How Long Does Relaxer Last After Opening: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re someone who likes to get their hair relaxed, you must have wondered about how long does relaxer last after opening. It’s not uncommon to go through a whole bottle of hair relaxer in one go, but sometimes we may not need to use the entire amount, leaving us with a half-full bottle. So, how long can you hold on to your opened bottle of hair relaxer? Well, it turns out that there’s a lot you need to know about this topic.

Before we dive into what can affect the lifespan of hair relaxer after opening, let’s start with the basics. A hair relaxer is a chemical treatment that smoothens out the hair’s texture. It works by breaking down the protein bonds in the hair shaft, allowing it to be reshaped. Typically, most hair relaxers come in a cream or lotion form, which needs to be applied evenly to the hair. Now, how long does relaxer last after opening? While the answer may vary depending on the product, it’s generally recommended that you use the product within six months of opening the packaging.

One thing to keep in mind is that using a hair relaxer beyond its shelf life can be dangerous. A stale product can cause hair breakage or damage due to its chemical composition that may not be effective after the recommended time. Additionally, the product may cause scalp irritation, leading to redness or itching. Therefore, it’s imperative to use your hair relaxer within the recommended timeframe or whenever you believe it’s no longer useful.

Understanding Hair Relaxers

Women with curly hair are often in search of ways to straighten their hair without the daily use of styling tools. Hair relaxers have proved to be a game-changer in this respect. A relaxer is a chemical treatment that straightens curly hair by breaking down the hair’s protein structure. These treatments can be effective in straightening hair for a long time, and you don’t have to worry about using a straightener every day.

  • There are two main types of Hair Relaxers: Lye and No-Lye:
  • Lye relaxers typically contain a combination of sodium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate, and petroleum jelly. The sodium hydroxide is the active ingredient that breaks down the hair’s protein structure, while the other two ingredients protect the scalp from the harshness of the chemical. These types of relaxers work fast but may require extra moisture after use because they can strip the hair of natural oils.
  • No-lye relaxers usually contain calcium hydroxide and guanidine carbonate in place of the sodium hydroxide. No-lye relaxers are gentler on the hair and scalp, but they may take longer to work and may need to be left on the hair for a more extended period.

How long does a relaxer last after opening?

Relaxers come in two parts: the relaxer cream and the liquid activator. Once you mix them, you have about four to six weeks to use the product before it loses its effectiveness. If you keep the products separate, you can extend their shelf life to up to six months or more. However, it’s essential to note that once the individual parts are mixed, the chemical process begins, and there is no way to stop it.

Type of RelaxerHow Often Can You Use It?
Lye relaxerEvery 8-10 weeks
No-Lye relaxerEvery 10-12 weeks
Thio relaxerEvery 12-14 weeks

It’s essential to apply relaxers with caution. Improper use of relaxers can lead to hair damage, breakage, and scalp irritation. Always read the instructions carefully and follow them closely, or better yet, seek the help of a professional stylist who is familiar with hair relaxers to achieve your desired look.

Types of Hair Relaxers

The desire for straight hair has led to the development of various hair relaxer products. Hair relaxers are formulated to break the natural protein bonds in curly hair to make it straight. There are three main types of hair relaxers: lye (sodium hydroxide), no-lye (potassium hydroxide), and thio.

  • Lye (sodium hydroxide) relaxers are the strongest, most damaging, and the most alkaline option. They leave the hair straight for the longest period but at a cost. They require a neutralizing shampoo and can cause scalp burns if not applied correctly. Lye relaxers usually last up to six to eight weeks.
  • No-lye (potassium hydroxide) relaxers are less damaging to the hair and scalp than lye relaxers. They are less alkaline and do not require a neutralizing shampoo because they are acidic. However, they tend to cause more breakage, and the hair can revert to its natural texture more quickly than lye relaxers. No-lye relaxers generally last three to four weeks.
  • Thio relaxers use an ammonium salt compound to break the protein bonds in the hair. They are less damaging than lye relaxers but more damaging than no-lye relaxers. The hair tends to retain more of its natural curl pattern with thio relaxers than with other relaxers. Thio relaxers generally last four to six weeks.

Choosing the right hair relaxer depends on your hair type, texture, and your desired result. Because hair relaxers can damage the hair and scalp, it is important to consult a professional stylist before using them.

How Hair Relaxers Work

Hair relaxers are chemical treatments applied to hair to straighten it out. They target curly or wavy hair and work by breaking down the hair’s protein structure in order to soften and straighten it. The most common active ingredient in hair relaxers is sodium hydroxide, also known as lye. This ingredient breaks down the protein bonds in the hair, making it straight and more manageable.

