Traveling with hair straighteners requires familiarizing oneself with TSA regulations and rules. According to these, corded flat irons are permitted both for checked luggage and carry-on shipments without quantity restrictions or special handling regulations.
Butane-powered hair straighteners are prohibited both for check-in and carry-on luggage and must be properly secured within an approved case during transport.
Corded Hair Straighteners
Corded hair straighteners are permitted on flights (as long as they do not contain batteries or gas/fuel cartridges) and can be packed both as hand luggage and checked bags. Use of such devices during flights will not result in immediate removal from the aircraft; however, flight attendants have the power to confiscate them if they feel that your behavior disrupts other passengers onboard.
If your hair straighteners are dual voltage, they should work in most countries; as the United Kingdom uses 230V while most other regions utilize 220 – 240V voltage levels. Otherwise, you will require both a voltage converter and plug adapter in order for them to function.
Pack your wired hair straightener carefully in soft clothing or a heat-resistant pouch to safeguard it against rough baggage handling during transit and ensure its secure packing with its plug covered to avoid accidental activation.
Cordless Hair Straighteners
Packing for travel often leaves travelers confused as to which hair styling tools are allowed both checked and carry-on luggage. In the US, corded straighteners and curling irons are approved in both types of bags while butane or gas-powered flat irons should only be placed into carry-on baggage as they contain potentially flammable fuel that could ignite in their checked baggage.
For easy travel hair straightening, cordless models offer greater battery life and can easily be used for touch ups. Some models even feature multiple heat settings so that you can tailor styling according to your hair needs.
At airport security, wireless hair straighteners must be removed from your luggage but won’t be confiscated; however, you should still store them in a hard-sided heat-resistant bag to prevent accidental activation and spare butane cartridges aren’t permitted either.
Butane-Fuelled Hair Straighteners
Butane-fueled hair straighteners differ from electric ones in that they use gas instead of electricity for power, making them highly flammable. Due to these additional security checks, plug-in devices may be preferred when travelling internationally.
If you insist on taking a butane-fueled straightener on board with you, be sure to place it in an easily transportable protective case so it does not accidentally activate during flight. In addition, only bring one device containing butane at any given time with your carry-on bag and no extra cartridges are permitted.
Although TSA regulations allow passengers to bring hair straighteners on board a plane, it’s wise to consult your airline as each may have specific regulations concerning cabin baggage. Furthermore, you should make sure that your device will work in your destination country by checking voltage requirements and packing a travel-sized adapter if possible.
The TSA does not place restrictions or requirements on corded, plug-in hair straighteners in either checked or carry-on luggage, so they may be packed freely into each. Wireless straighteners powered by butane fuel cells or lithium batteries are banned from checked baggage and must instead be packed in your hand luggage; make sure their accidental activation is protected by placing them inside an enclosed heat-resistant cover or dedicated container when packing these devices in your carry-on luggage.
If traveling internationally, be mindful that voltage may differ between countries and some airlines have strict policies against using electrical devices onboard for safety reasons.
Straightening your hair while on an airplane could put the aircraft at risk and result in your being removed from the flight, so to be safe it is best to refrain from giving in to temptation and leave your straightener at home unless absolutely necessary for travel.