Does Hair Dye Expire?

Hair dye equipment

After such a long time, I finally managed to find the time to dye my hair. I happily got hold of the box hair dye that has been sitting my storage box for a few years and said, “Finally – I’m going to use this!”

Herbatint hair dye

Due to my sensitive skin, I only use this brand of organic hair dye because if I use other brands, my scalp will be itchy. So I specially requested my mother to buy these from Malaysia when she visited my husband and I a few years ago. Unfortunately, I did not have the time to dye my hair until now.

As I flipped to the bottom of the hair dye box, I saw that the hair dye had expired a year ago. But I was determined not to waste my hair dye so I went ahead with mixing the hair dye liquids together.
With a big smile on my face, I announced to my husband that “It’s all set to go. I’m going to dye my hair now.”

“The hair dye is expired though. But I don’t want to waste it. So I’m going to use it anyway. It’s not food so nothing would happen, right?”

Just as I was about to dye my hair, my husband said, “Wait – why not you check out some online forums whether it’s safe to use expired hair dye first?”

And so I did.

Many of us are concerned with eating expired food products. But what about things like soaps, shampoos and hair dyes? Do they expire too? What could possibly happen if we use expired hair products?

After reading all the online forums about using expired hair dye, I decided to throw away my hair dye in the end and buy a new one.

Although some of the people in the forum have used expired hair dye and had a normal experience, some warned other against using them. According to some of the forum participants, you could suffer the following side effects:-

• Your hair will become dark green in colour
• The hair dye could burn your scalp
• Your hair would turn frizzy
• Your could suffer hair loss
• Your hair colour will fade
• The hair dye will be ineffective and produce the wrong colour

So how do hair products such as hair dye become expired?

Most hair products actually last a very long time if they are not opened and stored properly. The shelf life of hair products become limited when exposed to air, light and bacteria. So even if these hair products are unopened, they may still degrade over time when exposed to high heat and humidity.

A general guideline to gauge how long your hair product will last are as below:

• 1-2 years if the product is opened
• 3 years if the product is unopened

When you use a hair product that is expired, the chemicals in the product may cause irritation or infection.

So the lesson I have learnt from this experience is – Never to overstock my house with too many hair products, thinking that they will never expire!

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Avoiding expired hair products are better than trying to save money by using them and suffer from scalp and hair damages in return.

Have you used an expired hair dye before? What was your experience? I’m curious to know.


Caroline Poh

One Comment

  1. Thank you for that yes it burns like crazy soon as you get it in head, neck …

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