  • The active ingredient in hair relaxers is typically sodium hydroxide.
  • Hair relaxers work by breaking down the protein structure of curly or wavy hair.
  • Once the hair is straightened, it is more manageable and easier to style.

There are other types of hair relaxers on the market as well, including those that use ammonium thioglycolate or guanidine hydroxide as their active ingredients. These types of relaxers work by changing the hair’s pH level, making it more alkaline and therefore more prone to straightening.

It’s important to note, however, that relaxers can be damaging to hair if not used properly. Overuse or incorrect application of the relaxer can cause hair to become brittle and prone to breakage. That’s why it’s important to always follow the instructions included with the relaxer and to seek the advice of a professional if you’re not experienced with using relaxers on your own.

Can make hair more manageable and easier to styleCan be damaging to hair if not used properly
Can provide a sleek, straight look for those with curly or wavy hairRegrowth can be difficult to manage
Can last for several weeks or even monthsApplication process can be time-consuming and tedious

Overall, hair relaxers can be a great option for those looking to achieve a sleek, straight look for their hair. As with any chemical treatment, however, it’s important to use the product properly in order to avoid damage to your hair.

Ingredients in Hair Relaxers

Hair relaxers are typically composed of an alkaline base, such as sodium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide, which breaks down protein bonds in the hair shaft and allows it to be reshaped. Additionally, hair relaxers contain a number of other ingredients that work to neutralize the alkaline base and provide conditioning benefits for the hair. Some of the most common ingredients found in hair relaxers include:

  • Mineral oil – helps to protect the hair and scalp during the relaxing process
  • Petrolatum – provides lubrication and prevents the hair from drying out
  • Emulsifiers – prevent the ingredients in the relaxer from separating

It is important to note that while the ingredients in hair relaxers are designed to make the process easier and more effective, they can also be harsh on the hair and scalp. Many people experience irritation, burning, and even hair breakage as a result of using relaxers. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and ensure that your hair is in good condition before using a relaxer.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that many hair care professionals are now offering alternative methods for achieving a sleek, straight look without using harsh chemical relaxers. These methods may include heat styling, keratin treatments, or other smoothing treatments that are gentler on the hair. If you’re considering using a relaxer, be sure to do your research and choose the best option for your hair type and needs.

Lastly, it’s important to properly store your hair relaxer after opening to ensure its effectiveness. According to manufacturers, most relaxers will last for up to 12 months after opening, as long as they are kept in a cool, dry place and the lid is tightly sealed. It is recommended to mark the date of opening on the container so you can keep track of when it may need to be replaced to ensure the best results.

Common ingredients in hair relaxersWhat they do
Alkaline base (sodium hydroxide or guanidine hydroxide)Breaks down protein bonds in the hair shaft to allow reshaping
Mineral oilProtects hair and scalp during relaxing process
PetrolatumProvides lubrication and prevents hair from drying out
EmulsifiersPrevents ingredients from separating in the relaxer

Potential Dangers of Relaxers

A relaxer is a chemical-based product that is used to permanently straighten curly or coiled hair. While relaxers can be an effective way to attain straight hair, they can also pose certain dangers to the hair and scalp. Here are some of the potential dangers of using relaxers:

  • Chemical burns: Chemical burns are a common side effect of using relaxers. When the chemicals in the relaxer come into contact with the scalp, they can cause irritation, redness, and in some cases, chemical burns. The severity of the burns can range from mild to severe, depending on the level of damage.
  • Hair breakage: Relaxers can weaken the hair and make it more prone to breakage. This is particularly true if the relaxer is left on for too long or applied to an area that has previously been relaxed. Over time, hair breakage can lead to thinning and damage to the hair shaft.
  • Hair loss: In some cases, relaxers can cause hair loss. This can happen when the chemicals in the relaxer penetrate the hair shaft and damage the hair follicles. Hair loss can be a temporary or permanent side effect of using relaxers.

It is important to remember that the dangers of using relaxers can be minimized if you use them correctly and follow the instructions carefully. Always do a patch test before applying the relaxer, and never leave it on for longer than recommended. If you experience any discomfort or adverse reactions, rinse the relaxer out immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

If you are concerned about the potential dangers of using relaxers, you may want to consider alternative methods for straightening your hair such as a keratin treatment or natural hair straightening methods.

How Long Does Relaxer Last After Opening?

The lifespan of a relaxer after opening can vary depending on a number of factors. The main factor is the type of relaxer you are using. Some relaxers are formulated to last longer than others, and this can affect their shelf life.

