What is L-Cysteine and Is It Vegan? (2023)

L-Cysteine is a popular ingredient in many products, from hair-care products to simple foods like bread. It’s made from a variety of different natural ingredients, although not all of them are necessarily Vegan.

Not all L-Cysteine is vegan as much of it is technically sourced from animal hairs and feathers, however an equal portion is sourced from human hairs. A smaller portion of L-cysteine is made from coal tar.

So whether or not the L-Cysteine in the product you’re looking at is vegan cannot really be answered in this article, as some is, some isn’t. The only way to know for-sure is to contact the manufacturer of the product, or search if the product its self is specifically vegan online, as many websites (including this one) search up and contact companies for you to ask such questions.

But is it Really Non-Vegan to Eat or Use Animal Hair?

Many people have asked this, and personally I’d say it isn’t, however in many cases, such as L-Cysteine it’s a “lesser crime” as generally the hair, be it human or non-human, is purchased for very little if anything and is basically just a by-product of other industries.

It’s in the category where I’d say don’t stress about it not being in the bread family bought for a family get together, however ideally you should avoid buying items that include L-cysteine without knowing whether or not it’s Vegan. I’d recommend just googling the product, as odds are someone else has already contacted the company and figured out whether or not the L-Cysteine is vegan or not in that specific product.

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