Can I Take A Tail Comb In My Hand Luggage?

Is It Possible To Take A Tail Comb In My Carry-On Luggage?

If you are going on a weekend away and travelling carry on luggage only, or maybe you want to keep your hair styled during your flight, you might be wondering if it's okay to take a tail comb in carry on? 

Most of the time, there is no issue taking metal combs and plastic combs in your hand luggage or checked, but for tail combs their pointy end can, unfortunately, be replica weapons and will likely be confiscated.

We've put together a short guide below which will discuss why tail combs are not allowed in your hand luggage, which combs are allowed as well as other hair styling tools you can and cannot take in your carry on luggage. 

Why Are Tail Combs Not Okay In Carry-On Luggage? 

Unfortunately, rat tail combs are a big no-no in your hand luggage unless they are made out of plastic, this is because the pointy metal end could potentially be used as a weapon.

According to TSA rules, any sharp metal item with a pointy end will be confiscated from your carry on luggage and should be packed in your checked luggage instead.

Which Combs Are Okay To Take On A Plane? 

Luckily, most other combs are okay to take in your carry on, a standard afro comb without an end and metal or plastic comb will be okay to take in your carry on luggage or checked luggage allowing you to keep your hair under control while you fly.

What Other Hair Tools Can I Or Cannot Take In My Hand Luggage? 

If not being able to take your rat-tail-style combs onboard has surprised you, it's worth checking out other hair tools which you can and cannot take in your carry on luggage to avoid delays at airport security. 

Regular Hair Dryers 

Most airlines have relaxed rules for hairdryers onboard, these hair tools are generally harmless as long as they are standard corded ones and remain unplugged.

It might be best to travel with a compact hair dryer so as can avoid taking up space in your luggage, avoid using the dryer right before you fly too since it can be hot and damage other items in your carry on.

Also never use your hairdryer while on the flight!

Hair Straighteners & Hair Curlers

Corded hair straighteners and hair curlers are fine to take in your carry on luggage and checked, just ensure they are not hot before packing and that they don't consume too much space, otherwise they might be best off in your checked luggage.

Electric Hot Combs 

Electric hot combs are allowed in your hand luggage as long as they are the wired kind, butane powered cordless electric hot combs should be taken as one piece only in your carry on with no re-fillable cartridges, the heating element should also be securely stored.

Cordless Hair Straighteners & Curlers 

Butane powered cordless straighteners and curlers can be taken in your hand luggage but you have to choose one or the other since only one butane product is allowed in your luggage. 

The hair tool should also be carried with a safety cover and there should be no extra cartridges packed with it, this is because these tools are highly flammable.

Hairspray & Hair Gel

Many people get caught out by hair spray products when flying, they follow the same rule of thumb as liquids and should be packed in your quart-sized plastic bag in a 100ml size with the rest of your liquids. 

Hair spray will not explode in the plane under normal conditions unless exposed to extreme pressure or heat.

Hair gel-like hair spray has to follow the TSA 3-1-1 rule but is fine to take in both your checked and carry on luggage with makeup items.

Bobby Pins 

Bobby pins are fine to pack in both your checked and carry-on luggage, you should however be aware that the pins could potentially set off airport security when passing through since they are metal, this would be likely if you had more than 3-5 in your hair at once.

Tips For Flying With Hair Styling Products 

Travelling with hair styling products can be confusing with all the different electronic rules and liquid rules.

We've listed our best tips for flying with your hair styling tools below. 

  • Only take what you need - Less tends to be more when flying with hair styling tools, if you're not careful, you can exceed your size and weight limits for your carry on luggage. We would suggest choosing travel-specific hair styling tools which are often smaller in size like mini hair straighteners.
  • Avoid packing expensive products - Due to additional rules for carry-on size baggage, you might be forced to put some of your hair styling tools in your checked luggage. If you have very valuable hair tools they could then be at risk of getting stolen.
  • Check your devices are dual voltage - Depending on where you are travelling, different destinations run with varying voltages. For example, the US has a voltage of 220V while the UK has a voltage of 110V, therefore using a single voltage tool in one of these places could fry it. Only use multi-voltage tools abroad to avoid this and check before plugging it in!
  • Choose combined hair tools - Nowadays, you can find hair tools that have multi-use, for example, a 2in1 straightener and hair curler which allows you to save space, this also helps if you have a cordless model since you can't take more than one butane hair styler tool in your hand luggage.
  • When in doubt pack in check - If you are unsure about a comb or styling tool and whether or not it will be allowed on the plane, it's much safer to pack it in your checked luggage where nearly all are allowed.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tail Combs & Carry On Luggage

Can I take butane hair straightener tools in my carry on luggage? 

Yes, one butane hair tool is allowed in your carry on baggage but no more, you should avoid bringing any spare cartridges too.

Why are rat tail combs not allowed in your carry on luggage? 

Rattail combs which are metal can technically be classed as an imitation weapon due to their pointy edge, you can normally board fine with plastic versions.

Is a butterfly knife comb trainer okay to take on a plane? 

Unfortunately, a comb trainer is also classed as an imitation weapon and should be packed only in your checked luggage, in carrying on it will be confiscated.

Can you use hair spray on a plane?

You can take hairspray on a plane, but we would refrain from using it till your stopover at the lavatories inside of the airport or your destination, this is because hairspray can affect other passengers and flare up asthma in some people.

Last Words 

To conclude, rat tail combs which are metal are not allowed to be packed in your carry on luggage since they could be used as a potential weapon, instead, you can take a plastic version or a regular comb without the pin end. 

Always check beforehand which hair styling tools are allowed in your carry on before flying or pack in your checked if in doubt, this avoids unnecessary delays at the airport security.

About this Guide

Written By Alex
Last Updated On April 8, 2022
Reading Time 
7 minutes
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