In general, most relaxers will last for about 6-12 months once they have been opened. However, it is important to keep in mind that this lifespan can be influenced by the following factors:

  • Storage: The way you store your relaxer can have a big impact on its lifespan. If you store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, it will last longer than if you store it in a warm, humid environment.
  • Frequency of use: If you use your relaxer frequently, it may not last as long as if you only use it occasionally. The more you use the product, the more quickly it will expire.
  • Amount of product left: If you only have a small amount of relaxer left in the container, it may not last as long as if the container was full. This is because there is less product to protect the remaining product from the air, which can cause it to oxidize and break down more quickly.

If you want to extend the lifespan of your relaxer after opening, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure to store it properly in a cool, dry place. Second, try to use the product as sparingly as possible to make it last longer. Finally, make sure to tightly seal the container after each use to keep air out and prevent oxidation.

Type of RelaxerShelf Life After Opening
Lye Relaxer6-12 months
No-Lye Relaxer12-18 months
Thio Relaxer6-12 months

Remember, it is important to always check the expiration date on the product before using it, even if you have only recently opened it. Using an expired product can be dangerous and may result in damage to your hair or scalp.

How to Apply a Hair Relaxer

Applying a hair relaxer requires careful attention to detail and proper technique to achieve the desired results. Follow these steps to apply a hair relaxer:

  • Start by choosing the right relaxer for your hair type. There are different strengths available depending on the texture and condition of your hair.
  • Prepare your hair by washing it thoroughly and then gently towel-drying it. Do not comb or brush your hair after washing it.
  • Apply petroleum jelly or a protective cream to your scalp and around your hairline to protect your skin from the relaxer.
  • Divide your hair into sections using clips or elastic bands.
  • Starting at the nape of your neck, apply the relaxer to your hair using a small brush or applicator. Work your way up to your roots, making sure to cover every strand of hair.
  • Once all of your hair is covered with relaxer, use a wide-tooth comb to distribute the relaxer evenly and remove any tangles.
  • Leave the relaxer on your hair for the recommended time (usually around 20-30 minutes) or as directed by the product instructions.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water to remove all traces of the relaxer.
  • Apply a neutralizing shampoo to your hair and massage it in for 2-3 minutes. This will stop the relaxing process and restore the pH balance of your hair.
  • Rinse your hair with cool water to seal the cuticles and lock in moisture.
  • Towel-dry your hair and apply a deep conditioner to nourish and hydrate your hair.
  • Style your hair as desired.

Following these steps will help you achieve a smooth and straight look without damaging your hair. Remember to always use relaxers as directed and to do a patch test before applying the product to your entire head to avoid adverse reactions.

Aftercare for Relaxed Hair

Once you have relaxed your hair, it is essential to care for it properly to maintain its health and strength. Here are some tips for aftercare:

7. Protect Your Hair at Night

  • Before going to bed, wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf or sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase.
  • Don’t use cotton pillowcases or scarves, as they can absorb moisture from your hair and cause breakage.
  • Consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair oil before wrapping your hair for added nourishment.

Moisturize Regularly

Relaxed hair can easily become dry and brittle, so it is important to moisturize regularly to keep it healthy. Use a deep conditioning treatment once a week and a leave-in conditioner daily to keep your hair moisturized. You can also use hair oils like coconut oil or argan oil to seal in moisture after washing your hair.

Protect Your Hair from Heat

Heat can cause damage to your hair, especially if it is already relaxed. Try to avoid using heat styling tools like curling irons and flat irons. If you must use them, use a heat protectant spray and set the tools to a low heat setting. Consider air-drying your hair or using rollers instead of heat styling.

Trim Your Ends Regularly

Split ends can lead to further damage and breakage, so it is important to trim your ends regularly. Aim to trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to keep it healthy and prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft.

Minimize Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments like relaxers and color can be harsh on your hair, so it is important to minimize their use to keep your hair healthy. Try to wait at least 8-10 weeks between relaxer applications or opt for a longer-lasting treatment like a keratin treatment. If you are considering adding color to your hair, talk to a stylist about gentle options like demi-permanent or semi-permanent color.

Protect Your Hair from the Sun

Tip:Wear a hat or scarf to protect your hair from the sun’s damaging rays. Consider using a leave-in conditioner with UV protection for added protection.

The sun’s UV rays can damage your hair, causing it to become dry and brittle. Protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf when you are outside for extended periods. You can also use a leave-in conditioner or hair oil with UV protection to shield your hair from the sun’s harmful rays.

