Does Hair Dye Expire – Can Hair Dye Go Bad?

Ever wondered does hair dye expire? Should you use that old bottle that you have had in the bathroom cabinet for a long time? Will it be safe to use, and will it do any damage to your hair?

The answer is that it depends on the type of dye that you are using. The date given on the packaging is a maximum shelf life and not an expiration date. The expiration date for a hair dye depends on the type of dye and what ingredients are used.

When Does Hair Dye Expire

So, does hair dye have an expiration date? Yes! The shelf life for home use hair dye is usually one year from the date of purchase. While this is true for most brands, there are some that state the dye is good for two years. This is because the chemical composition of the dyes is different.

Some dye companies will add a preservative to their dye to keep it fresh for up to two years. Other companies do not add preservatives.

Let’s see how long does box dye last given its type.

  • Permanent hair dye lasts longer than semi-permanent dye. While they have a longer shelf life (about 3 years), they are more damaging to the hair. It lasts longer because it is not only chemically formulated to cling to the hair shaft but also to penetrate the shaft.
  • Semi-permanent is also quite long-lasting and typically lasts about a year or two. This type of dye is often used by people who want to experiment with different hair colors before they commit to a particular one.
  • The more natural dye types, like henna and plant-based hair dyes, will last the shortest amount of time, about 3 months before they expire.
  • Once the dye has been opened, the color will start to fade. This is because the dye has been exposed to oxygen, which affects its chemical structure. It will expire even more quickly than a year or two if it’s not stored properly.
  • Are you wondering how long is hair dye good for after mixed? Once mixed, hair color can be kept for half an hour. After that time, it should be disposed of properly to avoid dangers to health and the environment. It is not a good idea to save the mixture and try to use it later.

Signs That You Have Expired Hair Dye


Hair color can last for a long time if you take good care of it. You can tell if your hair color has expired if it becomes sticky and hard to comb. Another sign is if your hair color is no longer vibrant.

If you want to prevent your hair color from expiring, you should always keep it in a cool place and not in the bathroom, where the heat from the shower can affect the shelf life.

Here are some things that you can check to see if your mixture has expired.

  • It’s dried up – If you see that your hair dye has dried out, then it has most likely expired; it is time to get rid of it.
  • The color is different – If you notice that your product has changed color, this can be another sign that it has expired. If the dye seems to be a different color when you use it, then you should throw it out.
  • It smells funny – Another sign that you have expired hair dye is if it has an awful or funny smell. The expired dye can have a chemical smell. It can also have a sour smell to it.
  • It can be hard to use – Most dyes are easy to use, but some dyes can be hard to use. If it is hard to use, then there is a chance that it is expired.
  • It is clumpy – If you see that your dye is clumpy, then it is probably expired. Sometimes, the mixture can dry up and become clumpy. If this happens, then you should get rid of it.

Best Way to Store Unopened Hair Dye

When you store hair dye for a long time, make sure that you do not open the bottle. You should also store it at room temperature and not in a place that is too hot or too cold.

Heat and light can break down the dye, so keep it in a cool, dark place. Moisture can also break it down, so don’t store it in the bathroom where it gets steamy from your shower.

Can I Use Expired Hair Dye

If the question is can you use old hair dye, then maybe yes. If you have stored the bottle properly and see no signs of expiring that were described above. But if your dye has already expired, then you should avoid using expired hair dye because there’s a chance it could cause an allergic reaction.

If you use an expired product you’re risking to have the following:

  • Hair might turn out dry, dull, or frizzy.
  • Hair loss.
  • Itchiness.
  • Hair color might not take to your hair or might not cover the grey hair.
  • The dye could stain your skin, scalp, and clothing.
  • It could cause your scalp to itch.
  • Acid or base burns.

If any of these symptoms occur, contact your physician.

How To Dispose Of Hair Dye

Hair dye is a mixture of various chemicals. While these chemicals are not hazardous in and of themselves, they can be harmful if they are allowed to enter the environment. The mixture contains ammonia, which is a base. Base chemicals are corrosive and can cause damage to the eyes and skin if they are allowed to come in contact with them.

If you have any unused hair dye lying around your house, you need to get rid of it. This is not something you can just throw in the trash. You need to dispose of it properly.

Take the bottle to a local beauty supply store. Many stores have a recycling program for hair dye. They may be able to take the bottle of dye off your hands.

If the store does not have a recycling program, you can ask them if they know of any organizations in your area that accept dye for recycling.

If you cannot find a place that will take it off your hands, you always have the option of taking the bottle to your local landfill.

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The biggest thing you need to learn from this article is that hair dye which is in the liquid form, usually has a shelf life of twelve months, while the products in the form of powder have a shelf life of twenty four months. The shelf life is based on the unopened and unused products. The moment you open the bottle, the shelf life is reduced.

Just check the dye’s consistency, smell, and color before using it. We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. We’ll be more than happy to help you.

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