Is hairspray allowed to be carried in hand luggage at all and if so, how much can you bring? That sounds like two easy questions to answer, doesn’t it? Um, not really. Quite the opposite. A small Google search surprisingly doesn’t lead to adequate and clear answers in this matter right away. That’s why I would like to bring light into the darkness and clarify the facts once and for all (or at least provide as much transparency as possible).
Can I carry hairspray in my hand luggage?
Answer: Hairspray may be carried in hand luggage, as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) states in its regulations for dangerous goods carried by passengers and crew members in Table 2.3.A that cosmetic or medical articles which are not radioactive may be carried in both hand luggage and hold baggage.
You must, however, comply with the regulations for liquids in hand luggage. These stipulate that liquids in hand luggage may only be carried in containers of a maximum of 100 ml each. These containers must be stored in a transparent, resealable zip-top bag. The maximum volume of this liquid bag must not exceed one litre.
You should also check whether there is a “highly flammable” symbol on the hairspray or not. If this is the case, there is a risk that your hairspray may be confiscated at the security checkpoint.
Moreover, it is important to note that the maximum possible filling quantity is always relevant and NOT the current filling level. So if your hairspray has a capacity of 250 ml and is only one-third full (around 83.33 millilitres), then you are NOT allowed to bring it on board the aircraft.
How to transport your hairspray in hand luggage
It is forbidden to transport hairspray in conventional size in hand luggage. In checked baggage, however, you can usually carry a 500 ml can without any problems. Up to 2 litres are actually permitted in checked baggage, although each individual container may only hold a maximum of 0.5 litres.
If you absolutely want to take your hairspray with you in your hand luggage, there are exactly two ways to do this.
The first possibility is to buy a hairspray in travel size, i.e. to buy hairspray in a container with no more than 100 ml capacity. Such mini hairsprays are available. You can find such hairsprays on Amazon, for example.
The second option is to fill hairspray into matching containers. Of course you need suitable containers for this on the one hand and on the other hand not every hairspray can be easily opened and refilled. But if, for example, you have a pump hairspray that can be easily opened and refilled, this could also be a possibility.
You can also find suitable containers for liquids on Amazon. You could then pour your hairspray into such a container. This set also consists of other containers for creams, lotions, shampoo, and other liquids.
Hairspray in hand luggage in the US
When it comes to the USA, the alarm bells are ringing for many passengers (and rightly so) with regard to permitted hand luggage and checked baggage. What may and may not the gentlemen of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) like to see in hand luggage?
It is generally known that particularly strict security checks are carried out in the US and therefore it is certainly justified to give some more thought to items which might cause trouble at the security checkpoint when travelling from or within the US.
To cut a long story short: What about hairspray in hand luggage in the USA?
At least “on the sheet” it looks quite similar as with us in Europe because the TSA says that hairspray in hand luggage is allowed, but also subject to the 100 ml rule (in the US called Liquids 3-1-1 rule).
Hairspray in checked baggage
As far as hairspray in checked baggage is concerned, up to 2 litres may be transported in checked baggage, but not more than 0.5 litres per container. The same also goes for hairspray in checked baggage in the US.
If it does not matter to you whether you transport the hairspray in hand luggage or in checked luggage, then it is better to pack it in checked luggage, as transport in checked luggage generally causes no trouble.
Does hairspray need to be stored in the bag of liquids?
Yes. All liquids (gels, creams, and aerosols) need to go in the bag of liquids. Hairspray is a so-called aerosol and, therefore, needs to be stored in the bag of liquids.
Can you take 75 ml hairspray in your hand luggage?
Yes, you can. Containers up to 100 ml per container are allowed in hand luggage. Don’t forget to store the containers in the bag of liquids.
Can I take hairspray on a plane in checked luggage? Absolutely. In checked baggage, there is generally no limit for liquids. So you could bring a 5-litre bottle of water without any problem. Hairspray belongs to the group of aerosols and for such aerosols in checked baggage only 2 litres may be transported. And each individual container may have a maximum capacity of 500 ml.
Is aerosol hairspray likely to explode on a plane?
Short answer: A hairspray is very unlikely to explode on a plane, both in hand luggage (in cabin) and in checked baggage (stored in the hold of the aircraft). The reason why it is very unlikely is the fact that the cabin and also the hold are pressurised. However, if you are unlucky, your hairspray might leak due to the transport on the plane. It is therefore recommended to store the hairspray in a plastic bag or in a zip-lock bag to ensure that everything stays dry.
What toiletries can I take in my hand luggage?
You can take all the toiletries like deodorant, shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush, toothpaste and so on in your hand luggage. Please don’t forget that all of these need to be stored in the bag of liquids and that the capacity of each individual container must not exceed 100 ml. The bag of liquids needs to be transparent and resealable and the volume of this zip-top bag must not exceed 1 litre.
Is perfume allowed in hand luggage? Yes, perfume is allowed in hand luggage, however in very limited quantity. The rules for perfume are almost identical to the rules for hairspray. Please have a look at our comprehensive article “Perfume in Hand Luggage” to get some more info on the topic.