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blackgothicdoll
November 24th, 2018, 10:25 AM
I ask my friends this, but none have so far shared the same story. TSA always checks my hair, no matter how my hair is done. I think I usually wear bobby pins, so I'm wondering if that's why they do it? In which case I'll try flying without bobby pins next time. It doesn't bother me that much, it's just that I'll see someone with long, thick hair just stride right on through, but then the lady sticks her glove on my head every single time. I feel violated.

Riot Crrl
November 24th, 2018, 10:35 AM
I think your pins are glowing in the scanner, so they have to investigate.

When I've had my hair up, even with an acrylic stick, they have wanted to feel up in there.

I started wearing braids when I fly, hanging down with cloth bands on the ends and never had any problems with that. If I want to put them up further with a stick I just do that after security. Never had any issues with sticks just being in my bag, even metal ones.

browneyedsusan
November 24th, 2018, 10:58 AM
They've always checked mine. No big deal.

I've worked on the other end of security once or twice -- been the one doing the checking. It's drilled into those employees not to let anything slip by. People can be devious in their sneakiness, and the security people are just trying to to their jobs. It's hard. You want to do a good job, but don't want to offend anyone. It feels like you're always doing something wrong: not being thorough enough, or upsetting the person you're checking just by looking at them. (Customers are already under stress from being in the airport, and some can be really grumpy!)

Just my :twocents: :)

blackgothicdoll
November 24th, 2018, 11:07 AM
They've always checked mine. No big deal.

I've worked on the other end of security once or twice -- been the one doing the checking. It's drilled into those employees not to let anything slip by. People can be devious in their sneakiness, and the security people are just trying to to their jobs. It's hard. You want to do a good job, but don't want to offend anyone. It feels like you're always doing something wrong: not being thorough enough, or upsetting the person you're checking just by looking at them. (Customers are already under stress from being in the airport, and some can be really grumpy!)

Just my :twocents: :)

Oh believe me,I understand, and in general I'd rather security be thorough because, well, I want to live too. :D I just wanted to know what I was doing with my hair that made it so suspicious. If it's bobby pins I just won't wear them, then I can get through a little quicker. :p

Cg
November 24th, 2018, 11:14 AM
They always check mine and I never use metal.

The density and size of the bun is not what the software expects for a head shape, hence the alert and check. They have always been careful when pressing mine, never loosened it.

Kat
November 24th, 2018, 11:28 AM
Not usually my hair-- which is either in one or two braids-- but they want to run a hand down my back underneath it. Not just in the U.S., either.

lapushka
November 24th, 2018, 11:28 AM
Oh believe me,I understand, and in general I'd rather security be thorough because, well, I want to live too. :D I just wanted to know what I was doing with my hair that made it so suspicious. If it's bobby pins I just won't wear them, then I can get through a little quicker. :p

It is a fact that a lot of Afro-Americans wear a weave or wig and it could be a wig with something hidden underneath (they of course don't know that), so they have to check. I can totally understand that part, but I know it must feel terrible on the other side.

nycelle
November 24th, 2018, 12:02 PM
Prior to these last two years, I was flying at least every 2 months, domestic and international. I have never had my hair checked, ever - and I've always had long hair (by layman standards, not LHC).

Granted, my most elaborate style was a top knot held by an elastic band, or up via a claw clip, but like I said, my hair has never been checked.

maborosi
November 24th, 2018, 12:18 PM
They always make me take my hair down- without fail. I do not use metal sticks or anything.
They've had me take down even simple braids before.

akurah
November 24th, 2018, 12:36 PM
My braid always sets off their scanner (glows on the screen) so they always pat down my braid and back.

gustavonut
November 24th, 2018, 12:36 PM
The short answer: no. Not unless you have a literal knife holding up your bun.

Ylva
November 24th, 2018, 12:45 PM
I haven't had them check my hair. I've travelled wearing a braid.

lapushka
November 24th, 2018, 01:17 PM
It's so odd how this can be so random. I think maybe they should make a rule to either check or don't check. Not let it depend on whatever they may feel like or find the person looks like (I mean the hairdo).

CopperButterfly
November 24th, 2018, 01:32 PM
They didn't check my hair with claw clips, and they did check my sister's with her bobby pins. That might make the difference. Good luck.

Chromis
November 24th, 2018, 03:27 PM
I think some airports must have awful scanners. I have had the scanner go off and then the secondary wanding...and the wand goes off over my bare arm. Pretty sure I have no metal in my arm unless their has been some sort of alien abduction I am not remembering.

