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How To Tell If Your Hair Wax Is Expired

Hair wax can provide shine, texture, structure, and volume to your hair, but it must be stored and used correctly.

Here’s precisely how to know if your hair wax is expired so you don’t damage your hair. Plus, learn the proper way to store and use hair wax to achieve the best possible results for your hair!

What Is Hair Wax & What Is It Used For?

hair wax

Hair wax is a styling product made of ingredients like Beeswax, Castor, Carnauba, Candelilla, Japan, or Emulsifying.

It is mainly used as a finishing product to hold hair into place after styling it with other products, like hair gel. Hair wax can be especially useful for taming unruly, thick hair.

Since hair wax is a finishing product, it should be one of the last things you use. For instance, you may use hair gel to style your hair and then finish it with hair wax to hold everything in place.

Hair wax will hold your style for long periods, requiring limited touch-ups.

Does Hair Wax Expire?

Hair waxes can expire and typically have an expiration date on the container. The average life of a typical hair wax product is about six to twelve months, depending on how you store it and the ingredients used.

For instance, Beeswax doesn’t contain any ingredients that will go bad, so this type of wax can last a long time if stored properly.

On the other hand, hair wax products that contain ingredients like almond and castor oils can go bad, resulting in a sour smell.

6 Signs Your Hair Wax Is Expired

There are six common signs that let you know your hair wax is expired.

1. Check The Expiration Date.

How To Tell If Your Hair Wax Is Expired - Expiry date

Though not all hair wax products have a shelf life, you should look over the packaging for an expiration date. Avoid using hair wax beyond the expiration date printed on the bottle.

2. It’s Dry and Cracking.

If you open the container to find cracks in your hair wax or notice it’s hard and dry, toss it and buy some new product. Hair wax needs to be malleable to work, and that means having enough moisture to function.

You might want to try adding water to see if it revives the wax, but it doesn’t work for every product.

3. The Color of The Hair Wax Is Changed.

How To Tell If Your Hair Wax Is Expired - Discoloration

Did you open up the jar to find a slightly funky hue? It’s probably expired, so toss discolored hair wax right away to avoid damaging your hair.

4. It Doesn’t Hold Your Hair.

If your hair wax no longer provides a solid hold or you have to need to keep doing retouches, it’s probably too old. Some active ingredients have a shelf life, especially if not stored properly.

While the wax might look and feel functional, if it isn’t holding up long enough, it’s probably expired.

5. The Consistency Looks Wrong.

How To Tell If Your Hair Wax Is Expired - Change in Consistency

If you have lumpy or runny wax that doesn’t look or feel quite right when you try to use it, you might want to scrap it.

Changes in consistency can alert you to an expired product that won’t help your hairstyle and could cause damage.

6. It Smells Bad.

Many hair waxes develop a strange or sour smell when they go bad. If you notice an unusual scent or odor when you open your product, it’s probably time to get new hair wax.

Why Shouldn’t You Use Expired Hair Wax?

The biggest reason not to use expired hair wax is that it won’t work as intended. The consistency becomes dry and brittle, meaning it won’t provide a solid hold.

Additionally, expired hair wax may cause your scalp to become irritated or break out in a rash.

How to Store Hair Wax Properly?

tips to store hair wax

There are a handful of ways to store your hair wax to achieve its maximum shelf life. Do not store your hair wax without its lids because it will dry out and be contaminated, causing the ingredients to spoil sooner.

It would be best to store your hair wax in an airtight container to keep out excess moisture and contaminants.

Also, avoid storing it in direct sunlight or around extreme temperatures; room temperature or below is ideal.

How to Use Hair Wax Properly?

How to use hair wax properly

Dry your hair before applying wax. Take a small amount of wax and warm it up in your hands. Apply the wax in layers as needed, don’t use too much at once.

Do not apply wax to your scalp or the root of your hair because it can clog the pores of your scalp and damage your roots. Instead, apply the wax halfway up the shaft of the hair follicle.

Do not leave hair wax on overnight, as sweat and sebum oil from your scalp will mix with the hair wax, causing dandruff. The wax will also be more difficult to remove, damaging your hair.


You must store and use hair wax properly because expired products can damage your scalp and hair, leading to long-term issues.

We discussed how to tell if your hair wax is expired so you know right away if you should use it or not. By following these steps, you can continue to use hair wax while keeping your hair healthy!


Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding the expiration of hair wax.

How often should I use hair wax?

We do not recommend using hair wax daily, as you will need harsher shampoos and hot water to wash it out, which can cause damage to your scalp and hair. Hair wax can also change your hair’s pH balance, causing it to become discolored.

It would be best to use only hair wax three times a week to prevent gel build-up and alcohol from drying your scalp. Remember, everything needs to be done in moderation and paired with products that support your hair.

Can hair wax cause hair loss?

There is no evidence that hair wax itself can cause hair loss. However, if you do not use it properly, you can cause damage or even hair loss.
If you do not use hair wax properly, you can dry out your scalp, block hair follicles and pores on your scalp, and dehydrate your hair. All of this stress can indirectly lead to hair loss.

When choosing a hair wax, avoid brands that use ingredients like polyethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene glycol, as they can dry out your scalp even more than usual.

We also recommend that you use additional products that support your hair, stimulate its growth, and keep it healthy since the act of removing hair wax can damage hair.

When can I use expired hair wax?

If your hair wax is unopened but has expired, you are more than likely okay to continue using it since it has been sealed since purchase. Of course, you will want to check for any of the signs we listed above to ensure it is okay.

You can use expired hair wax that has been opened if it doesn’t have a foul smell, its consistency is normal, and its color hasn’t changed. If anything at all appears wrong with it, then don’t use it.

Do hair wax and gel have the same shelf life?

Hair wax and gel do not have the same shelf life as they are made with entirely different ingredients. For example, Beeswax won’t expire unless other ingredients are added, but hair gel can break down and become overly watery.

Hair wax vs. hair gel – which is better?

Both products work great if used correctly and in the proper situation. Only you can answer this question based on what you are trying to accomplish with your hair. Hair gel is the way to go if you are trying to style your hair. Hair wax may be a better solution if you need to hold your hair in place or have thicker hair that causes the gel to be ineffective.

How can I fix the dried hair wax?

If your hair wax is dried, remove the top layer with your fingernail to see if the lower layers are still hydrated enough to use. You can add a little water to see if you can bring some moisture back to it, but don’t over-saturate the wax in its container.

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