Hair gel is a common everyday item. Which means that when you’re travelling, you’ll likely want to use it then too. Whether it be a wedding, business, couples getaway, or visiting relatives, there will be occasions where you want to spend a little more time on your appearance.
Despite the fact that the peak of hair gel was arguably in the 1980s, there is still a very large chunk of the population that uses it today. With this being said, it’s no surprise that so many people wonder about the restrictions surrounding travelling with hair gel.
In short, the answer is yes, you are allowed to travel with hair gel. However, there are some limitations. Here are the direct guidelines given by the TSA:
Carry On Bags: Yes (Less than or equal to 3.4oz/100 ml allowed)
Checked Bags: Yes
To expand on this, you are allowed to bring hair gel or similar items in your carry-on luggage as long as it is in a container of 100ml or less (3.4oz). All liquids (including gels), must be placed inside a quart-sized clear plastic bag. This is the same bag that will contain all of your essential toiletries.
If you don’t have one of these bags, they are usually available at the airport right before you go through security. As for the containers, you can purchase empty 100ml bottles before you fly. Unfortunately these will not be available at the airport, so if your containers are too big they will not be allowed on with your carry on luggage.
Depending on which security officer you get, what they allow through may vary. But as long as you have the correct container and see-through bag, you shouldn’t have any problems.
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Are Hair Products Considered a Liquid?
Hair gel isn’t exactly a liquid, however, when it comes to travel, it falls under the same liquid rules. TSA’s liquid rules apply to anything that can be squeezed, poured out, or sprayed out. This includes items such as deodorant, aerosol, toothpaste, hair spray, sunscreen, makeup, shampoo, or bite cream.
Here is TSA’s rule on liquids for reference:
You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
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How to Pack Hair Gel for Travel
There is a limit on the amount of liquids you can take in hand luggage, as well as the volume of each liquid. Below are the 3 staple rules for restrictions on non-solids given by TSA;
- Every liquid item that you take in your carry-on luggage must be inside a 100ml container or less. This limit refers to the size of the container, not the actual liquid inside. Therefore, if the container holds 200ml but is only half full, it will not be accepted. You will need to transfer the liquid into a smaller container with a maximum of 100ml prior to travel.
- All of your non-liquid items MUST fit inside a 1-quart sized see-through plastic bag with a zipper top. The zipper must be able to fully close.
- You can only take one single 1-quart sized bag in hand luggage, even if you are also bringing on a personal item.
With this being said, you are not limited to how many of each item you bring (as long as it still fits in the bag). For example, if you think 100ml of hair gel isn’t enough, you can take two or three 100ml containers of hair gel. Technically, you could fill the whole bag with just hair gel.
Note that if there is any damage to the containers, they may be confiscated and not allowed through security. The majority of non-solid items that are rejected normally have faulty lids or cracks.
If you are travelling with check-in luggage, you can take larger volumes of non-solids, however, you are still restricted to a total of 68oz of fluid. This is equal to four 17oz containers.
Is Hair Gel Allowed through Airport Security?
Hair gel is allowed through airport security as part of your carry on luggage as long as it does not exceed the maximum volume allowance and is packed correctly. If your hair gel is rejected from carry-on luggage, it is most likely due to damage to the container or the container being too large.
If you do need to take more than 100ml of hair gel, you can take larger amounts in your check-in luggage. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that check-in luggage does take longer to collect, which isn’t ideal if you want to get through the airport quickly.
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It is allowed and deemed safe to take hair gel on planes as long as it is within the required maximum fluid allowance. Despite being able to take larger quantities in check-in luggage, it is always safer to keep it with you in hand luggage in case of loss of theft.