If you are going on a trip and will be away for at least a night then you will undoubtedly want to wash your hair while you are away. You may not want to rely on using the shampoo that your hotel may supply so you will probably want to take your favorite shampoo with you. Can you take shampoo and, if so, how much can you bring?
Most shampoos, apart from shampoo bars, are considered a liquid by the TSA so are subject to the liquids rules if taking it through the TSA security checkpoint. This means a container of shampoo cannot be larger than 3.4 ounces (100 ml) otherwise it will be confiscated. It can be packed in your checked bag without restriction.
In the rest of this article, you will find all the rules and everything you need to know relating to taking shampoo on a plane and some ideas for ways to ensure you take the size you want.
- 1 Can you take shampoo through airport security
- 2 Can you bring shampoo in your carry on bags?
- 3 How much shampoo can you take in your checked luggage?
- 4 Bringing other hair products on a plane
- 5 Conclusion
Can you take shampoo through airport security
Although you are permitted to take shampoo through the TSA checkpoint in carry on baggage, according to the TSA rules, most forms of shampoo are not surprisingly considered to be liquids. The exception is shampoo bars (solid shampoo).
This means that:
- The shampoo container must be no larger than 3.4 ounce (100 ml) in size.
- It is the size of the container that is important so you cannot take a large shampoo container that only has less than 3.4 ounce of shampoo in it.
- It must be placed in your transparent, resealable, one quart size bag together with any other small liquids and toiletries.
- The quart sized liquid bag must be placed separately in a bin at checkpoint before going through the x-ray machine.
- Only one quart sized liquid bag is permitted per passenger
You can take solid shampoo on a plane in any quantity through the checkpoint in carry on luggage or pack it in checked luggage.
The final decision of what can and cannot betaken through airport security rests with the TSA agents.
If you are taking dry shampoo you can read my dedicated post – Can you take dry shampoo on a plane?
The TSA offers a very good service called AskTSA on both Twitter and Facebook where you can ask a specific question about whether you can take something through the security checkpoint and they will respond quickly.
This is an example response to a passenger’s question regarding whether you can bring shampoo and body wash on a plane if they are in travel size bottles (less than 3.4 ounces) but have been opened:
Solid shampoo advice from TSA:
Can you take larger prescription shampoo through security?
You are permitted to take a container of shampoo that is larger than 3.4 oz through the TSA security checkpoint if you have been prescribed the shampoo by a doctor. The same is true of any prescribed liquid medication, including prescription toothpaste.
Place the shampoo inside a separate bin for additional screening and inform the TSA agent that you have it and show them a copy of the prescription.
See the TSA instructions below:
Can you bring shampoo in your carry on bags?
As you will already know from reading the section above, you cannot take a container of shampoo larger than 3.4 oz (100 ml) through security in carry on luggage.
But you can actually take a larger container of shampoo on a plane in your carry on bag without having to buy a travel size shampoo bottle.
This can be achieved if you purchase the shampoo in one of the stores at the airport after passing through the TSA checkpoint.
How much shampoo can you take in your checked luggage?
You will not encounter any problems when packing liquid shampoo inside your checked baggage as, although it is considered a liquid in TSA regulations, the liquids rule only apply to taking liquids through airport security and on a plane in your carry on. The restrictions do not apply to liquids in checked baggage.
You can therefore pack any size container of your favorite shampoo in your checked baggage to use while you are away.
This is the TSA’s reply to a passenger asking what amount of shampoo they can take in their checked baggage:
Bringing other hair products on a plane
Can you bring hairspray on a plane?
You can bring hairspray on a plane but it is subjected to the same liquids rules as shampoo. Larger size hairspray can be packed in your checked baggage. The same is true for taking hair gel on a plane.
Read my full article – Can you bring hairspray on a plane?
Can you bring a hairdryer on a plane?
A hairdryer can be taken on a plane in either carry on or checked bags.
See my post – Can you take a hairdryer on a plane?
Can you bring hair straighteners on a plane?
You can take any type of hair straighteners on a plane in carry on but you cannot take butane hair straighteners in checked bags.
See my post – Can you take hair straighteners on a plane?
What about a curling iron?
Curling irons are handled in exactly the same way as hair straighteners, so they can be taken on a plane in carry on but you cannot take a butane curling iron in checked bags.
See my post – Can I bring a curling iron in my carry on?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not allow any containers of shampoo larger than 3.4 ounce (100 ml) of liquid per item that are carried through the security checkpoint in hand luggage.
Passengers are allowed to bring travel size shampoo through airport security in their carry-on bag if they are in small bottles that hold 3.4 ounces or less per item and are packed in a plastic bag. You will not have a problem if you pack shampoo in larger bottles in a checked bag to use on your trip.
I have been traveling around the world by air since the early 70s and living overseas too. I worked for British Airways for a number of years and I am also a private pilot.