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Say Goodbye Product Stash: Four signs your products are no good for you anymore.

By January 3, 2014hair + beauty

Ladies, we all have our go-to stash.

When that cutie from accounting finally summons up enough courage to ask you out on a date, you know you have your trusty outfit.

When its time to throw on quick, but flawless “face” you know exactly what foundation, powder, blush, lipstick eyeshadow and mascara to use.

The same applies to your favorite hair products. When you’re on a time crunch, you know exactly what shampoo and conditioner will hold you down, right?

(Now, would I be writing this post if the answer were yes?)

Take a gander at these four signs. If you’ve seen or noticed this, well, it might be time to set up a candlelight vigil in memory of your favorite hair product.

Uses your senses

Most products are designed to last a few years, which is awesome. However, some don’t live up to that expectation. Before using it, pour a little out on your hand and smell it. If it still smells okay, you’re probably in good shape. If the fragrance has faded, no worries. But if when you take a wif, you smell something a little rude, it might be time to throw it out. The same goes for how it looks. If in the bottle you see some mold or even fungus growing dispose of it, and go by another one.

Milk has expiration date, so do hair products…well kinda.

Your typical over the counter hair products normally don’t have an expiration date, which stinks. However, they do have this handy little set of numbers called a lot number. What this does is tell the consumer (that’s you, pretty girl) when and where the product was made. If you give those kind folks a ring, they can most likely tell you how long of a shelf like your product has. Neat, right?

Did you store it away correctly?

I know. I know. This sounds crazy. I just assume you should keep your shampoo and conditioner in the shower. I didn’t know it merited its own little two-bedroom condo or something. But where you store your products is vital. Some products are sensitive to heat, while others can’t do light. Reading the fine print on the label is key. Also, the condition of the package is important. If after you buy it you notice that the package is broken, that will have an effect on its shelf life as well.

Special Ingredients

Most products don’t contain anything out of the ordinary. However, if when you’re reading the fine print on the bottle and you see the word Intelli-zyme, which means the product contains enzymes. Enzymes are infamous for not being able to withstand high temps. Those pesky enzymes also make your product expire a lot sooner than most. Hand lotions can crystallize, thicken or turn to mush if they’re stored in a cool temperature.

Some of the things mentioned on the short list is common sense, and other are science. Stick to this ladies, and I’m sure you won’t ever have a bad hair.


In addition to the information provided here, you can learn more about the various ingredients in your cosmetics and hair products by picking up a copy of my new book Thank God I’m Natural: The Ultimate Guide to Caring for and Maintaining Natural Hair now available at Barnes & Noble,, and in the Thank God I’m Natural Store.