Considered more than just a beauty routine but also a vital process for maintaining cleanliness, shampooing is not just something to be overlooked. With that said, an interesting query about it begs the question, does shampoo expire? It is no surprise that many of you are curious to know the answer to this burning inquiry.

Curiosity about details on anything you use on your body is immensely beneficial. With this article, I will assist you to find out if the shampoo does expire. Plus, I will also share a few important things you need to know about shampoo and hair washing.

Does Shampoo Expire?

The fact that most shampoos do not have an indication of when it expires does not mean you can store it as long as you want. Like other cosmetic products, the moment you open a bottle of shampoo, it’s shelf life starts to tick away. Exposure to air, sunlight, and bacteria can lessen the effectivity of any product, in this case, your shampoo.

In addition to that, humidity and heat also contribute to further its deterioration. Fortunately, there are products that show the expiration date or the best before the date on the bottle. In some cases, you can locate the “period after opening” or “PAO” followed by a number and a letter M. An example of which is “12M”, which suggests the product is good to use for the period of 12 months after opening.

However, if there are no marks or labels on the product, the rule of thumb is you can use it for the period of one year once opened. Unopened products can have a shelf life of up to 3 years.

How To Spot An Expired Shampoo

There are three simple ways to know if your shampoo has gone bad and should be discarded. Since in some cases there is no specification of expiration dates on the bottle, you can try these quick tests.

  • Give it a good sniff. If your shampoo originally smelled sweet and fragrant but instead vents a foul or rancid scent, it is best to discard it.
  • Pour a small amount of the product to check its texture and consistency. If your shampoo is runny or watery, this is an indication that it is no longer good to use. The right consistency should be rich and thick. Components of the shampoo tend to break down as time goes by causing it to lose its rich texture and consistency.

If the first two tests still give you an inconclusive result, add a little water and try to get the lather in your hands. If there is a significant absence of lather or foam, you can conclude that the shampoo needs to be disposed of. For the video version, you can watch it here

Do’s and Don’ts of Hair Washing


  • Know the right type of shampoo and conditioner for your hair type. Depending on which hair type, you must know the right kind of shampoo and conditioner to use to encourage healthy hair growth.
  • Make sure to wet your hair thoroughly before applying shampoo. This will ensure better cleaning of your hair and scalp while shampooing.
  • Give your scalp a good massage. When washing your hair using shampoo, massage the product into your scalp using the pads of your fingers.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly. Make sure to rinse off any hair products (shampoo and conditioner) from your hair. Leftover hair products may induce irritation on your scalp or damaged hair strands.
  • Use an absorbent towel when drying your hair. After rinsing your hair, use a towel that is absorbent enough to dry your hair.


  • Avoid washing with hot water as this can cause damage to your hair. Using lukewarm or cold water is better for your hair and can even give it a better shine after washing.
  • Do not apply too much hair product. Using an excessive amount of shampoo will only make it harder for you to rinse it off. This goes the same with hair conditioners.
  • Abstain from using too many different products on your hair. There is a wide range of hair products that offer a variety of benefits for your hair. However, using several different products or switching too often may not be helpful in maintaining healthy hair after all. You must keep in mind that these products contain different chemicals that can have various effects on your hair and scalp. It is best to pick out the best product for your hair type and stick to it.
  • It is not highly recommended that you wash your hair too frequently. Allow your scalp to produce sufficient amount of natural oils. Washing your hair too frequently will strip away your scalp’s natural oils causing it to dry out. However, the frequency of washing your hair will also depend on your lifestyle and environment.
  • When drying your hair after you have washed and rinsed it, avoid rubbing it with a towel. Rubbing will create too much friction and can cause damage to your hair strands resulting in frizzy hair. Dab your hair with an absorbent towel instead.


Ultimately, paying close attention to what you use for your overall self-care and beautification means knowing if the product is good for you to use or not. May it be cosmetics, hair products or skin care products, make sure to verify the details and how these products will benefit you. Being aware of these things can spare you from any possible mishap.

I hope you have learned something from this article. Was this article helpful in answering your inquiry of when and if shampoo expires? Were you able to pick up important things about hair care? Do you have other suggestions regarding this topic? Feel free to let me know your thoughts by leaving your comment below.
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