Does Hair Dye Expire

While coloring your hair at home with a box dye is not the best option, it is always a good idea to go to visit the salon or even get help from a professional. For great results, it is better to use the hair dye that has not been seated on the shelf for a long time. So, the question remains, will my hair dye expire?

The answer is yes, hair dye will expire if left for long. Most hair dyes will expire because of the chemical compounds that make the product. The lifespan of hair dye will depend on its type. A permanent unopened dye can exist for up to 3 years while a semi-permanent unopened dye can last 1 to 2 years. Let us not forget that the unopened box of dye can still expire within 3 years.

Different Hair Dyes

Permanent Dye

The Permanent hair dye normally takes long before it expires compared to any type of hair dye. The advantage that comes with using the permanent dye of hair is that it will stay for a very long time. Ammonia is contained in most permanent hair dyes which is a key component which will allow the coloring to inhibit the hair shaft then lock your desired color. Hydrogen peroxide is also present in most hair dyes that are permanent as it helps lighten your hair.

Semi-Permanent Dye

The good thing about using a dye that is not permanent is that it will not contain ammonia and peroxide. The molecules of the dye in a semi-permanent dye will not penetrate the hair shaft but will instead shield the outer side of the hair shaft. Most people prefer semi-permanent hair dye because they can try out different colors and can easily switch after a few weeks. If you have a sensitive scalp, you should try the semi-permanent dye as it has no dangerous chemicals.

Does Hair Dye Expire

Does Hair Dye Expire

Signs of an Expired Hair Dye

If you have different boxes of hair dye that have been sitting on your shelf for some time and you are not sure if they are safe to use or have expired, then we are going to give you some of the signs that will let you know that your hair dye is expired.

  • Change of Smell.

Just like with most products, if you notice that the smell has changed, it is an indicator that the product is already expired. The smell can be very strong or very mild than you would expect. So, if your hair dye has a strange smell, that is a sign that its days are over.

  • Change in Appearance.

Hair dyes are made of chemicals and if the chemicals have separated, they will usually represent themselves in watery liquid on top of the dye. If you notice that your hair dye has watery liquid on top, that could be a sign that it is expired.



There are different types of hair dye in the market and getting to know what works well for you is very important. As we have seen, a permanent dye has a shelf life of three years as compared to semi-permanent dye which can last for 1-2 years.

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