Maintaining Relaxer Results

After getting a relaxer, it’s important to maintain the results to ensure your hair stays healthy and strong. Here are eight tips for maintaining your relaxer results:

  • Use a mild shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for relaxed hair.
  • Avoid using styling products that contain alcohol as it can dry out your hair and scalp.
  • Avoid using high heat when styling with tools like flat irons and curling irons.
  • Consider wearing protective styles, like braids or weaves, to give your hair a break from daily styling.
  • Get regular trims to keep split ends at bay.
  • Use a deep conditioning treatment once every two weeks to keep your hair moisturized and healthy.
  • Avoid excessive coloring or chemical treatments to prevent damage to your hair.
  • Avoid over-washing your hair as it can strip away natural oils and dry out your scalp.

Relaxer Shelf Life

Once you’ve opened your relaxer, it’s important to use it within a certain amount of time to avoid damaging your hair or scalp. Check the packaging to see if there’s an expiration date or recommended timeframe for use. Generally, an opened relaxer can last up to six months if stored properly in a cool, dry place. However, it’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure optimal performance and safety.

The Role of pH in Maintaining Relaxer Results

The pH level of your hair plays a significant role in maintaining your relaxer results. Relaxers work by breaking down the protein bonds in your hair, which changes its natural structure. A higher pH level can make your hair more alkaline, which can cause damage and lead to breakage. Using a pH-balanced shampoo and conditioner can help restore your hair’s natural pH level and keep it healthy and strong.

Relaxer Maintenance Schedule

Having a consistent schedule for maintaining your relaxer can help you extend the life of your hair and keep it looking healthy. Here’s a general timeline for relaxer maintenance:

Week 1-2Week 3-6Week 7-9Week 10-12
Wash and deep conditionRetouch relaxerWash and deep conditionTrim ends

Note that this is just a general guideline and your maintenance schedule may vary depending on your hair type and personal preference. Always consult with a stylist to determine a schedule that works best for your hair.

Alternatives to Hair Relaxers

While hair relaxers can be a popular choice for those with highly textured hair, they can also come with health risks and can be damaging to the hair if not used properly. Luckily, there are plenty of alternatives to hair relaxers that can help achieve the desired look without the potential negative side effects. Here are some options to consider:

  • Braid-outs: This is a style that involves braiding the hair and allowing it to set overnight. Once the braids are taken out, the hair will be left with a smooth, wavy look.
  • Twist-outs: Similar to braid-outs, twist-outs involve twisting sections of the hair and allowing it to set overnight. Once the twists are taken out, the hair will have a curly or wavy texture.
  • Hot oil treatments: This involves applying warm oil to the hair and allowing it to sit for a period of time. It can help moisturize the hair and reduce breakage.

In addition to these alternatives, there are also several natural hair care methods that can help to promote healthy hair without the use of harsh chemicals. These include:

  • Co-washing: Using conditioner to wash the hair instead of traditional shampoo can help to keep the hair moisturized and reduce breakage.
  • Deep conditioning: This involves applying a deep conditioning treatment to the hair and allowing it to sit for a period of time, typically under heat. It can help to hydrate and strengthen the hair.
  • Oil treatments: Applying natural oils such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil to the hair can help to moisturize and strengthen the hair.

It’s important to note that while these alternatives can help reduce the risk of damage and promote healthier hair, results may vary depending on hair type and individual preferences. It’s always best to consult with a stylist or hair care professional to determine the best course of action for your specific hair type and needs.

For those who are still interested in using chemical relaxers, it’s important to be aware of the risks and follow all safety guidelines when using them. It’s also important to note that the length of time a relaxer can last after opening can vary depending on the brand and storage conditions, so be sure to check the packaging for specific instructions.

How Long Hair Relaxers Last After Opening

Relaxing your hair is a beauty routine that requires attention to detail. It involves the use of chemicals that break the protein bonds in your hair, allowing it to straighten. Hair relaxers often come in a large container, and you may end up with leftovers after using them. Like many other beauty products, hair relaxers have an expiration date, but how long do they last after opening?

