Does Hair Dye Expire? Here’s what you need to Know

Finding a box of hair dye in the back of your cupboard could be exciting, until you realize that it’s actually expired. Just like most things, hair dyes also have expiry dates, but will anything strange happen if you use it on your hair? Here’s what you need to know if you ever come across a box of expired hair dye.

Is it safe to use?

Generally speaking, it is safe to use but you might not be too pleased with a few things. For starters, the potency of the hair dye might not be as strong as usual. Then there’s the issue of the color fading away a lot faster than usual.

In the short term you will have to re-color your hair, which can lead to a bit of hair damage. For that reason it’s s best to use products that are fresh so that they last longer.

When is it okay to use expired hair dye?

If your dye is expired by a day or two, then it should still be okay to use. However, if it has expired by a couple of weeks then you might not get as accurate results as expected. Using hair dyes that are expired by a couple of months isn’t something that we would advise doing.

Try not to stock up on too many hair dyes for long periods of time; even if they’re on sale! Reason being that it might expire, which will result in a waste of money. It’s best to go out and purchase a box of hair color right before you’re ready to dye your hair.

When shouldn’t you use expired hair dye?

Always investigate the bottle and the contents of the product. If you notice it to have a bad smell then you should dispose the product completely. Another thing to look out for is to see if the liquids have separated. This usually is a clear indication that the dye is completely off.

Lastly, keep a close eye on the consistency of the dye- if it is too waterish and has a weird color then throw it out. Also, if you have extremely sensitive skin, then it’s best not to use any expired products on your hair and skin. Reason being, that this could affect you and lead to discomfort and itching.

What’s the worst thing that could happen?

As we have mentioned, if you have sensitive skin then it’s best not to even try using expired hair color.

On the other hand, if you’re a daredevil and want to give it a shot then don’t expect much. The worst thing that could happen is that the hair color could have oxidized. What this essentially means is that air could have seeped in, which will result in your hair staying the exact same color.

Storage makes all the difference

Most products should be stored in a cool, dry place to avoid it going “bad”. Likewise, so does hair dye need to be stored correctly.

Exposing hair dyes to direct sunlight will indefinitely affect the product (even if it is not expired). Read the label so that you follow the correct storage instructions.

Also ensure that the box and the contents of hair dye are properly sealed and airtight. Opening the dye and not using it immediately will result in it losing its potency.

What if the product doesn’t have an expiry date?

If the dye doesn’t have an expire date then try phoning the manufacturers to find out how long can the product be used.
Normally, hair products have a shelf-life of three years.

Final comments

Although not much can happen if your use an expired box of dye, it’s best not to. Hair dyes are usually inexpensive, so rather spend the money and buy a new box. Besides, the results will also be a lot better- which will save you time and effort.

If you still want to use an expired box of hair dye, then try doing a test strand. This will help you determine if it is usable or not. If the hair catches then we’d reckon that it’s okay to use, but if nothing happens then rather get a new box of hair color.