What’s the shelf life of hair products? Many people don’t know when to toss out their products, but they do have an expiration date. The general guide for most products is 1-2 years. The best way to find out is to look on the packaging for an expiration date. All of the salon “quality” products I’ve purchased have had an expiration date stamped on the packaging, or the “open beauty jar” with a small number inside indicating how many months the product is good for.
“Over time, oxidation, heat and even light can diminish the full potency of ingredients”, says Pat Peterson, the executive director of research and development at Aveda. The best way to tell if you need to trash a hair product is to pay attention to foul odors and separation of the product. If it looks or smells a little off, you should throw it away.
For products that I don’t use often without an expiration date on them, I’ve started writing when I purchased it on the bottle with a magic marker. It’s an easy way for me to keep track of what I brought… so I can throw it away if it gets too old.