My wife couldn’t travel without her hairspray. I think she would rather leave me behind than not take her favorite hairspray with her.
The TSA will allow you to bring hairspray on a plane in both carry on and checked bags. But if you want to take it in your carry on, it will have to be no larger than 3.4oz/100ml in order to take it through the airport security checkpoint due to the liquids rule. You can take larger hairsprays in checked bags.
So to make sure that you don’t have your hairspray confiscated by a security agent it is important to know the full regulations before you pack.
What size hairspray can you take on plane?
Hairsprays tend to come in two forms:
- Aerosols containing hairspray
- Pump action liquid hairspray
Irrespective of which type your hairspray is, both are treated as liquids as far as airport security are concerned so must comply with the liquids rules described below.
When taking your carry on through airport security you are limited to a maximum size of 3.4oz/100ml per liquid item and these have to fit in one quart-sized clear, resealable plastic bag. If you need one for the flight then see the popular travel size hairspray section below.
You can take larger hairsprays in your checked bags as, fortunately, the regulations that apply to checked bags are much more lenient so you will be safe packing whatever hairspray and other toiletries you may need for your vacation or business trip.
Can you take hairspray in carry on?
As stated above there is a limit of 3.4oz/100ml for any item containing liquids, including hairsprays, whether they are in a bottle, push spray or aerosol. This applies when taking them through airport security in your hand luggage where they must also be placed in a quart-sized, clear, resealable plastic container – available on Amazon.
In order to take hairspray on board with you to use during the journey you have two options:
- Buy a travel size hairspray which you can take through airport security
- Buy a larger hairspray in a store at the airport after you pass through airport security, if the airport you are flying from has them.
Can you pack hairspray in checked luggage?
Yes, you can pack your hairspray in your suitcase without worrying too much as the regulations about what liquids you can take in checked bags are much less stringent than those that apply to hand luggage.
Any aerosol cans, including hairspray, packed in checked bags must have a protective cap fitted to prevent accidental discharge during the flight, which could be a hazard. This is stated in the regulation: 49 CFR 175.10(a)(1)
There are limits though so you cannot take a suitcase full of hairspray or other toiletry items. The TSA website states that “toiletry-type aerosols”, which includes hairspray, are carried in checked baggage must not exceed 70oz (2070ml) in total and no container should be larger than 18oz (532ml).
It is also a requirement that, when in checked baggage, hairsprays and other sprays have their cap in place to make sure they cannot be accidentally discharged in flight.
You can of course always buy some hairspray at your destination.
Does the type of hairspray make a difference?
The rules apply to all types of delivery systems for hairsprays – either hairsprays in aerosol cans and also non-aerosol hairsprays such as pump-action sprays which don’t use a propellant.
Will hairspray explode on a plane?
Many people are confused about this and seem to believe that aerosols in general, not just aerosols containing hairspray, are not permitted in checked bags in case they explode. This is totally untrue as it is the amount of liquid contained in them that is restricted not the type of delivery system.
You can read in my article Will aerosol cans explode in checked bags? which explains exactly why they will not explode.
The TSA offer a really helpful service on Twitter where you can ask an airport security question and get an answer quickly straight from the horse’s mouth to be sure you won’t make any mistakes.
This is one example of someone being unsure about being able to take their hairspray and the TSA’s answer:
Popular travel size hairspray
If you struggle to find hairspray locally in travel size containers these are the most popular available on Amazon – travel size hairspray