IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Pro travelers swear by these hair tools, and they start at $7

Get your hair ready for takeoff.

We’ve all been there: It’s a few days before your flight and you’re wondering how in the world you’re going to pack your entire beauty routine with you in a carry-on while still having enough room for all of your outfit changes. By now, we probably know what’s allowed on-flight in terms of mini bottles of shampoo and face wash, but when’s the last time you stopped to think about what’s allowed in terms of your favorite hair tools?

Whether you can’t go a week without your perfect blowout, or need your hair sleek and straightened as you jet-set around Europe, we tapped the experts who have tried it all when it comes to flying: flight attendants, travel writers, and hairstylists. They've recommended their favorite portable hair tools for travel.

Expert-approved travel hair tools | Editor-approved hair tools | How we chose | Meet our experts

Shop TODAY Snapshot

Best travel hair tools

Best travel hair tools, according to experts

Wet Brush Squirt Detangler Hair Brush

What we like
  • Compact size
  • Minimizes pain when brushing
Something to note
  • Works best on fine hair

Power source: N/A | Colors available: 13

Mexico-based travel blogger Allison Sicking loves this wet brush for those traveling somewhere to sit beach or poolside. 

“This detangling brush is basically a game changer for brushing wet hair without causing any breakage or damage, and makes it effortless to detangle even the most stubborn knots,” says Sicking. “The travel sized version is so compact, making it easy to throw in your beach bag or travel bag so you can easily brush your hair after a day at the pool or beach, or even a long flight.”

Muaves Ultra-lite All Satin Hair Wrap

What we like
  • Reduces frizz
  • Protects curls when sleeping
Something to note
  • Runs small

Power source: N/A | Colors available: 15

Tashieka Brewer, a travel advisor, influencer, and founder of Pink Girls Run the World travel blog, loves this satin hair wrap from Muaves. “I love how it is a one-stop shop for protecting my curly hair,” she says. 

“I find myself hopping on a plane three to four times a month and wear it on the plane the plane when sleeping, to protect my hair from sun damage when sitting poolside or at the beach, and I wear it on the way to those early flights to protect my style and keep my out of my face.”

CHI Original Ceramic Hair Straightener Flat Iron

What we like
  • Reduces frizz on curly hair
  • Best for thick or long hair
Something to note
  • Lacks user temperature control

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 1

Elizabeth Regan is a Mint Jet Blue flight attendant, and when she needs to travel with a straightener, she always chooses her Chi flat iron.

“It is wonderful at straightening hair in humid travel conditions when you need your hair to be perfect,” says Regan. “I especially recommend it for travel especially because it heats up very quickly and cools down just as quickly which is important when you need to pack quickly and get to the airport.” 

TODAY earns a commission on purchases through these links.

Dabria Water Bottle Carrier Bag

Ditch your handbag and carry the essentials with this bestselling accessory.

$19.95

$29.95

Amazon

Weekender Travel Bag

This stylish duffle features plenty of organizational compartments for all your travel needs.

$122.50

$175.00

Vera Bradley

She's Birdie Personal Safety Alarm

This compact safety alarm operates with the pull of a pin and beeps loudly to alert the people around you.

$23.96

Amazon

$26.99

Walmart

Quince SuperSoft Wide Leg Pants

These Shop TODAY Travel Award-winners are soft, stretchy and comfortable.

$39.90

$69.50

Quince

Twelve South AirFly SE

Traveling? This adapter will let you use Bluetooth headphones anywhere there is a headphone jack.

$34.99

Twelve South

$34.99

Amazon

$34.99

Target

Open Story Large Hanging Toiletry Bag

This award-winning toiletry bag boasts enough room for all of your essentials and features a built-in hanger.

$19.99

Target

Benevolence LA Velvet Travel Jewelry Organizer

Named one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, this travel organizer can store necklaces, earrings and more.

$19.98

$24.99

Amazon

Cotopaxi Nido Accessory Bag

Another Shop TODAY award-winning pick, this accessory bag can streamline your packing process.

$45.00

Cotopaxi

$45.00

Backcountry

Etekcity Luggage Scale

Avoid paying unnecessary baggage fees for overweight luggage with this convenient scale.

$10.99

Amazon

$24.09

Walmart

Flatform Universal Sandal

Comfortable, casual and stylish, these sandals can be dressed up or down for everyday wear.

$48.95

$65.00

Amazon

$31.99

$70.00

Teva

$64.96

$70.00

DSW

L'ANGE HAIR Le Volume 2-in-1 Titanium Blow Dryer Brush

What we like
  • Gives long hair body
  • Eliminates tangles
  • Quickly dries thick hair
Something to note
  • Can cause hair static

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 4

Brittany Betts, travel expert and CMO at Florida Panhandle, tells Shop TODAY, “I’m a big fan of the volumizing, portable hair brush dryers."

