Does Shampoo Expire? How to tell?

by Shopify API on Jul 06, 2024


Many people have just considered if does shampoo expire? The answer is yes. Just like any other product, it has one. Shampoo can last anywhere from six to twelve months after the expiration date, but it's best to err on the side of caution and replace it sooner rather than later.

Just check the label, and when it says on it, there is a use-by date, and that's the one you should check to see if it needs to be replaced.

Does Shampoo Expire?

The short answer to that question is yes. The law doesn't require manufacturers of personal care products, such as cosmetics and skincare, to mark a product with an expiration year.

Many will also include a period following the opening suggestion. According to FDA Trusted Source, this is generally a period for a product to be expected to function as it should or is safe to use.

Look at the bottom of your shampoo bottle to find a period. You'll find a symbol that looks similar to a small container with its lid off if your product has a use-by date.

Is There A Shampoo Expiration Date

The number will have the letter M on it, which is likely to be:

  • 12 M
  • 18 M
  • 24 M

The manufacturer says that you must use a shampoo bottle within a specified period. This could be 12 months, 18, or 24 months.

Sometimes, a product does not provide information about expiration dates, time after opening, shelf life suggestions, or shelf-life guidelines. This makes it harder to know when to throw out a shampoo bottle.

You can still inspect the product to determine if it is damaged.

If you are searching for the best shampoo and conditioners; please check our guide.

Is it OK to use expired shampoo?

Using expired shampoo is generally safe as long as it does not show any signs of spoilage or discoloration. However, it is important to note that the efficacy of the shampoo may be compromised, and it may not provide the desired results.

It is recommended to check the expiration date before purchasing a new bottle of shampoo and to use it before it expires. Additionally, storing the shampoo properly, away from heat and moisture, can help prolong its shelf life.

If the shampoo has expired and shows signs of spoilage, it is best to dispose of it properly and purchase a new bottle. Using spoiled shampoo can lead to skin irritation, infections, and other health issues.

Understanding Shampoo Expiration Dates

Shampoo is one of the most commonly used hair care products. However, like any other product, it has an expiration date. Understanding the expiration date of shampoo is essential to ensure that it is safe to use and effective in cleaning the hair.

Shampoo expiration dates are typically printed on the packaging in the form of a date or a batch code. The date indicates the period during which the product is guaranteed to be effective and safe to use. It is important to note that the expiration date is not an arbitrary number but is based on scientific testing and analysis.

The expiration date of shampoo is determined by the stability of its ingredients. Over time, the active ingredients in shampoo can break down, lose their effectiveness, or even become harmful. Using expired shampoo can result in scalp irritation, hair damage, or even infection.

It is important to note that the expiration date of shampoo can vary depending on the type of shampoo, the brand, and the storage conditions. For example, organic or natural shampoos may have a shorter shelf life than regular shampoos. Similarly, shampoos that are exposed to heat, humidity, or sunlight may expire faster than those stored in cool and dry places.

Your Shampoo Ingredients Matter

The ingredients of shampoo will determine its expiration date. This will vary depending on the brand and formula, but you can expect that most shampoos contain the following:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Dimethicone
  • Panthenol
  • Citric acid
  • parabens
  • cocamidopropyl betaine

These ingredients are found in shampoos and can do many different things. These ingredients are cleaning agents and foaming agents and extend shelf life. The benefits claimed by shampoos vary in their quantity. They can prevent dandruff, eliminate split ends, protect from frizz, and repair hair.

It's important to remember that oxygen can slowly degrade the abilities of these ingredients when you open a shampoo bottle. The slow growth of bacteria can be caused by oxygen, which may react with the shampoo's ingredients.

How to Identify Expired Shampoo

When it comes to expired shampoo, it can be difficult to know whether it's still safe to use or not. Here are a few things to look out for when trying to identify expired shampoo.

Change in Color

One of the first things to look for is a change in color. Shampoo that has expired may start to look cloudy or discolored. If you notice that your shampoo has changed color, it may be time to replace it.

Change in Smell

Another thing to look out for is a change in smell. Expired shampoo may start to smell sour or unpleasant. If your shampoo smells different than it did when you first bought it, it may be time to toss it out.

Change in Texture

Finally, pay attention to any changes in texture. Expired shampoo may become thicker or thinner than it was when you first bought it. It may also start to separate or develop lumps. If you notice any of these changes, it's probably time to replace your shampoo.

In summary, when trying to identify expired shampoo, look for changes in color, smell, and texture. If you notice any of these changes, it's probably time to replace your shampoo.

How Do You Know If Your Shampoo Is Terrible?

