Rules for Flights in the USA
TSA (Transport Security Administration) doesn’t restrict corded, plug-in hair straighteners, which means they’re allowed freely in hand and checked baggage. Each passenger can bring as many corded flat irons as they wish, as there aren’t any quantity limits. There also aren’t any packing requirements, so you can pack your corded hair straightener as you wish.
Wireless hair straighteners (with butane fuel cells or rechargeable lithium batteries) have different rules. They’re completely prohibited in checked luggage. When packed in hand luggage, the heating element must have a protective cover to protect other contents of the bag from touching the heating element, and the device must be protected from accidental activation.
Butane wireless hair straighteners are allowed, but any butane cartridges are banned from hand and checked baggage – only the hair straightener itself can go in hand baggage.
Wireless hair straighteners that are rechargeable (ones that contain lithium batteries) must be in working condition and charged to be allowed on board. TSA prohibits damaged electronic devices that contain lithium batteries due to potential safety risks. That’s why TSA agents sometimes ask passengers to turn on their device to make sure that it isn’t faulty. This happens somewhat rarely though.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Generally, plug-in hair straighteners are always allowed on planes without any additional restrictions virtually anywhere across the world. But unfortunately, each country has slightly different rules when it comes to flying with wireless hair straighteners (butane or lithium-powered). We’ve compiled the main restrictions for each country (or region) down below.
On Canadian flights, corded hair straighteners are allowed in hand and checked baggage without any restrictions.
In regards to wireless butane hair straighteners, only one is allowed per passenger in hand or checked baggage. In carry-on luggage, only the hair straightener itself is allowed without the butane canister. In checked baggage, one butane canister is allowed, but it must be installed on the hair straightener and the hair straightener must be packed in a protective casing, which would prevent it from accidental activation.
Wireless hair straighteners that run on lithium batteries (typically, rechargeable with USB, micro USB, or USB-C) have different rules, depending on their battery capacity. Smaller ones below 100 Wh are allowed in hand and checked baggage without any restrictions, and ones with a battery over 100 Wh require airline approval. Typically, wireless hair straighteners range between 25-120 Wh, but they’re listed in mAh measurements. To calculate Wh, you need to multiply mAh with Volts and divide by 1000. For example, the Zavera wireless hair straightener has a battery capacity of 12800 mAh and it charges on 9 Volts, so its Wh rating is 115.2 WH (12800 x 9 / 1000), which would mean that it requires airline approval, otherwise it might be confiscated. That said, most hair straighteners are below the 100 Wh limit.
Europe and New Zealand
On flights within Europe and New Zealand, hair straighteners aren’t specifically mentioned in the list of banned and allowed items. However, generally, plug-in type wired hair straighteners are allowed in hand and checked bags without any restrictions.
Butane hair straighteners are allowed in hand and checked baggage, but only one per passenger, and spare cartridges are banned. The heating element must also be protected with a protective cover.
Wireless hair straighteners with lithium batteries below 100 Wh are allowed without any restrictions in hand and checked luggage. Hair straighteners with a capacity over 100 Wh but below 160 Wh require airline approval and ones with a capacity over 160 Wh are completely banned from aircraft.
The United Kingdom
On flights within the UK, normal, plug-in hair straighteners are allowed without any restrictions in hand and checked baggage.
Butane hair straighteners are allowed in hand and hold luggage, but the heating element must be protected at all times, and spare cartridges are prohibited.
Hair straighteners with lithium batteries require airline approval. If the airline approves it, then the battery of the hair straightener must be removed from the device, and its terminals must be isolated from each other.
Mains-powered hair straighteners are allowed both in hand and checked luggage on Australian flights without any additional restrictions.
Butane hair straighteners are allowed only in checked luggage and require airline approval. Furthermore, the heating element must be protected at all times, and spare cartridges are banned.
Rechargeable, lithium-battery-powered hair straighteners must be declared at the airport. They’re allowed in hand and checked baggage, but the lithium battery must be removed and the battery’s terminals must be protected from short-circuiting.
China and India
Although not mentioned specifically, wired hair straighteners air generally allowed in hand and checked baggage on flights within China and India.
Butane hair straighteners are completely prohibited from hand and checked luggage.
Hair straighteners with lithium batteries below 160 Wh are allowed in hand and checked baggage, but ones with a medium battery capacity (100 – 160 Wh) require additional airline approval. Furthermore, the rechargeable hair straightener can’t be defective, it must be switched off, and it must be protected from accidental activation.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring hair straighteners on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Hair Straighteners on Planes
Are all plug-in, wired hair straighteners allowed on planes?
Generally, all wired electrical appliances are allowed on planes, including hair straighteners. That’s because they can’t be used as weapons, and aren’t considered dangerous when not connected to electricity. You’re free to pack them in hand and checked luggage however you want, and there also aren’t any quantity restrictions on how many wired appliances you can bring.
Also check out: Airplane electronics rules
Are cordless, rechargeable hair straighteners also allowed on planes (with lithium batteries)?
Rechargeable hair straighteners that are powered with lithium batteries are allowed, but with certain restrictions.
