Find a hair or grooming product, look at the packaging and count how many symbols you know the meaning of. Pretty tricky, isn’t it! 

In this post, I shine a light on some of the most common symbols that you’ll find on your hair and grooming products; what they mean; and why you should care.

Open jar symbol


The open jar symbol represents how long you can use a product safely for after opening it.

It doesn’t mean that you have to stop using it after this point, but it does mean that the formula and concentrations of the product could change over time – making it less efficient in what it’s supposed to do.

The hour glass symbol


The hourglass symbol indicates the product’s best before date.

Like food, it’s good to check on this date before purchasing your hair and grooming products.

If you use the product after this date, it can no longer claim to do what it’s supposed to do.

Flame symbol


You will often find the flame symbol on aerosols like hairsprays and body sprays.

This indicates the product is flammable. Keep it away from flames and don’t expose it to extreme heat!

Estimated symbol


The ‘e’ estimated symbol indicates that the manufacturer complies with the E.U. regulations relating to weighing products.

The E.U. requires that the average weight in a batch of products is no less than what’s listed on the package. The ‘e’ is used to symbolise this figure as an average.

If a product actually had less that what’s on the label, the producer could face fines.

Hand with a booklet symbol


The hand with a booklet symbol is indicating that there’s a leaflet with the product.

A leaflet is often given with product that have a lot of information on ingredients, directions or warnings.

Triangular arrows


Triangular arrows can mean a few different things, but they all relate to recycling.

By themselves, it means the packaging is recyclable.

With a percentage in it, it indicates how much of that packaging was made from recycled materials.

With a number in or below it, it helps to indicate what it’s made from, in order for it to be recycled.

Green Dot symbol


The Green Dot symbol indicates that the company producing the product supports and pays for recycling within their organisation.

Bunny symbol


The bunny symbol shows that the product (and all of its ingredients) has not been tested on animals.

The symbol changes for different markets but at least you know the product is cruelty free!