WARNING: Don’t buy Shampoo with a New Barcode

Who doesn’t love a great deal, especially when it comes to finding expensive hair products on sale at the local drugstore? Well, as it turns out, those bottles should probably stay where they are.

As salon owner Johanna Amarante told WFLA, hair products expire after about two years — and that’s just about how old many products are when they make it to discount stores such as CVS and TJ Maxx.

As WFLA explains, buyers get hold of expired stock and resell it to discount stores. These stores then add their own barcode.

Screenshot/WFLA

If expired, Amarante explained, the ingredients in the product would no longer work:

“Whatever ingredients that product has in it will no longer do the job like it’s supposed to.”

WFLA notes that consumers should be extra concerned that many salons that go out of business often sell their stock to buyers, who then dilute the products with water or alcohol — the respective additions rendering the product less effective and even damaging to hair.

Another way to spot an expired product is its packaging. Although it may be hard to know the difference at first glance, packaging is something to look out for if you’re familiar with the product:

Many high-quality salon brands print warnings on the label that state product quality can’t be guaranteed if not sold by a professional hairdresser.

This bottle of a Paul Mitchell styling product found at CVS warns consumers not to purchase it unless it’s being sold by a professional hairdresser.

Independent Journal Review

The label warns:

“Guaranteed only when sold by a professional hairdresser, otherwise it may be counterfeit, black market, old or tampered with.”

According to high-end brand Redkin, the company only guarantees its products if they are sold from an authorized salon, spa, or related website.

The company states on its website that any of its products found at mass retailers, mass discount retailers, drugstores, grocery stores, online purchases not from manufacturer-specific websites (in this case L’Oreal), and other product websites are being sold by unauthorized sellers.

Consumers are put at risk, as any tampering with their products could cause irritation or infection.

Just like anything that’s too good to be true, perhaps it’s best to leave these products behind.



Wow.  Great information.  I love scooping up shampoo and conditioner at bargain basement prices from discount stores.  Looks like I need to go through my supply and pitch some product.  Don’t think I’m making this type of purchase again.  One more reason to start making my own essential oil infused shampoo, which is on my project list. 

-The Oily Guru

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