So we continue to test boundaries and have bought or even made our own new products and have started or continue to consciously look/notice what those products do to our hair. But does it end there? I certainly don't think so. As much as we can talk about and experiment with product usage and applying various methods and techniques...a key factor I think we sometimes forget (okay maybe most of the time forget) is product storage which can impact on not only the life span of our products but also the product makeup/formulation.
We live in a country with diverse and sometimes extreme climate conditions depending on the region one lives in. For us landlocked Joburgers, the sun and varying conditions of the air can not only take its toll on our hair but can also take a toll on our hair care products. How? Well, if you leave your favorite conditioner on your bathroom window sill where the lovely sun rays happen to hit directly (or reflect) all day - along with the sun, comes heat and what does heat do - it changes the make up/consistency of your product. It can also dry out your product - I have found some of my products with a layer of condensation (evaporated water/liquid) sitting on the inside of the bottle and I have wondered what its effect has been on my product. Most of the time this is not major - I am just saying that over time, it can indeed change and even damage or reduce the properties/effects of your product. The one side of my apartment faces the sun 24/7 and the effect on my curtains is not pretty - my curtains lose their colour and if left too long can even start to deteriorate. Even furniture and electrical goods if left in the sun everyday, deteriorate and fade and become sun damaged so what about my hair products?
Unless one has a nice bathroom cupboard below the bathroom sink or other area that is cool and dark and dry, then leaving one's products in the bathroom, in the bathtub corner and everywhere else there is space is also not a great idea. When the bathroom steams up, the temperature changes and it gets warmer and I have noticed condensation happen as well to products just left around all willy nilly. What about the water that can splash from the shower into the product container and what about bacteria etc that can form in incorrectly kept products. Even oil/solid based product that easily melt need some extra love and care.
This is also applicable to oils. Good quality oils will come in a dark glass bottle. Glass helps prolong the life of the oil and is not really bacteria prone and dark glass, helps reduce the effects of light and essentially the sun. Often and most good quality brands will indeed warn you to store in a cool, dark place and this is all for good reason.
I bought these storage boxes from Pep Home for R89 each - quite large, durable for the price . (I actually have a couple more boxes in a another corner.Most brands will give advise on the product packaging, they will often say 'store in a cool, dry place' or 'keep away from direct sunlight' or even 'store below xx temperature' whatever the temperature guidance is. And we really should follow the advise given. Using the fridge for storage is also a good idea provided its for products that don't mind such low temperature. Buying some nice glass jars and bottles and decanting our products into them could be an idea, especially dark glass bottles for our oils. (EVOO bottles are often dark and made of glass so reusing them should not be a problem). I keep a number of DIY ingredients in a plastic tub in a corner kitchen cupboard away from direct sunlight and the cupboard is quite cool even on the hottest of days. Stainless steel spray bottles - I have found some at Ferndale Pharmacy in Ferndale Village for R10 each which I use for oil as they make it easier to apply - I mix and spray getting better hair and scalp coverage. I have also seen a few in various Dischem branches here and there. Before decanting anything - ensure your hands as well as anything else you will be using to decant with are clean (sterile even) and dry. When I grow up I will have a walk in product closet - yes I said it (o: Store whatever you decant into in a dry, cool and dark place. Maybe we should stick to the following as a general guide and ensure where-ever we store our products that it cool, dark and dry.
Check expiry dates of your products every now and again and if it smells foul or has changed colour - throw it away.
Having great nurturing products for our hair is great, trying different ways of how to use them is also great and then keeping them so we can continue to use them and prolong the use of them is even greater.
As always listen to your hair.