In the US, wireless hair straighteners are allowed in hand luggage exclusively. Other countries also allow packing them in checked baggage but advise you to pack them in hand baggage whenever possible. Some countries, like the UK, also require airline approval and require the lithium battery to be removed from the device.
Wireless hair straighteners must always be switched off when packed in luggage. They must also be protected from accidental activation and the heating element must be isolated from touching other contents of your bag. It should be at least marginally charged in case you need to prove that it isn’t defective and it’s working correctly.
It’s also important to understand the Wh rating of the hair straightener’s battery because lithium batteries over 160 Wh are usually banned from aircraft, and ones with a rating between 100-160 Wh require airline approval. You can do that by multiplying the battery capacity in Ah by its Voltage and dividing it all by 1000. For example, if the battery capacity is 5400 Ah, and the Voltage is 9V, then its capacity is (5400 x 9 ) / 1000 = 48.6 Wh.
Because the rules are different for each country and region, we’d advise contacting your airline first before traveling with wireless hair straighteners.
Can I bring butane hair straighteners on planes?
It depends on the country you’re flying to/from, and individual airline restrictions.
Some countries, including China and India, don’t allow butane hair straighteners to be packed in luggage altogether. Other ones, including the EU countries, New Zealand, and Canada allow one butane hair straightener per passenger. The US, the UK, and Australia allow butane hair straighteners in larger quantities. Spare butane canisters are usually banned.
Depending on the country, butane hair straighteners can be packed only in hand luggage, only in checked baggage, or both. Furthermore, some countries also require airline approval.
When packed in baggage, butane hair straighteners must be switched off, and they must be protected from accidental activation. The heating element must also be isolated from other belongings.
To sum up, traveling with butane hair straighteners can be really complicated because the rules are very different for each region. Before flying it’s always recommended to confirm with the airline whether your butane hair straightener is allowed or not. Also, we recommend traveling without the butane canisters themselves, and instead buying them at your destination country (if possible).
Do I have to take out hair straighteners at security?
Generally, you don’t have to take out hair straighteners from your luggage at airport security in the United States. The overall rule states that large battery-operated electronics should be taken out of the baggage for inspection at the security checkpoint referring to game consoles, laptops, and tablets. Take out battery-operated flat irons and place them together with other electronics in a bin. Liquids should also be taken out of the bag. Wired hair straighteners can stay in the baggage unless a security agent asks you to take them out.
Should I pack flat irons in hand or checked luggage?
Overall, it’s best to pack flat irons in hand baggage when traveling in the United States. TSA allows wired flat irons in hand and cargo baggage, but generally, it’s best to pack them in hand baggage to protect them from any possible damage in cargo baggage. But, cordless flat irons are allowed in hand baggage exclusively. They should be packed with a protector over the heating part, and in a package that prevents them from turning on. Only the installed gas cartridge is allowed on the plane. Spare gas cartridges aren’t allowed onboard.
How do I pack hair straighteners in my luggage?
Hair straighteners should be packed in a “flat that prevents them from accidental activation. This case should also protect the heating element of the straightener. Cordless flat irons should be packed exclusively in hand baggage when traveling in the United States. Although wired hair straighteners are allowed both in cabin and cargo luggage, it’s also recommended to pack them in a carry-on.
Will my flat iron work when traveling internationally?
In most cases, a common flat iron bought in the United States won’t work when traveling internationally. Flat irons produced for the United States are designed to work with 110 V. Except for most of north and central America, the majority of countries worldwide use 220 v. This means US flat irons will not work in these countries unless they have a dual voltage feature. Travelers shouldn’t try to use their US flat irons in a country with a different voltage, as not only will it damage the appliance, but it could also cause a fire.
What is the best hair straightener for traveling?
The best hair straightener for traveling is the “Vanessa. This lightweight flat iron boasts a dual voltage feature that allows you to use it in the United States and overseas. Besides straightening your hair, it also serves as a curling styling tool. It has 11 temperature settings and although lightweight, it can easily fit in a carry-on or checked baggage.
Can I use my hair straightener during the flight?
For the most part, you can’t use a hair straightener during a flight in the United States. TSA doesn’t have any specific rules against the use of hair straighteners on a flight. However, since they are a heating element, they might be considered dangerous for other passengers.
Can I also bring other hair styling tools on planes?
Yes, you can bring other hairstyling tools on planes in the United States. Heating styling tools like hot combs, hot rollers, and electric hot air brushes, are generally allowed on planes. Wireless heat-styling tools are usually allowed in hand baggage exclusively. If they are gas-operated tools, keep in mind you’re only allowed to bring one gas-operated styling tool. Spare gas cartridges aren’t allowed. Combs, brushes, and bobby pins are also allowed onboard as long as they are made of plastic and don’t have any sharp edges that could be used as a weapon. Hairspray, hair gel, shampoo, and dry shampoo, are allowed in hand baggage, but they must follow the liquids rule. They must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) and packed in a 1-quart clear and resealable plastic bag. Except for hair spray and dry shampoo, other liquids don’t have any quantity limits in checked baggage. Hair spray and dry shampoo traveling in checked baggage must be under 18 ounces. Hair clippers are also allowed in hand and cargo baggage, but the final decision to let them through security belongs to the TSA agent.
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