What Size Travel Shampoo Bottle Can I Use on An Airplane?

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If you’re gearing up for your travels, let us help you pack. If you’re driving, check out our toiletries list and have a great time! If you’re flying, there’s a bit more prep to it than that… When it comes to packing toiletries, there are some restrictions on the type and amount of products you can take with you on the plane. Don’t worry, we’ve done all the research for you so by the end of this page, you’ll know just what you can and can’t bring. 

We’ll cover what size shampoo bottle you can take on the airplane as well as every other limit you need to know both when traveling around the U.S. and around the world. 

What to Pack When Traveling Domestically

When traveling domestically, the Transportation Security Administration (or TSA) governs what you can and can’t take with you on the airplane. It’s important to know that the rules are different for carry-on bags and checked luggage. For carry-on bags, in particular, there are strict rules around liquids, which include toiletries. 

The 3-1-1 Rule

The 3-1-1 Rule is a TSA rule that states that each passenger may carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-size containers that are no more than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. That’s the “3” part of it. One passenger (the first “1”) is limited to one quart-size bag (the second “1”) to carry all of his or her liquids, gels, and aerosols. 

All liquids, gels, and aerosols fall under the 3-1-1 rule including toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, hair gel, hairspray, dry shampoo, body soap, and lotion. Solids such as deodorant, solid shampoo, or bar soap, aren’t included in this rule. This rule also doesn’t apply to medically necessary liquids, which during the pandemic, extended to hand sanitizer as well. 

So, what size travel shampoo bottle can you take on an airplane in your carry-on bag? A travel size shampoo bottle that is 3.4 oz or 100 milliliters or less. Doing the math a bit: Typically, four or five 3 oz bottles, or more if they are smaller, can fit in one quart-size bag. 

When you reach the security checkpoint at the airport, you may need to remove your liquids from your carry-on bag, so it’s a good idea to have them all together in a clear bag such as a clear toiletry bag or a plastic bag. This way, the TSA agent can clearly see what’s inside, making passing through security more seamless for everyone involved. 

What About International Travel?

While international travel protection agencies don’t call their rules “3-1-1”, the same standards typically apply. Across Europe, for example, all liquids, aerosols, and gels must still be in containers of 100 milliliters or smaller and contained in one liter-size (which is almost the same as a quart) plastic bag.

What To Pack

To abide by the liquids rule and be able to take your essential toiletries with you when you travel, you’ll need travel-size bottles for your items. You can easily find travel size shampoo and other essentials such as toothpaste, sunscreen, lotion, and more that are pre-packaged to be in line with the 3-1-1 rule. 

The even better news? You can take your favorite Living Proof products with you too. We carry travel size shampoo, conditioner, styling products, and more so you’ll never have to be without your hair care routine, all of which are under 3.4 oz in size. 

If some of your other favorite toiletries don’t come in travel sizes, you can purchase empty, reusable silicone bottles in 3 oz sizes and fill them with your formulas. 

When to Check a Bag

While convenient, and often more affordable, there are times when it doesn’t make sense to travel with carry-on luggage, and instead to check a bag. If, for instance, you are taking a long vacation, the size limits on carry-on luggage can be quite restricting, not only for your clothes but also for your toiletries. 

Plus, there is no rule around how many toiletries you can take in your checked bag. Considering a quart-size bag can fill up rather quickly with just shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and body wash, you may want to check a bag so you can take your skincare products and styling products as well. 

While you can check full-size toiletries and liquids in a checked bag, it’s not necessarily a good excuse to do so. For one, you probably won’t need any more product than the amount that fits in your travel-size products such as shampoo and conditioner while you’re traveling. Plus, the larger bottles take up much more space in a toiletry bag and weigh much more. So, we suggest stocking up on travel sizes whenever you’re traveling whether you carry on your luggage or not. 

Now that you know what size toiletries you can take on an airplane, you’re ready for take-off. Check out our hair products online and start toiletries shopping today.

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Living Proof Review Team

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