Wondering if your hairspray is expired or cannot find an expiry date on your hairspray?
We had the same question and will answer your query from what we found and also share a different school of thought.
Does your hairspray expire? Yes, it does. Well, they do not really have a date that they expire, rather they expire due to the surrounding factors that tend to affect them during their lifespan. It has been said that non-aerosol products can have a shelf life up to three years if unopened, and about 18 months after used.
We will share more on why hairspray expires and also a different school of thought on expiry.
Why hairspray expire?
This is because once the product comes into contact with the open air and possibly your hands or skin, it is likely to collect bacteria which will break down the ingredients causing it to expire. At the moment, there’s no law requiring hair products to have any expiry date displayed on them, so you might be forgiven for thinking that they last forever but hair products do in fact expire. Sealed products are considered to be safe to use for up to three years as long as they are stored in a cool dark place. While most of us are not likely to hoard hair products for three years, it can be handy to know if your holy grail hair product ever gets discontinued. Natural hair products may have an even shorter shelf life due to the natural ingredients and fragrances.
This expiry time frame is believed to decrease to 18 months once the product has been opened and exposed to heat, light, air, body heat and body contact so bear that in mind if you have a product that you only use sparingly because it cost so much. Hair products expire more rapidly when the product is diluted from exposure to drops of water. Try to use bottles with closed tops that give squeeze or pump delivery as this will minimize body contact and water exposure, especially if you’re a fond user of high-end hair products like us. Don’t panic though, your spray products and aerosols expire much slower than other hair products because they are in sealed containers, which means that your sprays can last up to five years!
Not everyone will take three years to finish up their favorite hair products, but if you’ve made an expensive purchase that you use sparingly or if you find a half used bottle at the back of your bathroom shelf one day and you’re worried it’s expired, then the best way to check the expiration is to look, feel and smell it. If it looks any different, if the texture has changed, or if the scent has become a stink then throw it out! If you decide that it’s fine to use then ensure you use it up before the hair product expires. Expired hair products won’t do any damage to your hair but they won’t perform their function properly!
One of the best tips for checking if hair products expire is to write the date of purchase and date opened on any bottles of hair products you buy in permanent marker. This way, if you buy a backup of a product and find it a few months later, you’ll know exactly when you bought it and if it’s near it’s expiry date or not!
Another school of thought says:
As a rule, hairspray doesn't "spoil" in the sense that it doesn't go rancid or become harmful. It may however, "go bad" in other ways. For instance, it may change in fragrance over time as it gets older and the fragrance ingredients go inert. If your hairspray normally has a pleasant scent and begins to smell bad or simply smell stale, then you may want to consider replacing it.
Another sign of degradation is that it may stop working as well as it once did. If it doesn't seem to hold as well as it did originally it may be a sign that the polymers have lost their efficiency. When this happens, it's time to replace the product. Finally, the most common problem with old hairspray products is that the polymer residue in the spray nozzles can harden and become impenetrable blockages that keep you from dispensing any more of the product. In non-aerosol pumps, you can often simply replace the pump, but in spray cans, this usually means that the whole rest of the product must be discarded. Never, under any circumstances, try to clear a blockage from the stem of an aerosol canister. The contents of a can of hairspray (even one that is mostly empty) are under extreme pressure, and could cause serious injury if mishandled.
How do aerosol and non aerosol hairsprays differ? A non-aerosol or pump hairspray also creates a mist, spray or stream of liquid. It is packaged as a liquid, usually in a bottle with an atomizer attachment, such as a pump sprayer. Aerosols provide a finer mist of hairspray on delivery. Therefore, non-aerosols offer more control and are generally a longer-lasting product which hence doesn't seem to expire.