Never gotten the hair patdown, but mine compacts a lot. I have had them root through my suitcase because they were confused by my Ficcare. They misinterpreted it as a single high heel shoe, but they got confused that there was only one. They got even more confused when I said that was my only bag and that no, I was not carrying any extra shoes, my shoes were in the next bin. They were shocked a *gasp* female could be travelling without spare shoes in her luggage. :rolleyes:

lapushka
November 24th, 2018, 03:35 PM
I think some airports must have awful scanners. I have had the scanner go off and then the secondary wanding...and the wand goes off over my bare arm. Pretty sure I have no metal in my arm unless their has been some sort of alien abduction I am not remembering.

Never gotten the hair patdown, but mine compacts a lot. I have had them root through my suitcase because they were confused by my Ficcare. They misinterpreted it as a single high heel shoe, but they got confused that there was only one. They got even more confused when I said that was my only bag and that no, I was not carrying any extra shoes, my shoes were in the next bin. They were shocked a *gasp* female could be travelling without spare shoes in her luggage. :rolleyes:

That just made me LOL! :lol:

Mine compacts too, but it's a long time since I've flown, as a child, and they didn't check as much back then - this is decades ago.

cjk
November 24th, 2018, 03:36 PM
I don't often fly, but I do visit the field offices for the DoD and FBI semi regularly.

Always get scanned, but even if I'm wearing Bobby pins my hair doesn't get special attention.

Of course I don't wear much metal on those days, intentionally.

HaMalka
November 24th, 2018, 04:11 PM
I wear my hair in fake crown braids held with metal u-pins to fly and I always set off the detectors. Sometimes they pat down my hair and sometimes they just tell me to remove a few pins and send me through the detector again.

Ligeia Noire
November 24th, 2018, 04:33 PM
They always make me take my boots but never checked my hair. I always have it up with a stick and I think last time I even had one of those huge Upins, which is metal and nothing. It was a domestic flight this one. On International ones I have only used wooden sticks. Next year I'll use my Upins to see if they are paying attention :p

enting
November 24th, 2018, 04:57 PM
They always check my hair, but then I always opt out of the scanners so I get a pat down anyway. As long as the agent has a sense of humor, the pat downs are nothing for me. The only time I ever felt violated was when the agent treated me like an object and did not interact with me in any way other than the technical pat down. My biggest issue through security is that I usually want to compliment the pat-down agent on *her* hair, but I feel like that wouldn't be acceptable some how. I often get agents who have 3 or 4 hair usually done really awesomely.

Doreen
November 24th, 2018, 06:37 PM
Here in the US they always pat down my braid. I used to wear a bun (with acrylic or wood) but they made me take it down (which also made me a bit of a spectacle since I was past knee at the time) so I started wearing a braid every time I fly. It's easier to rest my head with a braid anyway. When I was abroad they didn't check it at all.

blackgothicdoll
November 24th, 2018, 06:58 PM
It's so odd how this can be so random. I think maybe they should make a rule to either check or don't check. Not let it depend on whatever they may feel like or find the person looks like (I mean the hairdo).

I agree with this. I do think the machine hinted at the last one to do it, just because I remember her kind of tiredly muttering to herself 'machine says to check hair... she has hair.... go ahead'. Her saying 'she has hair' makes me thing maybe my hair seemed big and there could be something in it - like the machine couldn't see through my hair. They definitely pat down my donuts, and I could understand that, because you can hide something in a donut.

Either way, to be on the safe side, check one and check all, or don't mess up my hair lol. :D


I think some airports must have awful scanners. I have had the scanner go off and then the secondary wanding...and the wand goes off over my bare arm. Pretty sure I have no metal in my arm unless their has been some sort of alien abduction I am not remembering.

Never gotten the hair patdown, but mine compacts a lot. I have had them root through my suitcase because they were confused by my Ficcare. They misinterpreted it as a single high heel shoe, but they got confused that there was only one. They got even more confused when I said that was my only bag and that no, I was not carrying any extra shoes, my shoes were in the next bin. They were shocked a *gasp* female could be travelling without spare shoes in her luggage. :rolleyes:

LOL I'd be worried about that alien abduction. I never carry on shoes, though I could understand doing so because I had a flight from DC at 30 degrees that arrived in Orlando at 90 degrees and I was full of regret from my heavy knit duster to my lined knee-high boots, knit socks and knit shirt. I'll learn from that mistake.


I don't often fly, but I do visit the field offices for the DoD and FBI semi regularly.

Always get scanned, but even if I'm wearing Bobby pins my hair doesn't get special attention.

Of course I don't wear much metal on those days, intentionally.