  • 1. Shelf life of unopened relaxers: Hair relaxers come with a shelf life of two to three years, which is indicated on the product’s container. This shelf life is measured from the date of manufacture and not from the date of purchase. It is advisable to check the expiration date before buying a product to avoid buying expired products.
  • 2. Shelf life of opened relaxers: Once opened, the shelf life of hair relaxers decreases significantly. This is because they are exposed to air and other environmental factors that may cause them to go bad.
  • 3. Factors that affect shelf life: Factors such as how often you open the container, how well you store it, and the type of container it comes in can all impact the shelf life of hair relaxers.
  • 4. Signs of Hair Relaxer Badness: Hair relaxers generally change in color or texture when they are no longer safe to use. They may also emit an unpleasant odor, indicating that they have gone bad.
  • 5. How to Store Opened Hair Relaxers: To extend the shelf life of hair relaxers, you can store them in a cool, dry, and dark place. Always screw the cap tightly after use to minimize air exposure. Avoid exposing them to extreme temperatures or humidity.
  • 6. Recommended Time of Use: The recommended time of use for opened hair relaxers is usually six months. However, this may vary depending on the brand and the formulation of the relaxer. Always refer to the product label for recommended time of use.
  • 7. Risk of Using Expired Hair Relaxers: Using expired hair relaxers can cause scalp irritation, hair breakage, and other hair and scalp problems. Therefore, it is essential to dispose of expired hair relaxers safely and not use them.

How to Dispose of Expired Hair Relaxers

Expired hair relaxers are considered hazardous waste and should not be put in the regular trash. You can contact your local waste management authority for information on how to dispose of them properly. It is advisable to keep the product away from children and pets.


Knowing the shelf life of hair relaxers after opening is crucial to ensure that they are safe and effective to use. Always check the expiration date before purchasing a product and store opened products in a cool, dry, and dark place. Dispose of expired hair relaxers safely and avoid using them.

SubtopicKey Points
Shelf life of unopened relaxers– Hair relaxers come with a shelf life of two to three years
– Always check the expiration date before buying a product
Shelflife of Opened relaxers– Shelf life decreases significantly once opened
– Store in a cool, dry, and dark place
Factors that affect shelf life-How often the container is opened
-Storage condition
-Type of container the product comes in
Signs of Hair Relaxer Badness– Change in color or texture
– Emit an unpleasant odor
How to Store Opened Hair Relaxers– Store in a cool, dry, and dark place
– Screw the cap tightly
Recommended Time of Use– Six months recommended time of use for opened hair relaxers
– Check the product label for recommended time of use
Risk of Using Expired Hair Relaxers-Can cause scalp irritation and hair breakage
-Do not use expired hair relaxers
How to Dispose of Expired Hair Relaxers-Expired hair relaxers are considered hazardous waste
-Contact your local waste management authority for the proper disposal methods

Remember that hair relaxers are a potent blend of chemicals that can have adverse effects when expired. As such manufacturers give different shelf life boundaries, it’s best to follow their instructions. Dispose of your expired hair relaxers, follow instructions, and maintain a good hair care routine to avoid the discomfort caused by chemical exposure.

How Long Does Relaxer Last After Opening

If you’re a fan of relaxed hair, you know how crucial it is to have a reliable hair relaxer product. However, one of the most frequently asked questions about the product is how long it lasts after opening. Here are some FAQs in natural language processing about how long does relaxer lasts after opening.

1. How long is a relaxer good for after opening?

A relaxer can last up to six to eight months after opening. It’s crucial to keep it stored in a cool, dry place to ensure maximum shelf life.

2. Can I use an expired relaxer?

No, you shouldn’t use an expired relaxer. Using expired hair relaxer poses health risks because of the chemicals present in the product.

3. How can I tell if a relaxer has gone bad?

Any change in its consistency or color means it’s gone bad and shouldn’t be used on your hair.

4. Can I store an open relaxer in the refrigerator?

No, you shouldn’t refrigerate hair relaxers. The temperature changes might harm the quality of the product. Instead, store it in a cool, dry place.

5. Do I need to shake the relaxer before applying?

Yes, you need to shake the hair relaxer thoroughly before applying it to achieve a uniform consistency and desired results.

6. Can I use a relaxer on dirty hair?

No, you shouldn’t use a hair relaxer on dirty hair. The product won’t be able to penetrate your hair shafts fully, leading to uneven and unsatisfactory results.

7. Do all relaxers have the same shelf life after opening?

No, different brands have varying shelf lives, so check the instruction label of your hair relaxer for how long it can last after opening.

Closing Thoughts

We hope this article cleared all your doubts about how long does a hair relaxer last after opening. Remember always to store the product in a cool, dry place, shake it before use, and never use an expired hair relaxer. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you again soon!

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Dadang Oray

Dadang Oray is a blogger who writes about interesting topics on the internet. He has a unique writing style and covers a wide range of subjects. He enjoys exploring new websites and staying up-to-date on the latest trends in technology and social media.