh your grooming products that may be running low. Check out some of our most recently certified companies, ranging from haircare (so much haircare!), to oral care, skin care, cosmetics, and even waxing. We’ve got you covered on all fronts!

Everyday hair care products that contain an exclusive blend of natural and active ingredients, including essential oils.

Oral care using the healing benefit of hemp-derived CBD, organic, and non-GMO ingredients.

Elevate CBD Cosmetics
Clean, luxury beauty and skincare products scientifically formulated with US-grown hemp.

Professional-quality hair care products made with clean, botanical ingredients and safe, clinically-proven formulas.

Flawless by Gabrielle Union
Texture-specific hair care products infused with exotic hydrating ingredients at an affordable price point.

Personal care products formulated with birch water, which is used in traditional Eastern and Northern European medicine for its natural healing and cleansing properties.

Kara Beauty
Cosmetics brand offering a wide variety of vibrant colors and products.

10-free, vegan nail polish.

Lash Star Beauty
Revolutionary makeup line offering a finely curated selection of high-end and innovative eyelash enhancing products.

Me & You Co
Skincare specializing in sensitive skin and formulated for eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dry skin.

Nature’s Willow
Topical pain relief products formulated with white willow bark.

Regenerative skincare and hair care solutions for lash, brow, and skin.

Ojima Nails
Gel nail products that celebrate vibrant colors and artful design.

People of Color
Vegan nail polish that is designed to “complement the various shades of brown skin as the first thought, not an afterthought.”

Radiance Reign Cosmetics
Luxury cosmetics brand that provides products that are vegan, paraben-free, and gluten-free.

Relax & Release Skincare
Skincare created by an African-American woman and licensed esthetician, formulated primarily for melanated skin while still being beneficial for all skin tones and skin types.

Roen Beauty
Luxury cosmetics made with clean ingredients that are vegan and gluten-free.

SCHMEAR Naturals Company
Food-based skincare made with fruits, vegetables, and botanicals, designed to nourish you from the outside in.

Natural hair and body products utilizing substantial amounts of nourishing butters and oils.

Strands Hair Care
Personalized hair care that uses microscopic imaging, molecular analysis, and a unique algorithm to match ingredients to your hair’s biochemistry.

Sugar Me Bare
Brand focusing on the art of sugar waxing.

Pollynation Apothecary

This month, we are so excited to interview Carli Abrams, founder and formulator of Pollynation Apothecary. We have been huge fans of this brand ever since it was certified last year, and have even had the opportunity to try some of its amazing products. Read below to learn more about Carli’s personal story behind the company and amazing branding, the challenges and rewards of being a woman-owned, Black-owned business in the wellness space, and the well-known publication in which Pollynation has been featured three times!

What was the inspiration behind the creation of Pollynation Apothecary?
I found myself suddenly unwell in my mid to late twenties. I experienced various challenges and I was determined to find a better way.

What is Pollynation Apothecary’s mission?
We are on a mission to help you experience wellness. We know it's often a long journey, so we are here to help you along that journey. That's why we speak often about helping you to Bloom Into Wellness, so you can feel your best.

What is your favorite Pollynation Apothecary product and why?
Oh, that's a tough one. I absolutely love our Hair Milk. It's a staple. When my thyroid is acting up, I pull out the Strengthen & Stimulate Hair Tonic. Lately, due to a lingering wrist injury, I have been using the inflamed Healing Balm even more. It's my go to "massage in a bottle"to help me de-stress and bust that tension.

What is Pollynation Apothecary’s most popular product?
It's a tie between the Softening & Detangling Hair Tonic and the Strengthen & Stimulate Hair Butter.

What has been the most rewarding part of creating Pollynation Apothecary?
Being able to help women transform and feel good with a pep in their step. I've found that confidence is restored when hair is restored. We hear feedback from our customers like"wow my hair finally feels like my hair," "wow I finally accomplished my dream hair," "wow I finally have my eczema under control," "wow it's finally easy to care for myself and family."

Pollynation Apothecary is such a great name! How did you come up with it?

It was all about what impact I wanted women to experience and how I felt my background and knowledge could really help them the most. I thought about how I felt so alone and frustrated when I went through my journey and how I wanted to make it easier for others. The name itself is a play off a few words: pollinate, poly, & nation. It speaks to the blooming process that Pollynation helps women achieve, the collective wisdom from many nations, and how our products bring women together.

Can you tell us more about your branding and packaging? It’s so fun, playful, and attractive!
At Pollynation, we honor the old traditions of our ancestors, while sprinkling in the new to create unique healing solutions. I want women to feel bright and to experience good vibes at the highest vibrational frequencies; that's why you see the vibrant yellow. The flowers and herbs are a throwback to Earth medicine, which goes beyond herbalism to include crystalline healing, ancient energy healing techniques, and more.The Pollynation bee is very special to me. One day while antiquing, a bee came and stung me right in the chest, the heart space area. I felt it was a wakeup call, that maybe I wasn't moving quickly enough. I knew it was time to move faster and to really get the Pollynation business started.

What are some of the challenges and rewards of being a woman-owned, Black-owned business?
It's scary yet exciting on this path because no matter how much you think you know, there is still more to learn. I have found it a challenge to be a black woman in the wellness space. Store owners, retailers, and investors are not accustomed to seeing us and therefore more readily take chances on others. It's rewarding to be on this path of business ownership. I find each day I am able to mentor younger women in college and maybe inspire other future female business owners to really step into their divine paths.

Why is being Leaping Bunny certified important to Pollynation Apothecary?
Leaping Bunny is leading the way in the cruelty-free space by holding businesses and supply chains accountable. And this, I love. The consumer can rest easily knowing that organizations like Leaping Bunny have their backs. Being Leaping Bunny certified helps consumers establish trust in our natural products. They know that we live up to a standard that means something, even as we grow and expand over time.

What is something unique about Pollynation Apothecary that others may not know?
Pollynation Apothecary goes beyond the physical. We focus on the emotional and spiritual aspects of the self for more holistic wellness. We've also been highlighted in three issues of Vanity Fair! Even Tabitha Brown loved using our Softening & Detangling Tonic on her son's hair.

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