Can You Bring a Hair Dryer on a Plane? (A Flight Attendant Answers)
Can you bring a hair dryer on a plane?
You can bring a hair dryer in your carry-on or checked baggage. Other hair styling tools are also permitted in your carry on bags. International travel is a bit more complicated as hair dryers don’t always work abroad, and you may be required to back a voltage adapter and outlet converter.
There are so many questions people have about bringing hair dryers (and other hair styling tools) on planes. Can we pack hair dryers in our carry on bags? Checked bags? Cordless curling irons, yea or nay? What about traveling abroad? Can we use a hair straightener to freshen up in the bathroom before we land?
All these questions and more are answered in this article. As a former flight attendant, I am familiar with the rules and pitfalls of traveling with all kinds of hair styling tools.
Spoiler: I use a travel hair dryer when abroad and will explain why shortly. Also, please don’t try to use any hair styling tools on the plane. We get that it’s tempting after a long flight, but it breaks a lot of big rules.
Table of Contents
- Are Hair Dryers Allowed in My Carry On?
- FAQs About Flying with Hair Dryers and Hair Straighteners
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Are Hair Dryers Allowed in My Carry On?
Hair dryers and most other hair styling equipment are allowed in your carry on and checked bag. It is often easier to bring a travel hair dryer not only because they fit better in your carry on bag but they generally are dual voltage. This means you can use them at international destinations. You are never allowed to use a hairdryer on a plane.
Traveling internationally with hair styling tools can be a bit complicated so anything you can do to make it simpler is in your best interest. The first problem with bringing a hair dryer on international flights is voltage. The voltage varies from country to country so you need to check your hair straightener and blow dryer for text printed, usually at the base or plug, that states the voltage (e.g., 100/240V or something similar). If the voltage listed does not include your own region’s, then you will have to purchase a voltage converter. Next, and this is true for all electronics, you need to get an international plug converter.
Other countries have different plug shapes and sizes, so make sure you purchase one that will work in your destination country. North American shares the same voltage and plug type. Europe, Africa, and Asia have different voltage requirements as does South America and they all have different shaped plugs. Many travel hair dryers, like the one I recommend below, come with plus converters which makes them an easy solution for international travel.
My preferred way to solve all of these problems is to bring a travel hair dryer and leave my expensive styling tools at home. Travel hair dryers like this one are dual voltage and this one is particularly nice because it comes with an EU plug adaptor.
Remember, if you try to use a hair dryer or curling iron that is not dual voltage in a foreign country at best it will not turn on. At worst you will blow a fuse, causing sparks to come out of the plug and smoke to come out of the hair dryer.
Odds are you at minimum break your hair dryer and once you have blown the electric wiring in your hair dryer there is no repairing it. Many hotels offer hair dryers and the better ones have curling irons and hair straighteners at the front desk to use free of charge or with a small deposit. Airbnbs also often have hair dryers available, especially if they cater to international guests.
So before packing up your expensive equipment contact your accommodations and find out what is available. It may not be the best quality blow dryer or flat iron in the world, but it will for sure work at your destination and you won’t have it taking up space in your hand luggage.
Speaking of packing, be sure to read my guide to 16 of my best carry on packing tips!
Can I Bring Cordless Butane Hair Straighteners / Curling Irons on a Plane?
You are allowed to bring a butane hair straightener or a butane curling iron in your carry-on bags, but not in any checked baggage.
That said if you are looking to get through security quickly I do not recommend bringing butane gas-powered hair styling tools on your travels. They are subject to more strict security checks and you are almost guaranteed to get pulled out of line and have your bag triple checked by a TSA agent.
It is also recommended you put a safety (non-flammable) cover on any butane fueled hair styling tools. An easier way to bring a curling iron or other tools on a plane is to invest in a corded travel version of your most important styling tools. These are always dual voltage so will work in any country. They often come with plug adaptors and are smaller so fit more easily in carry on luggage.
If you do decide it’s worth bringing remember you can only bring one butane gas-powered styling tool (either a straightener or a curling iron). Also, you will not be allowed to bring any spare cartridges, just the one in the curling iron or hair dryer itself.
✈️ Read Next: Can you bring alcohol on a plane?
What Hair Styling Products Can I Bring on a Plane?
Products like hair gel and aerosol cans are all subject to the TSA liquids and gels rule. This means each container in your carry on bags must be less than 100ml and be contained in a single 1L clear resealable bag.
As you cannot use any electric or battery powered hair styling tools on a plane (this included hair dryers, curling irons, and flat irons) I always recommend taking a travel size dry shampoo and hair gel with a good hair brush on long flights.
This is your best bet for arriving at your destination with hair not looking like you just spent the last 10 hours on a plane. Hair brushes are really the only styling tool you are allowed to use once you are on the plane.
For more tips on surviving Long Haul Flights check out this article
Full sized hair styling products can be packed in your checked bags. This also includes aerosol cans. If you are packing full sized products make sure they are sealed in plastic bags to avoid any leaks.
✈️ Read Next: Can you take a lighter on a plane?
FAQs About Flying with Hair Dryers and Hair Straighteners
Can you Bring a Hair Straightener in Your Hand Luggage?
You can bring hair straighteners in your carry on or checked bag. Corded hair straighteners require no special preparation especially if you are flying domestically. If you want to bring a hair straightener internationally make sure it has a dual voltage setting. Cordless hair straighteners with gas cartridges need to be packed in your carry on bag and are not permitted in a checked bag.
Do Hair Dryers Work Abroad?
A hair dryer will work abroad if it has a dual voltage setting. To check this look for text printed near the plug that states 100/240V. The other item you will need is an international plug converter that is compatible with your destination’s wall plugs.
Should I Bring My Hair Dryer and Curling Iron on My Trip?
Bringing electronics when you travel can be a challenge. Two main things to remember, international destinations have different outlets so you will need to bring a travel adaptor. The other main thing to know is that voltages are different in different countries so if you are bringing any electronics that are not dual voltage you will need to also bring a voltage converter. Most hotels offer hair dryers free of charge depending on what you are using for accommodations. Consider using the provided hair dryer. However, if you need more specialized equipment like a curling iron, it’s often best to invest in a travel version.
If you want to bring a curling iron on your voyages, this travel curling iron is the one I recommend. While it might be tempting to think butane fueled curling irons are the easiest option, by the time you take the security hurdles into consideration, cordless curling irons are often more hassle than they're worth. This curling iron is compact, easy to pack, and with dual voltage settings, can be used anywhere in the world.
Do You Have to Take a Hair Dryer out at Security?
The TSA rules are not specific about if you need to take your hair dryer out at security. This means you should leave it packed in your carry on but as always the final decision will rest with the individual TSA agent so be prepared to take it out of your bag if asked.
For more information check out my article on What Can Bring in your Purse on a Plane?.
There you go, a rundown of all the questions I have encountered related to “Can I bring a hair dryer on a plane?” Everyone’s situation is a bit different but now you have the information you need to make an informed decision on whether or not to bring curling irons, hair straighteners, etc. with you on your trip.