If your favorite gel has lost the magic it used to perform on your locks, it might just be past its prime.
While there are currently no official guidelines regarding date labeling on hair products, your mousses, gels, serums, and other tress-enhancers have a shelf life just like everything else.
After realizing that a no-longer-effective curling cream of hers was at least four years old, Alina Dizik of iVillage Beauty and Style set out to get the skinny on product expiration. Here's what she found out:
- Hair products can be kept unopened for up to three years (but who would want to?); however, once you open them, the clock starts ticking on an approximately 18-month shelf life.
- The less product that's exposed when opened, the longer it will last—spray-bottle and tube packaging tend to be the best product-preservers.
- Heat and light can speed the aging process, so keep products in a cool, dark place.
- Trust your nose: if your citrus-scented gel starts to smell like a science project, it's time to replace it.
- The best way to keep track? As soon as you bring a new product home, grab a permanent marker and label it with the date.
Because when it comes to hair care, there's only one thing that should be spoiled—and that's you!