The offices I visit only care about cell phones and smart watches. I usually carry a pocket knife (unless told that the facility does not allow these), screwdrivers and a serial cable, never had any problems. I've only been to a number of places that have erected metal detectors and checked my bags, though, but never my hair.


They didn't check my hair with claw clips, and they did check my sister's with her bobby pins. That might make the difference. Good luck.

Duly noted. Seeing what makes TSA agents check my hair will be my new highlight of flying - because there is literally nothing I like about it. xD


They always make me take my boots but never checked my hair. I always have it up with a stick and I think last time I even had one of those huge Upins, which is metal and nothing. It was a domestic flight this one. On International ones I have only used wooden sticks. Next year I'll use my Upins to see if they are paying attention :p

I'd definitely stop you with all that hair LOL. Unless it compacts a lot, as others say theirs does. Mine refuses unless it's soaking wet.

blackgothicdoll
November 24th, 2018, 07:01 PM
Here in the US they always pat down my braid. I used to wear a bun (with acrylic or wood) but they made me take it down (which also made me a bit of a spectacle since I was past knee at the time) so I started wearing a braid every time I fly. It's easier to rest my head with a braid anyway. When I was abroad they didn't check it at all.

A braid as intricate as the one in your avatar would definitely have me curious! Oh and I bet putting down knee length hair had everyone turning their heads to get a peek!

Doreen
November 24th, 2018, 09:04 PM
A braid as intricate as the one in your avatar would definitely have me curious! Oh and I bet putting down knee length hair had everyone turning their heads to get a peek!

It's just in a plain braid when I fly :) I usually put it over my shoulder to sleep on the plane.

I always wonder what sorts of things they think I could be hiding in there! I would assume that a braid isn't that dense but there must be something about how it scans that makes them check it. My sister's braid never gets patted down, though she is at MBL and has much finer hair than I do.

pailin
November 24th, 2018, 09:54 PM
I get my hair patted down sometimes, but not always.
Once when my braid got a pat down, the lady was apologizing (I love small airports!) and said that since my hair was wet in the braid, it showed up different on the scanner. So wet hair in a braid or bun might be one issue.
I also had tsa going through my pencil-roll of hair sticks once. I think they recognized it as a pencil case, but my acrylic sticks didn't look like pencils. They checked the points on them and everything- I think they just hadn't seen anything like that before.
Also once they asked about a couple of ficcares in my bag- they thought they might be tweezers.

Chromis
November 24th, 2018, 10:12 PM
I get my hair patted down sometimes, but not always.
Once when my braid got a pat down, the lady was apologizing (I love small airports!) and said that since my hair was wet in the braid, it showed up different on the scanner. So wet hair in a braid or bun might be one issue.
I also had tsa going through my pencil-roll of hair sticks once. I think they recognized it as a pencil case, but my acrylic sticks didn't look like pencils. They checked the points on them and everything- I think they just hadn't seen anything like that before.
Also once they asked about a couple of ficcares in my bag- they thought they might be tweezers.

Hahaha, tweezers?! Were these the mini ones or full size? I want to know what kind of tweezers these people use at home :laugh:

Larke
November 24th, 2018, 10:22 PM
A similar question I have is has anyone had problems with TSA refusing to let you pass with a hair stick? I have a friend who recently commented (only half jokingly) that you could successfully stab someone with one of those, and I've seen TSA take away less potentially dangerous items, so I was wondering if hair sticks themselves ever cause problems? I'd hate to spend money on a good expensive hair stick and then be told I can't fly unless I throw it away.

Doreen
November 25th, 2018, 12:38 AM
A similar question I have is has anyone had problems with TSA refusing to let you pass with a hair stick? I have a friend who recently commented (only half jokingly) that you could successfully stab someone with one of those, and I've seen TSA take away less potentially dangerous items, so I was wondering if hair sticks themselves ever cause problems? I'd hate to spend money on a good expensive hair stick and then be told I can't fly unless I throw it away.

I've never had any problems with them. Sharp wooden sticks are basically the same security threat as a pencil, and sharp acrylic sticks are similar to an ink pen. I once brought a metal stick with me (I think it's aluminum) in my carry-on and they did search my bag but they let me keep the stick. I'm not even sure if it was the stick that set it off, since I also had some rock samples in there and rocks almost always set it off.

MoonChildCurls
November 25th, 2018, 01:29 AM
A similar question I have is has anyone had problems with TSA refusing to let you pass with a hair stick? I have a friend who recently commented (only half jokingly) that you could successfully stab someone with one of those, and I've seen TSA take away less potentially dangerous items, so I was wondering if hair sticks themselves ever cause problems? I'd hate to spend money on a good expensive hair stick and then be told I can't fly unless I throw it away.

