Travel Tips

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Can You Bring A Hair Straightener On A Plane? (Rules Per Airline!))

Planning to fly with a hair straightener? Learn the TSA rules & airline regulations for both electric & butane straighteners in our latest blog post.

Tobi Miles
July 1, 2022
Can You Bring A Hair Straightener On A Plane? (Rules Per Airline!))

When packing for a trip, it’s obvious that some items such as clothing, laptops, shoes, and contacts are allowed. However, there are some items that may be in question, such as a hair straightener. Are hair straighteners even allowed on planes?

According to the TSA, hair straighteners are allowed in both checked and carry-on luggage and there are no limitations on how many you can transport. For butane or gas-powered flat irons, you can only carry one, and you must transport it in your carry-on only, securely stowed, in a special sleeve. No extra gas or butane cartridges are permitted.

In this article, we will talk more about traveling with different types of hair straighteners and the regulations surrounding such items. And since they go hand-in-hand, we touch briefly on other hair accessories as well.

Can I Take Hair Straighteners in Carry On Luggage?

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Butane curling irons and hair straighteners really are not authorized in checked-in luggage, but they have been permitted in carry-on luggage.

However, you do need to cover them with a protective cover to avoid inadvertent activation because they are a fire risk, according to the TSA.

As far as electric hair straighteners are concerned, both corded and wireless, these tools can be checked in, and also put into your carry-on. Just make sure that they do not have their backup batteries intact.

Sometimes, TSA can be finicky and still confiscate your electric hair straightener if it has a backup battery as these can explode in the event something happens with the cabin pressure.

Can You Bring Butane Hair Straighteners on the Plane?

Butane and gas-powered hair straighteners are permitted in carry-on bags, but not in check-in baggage, according to the TSA.

Because butane and gas both are very combustible, taking butane-powered equipment in your cabin baggage is subject to more intensive security checks. So, it will better serve you to bring your plug-in electric hair straightener instead.

However, if you’re insistent on bringing the gas-powered straightener, it’s important that you know you can't carry two butane-powered devices in the same baggage. Each traveler can only pack one butane or gas-powered instrument. Additionally, no extra cartridges are permitted, so leave all of your extra supplies at home.

The butane-powered hair care items must also be securely stowed so that they do not unintentionally turn on when inside your suitcase. Additionally, a protective covering must be placed over the heat source.

Related Read: Can You Wear Jewelry Through Airport Security?

Should I Bring My Hair Straightener to Another Country?

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If you're traveling overseas with devices, double-check that they will operate where you're going. To begin, make absolutely sure your flat iron or any other hair tools such as blow dryers and curling irons are all set to the very same voltage as your desired location.

The US voltage grid is 110V, while the EU voltage grid is 220V. When you plug a 110V gadget into a 220V socket, it will melt in moments.

Keep in mind that most of your gadgets are dual-voltage compatible. All of the power information can typically be located on the back or on the cable of your gadget. Make sure it reads something like 100-240V or 110V-220V, this indicates that it is dual-voltage.

If your gadget only operates on 110V, you should either not take it to Europe or buy a voltage converter, which effectively converts 220V electricity to 110V voltage.

The second thing to look into is the types of outlets available in your target country. Electricity sockets vary from country to country; even in Europe, there are at minimum three types of sockets.

Can I Bring My Other Hair Styling Products On The Plane?

Credit: Shutterstock

People very rarely solely use a hair straightener and then call it good. There are many other hair accessories and tools that go in line with your straightener.

While it’s fine to bring hair straighteners on a plane, you’ll need to know whether you can bring the rest of your styling equipment as well!

Electric Hot-Air Brushes

Hot-air brushes with a cord that are converted into electrical energy are permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage.

While the TSA does not specify these brushes, they should then be allowed on the plane as long they do have a cord.

Cordless hot-air brushes operated by butane or gas have the same limitations as other butane-powered instruments.

Related Read: Can You Bring Portable Chargers On A Plane?

