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Does Hair Bleach Expire?

Does Hair Bleach Expire?

All hair products have an expiration date. Conditioner, masks, shampoos, even hair dye, and toners; all start to deteriorate after opening it.

Usually, products you regularly use, like shampoos and conditioners, rarely expire since you finish them before reaching the expiration date. But what about hair products that we do not use that frequently? Like hair developers?

Does hair bleach expire? Well, it can, and if you have any doubts about the expiration date of your hair bleach, bear with me because I will tell you all about it.

Does Hair Bleach Have Expiration Date?

Hair bleach or hair developers have a long life span; that’s one of the main reasons why most of these products do not have a printed expiration date on them. However, this does not mean they can’t turn bad. Unopened hair bleach can be used for a period of three years without any risk for your health.

But once you open the developer bottle, you can only use it for the next six months! That is why I highly recommend you to write the date when you opened the bottle directly on the product. 

That way, you will avoid throwing away hair products that are still good to use. Also, after you open it, you must keep it in a cool place, away from sunlight and moisture.

Keep in mind that using expired hair bleach can cause your hair to break; I will discuss the harmful effects of using expired hair developer later.

What’s The Difference Between A Liquid Developer And Developer Cream?

  • The difference between liquid hair bleach and developer cream is consistency.
    • A cream developer is hydrogen peroxide mixed with glycerin or hair cream. Because of these buffers, they may require more processing time. The creamy developers are less aggressive to hair than liquid developers, so you should go for creamy ones if you have thin and damaged hair.
    • On the other hand, liquid developers contain deionized water and hydrogen peroxide, and when they are mixed with color, they create a very runny consistency. Since they have no buffers, they work faster than cream developers and must be observed because they are aggressive and can quickly burn your hair.
  • No matter what consistency of peroxide you will use, the shelf life’s care is the same.

How Can You Know When The Hair Bleach Expired? 

First thing, first, if you are buying a hair developer, it is clear that you will bleach your hair as soon as possible. Most brands do not have an expiration date printed on the package since hair bleach is a long-lasting product, and most likely, you will use it in the next few months.

But what if you have hair bleach in storage for quite some time now, and you doubt whether it is expired or not? How can you verify it?

If you thought about bringing it close to your nose to pick up some suspicious scent, let me stop you right now! Don’t even think about it! 

Hair bleach is a potentially toxic chemical, and it has a quiet, persistent, and robust smell when you apply it on the hair, so it is not smart to put it under your nose since you can experience some health consequences.

The next step is to include another sense, and that is a sense of vision. 

Of course, this does not mean you will need to bring a developer closer to your eyes; it means you will have to observe the container carefully. If your hair bleach is more liquid than usual, do not use it. Unfortunately, that developer is a goner.

If the liquid developer turns somewhat yellow, it’s because it was exposed to heat, and this one too is not suitable for use.

If you use a creamy developer and its consistency is nothing like a cream that bleach, my friend, expired a long time ago. If it has a lot of liquid in it, do not use it as well since it has already been degraded.

When you notice any of these changes, throw the bleach away! Hair developers are cheap products, so it is a lot safer for your hair to buy a new developer than to put your hair through the hell of using expired bleach!

If you have been thinking about what could actually happen if I use the expired developer, read the rows below, and find all the horrors that might get you.

What Are The Consequences Of Using An Expired Developer?

Lav Does Hair Bleach Expire

If you are still willing to continue with possibly expired bleach, let’s see what the consequences are:

  • The least tragic thing that can happen is that your developer won’t be able to fulfill your expectations, so your hair won’t bleach as it should, or the hair color won’t develop right. After this example, things don’t get any better. 
  • The bad thing is that 90% expired bleach will damage your hair, to the point when you will barely recognize it since it will leave it weak and brittle. Keep in mind that bleach is a chemical that opens the hair fiber’s cuticles to release color during bleaching and helps it absorb color during the coloring process, so don’t be shocked if it leaves your hair fried and lifeless.
  • There are several volumes of a developer: 10, 20, 30, 40, and they are all aggressive and harmful for your hair if they are not used correctly. Now imagine what they can do to your hair if they are expired! 
  • For example, after using a volume 20 hair developer, your hair might be dry and dull; if you use this same product that is out of date, it will for sure damage your hair fiber significantly! The damage can be devastating! It can ruin your cuticles until the point of breaking, so your hair will be cut in clumps! Let’s not think what expired volume 30 or 40 hair developers would cause! You would need a complete hair cut after this! No joking!

Let’s talk about the scalp and what will happen there:

  • First, you can get a bacterial infection on your scalp, especially if you have sensitive or damaged skin. 
  • Second, the itching scalp is one of the most common side effects of using any hair product that is out of date.

So the moral of this story is do not use hair bleach if you doubt it has expired! Throw it away and buy a new one! It will cost you less than care for ruined hair.

How To Properly Store Hair Bleach?

  • Once opened, hair bleach can be used up to six months no more. If you want to maintain it in good condition, you should keep it in ideal storage conditions:
    • The temperature should be between 7 and 20 degrees Celsius
    • Out of the direct sunlight
    • In aerated environment
    • Away from the humid
  • The perfect place is a cupboard or a drawer in your closet. Always label the date when you opened the package so you can be sure when the six month period is over.


Hair bleach is a hair product that none should take for granted. It is quite dangerous to play with it on your own, especially if you are not sure if it is still valid to use or expired. Don’t underestimate anything I have stated in this article, and make sure you do not use hair bleach if it has been over six months after you have used it for the last time.

Sporting a man’s haircut is not so flattering for a lady, and honestly, it’s a rare case where girls look good with only 2 or 3 cm of hair on their head. This means only one thing: stop being a cheapskate and buy new hair bleach; it will hurt you less than saying goodbye to your beloved hair.

Read More: How Long Does Bleached Hair Last?