What happens if you use expired hair bleach? Your hair will be ruined and I’ll explain why

woman with open eyes

  • If your bleach is out of date, it will cause a lot of damage to your hair, even breakage. It will also irritate and burn your scalp.
  • In addition, it won’t even lighten your hair evenly.
  • Taking all this into account, as a professional hairdresser I assure you it’s not worth the risk of using expired bleach.


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Let me guess your situation. You woke up today feeling like doing something different. And you thought, “why not bleach my hair? After all, I have everything I need in the bathroom cabinet. The products have been there for months.”

And even though you don’t remember exactly when the last time you bleached your hair was, you go to the bathroom and find everything, including the bleach. But, oh no!  You discover the bleach has expired. 


And since you can’t wait and don’t have the time or inclination to go out and buy new bleach, you come up with the big question: “What if I use expired bleach?”


Well, I invite you to take your time and slow down. Think first before you do something crazy. Because  using expired bleach is really crazy.  And here’s why.


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What can happen if you use expired bleach on your hair?

hair bleaching tools

Let’s think together for a moment. What does the expiration date or use-by date of a product indicate? It indicates how long it will remain good enough to use. Because after that date, the product will start to deteriorate.


But here we’re talking about expired bleach, which is a chemical.  And when chemicals expire, i.e. deteriorate, they leave residues. 

And those residues, in the case of expired bleach, are acidic and corrosive to both hair and skin.

What does that mean?

  •  Expired bleach will cause hair breakage and hair loss  from the root. Plus, it will leave your hair totally dry and slightly sticky.
  • And if that wasn’t enough,  expired bleach will irritate your scalp , causing flaking. But worse, you run the risk of hurting your scalp so badly that you can burn the hair follicles, which is where new hair grows from.
  • And now for the least serious thing that can happen. You won’t even be able to lighten your hair. You’ll have exposed your hair to a chemical process totally in vain.


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Now tell me, faced with this scenario and considering that bleach is a very economical product, is it worth the risk of irreversibly damaging your hair and burning your scalp?

I think I can guess your answer.

But I’ll go one step further. Let’s say you’ve had your bleach in storage for a long time and you can’t find the expiration date.

In that case, read on.


How to tell if hair bleach is expired

pour creamy bleach into bowls

If you can’t find the expiration date of the bleach, you should check the condition of the bleach to see if you can use it.

Place two or three tablespoons of bleach in a disposable plastic cup and observe the sample.

  • Is it runny? Is it lumpy? If either answer is yes,  you should discard the bleach, because it’s past its use-by date. What consistency should hair bleach be? Creamy and homogeneous
  • Does it have an extremely strong, acidic odor that’s difficult to breathe in? This indicates the presence of chemical residues. Therefore, the developer has expired and you should discard it.



Bleaching is one of the most aggressive processes you can do to your hair. As I always say, you shouldn’t do it without prior experience and knowledge.

But the damage that bleach can produce on your hair and scalp increases if you use expired hair bleach.

Why? Because you run the risk of burning your hair and scalp, even compromising new hair growth in the future.

When in doubt, if you suspect the bleach has expired, discard it immediately. You’ll save yourself a big headache.

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