Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

It’s always hard to part from a beloved hair product, especially ones that have been with you from the very start of your natural hair journey. As with most love stories, particularly the ones that stunt your (hair) growth, things stop working out and eventually have to come to an end. However, this ending doesn’t have to be a tragic one. 

Tossing out old hair products can benefit you and your curls in the long run. Most expired hair products can become less effective and sometimes even contaminated. On the bright side, there’s a list of high-quality products on the market that work twice as good as your old favorite and can even help spruce up your hair routine. 

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With that being said, here’s everything you need to know about the essential products that may or may not be affecting the health and integrity of your waves, kinks, and coils. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

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A good clarifying shampoo and a nourishing conditioner are crucial for healthy curls and an even healthier scalp. Like most personal care products, shampoo and conditioner have a period after opening (PAO) symbol that tells you how long your product is good for once opened. This number can range anywhere from six to 24 months.

However, if you start noticing a weird smell and an odd texture, it’s most likely time to replace your products with something new. If you have goals of maintaining healthy natural hair, perhaps implementing a fresh set of products into your regime this new year can help you hit them.

Our Recommendations to Replace Your Expired Products:

Curls

Rizos Curls Hydrating Shampoo

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Rizos Curls Deep Conditioner

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Shampoo

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Conditioner

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Conditioner

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Curl Cream/Butters/Custards

No routine is complete without a creamy curl cream, butter and/or custard. This is why it’s a must for your curl-defining product to still be in good use. Can you imagine spending the whole day doing the perfect two-strand twist or braid out, only for the final product to come out looking dry and flaky? Talk about a nightmare.

Our Recommendations to Replace Your Expired Products:

Curls

Taliah Waajid Green Apple & Aloe Nutrition Curl Definer

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter 

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

Miss Jessie’s Pillow Soft Curls

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Gel

This product cannot slick its way out of expiring, no matter how much we love it. Unopened hair gel can last up to three years, but expiration dates vary depending on when it has been opened. Weird smell, color change, and product effectiveness are all key factors that your hair gel needs to be tossed. It can be difficult keeping up with the expiration date especially if you’re using a homemade gel, so always create small batches and get rid of it after a week.

Our Recommendations to Replace Your Expired Products:

Curls

Ampro Pro Styl Olive Oil Styling Gel 

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

Gummy Professional Hair Gel Plus 

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

Ecoco Eco Styler Curl & Wave Styling Gel

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Mousse

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year
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According to L’Oréal Paris, products with alcohol, like mousse tend to have a longer shelf life in comparison to creams. However, it’s important to always refer back to the PAO symbol to determine the exact length you should be using your product. 

Our Recommendations to Replace Your Expired Products:

Curls

Dippity-Do Girls with Curls Curl Boosting Mousse

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

Creme of Nature Argan Oil Style & Shine Foaming Mousse

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

UNITE ELEVATE Mousse 

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Edge Control

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Did you really think your edge control was safe from expiring? Think again! Hair pomades like Edge Control are made from petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and paraffin wax. They will begin to lose their hold and effectiveness over time unless you opt for an edge control that is water or oil-based, alcohol-free, or made using beeswax. Nonetheless, most pomades can last for more than a year if stored in a cool and dry area. Protect your edges and swap out your old faithful for something new. You were starting to hit pan on your old edge control container anyway!

Our Recommendations to Replace Your Expired Products:

Curls

tgin Smooth & Hold Edge Control

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

Kaniz Wonderedge

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

Carols Daughter Black Vanilla Edge Control Smoother

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Hair Oil/ Serums

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year
Studio shot of woman’s hands dropping cosmetic oil
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To retrieve all the amazing benefits your hair serum and oil has to offer make sure to keep an eye on the POA label. Hair serums can last up to three years if unopened. However, once it’s been used you have up to a year before you start losing out on the health and styling properties of the product. It’s also a major red flag if the consistency, color, and odor of your hair oil starts to change. In search of a much-needed replacement? Shower your scalp and strands with some TLC.

Curls

SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength + Color Care Oil Serum 

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Coils

Moisture Love Seal with a Kiss Finishing Oil

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Waves

Mielle Organics Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil

Product Refresh 101: How to Determine Which Products To Toss at The Top of The Year

Consider this a rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t fill your body with expired food, why would you fill your hair with expired products? Start your year off on a clean slate and sift through all your hair products that’s got to go. Your hair will thank you in more ways than one!

Rosemary Akpan

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