Combs and Brushes

Combs and brushes, in general, are acceptable as long as they will not have a pointy edge and are made out of plastic.

The sharp end of rat tail combs, for example, is frequently made of metal. TSA would almost certainly take those, though if you're transporting one, make sure it's entirely made of plastic.

Bobby Pins

Bobby pins are acceptable in both checked and carry-on luggage, according to the TSA. However, you need to make sure to take them out of your hairstyle before passing through security, because they may trigger the sensor.


Credit: Shutterstock

Hairspray is permitted in hand luggage, but only in quantities less than 3.4 oz (100 ml) and should be stowed alongside your other products in a see-through, quart-sized plastic baggie. The baggie also needs to be fully sealed.

On the other hand, hairspray that is packed in your checked-in luggage is limited to a total of 68 oz (2 l) and each container is limited to 18 oz (530 ml).

Under normal circumstances, aerosol cans including such hairspray will not combust in planes. The plane's cargo area is pressurized, so particles are subjected to nearly comparable conditions as they would be on the ground.

However, the danger is that they'll simply burst if the pressure within the hairspray reaches a particular point. Heat, which causes the aerosol to grow, or other outward physical influences, including someone smashing the can, might cause this.

Electric Hot Combs

Electric hair straighteners and electric heating combs are given the same treatment. You can carry them on airlines with no restrictions when they have a wire.

Only carry-ons with butane/gas hot combs are permitted; no refill cartridges are permitted, and the heating coil must be securely fastened.

Related Read: Can You Bring A Razor On A Plane?

Electric Hair Rollers (Hot Rollers)

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Electric hair rollers, often known as hot rollers, are permitted in both carry-on and checked luggage.

They're fine to include in your suitcase as provided as they have a connection and are electrically powered.

There are no more limitations, so pack as many as you wish, of any type or brand. Because hot rollers aren't officially mentioned in the TSA's restricted items list, you can carry them on board as long as they're not fueled by butane, gas, or lithium batteries.

Hair Gel

Hair gel is permitted through both checked and carry-on items, according to the TSA. Hair gel should be carried in hand luggage according to the TSA 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 oz bottles, 1 quart-sized bag, 1 bag per person.

Which Airlines Allow You to Bring Hair Straighteners Onboard?

Each airline has its own policy regarding hair straighteners and other hair styling items. While it’s mainly the same regulations as stated above, there are a couple of airlines that have different rules.

Credit: Shutterstock

American Airlines

Some items, like your hair straightener, are allowed on aircraft. This product is not on the Transportation Security Administration's forbidden items list.

However, for American Airlines specifically, any hair straighteners with a butane cylinder are not permitted on board at all and must be inspected.

Related Read: Can You Bring Deodorant on a Plane?

United Airlines

In your checked and carry-on bags, you can bring personal devices with lithium batteries that last less than 100 watt-hours.

Anything over that is not permitted onboard. However, if you’re worried about getting your straightener to your destination, you can always ship it ahead of time, and ship it back home. Or, you can purchase a new one to travel with.

Will My Hair Straightener Be Confiscated By TSA?

Your most valuable styling equipment should be kept at home. The likelihood of them being lost or destroyed are slim to none.

The real issue is that while they’re typically allowed, TSA officials have been known to still throw them out. It is entirely inside their powers to seize the item if they believe it hazardous for flight.  You may attempt to plead with the agent about all this, but the security agent ultimately has the last say.

Even though the item is specified as authorized in TSA's rules, it could still be taken if that individual agent chose to take it. It could be a great idea to purchase items that you will only use while traveling and store them in your luggage for check-in instead of carry-on.

This is why it’s ideal you tuck away an electric hair straightener into your checked baggage and do away with any butane or gas-fueled hair straighteners. Sure, they’re cool to have as they’re not very common.

However, the butane or gas-powered flat irons are something that should be left at home and not brought on vacation. Otherwise, since they’re strictly carry-on items, there’s no guarantee that TSA will not confiscate these from you.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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