One thing you will have to make peace is no matter how expensive and amazing a product is, it will always have an expiry date.
Despite of all products having an expiry date, each products expiry date differ depending on what ingredients are used and the foods and products regulation in different regions.
Since we are on that topic, does hair serum expire? How long does it take to expire? And what would happen if you use an expired hair serum?
All this questions will be answered in the guide below.
Does hair serum expire?
As we have already said, all products get to reach an expiry. Just like any other hair products, hair serum also have an expiry date. But after how long do they expire?
Most of the ingredients used on hair serums are long lasting. They can last up to 24 months. However, with added preservatives, hair serums will last up to 3 years in the shelves and 2 years after you first use the product.
The reason as to why the shelf life of product reduce after opening, is because the products attract some bacteria that aid in expiry of this products.
Even though we don’t know the merits used to measure the shelf life of products, having expiry date is a requirement by food and drug administration. This is the body that ensure the safety of the products for human consumption.
What will happen if I use expired hair serum?
Hair serums last up 3 years on the shelves before reaching their expiry date. Although the expiry date is the time given by the FDA, there might be some consequences to using expired hair serum.
For starters, if you use hair serum the first few days after expiry, there is nothing that will happen to your hair. There will always be some grace period on using products that have reached their expiry date Incase you don’t notice at once.
However, if you suspect your hair serum has reached hair it’s expiry date, you should stop using the serum right away. If you continue using hair serum that is expired, you might have to deal with some consequences
Nothing will happen
Although we said you might have to deal with serious consequences, sometimes using hair serums that are expired will have no impact on your hair.
When a hair serum expires, the ingredients might start to separate making the hair serum not perform it’s intended purpose as usual.
If you had diluted hair serum with a moisturizer or any other product, it reaches its expiry date way faster loosing it’s efficiency.
So, there will be no reason for using hair serum that will not add any benefits to your hair.
By now you know that using the wrong hair serum might have some negative side effects. Imagine if the scenario where you are using the wrong hair serum and it has already reached it’s expiry date?
For starters, the ingredients that are used to formulate hair serums might react with themselves once the hair serum reaches it expiry date causing some harmful bacteria and fungi.
If you use a bacteria and fungi infested hair serum, you might end up damaging your hair.
Using hair serum that has expired for a few months might cause hair damage, but what if you continue to use an expired hair serum without your knowledge for years?
One possible outcome might be your hair might break to an extent it starts to fall off. This incidences might be very serious and you might have to spend a lot of money trying to reverse the disaster.
Using an expired hair serum for a few days or a week might not have any serious side effects. However, if you continue to use expired hair serum for months, you might have to deal with more than hair loss.
The new chemicals created when the ingredients react with each other might be too harsh on your scalp. You might develop some serious infections which might develop into skin cancer under extreme cases.
With all this serious consequences discussed above, is hair serum good for hair?
All products no matter how good they are will reach an expiry date. And when you continue using the expired products, you will have to face some consequences. This is not any different for hair serums.
Hair serums have so many benefits that have been discussed in my introduction to hair serum. You will also suffer some serious consequences it you use expired hair serum.
Luckily, you can avoid this consequences if you don’t use expired hair serum.
How do I tell if hair serum is expired
Before buying a hair serum, you should check the manufacturing and the expiry date indicated on the hair serum package and the bottle. Once you are sure the hair serum is viable, you can go ahead and buy it.
As we said, the life span of the hair serum will reduce once you open the product, this is because the product with react with heat, environmental factors, and also bacteria might find a way into the hair serum.
So, the first step after you start using the hair serum, is indicating the expiry date and the day you first use the product with a permanent maker pen. You should also count 18-24 months after that and indicate the date. This will help you know when you hair serum is expired.
Although, not so much might change once the hair serum expires, you can look for this signs to know if the hair serum is expired;
Change in texture
When the hair serum reaches it’s expiry date, the products might start to react with each other making the products to separate in the process of making new chemicals.
For example, if you have been using a heavyweight hair serum and you notice your hair serum become too watery even after shaking it well, there are chances that your hair serum is expired.
You might also start to notice some lamp of product at the bottom of the hair serum bottle. If that is the case, check the expiry and stop using the hair serum immediately. You wouldn’t want to deal with avoidable risks.
Under a lot of instances, when a product is expired, the newly created chemicals might start to produce a certain unusual smell.
In the case of hair serum, when it is expired, it might not produce the fouls smell immediately. However, after a few weeks, you will defines not miss the fouls smell produced.
If you suspect a change in smell, you might have to put the hair serum aside and check the other signs of expiry.
Change in color
Another sign of an expired hair serum is change in color. Once the ingredients starts reacting with each other, the new chemicals formed will result to a change in color on your hair serum.
Most hair serums might be clear or any other color depending on the ingredients used. If you notice your hair serum immediately having some green, orange, or red tones, there are high chances your hair serum is going bad.
Formation of mold
If you miss the other signs of hair serum expiry, you cannot miss to see the molds that might formed on your hair serum.
Sometimes you might have not used your hair serum for months. This does not mean the hair serum your hair serum won’t get bad. The moment the hair serum expiry date reaches, it will automatically go bad.
In such a case above, you might have missed a change in color, texture, and smell. But you cannot miss the molds that will be formed on the walls of your hair serum bottle.
If you just suspect one single mold on your favorite bottle of hair serum, do not use it on your hair. You don’t want to risk your own health.
No matter how expensive your hair serum is, once it goes bad, there is no need to use it. You should therefore toss it.
No matter how expensive or how effective your hair serum is, once it reaches its expiry date, it looses it’s efficiency.
One way to tell if your hair serum is expired, is by checking it expiry date indicated on the bottle.
Sometimes your hair serum might go bad before reaching it’s expiry and all the signs to tell you if your hair serum is expired are indicated in the guide above.
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- Verma, Y. K., Verma, R., Singh, A. K., & Gangenahalli, G. (2021). LiCl containing thermosensitive formulation improves hemostasis, wound healing, and hair regrowth. Regenerative Engineering and Translational Medicine, 7(3), 362-378.
- Shome, D., Kapoor, R., Surana, M., Vadera, S., & Shah, R. (2022). Efficacy of QR678 Neo® hair growth factor formulation for the treatment of hair loss in Covid‐19‐induced persistent Telogen Effluvium—A prospective, clinical, single‐blind study. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 21(1), 16-23.
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Andriya Ruth, is a beauty specialist with more than 10 years of experiences. She loves to test new beauty products and techniques to innovate novel beauty procedures for her clients and knowledge. Further, she contributes to several beauty magazines and blogs as a leading author/reviewer.