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Can expired shampoo cause hair loss? You may be wondering about this problem if you aren’t quite sure if your expired bottle of shampoo is still usable, without hair-damaging consequences.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. And I’ll tell you if it’s safe to use expired shampoo or not.
So before you lather up with that Suave, Pantene, or MoroccanOil hydration shampoo, check out what I know about shampoo expiration dates.
You'll learn how to tell if a bottle of shampoo or conditioner is past its prime, any and all risks involved and what may affect the shelf life.
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The answer is yes, but it’s extremely unlikely that expired shampoo will cause hair loss.
To lose hair from expired shampoo or conditioner the product would have to be so old that it grew dangerous bacteria that could cause hair issues.
So, the answer is a “technical” yes. Yet, it’s not something to worry about. If the shampoo or conditioner was damaged to such a high level it would be apparent and obvious because of mold or a noxious odor.
If you're looking at and smelling your shampoo and still wondering, “Can expired shampoo cause hair loss?”, you don’t have a product that will cause hair loss on your hands.
That’s not to say it will be best for your hair results, especially if it’s “head and shoulders” past its expiry date. Pun absolutely INTENDED.
In the rare situation that you have expired shampoo so old that it has grown molds or fungus, that’s when your danger red flag should go up.
This extreme expiration level of shampoo poses the risk of spreading harmful bacteria to your scalp and causing an infection.
Scalp infections can cause hair loss, dandruff, open sores, redness and irritation. The bacteria can also be spread to other areas of your skin and body.
But when was the last time you saw a shampoo with mold or fungus? Never, right? Also…
Most labels for shampoo and conditioner expiration are usually not reflective of the true life of the product (it’s usually longer than stated to be on the safe side). I don’t believe that you should have a problem with hair loss from simply using an outdated shampoo.
To keep it ALL THE WAY CUTE though…
Because using shampoo that's past it's use by date can result in your hair looking dull, lacking luster and not looking or feeling as clean as you'd expect.
At the more extreme end an expired shampoo or conditioner may cause itching or irritation to your scalp due to the hair product's chemical change.
You won’t worry about can expired shampoo cause hair loss or not if you learn how to read shampoo expiration dates and understand certain usage codes.
Although, I’ll admit to you that finding out if your shampoo has expired isn’t always as simple as should be.
Especially as this kind of information is often left off of the shampoo bottle or container because the FDA does not require shampoo bottles to display an expiration date on the label.
Which is another clue that hair loss from expired shampoo isn’t really “a thing”.
Even if your shampoo does contain information on how long after opening you can use the product, it might be difficult to remember the exact year that you purchased the hair cleanser.
However, not all hope is lost. Here are 3 different manners in which you can check the expiration of your shampoo:
Answer: Yes, shampoos and conditioners do expire even if not opened. It’s not a myth. Shampoo does take longer to expire when unopened though. If you get a 1-year expiration opened, in general you can expect 2 years on unopened shampoo.
If there’s no label on your shampoo, a good rule is to keep unopened bottles for no more than three years and an opened bottle for at most 18 months. Any more time after that you may be pushing it!
You may find some shampoo products don't necessarily follow these expiration time rules, so it may be wise to keep an “expiration journal” for your favorite hair products so you can keep track of when they tend to go bad.
Let’s make a deal. No more asking me “Can expired shampoo cause hair loss?”, that’s solved and now you have some good tips and tricks to keep you from even dealing with expired shampoo in the future.
The best way to keep track of how long you’ve had your shampoo is by labeling your “bought on” date on the bottle with a permanent marker or making a product expiration journal.
Make a note of the date you bought and opened the shampoo bottle, and be sure to toss it after 18 months or so (at most, for a conventional shampoo) after you opened it.
You can minimize the risk of bacterial contamination by touching the opening of the bottle as little as possible when pouring shampoo into your hand.
And it helps to maximize the lifespan of your shampoo by storing the product in a cool, dry place.
Shampoo shelf life might seem like an unnecessary thing to worry about, and as long as you’re not holding onto opened bottles for over a year, there’s probably no cause for alarm or to think your hair is going to fall out because of it.
It’s definitely worth taking the pain of caution to avoid bacterial scalp infections, though.
So if you find yourself considering using a long-held mystery bottle of shampoo that might have been opened a long time ago and expired, you’re probably better off tossing it and grabbing a new bottle of the good stuff at Amazon.
If you enjoyed this "Can expired shampoo cause hair loss?" article and need a new shampoo, check out this article about black soap shampoo for Alopecia.