does hair dye expire

Does Hair Dye Expire? Signs and Safety Tips

Hair dyeing, or sometimes known as hair coloring, is the means of transforming the color of one’s hair using cosmetics. Typically, the dyes are  cosmetic in nature, and work by covering gray or white hair, changing to a color considered more fashionable or desired, or restoring the original hair color once it has been affected or even undergone discoloration by hairdressing techniques or sun bleaching.

Does Hair Dye Expire?

Does hair dye expire? Yes, hair dye expires 24 months after it has been opened. Unopened hair dye does not have a shelf life and will last indefinitely. Dyes older than 36 months could ruin your hair and cause unforeseen negative effects to your scalp.

Drugstore brands like Manic Panic are more likely to expire sooner. It’s easy to determine whether you’re dealing with hair dye that has overstayed in the shelf. 

Extreme color changes, for instance, in the dye is one of the dead giveaways.

More on the signs hair dye has expired to follow below.

Hair dyes made of natural/organic compounds have shorter shelf life as chemical hair colors. These usually go bad faster compared to those that are entirely chemical.  

But what is the reason why hair dye expires?

Opened hair dye expires because it gets air-activated thereby rendering it not useful for achieving the color it was intended to give.

Even when stored without opening, the chemical components in hair dye will begin to degrade slowly. This happens faster if it is exposed to conditions such as light and air, which lead to rapid oxidation and photo-degradation.

Can You Use Expired Hair Dye?

You should not use expired hair dye because it is associated with risks such as damage to scalp and hair. If you use expired hair dye, you run the risk of experiencing undesirable effects on your scalp and hair.

When you use expired hair dye, it can cause red scalps and ulcers on your scalp.

Hair dye still contains a small amount of chemicals, making it unwise to experiment with it, especially if it is over its expiration date. Remember that this will be combined with peroxide, and it is highly likely that a chemical reaction will occur when the two are combined.

Always be cautious and purchase a new pack because they are quite affordable.

Using expired hair dye carries a higher risk of infection than using expired shampoo or conditioner, and we would strongly advise against doing so.

can you use expired hair dye

If you decide to use your hair color after it has expired or is soon to expire and you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • One common drawback is green hair.
  • You may notice uneven color.
  • Hair color could look like it is fading.
  • Scalp good begin to itch or you realize burning sensation.
  • Hair grows brittle or frizzy.
  • Other times, you could experience hair loss. 

Once you’ve used expired hair dye, it is possible that the ammonia has become oxidized. If this is the case, the peroxide will not react with the dye. It is possible to get a stain. However, it won’t open the hair and deposit the actual staining where it is needed. Instead of entering within the hair, the color will cling to the exterior of the hair.

It is impossible to obtain your desired look with expired hair dye, and you run the danger of producing a chemical burn on your scalp, which could result in blisters, scars, and even hair loss.

In order to prevent this from happening, you should immediately discard the goods if you have any suspicions that it has expired.

Be on the lookout for bad odors, color changes, and broken packaging, to name a few things.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require cosmetic companies to provide an expiration date on their hair dyes.

So, yes, it is correct, and it is useful to know this position of the FDA. The problem arises, however, if you do not know the date of the creation of the product, how long it remained on the shelf before you purchased it, or even when you purchased it.

Signs Your Hair Dye Has Expired

You should watch out for these indicators if you’ve had several boxes of hair dye lying on your shelf for a while and are unsure whether or not they’ve gone bad or will expire in the future.

1. Packaging Begins to Change

It is possible that the packing will swell, grow soggy, or appear dented after hair dye has overstayed in the shelf.

Noticing these signs could demonstrate that air has gotten into the product through tiny openings and that oxidation has taken place.

Although the packaging will remain unchanged, you will still need to open the box in order to thoroughly evaluate the contents.

2. A Change in Smell of Hair Dye

If the smell coming out of the hair dye changes, as it does with most products, it is usually a strong indicator that it has reached the end of its shelf life.

It may have a stronger odor than you think, or it may have a milder odor than you anticipate.

In either case, any changes in scent should be interpreted as a signal that it could be time to discard it.

3. A Change in Appearance

The presence of a watery liquid floating atop the dye indicates the presence of compounds that have separated from each other.

Keep an eye out for any yellow or orange liquid in the dye itself or packaging, since this might be a strong indication that the product has gone off-the-market.

Grab a small bowl, then combine a small amount of the hair color. Check the color once you’ve mixed it according to the directions. It is common for hair dye to appear lighter than the final color because it allows the chemical reactions to take place on your hair while it is being dyed. 

It is recommended that you discard expired hair dye if it looks to be the end-result color straightway or instantly after mixing it.

4. Separation of Components

Last sign that the dye has expired is separation of components. If the liquid dye has expired, assuming there is no leak in the container, this is also a possibility. To check for this separation, carefully grab the bottle, open it without tilting it back and forth. 

Proceed to tilt the bottle slowly as if you were pouring it. If only one homogeneous liquid streams out, you have nothing to be concerned about; however, if a thin, and possibly a bit milky, but close to transparent fluid pours out, the dye has most likely separated and reached expiration, and you should discard it immediately.

How Long Does Permanent Dye Last on Hair?

Permanent hair dye applied on hair usually lasts 4-6 weeks before it begins to fade. Because it includes ammonia, it must be combined with an oxidizing agent in order to adhere to hair permanently. It is dependent on a variety of circumstances, including the quality of the hair dye, the hair’s condition, and the temperature at which it is applied.

How To Keep Your Hair Dye To Make It Last Long

Keep your hair dye in a cool, dark location where there is no direct sunlight to ensure that it remains protected. If you want to prevent moisture buildup, keep it away from moisture or a humid environment.

Only squeeze out as much as you need onto a clean basin before rapidly and tightly shutting the container.

This will prevent contamination of the primary package for the dye.