Skip to Content
HomeHair Care

Does Hair Mousse Expire? 6 Signs Your Hair Mousse Is Expired

Hair mousse maintains volume while letting wearers experience wind and gravity-resilient hairstyles. But it may not be something you use every day, so it can take a while to get through a bottle.

Does hair mousse expire if it sits in your cabinet for too long? Even if the products don’t have an expiration date, these cosmetic creams can degrade.

How long does hair mousse last, and do you know if yours is expired? Furthermore, is using old hair mousse dangerous? Keep reading to find out.

Does Hair Mousse Expire?

Yes, like other cosmetic creams, hair mousse expires. Instead of having expiration dates, some hair mousse containers have a period after opening (PAO) mark, which indicates how long the product will be effective after opening. The average PAO range of hair mousse is between 12 and 18 months.

All types of hair mousse expire, but the packaging may not indicate it. In general, unopened packages last much longer than opened ones. To be safe, consider throwing away any cosmetic cream opened over a year ago.

It may lose its consistency or fail to hold up your locks. The product is expired if it does not fulfill its cosmetic function. Using expired hair mousse could result in unpleasant side effects.

Why does hair mousse expire? In addition to chemical elements, hair creams often contain limonene and lecithin. Thanks to preservatives in the mousse, these otherwise quickly-degrading ingredients last a long time. However, they won’t last forever and will eventually begin to expire.

What Is the Usual Shelf-Life of Mousse?

shelf life of hair mousse

If kept unopened, hair mousse typically has a three-year shelf life. However, since cosmetic creators are not legally required to list product expiration or production dates, it may be difficult to determine how old one is.

You could take a guess, but it could mean wasting hair mousse. Thankfully, there are a few signs that you can use to determine whether your hair mousse is still good.

Let’s take a look at the symptoms of expiring creams.

Signs Your Hair Mousse is Expired

Here are six tell-tale signs that your hair mousse has expired, and you need to pitch it.


Signs of Expired Hair Mousse - Discoloration

Hair mousse’s original color depends on its type. A product for upholding hair rigidly and keeping it firm is usually white, yellow, or cream-colored.

However, varieties of hair color mousse for strengthening natural cuticle tones come in many colors. To determine whether your product is discolored, first consider its original composition.

Yellowing and extreme opacity are some telltale signs of discolored hair mousse. However, it may be best to consider other signs of expiration rather than just analyzing the product’s color.


Hair mousses are either foamy or smooth, depending on the type. Lumpiness may indicate that the lecithin in the product is going bad or that the preservative components have expired.

It may also mean that some ingredients in the product have degraded while others remain. No matter what the cause, do not use lumpy hair mousse.

Bad Odors

Signs of Expired Hair Mousse - Bad Odors

Hair mousse products generally smell pleasant, and many types protect your hair from accumulating natural odors from sweating.

There’s a spectrum of scents, but if your mousse smells bad, it could signify expiration. Unpleasant odors on their own aren’t enough of a sign to make a proper judgment, though.

If the product is scented, does the odor match its listed smell? If not, how long ago did you acquire the hair mousse? Has it been kept dry and cool?

Bad odors coupled with other signs could be a notice of expiration. Discarding old hair mousse is critical if you have suspicions about its freshness.


Hair mousses exist in spray foam and gel-like forms. Both types are in between liquid and solid. Expired hair mousses tend to separate, with the intact portions isolated from the liquid ingredients.

While you could mix it back together, I advise against it, as it is a clear sign of an old or expired hair product.

Separation indicates that the natural components in the hair mousse have already begun to degrade. If you mixed it and used it anyway, it wouldn’t fully affect your hair volume, hold, color, and strength.

Failing To Work

Signs of Expired Hair Mousse - Failing to Work

Failing to work is usually the first telltale sign of expiring hair mousse. Products beyond the PAO or expiry dates begin to degrade, causing their functions to cease.

For hair mousse, it may mean that it doesn’t color well or hold your hair firmly. It may be greasy and remain visible instead of dissolving into your cuticles.

If your hair mousse isn’t doing its intended job, you should discard it as soon as possible. Continuing to use faulty products could cause unpleasant side effects.

Drying Up

While hair mousse isn’t supposed to be fluid, it shouldn’t be pasty. It could harm your hair if it becomes powder-like or is difficult to spread with your finger.

Applying expired products can result in a spectrum of inconvenient symptoms. Dried hair mousse is tedious to wash out and doesn’t dissolve into your hair as intended.

What Are the Side Effects of Expired Hair Mousse?

Side Effects of Expired Hair Mousse

Using expired hair mousse can cause a slew of side effects. While some are merely an inconvenience, others are liable to irritate the wearer.

The most common side effect is greasy hair. This happens because the old hair mousse fails to be absorbed properly.

Similarly, the product may not dissolve into your cuticles at all, causing a visible mess in your hair.

If your mousse smells bad, it’s liable to make your hair smell bad too. It may ruin the texture of your cuticles or weaken them.

Dried up or separated hair mousse can cause irritation and itchiness. If you experience these symptoms, do not use the product on your scalp.

Scalp irritations can cause patchy hair loss. In a worst-case scenario, your cuticles could become inflamed and fall out because of expired hair products.

It is critical to examine them carefully and abide by PAOs if available.

Like other products, hair mousse does expire. Three years is a generous shelf-life for unopened containers, but you should throw opened ones away after 18 months.

Carefully examine them for signs of expiration, and don’t risk using them if you’re unsure about their quality.


Now that you know how to recognize expired hair mousse and its side effects let’s address some frequently asked questions about the topic.

Does hair mousse have an expiration date?

According to the Food and Drug Administration, cosmetic makers have no legal requirement to print expiration dates on their products.

As a result, many do not have expiration dates. Instead, they have PAO numbers, indicating how long a product will stay fresh after opening.

Can I use expired hair mousse?

While you can use expired hair mousse, it is a risk that you shouldn’t take. If you suspect your product may be bad, try using a little on the part of your hair away from your scalp.

You can use it if it works as intended, smells correct, and doesn’t irritate. If not, discard it and buy a new container.

Can expired hair mousse cause hair loss?

Yes, in extreme cases, expired mousse and other hair products can cause hair loss. Dry products that itch can inflame the cuticles around your scalp, causing them to break off or fall out.

Expired mousse won’t make you bald, but it can cause patchy hair loss, so please verify the freshness of your product cautiously.

You Might Also Like: