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Beauty Byes: How Long do Hair Care Products Last?

Beauty Byes: How Long do Hair Care Products Last?Most of us know that it is important to toss old makeup and skincare products, because bacteria can enter these formulas and cause skin irritation or infections. But what about your hair? Shampoos, conditioners and styling products also have a shelf life, and need to be tossed once they outlive it. The good news is that most hair care products tend to last a lot longer than the stuff we put on our face and skin. Find out how much life you can eke out of your hair care, and when to bid farewell to expired products.


How Long is Too Long?

Most hair care products are designed to last about three years, as long as they are kept in sealed containers in a cool, dry place. However, most of us do not purchase a bottle of shampoo and leave it under the counter for three years before using. Once you open your shampoo bottle, the shelf life can decrease by as much as 50%. This is due to the bacteria from our skin`s surface that comes in contact with the product through use, and the water droplets that can get in and dilute the formula. One way to extend the life expectancy of your product after opening is to opt for spray cans that do not let these contaminating agents in, or to go for tubes instead of jars or bottles for the same reason.


Most of us will use up our favorite bottles before that time is up, but specialty products and those used only sparingly may begin to come into question. Your best bet is to label all of your hair care products with the date of purchase or the date that you open them. This way, there will not be any doubt as to how long that can of mousse has been lingering in your cabinet! If you forget to stick a label on your favorite pomade, you can also gauge the freshness of the product by its appearance and smell. If a styling aid or shampoo changes color or texture, it is always best to toss the item. Likewise, if the smell as changed to a less than attractive one, throw out the bottle and get a new one. While these expired products may not cause you any harm, they will not be effective on your hair any longer.


What about Tools?

Combs and brushes have no shelf life, if they are maintained properly. You can do this by washing them with a gentle shampoo regularly to keep them clean and bacteria free. Blow dryers will also last much longer if you keep them clean by unplugging and wiping a damp cloth across the filter. Any other debris in the filter can be carefully removed with a pair of tweezers to keep your dryer running at peak efficiency. Curling irons and hot rollers are another story however, since the temperature gauges can become less accurate and result in hair burning. Throw out these tools after five years or if they do not seem to work as well after time.


Keeping your hair products and tools in good shape is the first step in keeping your hair healthy and beautiful. With proper maintenance and an adherence to the proper shelf life of products, you can do plenty to keep your hair looking its best.


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