TSA (Transport Security Agency) treats dry shampoo as a liquid aerosol, so the 3-1-1 rule for liquids applies. In carry-on baggage, only 3.4 oz (100 ml) or smaller dry shampoo bottles are allowed. Passengers must also pack them inside a 1-quart resealable bag of liquid toiletries.
Because dry shampoo is flammable, additional restrictions from the FAA apply when it’s packed in checked baggage. This rule also applies to nail polish, hand sanitizers, and other corrosive or flammable toiletries. In checked bags, FAA allows packing dry shampoo bottles up to 500 ml (17 fl oz) in size. Also, the total amount of hazardous toiletries is limited to 2 kg (70 oz) per passenger.
And the last restriction is that dry shampoo bottles always have to be fitted with a safety cap on top of the spray nozzle. This protects them from accidental spills, which could cause a fire.
Traveling With Dry Shampoo Internationally
Generally, the rules for bringing aerosol dry shampoo on planes are identical across the world. But some air carriers in China, India, and a few other Asian countries don’t allow packing aerosols in checked baggage on certain flights. The final say always rests on each security officer, so occasionally, you might not be allowed to bring aerosols when traveling in Asia.
If you want to buy dry shampoo overseas and bring it home, the main quantity limits to follow are 1 liter (1 quart) of toiletries in hand baggage and 2 kg (70 oz) in checked bags. In your 1-liter toiletry bag, you can usually fit 6-7 3.4 oz (100 ml) dry shampoo bottles. In checked bags, you can fit 8-10 regularly-sized dry shampoo bottles and still be under the 2 kg (70 oz) limit.
How to Pack Dry Shampoo in Your Luggage
Aerosols, including dry shampoo, won’t explode on planes when packed in hand or checked baggage. The cargo compartments on modern airplanes are pressurized, which means that the contents inside won’t expand. But you should still follow some precautions to avoid making a mess in your suitcase.
Pack your dry shampoo and other aerosols in Ziploc bags, even if you’ll be packing them in your checked bag. That’s because the cap on the nozzle can come off, and this will limit spillage in case this happens. You can also tape the lid to the bottle, which provides even better protection.
Also, avoid packing your dry shampoo near the edges of your bag. Wrap it in some soft clothing and place it in the center of your suitcase. This will prevent it from being damaged and causing a mess.
A Better Alternative for Traveling – Powdered Dry Shampoo
Powders don’t have almost any restrictions and they take up less space, which means that for traveling, powdered dry shampoo is a better choice. You can find them in most pharmacies or on Amazon.
Only powders over 350 g (12 oz) are banned from hand luggage in Europe, Canada, and some other countries. But powdered dry shampoo is usually in containers smaller than 2 oz (57 grams), which means that this limit doesn’t apply.
TSA Rules for Other Hair Products
- Liquid shampoo, liquid conditioner, hair gel, wax, clay, or paste: Limited to 3.4 oz (100 ml) bottles or smaller in hand baggage but there are no quantity or size limits in checked bags.
- Dry conditioner, hairspray: Identical rules to aerosol dry shampoo.
- Hair dryer, curling iron, hair straightener, and other electronics: Plug-in electronics don’t have any restrictions. If they’re powered by lithium batteries, they’re only allowed in hand baggage, and there must be a cover over the heating element.
- Hair dye and bleach: Banned from hand and checked bags because these substances are treated as corrosives/oxidizers.
- Medical hair products: Prescribed medical hair products are allowed in larger quantities in hand and checked baggage.
Summing Up – Traveling With Dry Shampoo
Even though dry shampoo is flammable, it’s a very common toiletry, so you shouldn’t experience any problems at the airport. But unless the dry shampoo bottle is very small, you have to pack it in your checked baggage.
A better option for travel is to bring powdered dry shampoo. This way you can pack it anywhere in your hand baggage and leave more space for other items in your toiletry bag. Powdered dry shampoo bottles are also very small and last for longer.