How To Find Out if a Heat Protectant Has Expired — If It Does

does heat protectant expire? woman spraying her hair

All hair types need to be protected from hot tools. So a lot of people, especially those who have dry hair, ask, at what point does heat protectant expire? Would it still be effective if I used it after its expiry date?

Here I will give you complete and thorough details you didn’t know about heat protectants!

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best heat protectant sprays!

Does a Heat Protectant Expire? [Truth Uncovered]

Legally and technically speaking, no, heat protectants do not expire — at least on paper.

Grab the nearest heat protectant you have and, 9 times out of 10, you wouldn’t see an expiry date on that spray bottle.

Apart from the fact that there are minimal rules and laws about putting expiry dates [1] on these, hair product manufacturers also do not use chemicals and common ingredients that spoil.

woman putting a protectant spray on her hair

Whether you have black hair, curly hair, ethnic hair, and even damaged hair, using beauty products that are stocked for a long time shouldn’t have any influence on the results. 

However, many people reported having experienced fewer effects using the heat protectant after three (3) years of storage.

For you to understand this better, here are three (3) factors that could give a shorter shelf life to your hair products that you might have missed.

Factor 1. You Don’t Close It Properly After Use

Being a spray bottle, it can be easily opened. Some people don’t close the lid properly, although they fail to notice it.

Even if the lid is toppled over the opening of the spray bottle, tiny, microscopic bacteria can still penetrate through it, making it exposed to these hazards.

So, make sure that when you open the bottle after using the product, you close and seal it properly. Even a tiny infraction of space is enough to make it go bad.

Factor 2. It’s Not Kept in the Best Location

Another important factor would be the location where you store your hair protectant. Unlike a regular hair shampoo, it’s not ideal to keep a heat protectant inside your bathroom.

Because of the high humidity and excessive light exposure, bathrooms can be a haven of bacteria, causing it to spoil faster.

The best location to store beauty products would be in a cool, dry, and dark area, away from direct sunlight.

Avoid overthinking if you’ll place it inside the refrigerator — using your medical cabinets, bathroom cabinets, and chillers would be enough.

Factor 3. It Hasn’t Been Used Properly

The last factor would be because you’re constantly touching the product.

Millions of bacteria are living wherever we are, majorly on our hands.

If you constantly touch the product (even after you wash your hands), then there’s a chance that the bacteria on them are transferred to the heat protectant.

Even knowing how to protect your heat protectant, it’ll still be difficult to determine whether it has already expired; simply because there isn’t a “solid” written proof or label claiming it.

So, how can you be sure that your heat protectant sprays have already gone bad? What signs do you look for?

How Do I Know That a Heat Protectant Spray Has Gone Bad?

Being an experienced fellow in the hair care and maintenance industry, I was able to collect much-needed information about how you can find out if a heat protector has already gone bad.

1. Check and Assess the Color

Heat protectants are made to be transparent/translucent. So, if you see a cream-colored liquid coming out of your bottle, then that simply means that the protectant is slowly going bad.

Some active ingredients could have already been expired, altering the consistency and the color of the protectant.

2. Try to Figure Out the Odor

I mean, who doesn’t love the smell of chemicals? Naturally, heat protectants are made to smell nice, pleasant, and fragrant, even if they’re made of chemicals.

However, if you notice a foul smell or an unnatural odor coming off of the protectant, think twice before deciding to use it.

3. Use the Texture to Your Advantage

lady applying serum to her curly hair

Last, but most definitely not least, would be the texture. Heat protectants are made to be lightweight so that when you spray them onto your hair, they’ll create a protective layer but still feel comfortable.

Should you feel that it’s already sticky, slimy, and thicker than how it used to be, it’s a sign that it might already need to be thrown out.

Take my advice: if the product does not have an expiry label and you’re unsure of the specific expiry time frame, make sure to check these three (3) factors first.

What Happens If I Use a Bad Heat Protectant?

Surprisingly, you won’t actually experience something bad. It would neither tamper with your hair health nor would it promote hair loss or radical damage.

Even if some active ingredients stop working, it’ll just seem like an ineffective product. 

The worst thing that could happen is that it won’t be able to protect your hair from heat damage caused by temperatures that are high and fluctuating.

So, before you use any heat protectant, regardless if you already own it, read the FDA directions and instructions first [2]. You will find a bit of information about the product there.  

Here’s a quick video discussing how protectants for hair help you maintain your hair cuticles safe and healthy. 


Here are some other things you could be asking about heat protectants and their expiry dates.

How Do I Know If My Heat Protectants For Hair Are Working?

woman with natural thick hair

You’ll know that your heat protectant is being effective when you’re feeling a substantial reduction of heat on your head whenever you’re dealing with heat-inducing tools and equipment.
Whether you have wet hair or damp hair, it should be as effective. 

Is It Bad To Use An Expired Heat Protectant?

No, it is actually not bad to use a heat protectant that’s already expired, same as other hair-related spray products. It just won’t be effective.

Can I Extend The Expiration Date Of My Heat Protectant?

Yes, you can extend your heat protectant’s average shelf life by closing the lid properly every after use and by storing it in a dry, cool place.


Hopefully, I was able to answer your inquiries and questions about whether or not these types of hair products expire. 

So, the next time you worry about hair damage and you ask, does a heat protectant expire, you know where you can search for to be guided accordingly!

lady using a heat protectant spray but does heat protectant expire?


Does a heat protectant expire? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

  • 1. Nutrition C for FS and A. Shelf Life and Expiration Dating of Cosmetics [Internet]. FDA. 2020. Available from:
  • 2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tips to Keep You Safe [Internet]. 2015. Available from: