Spring is finally here and with it comes new trends in hairstyles and new products to try. But for the Product Junkies out there who are reaching for their car keys or their credit cards, consider giving your stash a good spring clean first!
Out With the Old
Before you even consider buying new products this spring you should clean out your stash to make room for the new. But in order to know what to toss and what to hold onto, use this helpful guide to product shelf lives:
- Natural shampoos and conditioners generally last anywhere from 6 months to a year after being opened
- Products in bottles can usually last for no longer than one year
- Oils can last for 6 months after opening
- Butters can last for up to 2 years if both are stored in cool dry places
- Products in jars should be used within 6 months after opening because constantly dipping your fingers into the product introduces bacteria into it that can cause the product to go rancid
Rule of Thumb
If you can’t remember the age of a product the best tools you can use to test whether it has spoiled are your nose and eyes. Take a whiff of the product and if it smells bad then it probably is. Also if the product has changed in color or if it has separated, these are telltale signs that it's time to toss it.
Reuse Your Bottles
If you're a true Product Junkie then you probably throw away quite a few empty bottles of product. Be sure to recycle your empties, or better yet, reuse them!
- Applicator bottles can be used to dilute shampoo with water and allows you to apply the shampoo directly to your scalp for those curlies who hate the stripping effects they have on their length. Also transfer oils that come in regular screw top or flip top bottles into applicator bottles to make them easier to use.
- Jars can be repurposed to store your butter mixes and the labels and the gummy residue left behind can be removed using label solution.
- Sample jars and bottles can be reused when travelling. Rather than buying travel sized products simply hold onto those tiny jars and bottles and transfer your products into them prior to flying. Also the small bottles and jars can be used to store small batches of your product mix experiments.
Donate, Swap or Sell
After tossing out the products that are past their prime, you’ll probably be left with a cupboard filled with the products that you no longer use and love. Rather than throwing perfectly good product away, find a new home for your product by donating, swapping, or selling them.
Unused products can be donated to women’s shelters near you, which can be located by visiting www.womenshelters.org. You could also swap your old products with your girlfriends or use the swap boards on forums like Curltalk's swap board to find curlies who are interested in what you have. Alternatively you can sell them to put a little change back into your pockets.
Organize Your Cupboards
Most of us use the age old method of simply shoving our products in the cupboard, which we all know is not very efficient. Rather than rifling through it on wash day trying to find your products this spring dedicate a day to organizing your stash.
One of the best ways to do so is to use clear storage to store your products because they enable you to separate them into categories like shampoo and conditioner, from most used to rarely used products, and seasonal products. This way finding a product will simply be a matter of pulling out the right bin.