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Can You Take Hairspray on a Plane? | Yes, But With Caveats

Everyone wants to look their best when they travel. During our travels, we take pictures to capture the special moments and need our hair to look good. Hairspray is crucial to keep our hairstyle in place during a getaway.

Traveling to our destination on a plane can limit what we can and cannot bring with us during the flight. There are many rules, regulations, and prohibited items when traveling on a plane. It makes one wonder – can we bring our hairspray on the plane?

What Is Hairspray? 

Hairspray is a styling product that puts a strong hold on our hairstyle to keep our hair in place. The spray comes in two forms – aerosol and pump.

  • Aerosol hairspray is a pressurized canister that disperses a cloud of spray. Aerosol bottles are considered hazardous due to the pressure and possible combustion. This potential danger puts aerosol sprays on the list of prohibited items on planes.
  • Pump hairspray has a nozzle that sprays the hair product. This form of hairspray is considered a true liquid. As many know, there are strict rules for the number of liquids you can bring with you in your carry-on bag when flying. 

What Are Prohibited Items on a Plane?

Washington DC precheck lane in a photo on a sunny day for a piece on can you take hairspray on a plane

Washington, DC DECEMBER 26, 2018: TSA precheck fast lane line before security at Reagan National Airport/David Tran Photography/Shutterstock

The Federal Aviation Administration regulates all aspects of aviation. The agency’s mission is to ensure all travelers have a safe and efficient flight. The agency implements rules and regulations to do so.

To prevent any possible danger, the FAA prohibits hazardous items on planes. This preventative action ensures the safety of all fliers and staff. Dangerous items that are considered hazardous material are forbidden in carry-on bags and checked luggage.

Obvious items such as lighters, flammable paints, solvents, and aerosols such as spray paint and cooking spray are among the long list of items you cannot bring on a plane. 

Most dangerous items are forbidden, but the FAA has made a few exceptions. Certain personal and toiletry are permitted on a plane. Items such as medicine, hand sanitizer, nail polish, and hairspray are deemed safe to bring on a plane.

Items that are exempt from the prohibited list still come with certain limitations enforced by the TSA. You must be mindful of these limitations when packing your hairspray.


TSA, the transportation security administration, implements the FAA rules to secure everyone’s safety. Before you can board a flight, you and your bags must undergo a screening process that checks for potential threats and prohibited items.  

Can You Take Hairspray on a Plane?

To avoid any delay or trouble during the screening procedure, you must abide by the rules to carry hairspray onboard. The limitation of hairspray you can bring differs from carry-on bags and checked luggage.

Luggage TypeMax Container SizeTotal Limit
Carry-On3.4 oz1 quart-sized bag
Checked Bag18 oz70 oz

Carry-on Bag

If you wish to have your hairspray with you and place it in your carry-on bag on the plane, you are limited to a 3.4-ounce container. TSA follows a 3-1-1 liquid policy.

You must place liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item. These items must fit in one quart-sized bag per passenger.

To simplify the liquid policy, it is 3.4-ounce containers in a 1-quart size bag and one bag per passenger. Aerosol sprays are generally banned because they are flammable, but hairspray meets the exemption.

Aerosol hairsprays are considered a liquid and also require a protective cap to prevent an accident release and possible combustion. TSA will likely toss your hairspray in the trash if the protective cap is missing. 

Checked Luggage

You can carry a larger-sized bottle of hairspray in your checked luggage, but you must still comply with a size limitation. FAA restricts the total quantity of liquid to 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces). Each container cannot exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

If you check every bottle of spray you own, you will see you don’t have to worry about purchasing a bottle that is too big. Average-sized hairsprays are typically less than 18 ounces.

It is rare to find a jumbo-sized hairspray bottle that exceeds 18 ounces in the store. You must, however, consider how many bottles of liquid you wish to bring with you.

You cannot have a combined total of over 70 ounces or 68 fluid ounces of liquids in your luggage. So, for example, five bottles of a 12-ounce spray will be okay, but a sixth bottle will surpass the limit. The cap of an aerosol spray is also required when packed in your checked luggage. 

TSA will screen your bag and further inspect your belongings if any dangerous items are suspected. For example, they may remove a capless bottle or a liquid over the limit from your bag. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Packing suitcase to help answer can I take hairspray on a plane


Here are some other possible questions regarding hairspray on a plane. 

Can hairspray explode on a plane?

Hairspray will not explode on a plane. Aerosol cans are only likely to explode when in a heated environment, such as a hot car. Planes are pressure and temperature controlled. 

For this reason, the FAA enforces the release nozzle to be covered by a protective cap. The cap and controlled pressure and temperature reduce the possibility of an aerosol can of hairspray exploding to a minimum, making it safe to carry on a plane.

How can I safely pack my hairspray?

To safely pack your hairspray, it is best to pack it in a plastic bag for both carry-on and checked baggage. Although it is unlikely, it is possible for the aerosols and pump sprays to release during pressure changes during the flight. 

You can tape the cap on to ensure the cap always remains on. The plastic bag and tape are preventative measures to keep your clothes from getting ruined by any leakage. 

Is hairspray considered a liquid by the TSA?

Yes, pump and aerosol hair spray are both considered a form of liquid. Therefore, you must comply with the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule when traveling with hairspray in your carry-on baggage and follow the FAA restrictions for hairspray in your checked luggage.

Will the TSA confiscate my hairspray?

TSA will confiscate your hairspray if it does not meet the size requirements. For example, they will remove any bottle that contains more than 3.4 ounces in a carry-on bag and hair sprays or liquids larger than 18 ounces from your checked luggage. They are also likely to confiscate an aerosol can if it does not have the proper cap.

Where can I find the right size of hairspray?

Most stores sell bottles of travel-sized hair sprays and toiletries. You can also transfer the liquid from your regular-sized pump hairspray into a TSA-compliant bottle. You can find these refillable bottles carry 3.4 fluid ounces in most drug stores or stores like Target.

So, Can You Bring Hairspray on a Plane? 

Yes, you can bring hairspray on a plane, but you must be mindful of the size and requirements. The size of the hairspray bottle you are allowed to bring on a plane varies on whether you want to pack it in your carry-on bag or checked luggage. 

You must be sure the bottle is under 3.4 ounces when placing it in your carry-on bag and under 18 ounces in your checked luggage. Don’t forget a protective cap is required on all aerosol bottles.