I've wondered the same thing. I only started using hair sticks within the last year and get nervous so I didn't bring any (they're pretty and I didn't want to have to toss any!) But then I realized I had about 20 different pencils in my carry on and that wasn't a problem haha.

Sarahlabyrinth
November 25th, 2018, 04:35 AM
I was made to take a bun down once and even then the agent still had to feel all over my scalp. Since then, I have always flown with a braid and had no problems and can just bun the braid after going through security.

Xlena
November 25th, 2018, 07:10 AM
Nope, never. I've been to airports in Spain, Ireland and Italy and it's the first time I hear something about checking the hair tbh. I always wear mine down and never had any issue, nor I have ever seen anyone's hair being checked. In fact, security tend not to touch you, they always use the small machine first. I guess it depends on the country?

spitfire511
November 25th, 2018, 08:14 AM
I just have to say for the record that I'm completely fascinated. I don't fly much - but have - and with hair up - but didn't even know this was a thing.

Amazing - and glad I found out now before having it happened and being shocked!

pailin
November 25th, 2018, 08:54 AM
Hahaha, tweezers?! Were these the mini ones or full size? I want to know what kind of tweezers these people use at home :laugh:

It was a large! So yeah, pretty funny, except it wouldn't have been if they'd taken it away. Since then I only put ficcares in my checked baggage, although price-wise I think they belong in my carry-on with my jewelry.

trolleypup
November 25th, 2018, 08:54 AM
Chromis, you show up on the orbiting laser mind control scanner website!

Hair sticks are also similar to chopsticks. Even the fancy pointy metal ones.

I had years of regular flights with my hair bunned using a single stainless steel stick, walking through the metal detector or the scanner with no issue. One time they wanted to check the bun, but I pulled the stick out before they could pat it, so they wanded me. Another time, they wanted to check the stick.

I don't think complimenting a TSA worker on their hair would be a problem, assuming it isn't part of a negative interaction.

Chromis
November 25th, 2018, 09:23 AM
I only travel with carry-on, so putting my hairtoys in another bag is simply not an option. I do generally try and stick to pretty blunt ones just in case since they do have the power to seize anything they want even if it is on the approved list. I have had more issues with bobby pins than hairsticks. The last time that happened it was only two bobby pins, which should not even been enough to set them off (don't normally travel with those, but the flight was at a weird time and I used to use them a lot more). Those *&^ made me take my glasses off going back through and then wanded me and once again, the stupid thing was beeping over my arm. I get pretty mad when they make me take off my glasses. They had me just put them right on the conveyor belt without even a bin. What if someone had put something on top of them!

It's not even always the same arm, must be more than one abduction going on. Might explain all those mystery bumps and bruises.... :hmm:

Only have these problems in the US btw.

Decoy24601
November 25th, 2018, 10:23 AM
I've never had my hair inspected.

I've never flown in the US with my hair in a bun though, so I haven't had to deal with TSA. I did have hip-length hair much of the time back when I lived in the US and flew there, but I always had it down.

pailin
November 25th, 2018, 11:55 AM
Chromis, I sometimes bring only a carry on- if so, I usually just bring a couple sticks. But I make major trips periodically where I'll be there a couple months, so then I always have baggage. Which works since then I want to bring a bunch of hairtoys :D

lithostoic
November 25th, 2018, 03:24 PM
Never! I usually wear a braid though

TatsuOni
November 26th, 2018, 09:28 AM
I only travel with carry-on, so putting my hairtoys in another bag is simply not an option. I do generally try and stick to pretty blunt ones just in case since they do have the power to seize anything they want even if it is on the approved list. I have had more issues with bobby pins than hairsticks. The last time that happened it was only two bobby pins, which should not even been enough to set them off (don't normally travel with those, but the flight was at a weird time and I used to use them a lot more). Those *&^ made me take my glasses off going back through and then wanded me and once again, the stupid thing was beeping over my arm. I get pretty mad when they make me take off my glasses. They had me just put them right on the conveyor belt without even a bin. What if someone had put something on top of them!

It's not even always the same arm, must be more than one abduction going on. Might explain all those mystery bumps and bruises.... :hmm:

Only have these problems in the US btw.

For a while I worked in a place where I had to walk trough a metal detector every morning. After a few weeks it beeped even though I didn't wear more metal than the day or weeks before. They told me that they could choose how sensitive the detector should be and sometimes they used a very sensitive setting.


