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How Long Do Hair Care Products Last?

I confess! I'm guilty. Guilty of hanging on to my hair products past their expiration date. When I started my relaxed hair journey I started going through the hair products I wanted to keep and toss. Boy did I find a few surprises!

Hair tip: How long hair care products really last | arelaxedgal.com
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I found a shampoo that had been sitting in my bathroom cabinet for almost two years! The kicker is, the bottle was still full, but had been opened. I had used the shampoo a couple of times and then stopped for what reason I couldn't recall.

Additionally, I had some hair serums and oils that were older than I could remember. Same with a moisturizer and hair grease. Seeing how old these products were I got curious about whether or not I should still be using them on my relaxed hair or if I should toss them.


From my research, I found some surprising things about how long hair care products last and how you can tell when it's time to toss them.

What makes a hair product go bad

  • The formula breaks down when its exposed to the air
  • The product is diluted because it's been mixed with water. This can happen on purpose or by accident if the product is used in the shower
  • The products have been exposed to bacteria from coming into contact with your skin multiple times


The typical shelf life for hair products

  • 24 months - Butters
  • 18 months - Non-natural shampoos and conditioner 
  • 12 months - Natural shampoos and conditioners
  • 6 months - Oils

How to know when a hair product has gone bad

  • It may smell bad
  • The product has hardened
  • It's changed color
  • The product has separated
  • Or by looking at the expiration date on the packaging

Have you ever tried using a hair product that had gone bad?


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