One thing you need to know about this hair growth boosting supplement is that while it is vegetarian-friendly, it isn’t vegan-friendly. This is because it contains Vitamin D3 – a vitamin that’s typically sourced from sheep’s wool.
Why Non-Vegan Vitamin D3 Is Used in Folexin
Folexin is a hair growth supplement. It is meant to strengthen your hair and restore any weak spots.
Vitamin D3 is commonly produced by sheep and is meant to help keep their wool looking strong healthy even when exposed to drastic weather conditions.
In pretty much the same way, this D-vitamin is used in health and beauty products to protect the skin and hair strands/follicles.
Normally, one mature Merino sheep can produce up to 300 ml of a greasy substance that is further processed to produce this vital vitamin (source).
Note that, in rare cases, vegan-friendly Vitamin D3 can be derived from lichen. That, however, rarely happens and almost all products available out there feature lanolin (the sheep type of D3) in their ingredients list.
However, with technology greatly improving, it is probably just a matter of time before lichen-based Vit D3 becomes more feasible.
How Lanolin Is Extracted
Clean wool fleece is run through a process of either solvent extraction or centrifugal separation. This leads to the production of a thick yellowish substance which is further refined and subjected to chromatography.
At this point, you end up with crude cholesterol which is taken through further steps to produce pre-Vitamin D3 (also known as 7-dehydrocholesterol). The last step involves illuminating this substance using ultraviolet rays (like it happens when we expose our skin to sunlight) so you end up with pure Vitamin D3 (source).
Can I Still Use Folexin If I am Vegan?
Vitamin D3 is largely safe and healthy for all humans to use in appropriate doses. However, if you’re a strict vegan and don’t want to compromise on your values in any way, you might want to keep off products like Folexin. It’s not vegan friendly.
However, it’s vegetarian-friendly.
Also, it is worth noting that it is not a must for a sheep to die for wool to be obtained. Sheep get shaved at least once a year anyway and no bloodshed is involved.
Otherwise, all the other ingredients in Folexin are 100% vegan…including the capsules themselves which are made from cellulose instead of gelatin. You can learn more about the product itself here in detail.
Hello. I read your article because I was trying to find out if Folexin is vegan. Well written article, thank you. But regarding “Sheep get shaved at least once a year anyway and no bloodshed is involved.” The sheep that get sheared are because they are genetically modified to produce excess coats to produce more wool. Wild sheep do not require shearing. Commercial sheep shearing is not actually a cruelty free process and sheep are not always handled carefully or with respect. Some resources for more information:December 5, 2021 at 6:47 pm
You have raised some really good points Ivy. Our view is that most domesticated sheep breeds require to be shaved once a year as the excess wool impedes their natural ability to regulate body temperature. Shaving improves the health and hygiene of the animals (see this). Not shaving them is actually more cruel to them.
We agree, that human intervention is to blame for this. But any farmer will tell you that you’d be doing greater harm by not shearing your sheep.
It is unfortunate that some people engage in animal cruelty in the shaving process. We do not condone it. It should be done in the gentlest way possible.
We’ve made it clear, [in our final remarks] that if you’re a super-strict vegan, “you might want to keep off products like Folexin.” Don’t compromise on your values.
Some sources for further reading: NBC News, and The Guardian (It is More Cruel not to Shave Sheep)December 8, 2021 at 9:25 am