Can You Bring Hairdryer on a Plane? Here’s the Answer

Bad hair days are never acceptable, except when lounging at home!

This is precisely why we can’t help lugging our beloved hairdryer and tools on business or leisure trips, even at the expense of much-conserved luggage space and weight. 

Also, going out in the cold with wet hair is not advisable as it can cause your hair to freeze. That can be quite an uncomfortable feeling and not a healthy habit for your strands.

Woman holding a hairdryer

That brings us to the question: Can you bring a hairdryer on a plane?

Hairdryer vs. Blow Dryer

As we discuss in this article the regulations applicable to hairdryers during travel, it is also important to address this issue: the difference between a hairdryer and a blow dryer. 

The answer: none! These two terms actually pertain to the same instrument.

Blow dryer is a term used more in the U.S., while hairdryer is commonly used in other countries around the world.  

Can you bring a hairdryer on a plane? 

So, are hairdryers, blow dryers, or however you want to call it, allowed on planes – whether as carry on or checked baggage? What about other hair tools such as hair straighteners, curling irons, and the likes?  

In a nutshell, hairdryers are allowed on both carry-on bags and checked bags.

The Transportation Security Administration or TSA has provided regulations on bringing these hair tools in flight. 

ITEMS IN QUESTIONCARRY-ON BAGSCHECKED BAGS
Hairdryers✈️✈️
Hair Straightener (Flat Iron)✈️✈️
Curling Iron (with cord)✈️✈️
Butane Curling Irons (cordless)✈️ ⚠️
⚠️: Cordless curling irons containing a gas cartridge and butane fueled curling irons are allowed in carry-on bags only. A safety cover must be securely fitted over the heating element. The device must be protected from accidental activation.
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🛑: Gas refills (spare cartridges) are not allowed in either checked or carry-on bags.

Rechargeable and Battery-Operated Hairdryers 

The abovementioned regulations deal more with the electric hairdryers and tools, with the exception of the butane-fueled and gas cartridge-containing gizmos. 

However, hair tools have evolved and were made to be more compact and travel-friendly. Rechargeable and wireless dryers, straighteners, and curlers are now in the market.  

The TSA has no specific rules about these tools, but since they contain batteries, lithium ones in general, the TSA and the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA apply these policies:  

ITEMS IN QUESTIONCARRY-ON BAGSCHECKED BAGS
Lithium batteries with 100-watt hours or less in a device✈️✈️ ⚠️
⚠️: Lithium batteries with 100-watt hours or less may be carried in a device in either carry-on or checked bags. Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked bags.
Lithium batteries with more than 100-watt hours✈️ ⚠️
⚠️: Lithium batteries with more than 100-watt hours may be allowed in carry-on bags with airline approval.  One spare battery, not exceeding 300-watt hours, or two spare batteries, not exceeding 160-watt hours each, are permitted in carry-on bags. 
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@AskTSA to the Rescue

Moving on from the math stuff! If the list is still not enough to cover all your hair styling tools, TSA has been fielding these questions on their social media accounts.  

Other hair tools have also been checked with them, such as hot air brushes and heated curlers. And as confirmed by the TSA, these are allowed in your hand luggage.   

But if you are still not sure if you can bring your dependable gadget with you as a hand-carried luggage or checked baggage, it would be a good practice to do a personal check if these are hazardous, explosive or flammable, dangerous or can be used as a weapon. 

If yes, then leave that home than experience the hassle of it being confiscated during the security screening.  Despite these posted regulations, the TSA Officer on duty still has the final decision if your items will pass the screening.  

Why bring your own hairdryer? 

With a limited bag space and luggage weight, it is valid to ask: why would you need to pack that bulky hairdryer in your bag?  

Hairdryers are part of the standard hotel provisions but not assured if staying at hostels, guest houses, or Airbnbs. Also, the strength and functionality of these provided hairdryers might not be up to your preferences.  

And here’s another issue: hygiene! The cleanliness of the dryer is also a concern, as these are being used by different people every day. 

Got quite an unruly hair? Or planning a hairstyle to match your OOTD? Using just the hairdryer may not be enough; unfortunately, hair straighteners, curlers, and other tools are not part of the standard fare.  

Traveling with your hairdryer

portable hairdryer

Aside from getting your hairdryer and tools cleared from the TSA and airport screening, there are still other matters that must be planned ahead if you really want to bring these with you. 

Luggage space and weight

Full-scale hairdryers can be very bulky and heavy and will take up a lot of space in your bag. It is worth checking if you want to bring along the usual dryer or the compact ones. 

But again, the travel-friendly, rechargeable hair dryers may not be as powerful and effective as the standard ones.  

Also, hairdryers will need time to cool down after usage, so packing this will take some planning as well if you need to check out immediately.  

Plug and socket type

Did you know that there are 15 types of electrical outlet plugs or sockets worldwide?  It varies depending on the number, direction, and shape of pins, and if grounded or not. 

You wouldn’t want to be caught unaware in another country, having brought your trusty hairdryer but not able to use it anyway, right? 

No need to buy different hairdryers or gadgets depending on the country you’re visiting. But you can purchase a universal plug adapter. 

These are compact and adaptable in any foreign outlet. Plug in your hair dryer to the adapter and find the attachment that matches the socket in that country. That easy! But it is important to note that it does not convert voltage.  

Voltage and frequency   

Apart from electrical plugs, each country also follows a certain voltage or frequency for their domestic appliances and instruments.  For example, your 110V hairdryer will get damaged if plugged into a 220v outlet.  

To prevent your hairdryers and tools to be trashed while abroad, voltage converters and adapters are also available.  

Conclusion

Having your ever-dependable hairdryer everywhere at any time might seem simple. 

But just like any travel plan, preparing and researching will do you good and in turn, keep your gadgets safe and your trip hassle-free.  

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