Hair dryers are not only useful for getting hair dry…
They’re also very handy for shaping your hair into an attractive style.
And it’s when we are traveling that we often want to look our best.
This post will help you decide whether to take your hair dryer with you when you next go to the airport.
And if you do choose to take it we’ve got lots of tips to help you to choose between putting it in your checked luggage or as hand luggage inside your carry-on bag.
Let’s proceed at maximum power and try to answer your questions.
Yes! You can bring a regular hair dryer on a plane. That’s the simple answer. You can pack it inside your checked baggage or inside your carry on bag as hand luggage.
Here are the helpful folks at both Delta and the TSA confirming it on Twitter.
You can also check the relevant section of the TSA website here.
An exception that the TSA doesn’t mention would be if you had a cordless battery powered hair dryer.
Since batteries are not allowed in checked luggage you’d only be able to pack a cordless battery operated version in hand luggage.
As always, the final decision about your hand luggage always lies with the TSA security officer at airport security.
Considering that cordless hair dryers are terrible and usually only blow cold air this battery exception is irrelevant for most people but I thought it was worth mentioning it just in case.
It’s worth considering if you really need to pack a hair dryer. In some cases hotel rooms allow you to borrow one from the reception.
Often a simple phone call to your hotel or wherever you are staying could allay your fears and lighten your load.
Another option might be to ship it. You could pack up a box with all your hair styling equipment, shampoos, and styling products and ship it to your hotel room. It would be waiting for your when you arrive.
You’d need to ship it back home when too so it would cost a little but it would lighten your hand luggage and save you from paying for checked luggage.
Not convinced… okay let’s see where to pack it.
Because checked bags have large size and weight limits it’s easy to fit your hair dryer inside. You will have no problems with security taking a hair dryer in checked luggage. Make sure you pack it well and surround it with some padding to protect it.
It’s worth mentioning that you can’t take any butane gas powered curling irons, flat irons, or hair straighteners in checked bags.
The downsides are checking luggage sometimes costs extra. It can cost more than the price buying a cheap hair dryer at your destination.
I usually recommend flying carry on only for convenience and saving money. But if you someone with a lot of heavy hair styling gear then you might just need to check a bag.
Hair dryers are not small and they typically weight around 2 lbs. However, they do fit inside a cabin bag with good planning. There are no rules against packing one in your hand luggage, they are not prohibited.
Airlines in the US usually have generous weight allowances. If you are flying internationally this might not be the case. Some international airlines only allow 10 lbs maximum for your carry on. And limits of around 20 lbs are common internationally.
Your wheeled cabin suitcase might be 4 lbs and your hair dryer might be around 2 lbs. That’s 6 lbs of your allowance gone already. It would actually be taking up a significant part of your weight allowance if your airline has restrictions in place.
What then if you add in hair straighteners, curling irons, or flat irons…
The combined heft of all your hair styling gear is going to shoot up and you might not have space left for your clothes!
Even if your airline doesn’t put a weight limit on your carry on you need to remember that you need to be able to lift your carry-on into the overhead lockers. You also might need to carry it up the plane steps.
So if you are packing a hair dryer in a carry on then pay special attention to the weight allowance of your airline.
And there is another wrinkle to watch out for…
You’ve got your hair dryer in your cabin bag, you squeezed it in and since you are fit and healthy you can comfortably lift your bag.
Then you get to the boarding gate and your carry on bag is suddenly changed to being a checked-at-the-gate bag because they don’t have space for it in the cabin.
This means the safety of your luggage is outwith your control. Your beloved tool could be damaged as happened to this lady flying with American Airlines. When your hair dryer is in checked luggage baggage handlers could be throwing your bag around carelessly.
We feel your pain LadiiMaly!
So we advise leaving your 400 bucks Dyson Supersonic at home when you are flying for safety because any carry-on bags can become checked bags.
Also checked bags can sometimes go on walkabout and not arrive at the same destination as you. Your Revlon might become your RevGONE…. Your BabylissPro might take a detour to the Bermuda Triangle. You get the idea.
If you are taking your hair dryer as hand luggage then check the size limits of your airline. Beware budget airlines that are only allowing very small under-seat bags in the cabin for free.
A mini travel hair dryer does save on space and weight.
There are lots of different types that can be helpful for some travelers.
Some are full size but have folding handles to make them easier to fit into small spaces.
Others are smaller, lighter and less effective hair dryers. They might still be better than the hotel hair dryer.
Check this video from Kristy Gallirhir comparing a GHD vs a travel dryer.
Electrical appliances in the US use 110 volts.
Travel socket adapters overcome the problem of different plug sockets around the world but they don’t fix the voltage problem. They are fine for battery chargers like phone chargers and laptop chargers because those little black cubes can accept between 110 volts and 240 volts.
But it’s a different story for your hair dryer.
If you take a device that is designed to work at 110 – 127 volts on the US system and plug it into a 220 – 240 volt system in Europe then it’s going to destroy your hairdryer and it could even be dangerous.
To fix the voltage problem you need a voltage converter.
Travel hair dryers sometimes have “universal voltage” this means that you can use them in countries with different voltage standards. It’s something to consider if you are in the market for a portable blower.
If you are traveling internationally you might be best to just leave your US hair dryer at home and look for alternative solutions at your destination.
The TSA is mainly concerned about liquids and weapons.
Here are links to our other articles about traveling with hair products and tools.
As you can see most hair styling equipment is fine. It’s best to try to understand general principle of the things you can and can’t take.
Just to clear things up… it’s mostly liquids, anything explosive, weapons, or items that could be used as weapons that are banned from flights.
Electric hair styling tools don’t fall into these categories. The TSA are worried about plane hijackings not that you are going to try to blow-dry the captain!
So you can take most hair styling tools on a flight but you can’t take that deadly hairpin that you plan to use in an assassination. Sorry Villanelle!
That’s it. I suppose this page could have been just 2 sentences…
Can you bring a hair dryer on a plane? Yes.
But I hope the extra information helps and when you get to your destination you have many good hair days on your vacation or trip!
Let us know in the comments if you have any tips about flying with blowers or other styling tools or if you have any questions.