Roy Teeluck | Professional Hair Salon NYC

Does Shampoo Expire?

August 14, 2012

“Roy, I was cleaning out my medicine cabinet, and found a bottle of shampoo and conditioner I hadn’t used in several months.  Is it still safe to use?”

A client recently posed this question to me, and since we all use some form of shampoo & conditioner, it’s a question that’s applicable to everyone.   But, since most of us likely use up that bottle of shampoo before going on to the next, you might not have been faced with this query.

Let me shed some insight onto how best to deal with those shampoo & conditioner bottles that have resurfaced from the back of your beauty closet.

As we all know, shampoos & conditioners are composed of a whole host of ingredients, some especially fragile over time.  Once that bottle is opened, you are exposing the formula to the environment, along with all of the other ailments we inflict on our beauty products (think of those long, steamy, hot showers and the products we keep in the line of fire!).

As a rule, most shampoos & conditioners do have a shelf life, and it’s easy for you to find out what that is.  Take a peak on the back of the bottle (or wherever the ingredients are listed).  You should see what looks like a jar, with a number such as “12M” or “24M”, indicating the product is safe for 1 year after opening, or 2 years after opening, respectively.   Use that as a rule of thumb when deciding to reuse old shampoo.

With that in mind, be weary of using these products past the recommended expiration date.  Although they may still smell divine, a year of exposure to the elements will have robbed the shampoo/conditioner of its potency.  If that’s the case, then why even risk the damage to your hair?  Truth be told, if those products have been sitting on your shelf for a year +, there was a reason why.  Do yourself a favor, and invest in a new set of shampoo & conditioner.  You’re certainly worth it – and so is your hair.

Visit Roy’s online boutique for a curated selection of his favorite beauty products.

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