Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Are Expired Relaxers safe to purchase and use?

 So I stumbled across these expired Chi Deep Brilliance Relaxers in a local beauty supply store.  The store was courteous to place a clearly readable sign that the relaxers were expired and to use at your own risk.

My first thought was "NO, expired relaxers should not be sold nor used," but then I looked at the expiration date on the packaging.  I saw September 2013.  So many of these relaxers are about four months past the expiration date.  That's not too bad.  If these relaxers get a year or two past the expiration date, then I would really be concerned.  Are you wondering why the expiration date does not give me extreme concern?  The real question is whether or not, the relaxer is still fresh enough to straighten hair?

Well, the packaging of all the expired relaxers were very new looking.  As a reminder, many times,  relaxers that have a fresh relaxer date on them can still spoil prematurely because someone may accidently leave the lid slightly opened and the oxygen causes the product to expire before time.

If a relaxer expires, then it may or may not have an odor, but without a doubt, expired relaxer will NOT straighten the hair, and in addition, it may cause damage to the hair without straightening it.

So these expired relaxers may actually still work just fine.  So are you wondering if there is a way to test the safety of the relaxer product without applying to your head or anyone else's head?

Yes, here's a way to test it . . .  1) Buy some Afro kinky bulk 100% human hair

and 2) run the "relaxer in question" through a sample piece of this "afro hair."

If the hair sample relaxes quickly within 3 minutes after massaging the relaxer product through, then the relaxer is still fresh enough to use on a head.  This test should be repeated as needed if days or weeks go by before needing to use the same relaxer product again.

In the picture above, the afro kinky hair on the left is what the braiding hair looked like before applyting relaxer to it.  I used a fresh Affirm Normal relaxer for this demonstration.  I did not purchase any of the Chi relaxers.

Are you surprised at my response?  Any thoughts?  I do have two more thoughts.  I think relaxers with expired dates should be donated to homeless shelters along with sample braiding hair for women to test the clearly marked expired relaxer prior to using the product on anyone's head.

We also need to be cautious about disposal of a large quantity of relaxers at one time.  It could harm our environment or get into our water supply.  


  1. I had an industry leader to mention that expired relaxers get stiff and hard to spread. So if the relaxer is creamy, then it should still wwork if there are no other options available.

  2. How can I recycle my expired relaxer?

    1. Expired relaxer can be used to clean tools like the "marcel irons." I will let you know if something else comes to mind.