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Fly in Style: Best Travel Dry Shampoo & TSA Rules

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I love to use dry shampoo to freshen up my mane after a long flight so I can hit the ground running when I land. 

It’s is also great for those days when I wake up late and don’t have time to wash and style my hair.

Or, let’s be honest, those days when I’m just too tired or lazy to wash and style my hair.

In short, dry shampoo is a dream-come-true hair product, especially when traveling. 

Not sure where to start when it comes to finding the best brand for you? I’ve tried over a dozen brands, so come check out my guide on the best dry shampoos before your next trip. 

An introduction to dry shampoo

Let’s back up for a minute, because some of y’all might be brand new to this brillian hair product.

Dry shampoo is a hair styling product that absorbs oil from your scalp to freshen up your hair in between washes. It’s typically a spray, but can also be a powder or mousse consistency.

It basically makes your hair feel like you just stepped out of a salon with a fresh wash and blowout.

Can I use dry shampoo every day?

Photo of a woman with velcro rollers in her hair holding up a Fortune magazine in front of her.

Sorry lazy girls, dry shampoo isn’t meant to help you go weeks without a proper wash. 

Extreme overuse of dry shampoo prevents the oil on your scalp from doing its job of keeping your hair healthy, which in turn can damage your hair or cause hair loss. 

It’s best to save this hair product for an occasional touch up, like post-flight, going from beach to dinner, or impromptu meetups with new friends.

Can you bring dry shampoo on a plane?

Photo of 5 trial sized cans of dry shampoo artfully arranged on top of a leopard print surface.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Yes, per the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), you can take dry shampoo on a plane, regardless of whether you pack it in carry on or checked luggage.

There is more to it than a firm yes or no, however.

Which may lead you to wonder, Is dry shampoo a liquid?

And the answer to that would be – yes, the majority of dry shampoos are liquid.

There are a few dry shampoo options in powder form, but the spray and mousse forms are considered liquid.

So if your preferred dry shampoo is a spray or mousse form, you have to follow the TSA liquid rules.

That means if you want to bring dry shampoo in your carry on, it has to be 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a clear, quart sized bag. 

TIP: Even if the canister says it’s a spray powder, the spray is still considered liquid in consistency.

Canisters that are larger than 3.4 oz must go in checked baggage.

Lastly, even if your dry shampoo is aerosol, you can still take it on a plane.

Just make sure it is 3.4 ounces or less if you want to put it in your carry on. Otherwise, it’ll need to go in your checked bags.

Which dry shampoo is the best?

To be honest, whether a dry shampoo is best truly depends on your hair. We don’t all have the same hair texture, color, or other hair qualities that can make or break the effectiveness.

A bit about my hair: I have dark blonde naturally wavy hair with average thickness. I get highlights and lowlights done (ugh, dang gray hairs and vanity!). 

According to this curl type chart from Glamour, my hair is type 2A. 

I’ve tried over a dozen types of dry shampoo over the years. Some have worked well, some have been ok, and others did absolutely nothing for my hair. 

But, that doesn’t mean the brands that worked for me will work for you and vice versa!

Bottom line: If you’re committed to finding a dry shampoo, you might have to test a few before you find one that works well with your hair.

My favorite dry shampoos

OK, so now that my disclaimer about hair types is out of the way, I’ll fill you in on which dry shampoos are my favorite. 

There are 3 dry shampoos that are my go-to options: 

  • Amika Perk Up dry shampoo
  • Drybar Detox dry shampoo
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo

Other dry shampoos I’ve used and like

While I don’t use the 3 brands below in regular rotation, they all worked well when I used them, so I still recommend trying them.

Dry shampoos that didn't work for me, but might for you

As I mentioned earlier in this post, just because some dry shampoos didn't work for me, doesn't mean they won't work for you, which is why I'm still mentioning these products.

First things first, none of these brands were terrible. But for my hair, other brands did a better job.

I still think these 3 brands are worth a try, as they all had good points that might work for your hair.

What is your favorite hair product to use when traveling?

Do you love this amazing hair product as much as I do? Let me know your favorite dry shampoo in the comments below.

About the author

Photo of travel blogger Meg Frost, of Frost + Sun, in Havana, Cuba.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Meg Frost is a Boston-based travel blogger that helps people embrace technology to make vacation planning and traveling wicked easy, affordable, and fun.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami.

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This post was originally published on September 22, 2017. It was last updated September 22, 2023.

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