And for flying. I haven't done that for many years.

Deborah
November 26th, 2018, 10:32 AM
I have never had my hair checked, even though my hair is usually up in a bun held by a very large metal U-pin and a metal hair scroo. Who knows why?:shrug:

blackgothicdoll
November 26th, 2018, 11:06 AM
You know what, I think it's because they can see things like u-pins and hair sticks. You can't see bobby pins when they are in my hair sometimes. I think they have to check because they appear to be concealed items. That's just my theory.

Ju
November 27th, 2018, 06:54 AM
This brings back such a funny memory - I was travelling with my BF through the US (he also had uber long hair) and the TSA squished BF's bun, then squished mine. We both had it up in scrunchies hahah

hobbitlocks
November 29th, 2018, 06:41 PM
This used to ALWAYS happen to me. At first I thought it was the metal, so I started always wearing an acrylic stick (as opposed to a flexi) when flying... nope, they still wanted to check my hair. Then, I tried a braid.... nope, they still wanted to pat down the braid. Personally, I HATE it when strangers touch my hair, so this was a very annoying part of air travel. One time I asked the TSA woman and she said it was a density issue... a braid or bun show up as something to check on the machine. Although my hair isn't particularly dense! Anyway, for me it's only an issue on the wave scanners. Now that I have TSA pre (some of the best $$$ I have ever spent) I go through a normal metal detector without issue (even when wearing something metal like a flexi!).

As for hair sticks... I do have a very beautiful metal hair stick I stopped air traveling with because I would always get pulled out of line and I was worried someone would try to confiscate it someday.

hennalove
December 3rd, 2018, 04:32 PM
I ask my friends this, but none have so far shared the same story. TSA always checks my hair, no matter how my hair is done. I think I usually wear bobby pins, so I'm wondering if that's why they do it? In which case I'll try flying without bobby pins next time. It doesn't bother me that much, it's just that I'll see someone with long, thick hair just stride right on through, but then the lady sticks her glove on my head every single time. I feel violated.

We fly 2 - 3 round trips annually. I've only had my hair checked once. That time it was in a twist secured with a slide and stick. What I do now is have it bunned then when in line waiting to go though that machine, take the bun down and let it flow. Notta. They never bother me. I do secure it in a bun before moving on though. I don't like flowing hair in the airport!

spidermom
December 3rd, 2018, 05:12 PM
Never. I always wear twin braids to fly.

Ylva
January 7th, 2019, 03:49 AM
I had the airport security pat down my Dutch braid at Oslo airport late last month after my shoes didn’t pass. So that’s my first experience with this. :D

Taliesin
January 7th, 2019, 06:45 AM
I've only ever been checked when my hair was down, interestingly enough. They ask me to move/lift it which I find odd because they don't ask me to lift my shirt up to see if anything's underneath that! I'm thinking the rules around hair must be somewhat ambiguous. Never had it checked or questioned when it's in a bun.

AliceRuth
January 7th, 2019, 12:02 PM
I had my hair checked for the first time going through security for one of the flights for my most recent trip. The security lady just gave my plait a quick squeeze up and down and asked if she could gently shake it - I suppose so anything potentially hidden in there would drop out.

As I travel with my wheelchair I don't go through the scanner thingies and have pat-down searches instead. Whoever is searching me probably gets a good look at my hair while they're checking everything else.

lunalocks
January 7th, 2019, 01:37 PM
It is random. I hate having my hair touched by a stranger, but it has happened a few times, even when I pull my (wood) fork out and let the bun drop. They still want to feel around. Thank goodness they have never taken my fork!

Viola_sororia
January 7th, 2019, 04:49 PM
I have an Over the Hawaiian Moon Productions hair fork and I'm afraid to fly with it because I don't want the TSA to steal it from me. : ( It's my favorite fork that I use almost every day, so I'd be devastated if they took it. I even switched out the stone on the top to a cats eye. Normally, when I fly, I'll put my hair in a french braid down my back and take some corkscrew pins in my bag for once I arrive. Nobody has ever asked me about the hair pins, nor patted down my hair.

Reyn127
January 8th, 2019, 12:16 AM
Itís happened to me a few times. Twice when I was wearing a bun - they had me take it down one time, and the other time they said I didnít need to. Iím honestly surprised, but TSA has never even looked twice at any of my hair sticks. Whether I was wearing it or it was in my bag, they didnít care. I thing especially if youíre wearing it, it makes sense what it is for. But also another time, they asked me to move my braid aside so they could pat down my back, but it wasnít my hair that got me the pat down. It was just in the way that time.