The cooler winds of autumn have arrived and it's time to get your hair ready for the colder weather. One thing you should do is get rid of old hair products that have outlived their shelf life. The problem is, there may be no expiration date. The FDA does not require hair product manufacturers to include expiration dates on the container. It is a purely voluntary action by the manufacturer.
What Can Happen If You Use An Expired Hair Product?
You run out of shampoo and don't have time to run to the salon to pick up some more before you go out to dinner with your significant other. So, you go digging in the cabinet to see what you have on hand. You find a bottle of shampoo in the back corner. You don't know when you bought it, and it has no expiration date on it. It's OK to use, right?
If the product is past its shelf life, the best case scenario is that you may be applying product that is completely ineffective. The expired shampoo may be as useless as plain tap water for cleaning your hair.
Then there is the worst case scenario. Old hair products can become breeding grounds for bacteria that can cause severe infections. While this usually only happens with previously opened products or those in damaged containers, it is not something you want to take chances with.
How Can I Tell If A Product Is Expired Or Not?
Always check the container for an expiration date. If there is no clear date, take a close look around the UPC code. You might see the picture of a small container with a number beside it. Typically, that number will be a 6, 8 or 12. That indicates you have 6, 8, or 12 months to use a product once it's opened.
If you are absolutely not sure when the product was bought or opened, check the product itself. Take the lid off and smell the contents. If it smells funny, or acrid, it has gone bad. If the smell seems OK, put a dab of the product on your finger. Does it feel funny? Bacterial growth tends to leave a slimy film behind. If a product, that normally feels creamy, has a funny or slimy feel to it, toss it.
Always get your hair products from a reputable salon known for the highest quality. The Salon by Lora Brown in Amarillo, Texas, is the place to go in the Panhandle. Give us a call today.
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.