Is hair gel bad for hair or expires

Hair gel contains complex polymers extracted from natural or synthetic resins. These substances are evenly distributed over each hair, forming a coating invisible to the eye. But many of us are worried by the question: Is hair gel bad for hair? Let's look at the pros and cons of hair gel.

Hair Gel on head

Cons of hair gels

· Hair gel alone does not harm hair. Typically, it is based on hydroxyethyl cellulose or polysaccharides, which can even be useful. But when the gel dries on the hair, it loses its plasticity, and the hair, of course, too. If you touch your hair all the time, the hair structure may be disturbed and it may simply break easily.
· It is very important to wash hair gel in time and carefully. You can not comb them with a hairbrush. Many gels have useful additives - d-panthenol (provitamin B5), allantoin, all kinds of vitamins and extracts, but they do not have a special effect in the "dried" form.
· But at the same time, everything that can cause allergies are included in the composition - dyes, perfumes, preservatives, extracts, which can cause itching. In general, it is better to buy a colorless gel with a minimum of components and rinse it off in the evening.
· The daily use of hair gels cannot be called useful since the “case” makes it difficult for hair rods to breathe.
· The disadvantage of this fixing agent is that natural silk looks a little glued, which, however, is a prerequisite for creating stylish hairstyles, especially with curls.
· Thin hair gels are counterintuitive, as they create the perception of a decrease in hair volume. But if you apply the gel spray in small portions, the hairstyle will look thicker. But medium-thick hair, or naturally very lush, looks great when styling is made with this fixing tool.

The positive side of hair gels are:

· Hair “packaged” in this way is easily amenable to any styling that does not deteriorate with rapid movement, wind, high humidity, and scorching sun.
· If your goal is only to get good and durable styling, then it is better to choose a gel whose ingredients are conditioning agents. They separate the hairs from each other, which makes the hair more natural and vibrant.
· The elimination of static electricity from the hair due to the enveloping film can also be considered a positive feature.
· To weaken the effect of the fixative, vitamins are added to the mass. These are vitamins B5, which smooths the surface, and vitamins A, which promote regeneration and stimulate growth, and vitamins C, which is a wonderful antioxidant.
· Advertising promises about the full impact on the hair of the active biological substances that make up the products should not be taken literally. Of course, there is some beneficial effect, but it is very weak and mostly mitigating. For this, manufacturers, in addition to vitamins, add plant extracts to the formulation, for example, nettle (contains vitamins A, K, C, B, tannins), pineapple juice (contains vitamins and fruit acids), plantain juice, vegetable oils (castor).

Does Hair Gel Expires

However, have you ever thought about how much time can a gel lasts? Or does it ever expire?

And if so, how do you know that it is no longer any good? Read below to get the idea about the influencing factors and aftermath effects in case of a hair product expiration.

Reasons Why Gel and Other Hair Products Expire
Usually, unopened hair care products can last for three years. However, once you open them, it is reduced to only 18 months before it hits the expiration date.

This happens because upon applying a product to your hair, it comes in contact with the skin, after which it becomes contaminated by bacteria and moisture - two culprits in a gel's speedy breakdown.

Where you place those products plays a crucial role in their longevity, as well.

As a rule of thumb, you should store them in a cool, dry place. And keep them away from heating sources like radiators, or dryer vents and water heaters.

The First Signs Of Expiration

Changes in smell, texture or color are all major hints and signs that a product is breaking down due to its age or contamination.

So when you notice your hair gel becoming dark or turning yellow, it's a tell-tale sign that you need to replace it.

Reasons Why You Should Never Use Spoiled Gel

You may get a bacterial infection - When your gel expires, its preservatives are no longer able to protect themselves from outside bacteria. And as a result, bacteria enter into the gel itself. And when you apply that contaminated gel on your hair, your chances of getting bacterial infections on your scalp are drastically increased.

The itching will torment you - Itching is also another sign of the expired gel. This happens because of the compounds inside the hair product; due to its expiration, the existing compound starts decomposing to form other compounds. But these other compounds are not as soft as the ones in their original form, so you end up with itching scalp.

Loss of hair - Expired product may leave a damaging substance due to chemical instability. Which then sets in your hair roots and scalp, blocking your pores and causing loss of hair.

However, if you are a little bit luckier, you may just end up with two unpleasant, but less dangerous scenarios such as

1. Your hair becomes frizzy and unkempt-looking
2. The product simply ceases to fulfill its functions, leaving you with no side effects whatsoever.

Most of us use hair products daily for keeping its condition and appearance in check. Its substance-like quality, which makes a gel able to make your hair stay in place and even give you a specific hairstyle, is a proof of its efficiency.

As can be seen, hair gel and other hair products are susceptible to expiration. When that happens, you need to immediately get rid of it to avoid all the unfavorable side effects and damages to your hair.

This post is part of our many posts that covers the expiration of hair products which you can read more about:


Our Research Post

Estimated Expiry Date from Opening

Side Effects of Expiration

Expiration of Hair Dye

Around 2 years

Dark green hair

Burning scalp

Wrong color

Expiration of Hair Wax

Around 1 to 2 years


Change in Aroma


Expiration of Hair Gel

Around 18 months


Hair Loss

Frizzy hair

Expiration of Hair Spray

Around 18 months

Does not hold your hair

Changed fragrance

Expiration of Conditioner

Around 2 years

Hair Infection

Clogged Hair Pores

Hair Loss

Expiration of Shampoo

Around 18 months

Hair Loss

Hair Dryness

Change in hair color

Efforts have been made to get the information as accurate and updated as possible. If you found any incorrect information with credible source, please send it via the contact us form
Sky Hoon
Hair Lover, Idea Starter. He started HairQueenie, which is ranked #27 in the FeedSpot Top 40 Hair Care Blogs and mentions in ManeAddicts and Tempest. Hair is not everything but something. He started Hairqueenie to share great hair products. Over time, he found there are more value to share answers to hair problems that cannot be found easily.
Back to blog