Can You Bring Hairspray On A Plane? All The TSA Hairspray Rules & Size Limits

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

Flying with hairspray is possible but there are regulations that you need to be aware of.

You can bring hairspray on a plane both in checked baggage and in carryon luggage usually in limited quantities.

This post has all the details that you need to know about taking hairspray on planes. The rules depend on the type of hairspray you are packing and whether or not you are packing it in your hand luggage or the larger checked hold luggage.

Read on and you’ll have your bag packed in no time!

Types Of Hairspray

An important point to note is that there are different types of hairspray and the rules about hairspray on planes depend on the type.

Most hairsprays are aerosol cans and there are extra rules regarding aerosols in hold luggage.

However, there are a few hairsprays that are just liquids that are physically pumped out.

Example: TreSemme Non-Aerosol Pump Hair Spray
An Example Non-Aerosol Pump Hairspray

The manual pump hairsprays are treated a little differently. So make sure you know what type of hairspray you are thinking about packing for your flight.

You’ll find that a lot of travel-sized hairsprays are actually non-aerosol versions but there are still a few small aerosol hairsprays, hair mousse and root lifters as well as other hair styling products.

TSA Hairspray Rules For Aerosols & Pump Sprays

Aerosols have extra restrictions because they can be flammable. This mainly effects the rules for checked bags.

Here are the TSA rules regarding hairspray.

While hairspray comes out the can as a gas or a mist they are treated as liquids by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Also, the FAA has some concerns about anything that is flammable for reasons of flight safety.

Let’s talk about hand luggage first:

Can You Take Travel Size Aerosol Hairspray On A Plane In Hand Luggage?

Aerosols are generally banned both in carry on and in checked luggage.

Thankfully the FAA makes an exception for medical aerosols and toiletries and hairspray fall into this category.

This means that you can take hairspray in your carry on luggage if you pack it inside your quart-size toiletries bag. This is the little clear plastic baggie that you must put all your liquids in when you fly. Your hairspray whether it is an aerosol hairspray or a pump hairspray must go in there! Hairspray is a controlled liquid and part of the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule.

So you also need to make sure that the spray bottle doesn’t contain more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml of hairspray. Remember you are only able to take 1 toiletries bag and it can be quite small. If you are struggling for space consider swapping some liquids like body wash for solid alternatives like soap.

Solids don’t need to go you in your toiletries bag so using them can free up space for hairspray. You can even get solid bars of shampoo and solid “toothpaste” tablets.

There is no solid alternative to hairspray so you can’t swap that out.

One thing to note is that even although the maximum container size for carry-on liquids is 3.4 oz or 100 ml you might not actually need 100 ml of hairspray for your trip. If you are only going away for 2 night 3 oz is way too much hairspray!

If you are using non-aerosol manual pump hairspray like the TRESemmé above you could actually fill your own smaller travel size bottle and just take enough spray for the length of your trip. For example, 1 oz of hairspray might be plenty.

This is another way to save space in your toiletries bag but you can’t do that with aerosol sprays.

Additionally, make sure that the hairspray has a cap or a lid to stop it from being accidentally sprayed when packed. If your bottle does not have a cap you might not be able to get it past the TSA security checkpoint.

Here is the @AskTSA service on Twitter providing the answer about hairspray in hand luggage:

So you can take hairspray both aerosol and non-aerosol in your carry-on bag so long as the bottle is smaller than 3.4 oz or 100 ml.

Now let’s take a look at checked baggage.

Can You Take Hairspray On A Plane In Checked Luggage?

This is where the difference between aerosol hairspray and non-aerosol hairspray is really important.

You can pack aerosol hairspray in checked luggage but the spray can can’t be larger than 18 oz.

Most regular aerosol hairspray cans are a lot smaller than 18 oz. So unless you happen to have a jumbo can from a salon or something you shouldn’t have any problems packing it in your checked suitcase.

The second rule is that you are not allowed to take more than 70 oz of aerosols in your checked luggage. So if you are taking multiple aerosol cans you need to add up the volume and make sure it’s not more than 70 oz.

Remember you can only take medicinal aerosols or aerosols toiletries. All other aerosols like spray paint, are banned. Check this post for more information.

Non-aerosol hairspray does not have this 18 oz limitation. You can pack quantities greater than that in your hold luggage without it impacting the aerosol limit.

Again here is the TSA on Twitter confirming that you can take hairspray in your checked bags:

So hairspray is fine in checked bags subject to the aerosol limits. You can pack most standard size aerosol hairsprays in your checked baggage without any problems.

Will Hairspray Explode On A Plane?

This is a question that’s asked frequently. Aerosols won’t explode on planes either in the cabin or the luggage hold. These areas are pressure and temperature controlled.

Aerosol cans don’t explode unless they are heated. So avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or leaving them in a hot car.

Your hairspray won’t explode on the plane! You can read this post if you are worried about this issue.

There is a risk but it’s a small risk and the FAA has decided hairspray aerosols are fine to take on planes.

The Verdict

You can bring travel-sized hairspray in your carry on. It is treated as a liquid and must be packed inside your clear plastic quart bag. Bottles must be smaller than 3.4 oz or 100 ml.

You can bring larger hairspray aerosols in your checked suitcase. Aerosol hairsprays packed in checked bags can be 18 oz. You are only allowed to bring a total of 70 oz of aerosols in your checked baggage.

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