She continues, “When you travel, your hair can lose serious volume and flatten while you are moving around and on-the-go all day. I like to look presentable at least when I have landed before I venture out, so having this compact dryer really helps in that regard.” 

GHD Flight+Travel Hair Dryer

What we like
  • Powerful for its size
  • Lightweight
Something to note
  • Some say the nozzle is too big

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 1

Celebrity hair stylist and the founder of Kevin Kelly Luxe Extensions, says one of the biggest travel struggles when it comes to hair tools is keeping a blow dryer around that is compact yet has enough power to actually do its job. Plus, we all know the hair dryers found in hotel rooms barely blow air. “This hair dryer is small and compact but still powerful,” says Kelly. Plus, it completely folds in half so it’s packable.


T3 SinglePass Curl Ceramic Long Barrel Curling Iron

What we like
  • Works on coarse hair
  • Five heat settings
Something to note
  • No "off" switch

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 2

Travel and lifestyle creator Tinger Hseih never leaves home without her T3 curling iron. “It heats up in seconds, but doesn’t stick to your hair. It’s portable and durable. I’ve had mine for years,” says Hseih.

Not only are the barrel sizes interchangeable, but the entire piece breaks down for packability. “Most hair curlers are long and as such, TSA might pull them aside — suspecting they’re weapons,” explains Hseih. “But, because this product breaks down into two parts, you’re much less likely to get stopped.”

Best travel hair tools, according to editors

Octocurl Heatless Hair Curls

What we like
  • Easy to pack
  • Built with soft material
Something to note
  • You need to take your time
  • Takes some practice

Power source: No electricity needed | Colors available: 17

You're not imaging things: This hair curler does, in fact, resemble an octopus (given its name, the Octocurl, it makes total sense). This heatless option doesn't require any electricity in order to provide you with long-lasting overnight curls. Plus, the soft cotton poplin fabric is simple to pack in a suitcase or carry-on.

Danielle Murphy, a commerce writer at Shop TODAY, tried the Octocurl and said, "I was impressed with how tight these curls managed to get with zero heat — but not as impressed as I was about the staying power."

Regarding travel, Murphy tells us, "The Octocurl may look difficult to transport, but its flexible and plushy design makes it extremely easy to pack and carry anywhere. I can squish, squeeze and smush the hair tool into the smallest of spaces, but no matter how I pack it, it returns to its original form in an instant, ready to be used."

TYMO Hair Straightener Brush

What we like
  • Over 46,000 positive ratings
  • Customers say it's convenient 
  • Includes travel bag, customers say
Something to note
  • Some say there's a learning curve

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 3

Murphy is also a fan of the portable, cordless hair straightener by TYMO. The compact, rechargeable tool is designed with an easy on-and-off button to activate thick, ceramic-coated bristles that help straighten hair with a few swipes. After using it, Murphy wrote, "To my surprise, my hair just looked smoother and straighter. Not even a slight static shock crept up on me — my hair just looked ... good."

If you'd rather travel with a straightener that isn't rechargeable or made with a lithium battery (see FAQ), you can opt for the corded version(above) which is a bit more flyer-friendly.

FoxyBae Travel Hair Tools

What we like
  • Travel bag fits all tools
  • Curling wand heats up fast
  • Set is lightweight
Something to note
  • Dryer isn't super strong

Power source: Corded electric | Colors available: 3

Amanda Fama, an editor at Shop TODAY, says this hair tool set is her new “go to” while traveling. “When I first used the curling wand, I was shocked at how quickly it heated up and curled my hair.” Fama continues, “Everything fits nicely in the bag, and it’s all very lightweight.” The set includes a miniature curling wand, straightener and hair dryer.


How we chose the best travel hair tools

In choosing the best travel hair tools, the Shop TODAY team tapped both hair and travel experts to get the inside scoop. With their guidance and product recommendations, we searched the web to find the best hair tools that met the diverse needs of travelers.

We made sure to prioritize portability, versatility and performance when choosing the best travel hair tools. Also, we made sure shoppers loved these products too. Online reviews pointed us to the products with the best durability and reliability that could withstand the bumps of travel without compromising performance. 

Meet the experts

  • Tinger Hseih is a travel and lifestyle creator with over 130,000 followers on Instagram.
  • Allison Sicking is a Playa del Carmen, Mexico-based travel blogger at Viva La Travelista.
  • Tashieka Brewer is a travel advisor, coach, influencer, and founder of Pink Girls Run The World.
  • Brittany Betts is a travel expert with Florida Panhandle, an online vacation planning site.
  • Kevin Kelly is a celebrity hairstylist and the founder of Kevin Kelly LUXE Extensions and Kevin Kelly Salon in Keyport, NJ.
  • Elizabeth Regan is a flight attendant for Mint Jet Blue.