Women (and men) spend hundreds to thousands of dollars per year on hair care products to enhance its beauty and health. However, there is a danger to using expired products that can cause more damage than good to your hair. Consumers should be responsible enough to check the packaging for expiration dates to ensure that the products they are using are still good. But here’s the tricky part – the FDA does not require most hair care product manufacturers to indicate the expiration date on the label. What should you do?
General Rule of Thumb
The general rule to follow when it comes to expiration of hair care products is that unopened products can last for up to 3 years. Meanwhile, products that had been opened can last for up to 18 months. But this expiration period can vary greatly depending on a few factors, of which you will know more of in a bit.
Type of Containers
Non-aerosol or non-spray hair care products such as pomades, creams, and gels expire faster than spray products. The reason for this is because the product comes in contact with your skin before they are applied to the hair. Hence, the product is contaminated in the process and that contributes to the faster deterioration of the product.
Meanwhile, spray products do not come in direct contact with your skin during the application process so it is likely to last longer than the above products.
Other Factors to Consider
Here are additional factors to look into when you are trying to determine if you should continue using a hair care product or to toss it away:
• The storage location is a critical factor in speeding up or maximising the shelf life of hair care products. The ideal place to store them is somewhere cool and dry. Refrain from putting your hair products near heating sources because it can result to faster deterioration.
• You can also check the product’s texture to determine if it’s expired or still good to use. When you had been using a particular product such as pomade or gel, then you should have an idea as to what texture you are looking for from the product. When you notice there is a slight change in texture, be cautious before using it. These products also can get crusty around the edges of the product over time and when they do, it might be better off throwing them away. This factor also comes in conjunction with the next factor.
• Always check the scent of the product before using it to make sure it isn’t expired. If the product smells “off”, think twice about putting it onto your hair. You’d be better off throwing them to the trash bin than risk causing more damage to your hair from the expired formula.
Do you always check the expiration date of the product before purchasing?