Is Hair Conditioner Flammable? (Answer Inside)


You’ve probably never given the products you use on your hair much thought. We are taking into consideration shampoos and conditioners as an example. Some of the questions you should start asking yourself are: Do they sell any products that can be harmful to you? Are the products safe near a fire? Or is hair conditioner flammable?

All of these questions are important. Therefore, we will provide answers to them in this article. We’ll outline the ingredients in a conditioner, what happens if you use it near a fire, how long a conditioner lasts, and how to dispose of it. We’ll also discuss whether a conditioner is flammable.

Is Conditioner Flammable?

A hair conditioner is not flammable. The conditioner’s components are unable to start a fire. A product must be easily ignited or catch fire to be considered flammable. Such a substance will instantly catch fire if placed close to an open flame without the requirement for preheating. Since a conditioner contains a lot of water, it might be difficult to catch fire quickly.

However, the conditioner’s quality is essential. Cheaper conditioners are probably going to include flammable components.

What is a Hair Conditioner Made of?

A  hair conditioner is a product you usually use to make your hair look and feel better. Because there is less friction between the hair strands, you can manage your hair more easily. There are many conditioners, including gels, liquids, lotions, sprays, and creams. Depending on the purpose they are to serve, manufacturers develop conditioners with a variety of different components.

These are the most crucial components of any conditioner:

1. Water

Most conditioners contain water as their main component. It serves as a solvent for all the additional ingredients that make the conditioner. Water is the best ingredient, though some manufacturers may use infusions, hydrosol, or aloe vera, instead of water.

2. Emollients

Emollients are substances that moisturize and soften hair. They help restore some of the lipids lost along the hair shaft, giving the hair more shine and making it simpler to comb. Different varieties of butter, oils, and fats are common emollients.

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The hair type the manufacturer aims for determines the type of emollient to use. For instance, lighter emollients are necessary for fine hair to prevent feeling heavy.

3. Humectants (Moisturizers)

By absorbing moisture and binding it to the skin or hair, moisturizers provide hair hydration. Different humectants are required for various hair types. For instance, many humectants are necessary for a conditioner to be used with dry hair to attract moisture.

4. Cationic ingredients

Positively charged substances known as cations attach to the hair shaft’s surface. Adsorbing is the opposite of absorbing, meaning the ingredient sticks to the hair’s surface. Because of the negatively charged surface of the hair, these positively charged chemicals will be attracted to it and become difficult to wash away with water.

5. pH adjuster

Products with a minor acidic component work best on typical hair. It is adjusted to a pH of 6, which is within the ideal range.

6. Preservatives

Preservatives are necessary because bacteria are attracted to products with water. The conditioners’ shelf lives are increased with preservatives, making them safe to use.

Is Hair Conditioner a Fire Hazard?

A hair conditioner is not a fire hazard. Ingredients in the conditioner are non-flammable. Non-flammable materials take a lot of effort to ignite. They do not cause a fire risk as a result. If you place a hair conditioner close to an open flame, the worst that can happen is that it will release a toxic gas. But it won’t catch fire.

If a substance can quickly spread the flame of a fire, it is regarded as a fire hazard. Or, when near a fire, it aids in the spread of the flames and creates a dangerous situation. The majority of the characteristics of flammable material are not present in a hair conditioner’s components. Therefore, a hair conditioner is no longer regarded as a fire hazard.

What is the Flashpoint of a Hair Conditioner?

Since the hair conditioner is not flammable, it lacks a flashpoint. The hair conditioner won’t catch fire no matter how hot the temperature is. It won’t catch fire or even ignite if you try to place the conditioner close to a naked flame.

A flashpoint is the lowest temperature at which a liquid material produces the vapor when in contact with a fire flame. A good quality hair conditioner never reaches this point. Therefore it lacks a flashpoint.

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However, you might find a hair conditioner containing inexpensive, potentially flammable compounds. A flashpoint may exist in such a conditioner.

What Happens When You Put Your Hair Conditioner on Fire?

A good hair conditioner is not flammable. It might not burn, but it will release highly toxic fumes that harm the environment, animals, and even people. When you set your hair conditioner on fire, don’t expect to see a large fire, but you will contribute to pollution. However, a leave-in conditioner contains flammable ingredients, so avoid attempting to set it on fire if you have one.

A hair conditioner should not be set on fire just because it has been mentioned that it is not flammable. It would be dangerous to put it on fire if you don’t know the precise ingredients that make up that hair conditioner. It could contain combustible compounds and start a fire.

Cheap hair conditioners are more likely to contain flammable ingredients and could set fire to your home.


How Long Does Hair Conditioner Last?

A high-quality hair conditioner has a shelf life of three to four years, depending on the formulation. The shelf life of a typical hair conditioner is between two and three years. But the reason is that you haven’t opened the hair conditioner. You shouldn’t expect a hair conditioner you’ve opened to last more than a year.

Once you open a hair conditioner, it is advisable to use it within the shortest time possible. An opened bottle of hair conditioner might not last long enough to make it to the stated expiration date, even if the period is the longest possible. A conditioner that has been opened won’t survive very long for various reasons.

Here are a few reasons:

  1. Once the hair conditioner is opened, chemical reactions begin to occur due to exposure to air. The reactions start accelerating the spoiling process as soon as they take place.
  1. In addition, the air conditioner will be exposed to natural or artificial light. The chemicals start to separate when the conditioner’s consistency is affected by light.
  1. Additionally, the combination of heat, moisture, and light encourages the growth of bacteria.

However, the above only applies if the hair conditioner is synthetic. Natural hair conditioners may not last that long. That’s because most have little or no preservatives added. 

Does Hair Conditioner Expire?

Yes, hair conditioners do expire. When buying a product, it is always recommended to check its expiry date first. The same applies to a conditioner. You can look for a number that specifies the conditioner’s shelf life. Typically, the number is shown as 12M or 24M. The number is close to the batch code, UPC, or lot code.

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However, it is usually a good idea to smell your conditioner before using it. Even with printed expiration dates, the conditioner might already be spoilt. A rotten odor indicates a damaged conditioner.

You can tell if the conditioner is spoiled or not by its consistency. The conditioner has lost its consistency if you pour it out, and it comes out watery. Additionally, the conditioner may pour out in clumpy shapes, indicating a variation in thickness. Any change in the texture of a conditioner suggests that it is spoilt. 

Another way to tell that your hair conditioner has expired is by the packaging. If the package is swollen or lump, it will indicate something is wrong with the conditioner. The condition could result from bacteria forming in the conditioner, causing pressure on the package. 

How To Dispose of Hair Conditioner?

There isn’t much you can do with expired conditioners, unlike shampoos, which can be easily repurposed into home cleaning agents. Consider giving them to relatives and friends if they are still in good condition and have not yet expired. You might also ask if any care facilities, such as a woman’s shelter in your neighborhood, might want conditioners.

However, there are various ways to get rid of an expired conditioner: 

  1. Dump it down the drain: You usually use the conditioner and wash it off, still ending in the drain. Why not flush the one that has expired? To prevent the development of bacteria, make sure you do this and pour enough water down the drain.
  2. You can throw it in the trash that is being taken to a recycling facility. Locate the facilities that handle household hazardous waste.
  3. Some companies enable customers to return their products for a refill. Check the company website for your brand to check if refills are permitted. You might look into the recycling program sponsored by Garnier through TerraCycle.


You don’t need to worry about your conditioner catching fire unless you use a leave-in conditioner. A hair conditioner has no flash point, is not flammable, and does not pose a fire hazard. You now understand when a hair conditioner expires and how to dispose of it properly.

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