Can I Bring Hairspray on an Airplane?

By Jodi Thornton O'Connell

The best way to bring hairspray on an airplane

Can I Bring Hairspray on an Airplane?

Looking your best can be crucial after a plane ride, especially if you're attending a wedding, business meeting or high school reunion. Like most people, you've got styling products that work best on your hair, while others leave it falling flat. TSA lets you bring your favorite fixative as long as you follow the rules.

Aerosol hairspray the TSA way

It doesn't matter whether you use aerosol or pump hairspray–TSA rules are the same for both.

In your carry-on: If you're traveling light or need a little touch-up after you land, you might want to include hairspray in your carry-on. But that big bottle can't fly in hand luggage. Your hairspray has to be in a container less than 3.4 ounces and fit inside a quart-sized, zippered, clear plastic bag with your other liquids. So buy travel or sample sizes or transfer a portion of your pumped product into a small spray bottle.

In your checked baggage: Who uses only one spray? If you're a fashionista who loves using a full line–thermal spray, texture spray, shine spray and finishing spray–pack and check your full-sized set. Just make sure the total amount of sprays and other liquid toiletries in your checked luggage doesn't exceed 68 fluid ounces.

Safely packing sprays

Although small hairsprays in your carry-on bag are unlikely to discharge, air pressure changes in the baggage compartment can cause aerosols and pump sprays to release in flight. The FAA requires each bottle of spray to have its cap in place to prevent accidental discharge during the flight. Any pumps secured with a twist action should be engaged before packing. You might also wish to put sprays and other liquids in a plastic bag or other liquid-proof container. If they leak in flight, at least they won't ruin your outfits.

Size of spray bottles

TSA's 3-1-1 rule prohibits containers larger than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on, but your checked baggage has its limits too. Check the ounces of each bottle of spray you're packing to make sure you don't exceed the TSA 17-ounce limit. Although most drugstore hairsprays are well within this requirement, some professional sprays come in 18-ounce bottles or larger. And at prices that can exceed $35 a bottle, you won't want to have it confiscated by TSA.

About the Author

Indulging her passion for vacation vagary through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, travel funster Jodi Thornton-O'Connell guides readers to the unexpected, quirky, and awe-inspiring.