How Long Do Hair Care Products Last?

Hair products (coloring, shampooing, or care) all have a maximum shelf life. An unopened product can be kept for 30 months.

Then, shampoos, care, or coloring products do not have the same shelf life after opening.

This shelf life after opening, called OAP, is indicated on each bottle or package.

When the shelf life (opened or unopened product) is exceeded, it is not recommended to use these products in a customer appointment (or at home).

Where and how to store them? We explain everything right here.

Hair coloring cream, oxidizer, bleaching powder, shampoo, hairspray, hair care products… All these products cannot be kept indefinitely.

How Long Do Hair Care Products Last

Where to store your hair products?

The conservation of hair products that you use in your home hairdressing activity is important.

We advise you to keep them in a dry place, away from heat and light.

This ensures that the products are used properly and that their composition is not altered.

You can also store them in a closet, a drawer, or a suitcase: in a bedroom, the living room, or the cellar if it is ventilated.

How long should I keep my hair products for a client appointment?

Hair products such as coloring, shampoo, conditioner, and gels, have a date of “PAO”. This means “shelf life after opening.”

The tube of the product indicates indeed how long, after opening, it is possible to use a product.

Not all hair products have the same expiration date. Shampoos can be kept for 2 to 3 years.

A gel, or a wax, an industrial shampoo up to 2 years after opening.

On the other hand, an organic shampoo will be used 18 months after opening.

For coloring or oxidizing products, it is the same thing.

Some can be kept up to 12 months after opening, others 18 months.

How to know? On the packaging of the product, there is a small pictogram indicating it: it is an opened jar with the mention “12M”, “18M”, “36M” etc.

Unopened products: shelf life

Do you keep unopened tubes of hair coloring or oxidizing agents (or shampoos) in your stock of products? Do not use hair products, even if they are closed, for more than 30 months after purchase.

The ingredients can change even if the product is closed.

Read: Do Hair Care Products Expire?

Can I keep a mixture of hair color and oxidant?

As for mixtures made for coloring (coloring product and oxidizer): we formally advise against keeping a mixture even if you have some left over.

The components of mixed products become unstable and must be used quickly.

Otherwise, the coloring may not hold on the hair or may not be the desired one. And then, your client may not be very happy…

weighing and dosing coloring products

Storage of a coloring mixture

What are the risks of using an expired hair color product?

First of all, your product will be ineffective. In the case of a coloring product, it will not last on the hair. The desired shade will be different.

For all hair products, there may be allergic reactions (itching, burning, hair loss, etc.)

Finally, even if your product has not yet expired but its color, texture or smell seems questionable, do not use the product.

The ideal organization to manage a stock of products

For easy reference, write the date of purchase and opening of a product on the product or in a notebook.

The OTP date passed? The products are closed, but you bought them more than 30 months ago? Regroup your expired products and deposit them at the waste disposal center when you go there.

Also, don’t hesitate to take advantage of a half-day without appointments when you are at home to “review” your stock of products.

Put aside the opened products with a near OTP date as well as the unopened products that you have had for more than a year.

Use these first for appointments and so on, to rotate, and always use the products that have a shorter shelf life first.

Read: How To Start A Hair Product Line

How long do other cosmetics products last?

All cosmetic products have one thing in common: at the latest, when the smell, color or consistency changes, it’s time for the trash.


Perfumes will not spoil because of the alcohol they contain. However, after a good two years, the scent begins to change, and the perfume no longer smells the same as it did at the beginning.

Also bad for all perfumes is direct sunlight.


Lasts well up to one year. Depending on the ingredients, the oil may separate from the water from time to time.

In this case, simply shake the bottle well. Do not forget to clean the cap from time to time.

Mascara and eyeliner

Both products should be replaced about every six months because our eye mucous membranes are susceptible to germs.

Mascara should also not be “pumped”, or air and bacteria will get into the tube.

The easiest thing to do is the smell test; if the product smells unpleasant, then get rid of it!


Lipsticks last up to two years. However, due to heat, they can go bad faster or dry out. The odor test can be relied upon here as well.


Loose powder lasts virtually forever, as long as it does not come into contact with moisture. Important: Clean sponges and brushes regularly or, even better, replace them.

Eyeshadow and blush

The compact powders remain durable for up to three years. However, if the product begins to crumble or otherwise has a change in consistency, they belong in the trash.

Kajal pencils

Probably the most graceful beauty product: they last forever!

Nail polish

The nail polish can actually not spoil either, but we probably all know that over the years, they become thick and dry much slower.

Face creams

If the products are used up, you can keep them for about a year. However, if the smell or consistency changes, they belong in the trash.

Eye creams

Due to the concentrated ingredients, they have a shelf life of only six months. Even then, watch the smell and consistency.

Cleansing products

Facial toners and cleansing milk usually last a while beyond the specified date, but they are usually used up before then.

Body lotion

Moisturizer stays fresh for about a year. Unlike foundation, however, it belongs directly in the trash when the water separates from the oil.


Complexion optimizers have a shelf life of only about six months, after which they lose their effect. Thus it is also obvious why self-tanners are never available in 500ml bottles.


Like the body lotion, the product has a shelf life of about one year. Otherwise, the protective effect is no longer present. However, since the products are exposed to the sun a lot, they may not be good even sooner.

Shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner

The three products also have a good shelf life of one year. However, if the products have less water content, they are almost indefinitely.

Tips & Tricks for a long shelf life

Always close the product well after use and store it preferably in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Remove the creams from the jar only with clean hands or a spatula; this prevents bacteria from getting into the jars.

Bottles with pump dispensers are not only convenient to use but also better for shelf life.

So that it is not forgotten when the product was opened, simply note the date on it.

And finally, the trick with the storage in the refrigerator: Especially lipsticks and nail polishes are so longer durable – if there were only not the space problem.