Gina Rivera, founder, and CEO of Phenix Salon Suites says that shampoos without expiration dates or aren't usable may be a sign to watch out for.

Although some shampoos are marked with an expiration date (which is more of a suggestion rather than a rule), it's not a mandatory requirement. A few simple tests will help you determine if your shampoo is terrible.

How Do You Know If Your Shampoo Is Terrible

It smells. It's probably past its prime if it smells like lavender fields now but smells like mushrooms or wet dogs. Toss it.

Pour it. Another sign that it is past its expiration date is a runny or watery texture. It is losing its rich texture and is not safe to use. It should be thrown away.

It should be lathered. Add a little water to make a lather. It should not be bubble or foam-like. It does every day.

What Factors Can Impact The Shelf Life Of Shampoo?

Make sure you:

  • Once you are done with it, close the lid completely.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and high heat.
  • Keep the shampoo bottle in cool, dark places.
  • Reduce your exposure to water droplets and other products contaminating the product.

Rivera said it is essential to know that organic and sulfate-free shampoos may have shorter shelf lives. She explained that this is due to the absence of preservatives and the addition of more healthy-based ingredients.

Is Shampoo Safe To Use If It Has Expired?

Rivera stated that expired products undergo chemical changes, meaning they are no longer effective at high levels.

Is Shampoo Safe To Use If It Has Expired

Shampoos that are past their expiry date can cause hair to look duller and less clean.

Rivera said that an expired shampoo could cause irritation or itching to your scalp because of the chemical change.

What About Other Items In Your Bathroom?

Bathroom products can quickly go wrong. It is essential to regularly check your beauty and health products for expiration dates and get rid of expired ones.

Here are some other products to look at, in addition to shampoo:

Makeup. The clock begins to tick once you open an eyeshadow container or lipstick tube. Your makeup might come with a label on the back that says Period after opening. You should check this before you use the product.

Most cosmetics last between 3 and 24 months if it does not have a label. According to FDA Trusted Source, lipstick is the most likely to be thrown out after three months and mascara the next at 18 to 24 months.

Toothpaste. Toothpaste must have an expiration date. Check the toothpaste tube and the box to find the expiration date. Always lookout for the American Dental Association Seal of Approval for maximum safety and efficacy.

Sunscreen. Sunscreen should have an expiration date. The FDA Trusted Source recommends that sunscreen be thrown away after three years. The sunscreen's ability to protect you against the sun may be compromised if you continue using it after the expiration date.

Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide should be used within 2 to 3 years of purchase. It's not effective after opening the container.

Use rubbing alcohol. Use rubbing alcohol before the expiration date printed on the label. This will ensure that it is effective. This usually occurs between 2 and 3 years after purchase.

Disposing Of Expired Shampoo

It would help if you disposed of your shampoo correctly once you have determined that it is no longer in use. It is tempting to throw out the rest of your shampoo and not recycle it or throw it away.

This means that shampoo and chemicals can end up in your community's water supply. Federal regulations make shampoo, cosmetics, and insect repellant household hazardous waste.

when does shampoo expire

It is best to empty the shampoo from the bottle and put it in a new container before bringing it to the hazardous waste facility. The original bottle can be wiped clean, recycled, or thrown in the trash.

However, if you don't have recycling facilities in your area or your local area holds Household Hazardous Waste disposal events only a few times per year,

You can throw away the entire bottle of shampoo if it's not in use. The shampoo will still end up in the trash, but the plastic container should contain the shampoo and keep it from leaking out.


Is Shampoo Good After 5 Years?

No. shampoo should be used within 5 years. Most stylists recommend that shampoo be kept for no longer than 18 months. Shampoo that has expired after the expiration date will not work, and shampoo from a new bottle.

Can Old Shampoo Cause Baldness?

Experts agree that although it is not ideal to use an expired shampoo on your hair, it will usually not cause any damage.

Can old shampoo cause baldness

There is a chance that bacteria from an expired shampoo bottle could get into your hair through cuts, causing irritation and even rashes. You should always throw out your old shampoo and buy a new one in doubt.

What Happens To Expired Hair Products?

Although expired hair products won't cause hair damage, they won't work as well when they're new. You might also notice a foul-smelling effect, which can cause your hair to smell.


It's essential to know how to buy shampoo properly to avoid wasting money on products you don't need. You should keep an eye on the expiration date and purchase a new one when you notice that it's nearing the end of its life.

It's also good to check the smell and consistency of the shampoo before purchasing a new one so that you can make sure it meets your expectations.

Hope you find this blog helpful; please leave your thoughts in the comment box.