Airports, the TSA, and your life in wigs

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From a customer e-mail:

What do people who wear wigs do at airports? It seems like something that might show up on a full-body scanner (I do NOT like those things!), if there aren’t metal parts in it to begin with.


There’s something you need to know up front: YES, the TSA can totally tell you’re wearing a wig as soon as they put you through that scanner. Can anyone else see the results? No. And because of this, you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

It’s actually a good thing, if you think about it. The TSA have been trained to identify when someone is wearing a wig when they go through the scanner. They have also been trained on how not to flip out because someone is wearing a wig when they go through the scanner, because it’s a normal thing for someone to be wearing a wig when they get scanned. *

Source: the TSA agents at JFK, LAX, MCO, and ATL airports have informed me of this upon direct inquiry while I was there. I have NEVER had issues wearing a wig through the body scanner. The same is also true of the security checkpoints at London Gatwick airport. Easy-peasy.

The key is to make sure there is nothing else under your wig except hair or a wig cap / wig liner. If they spot anything bulky or metallic under your wig, they will pull you aside and screen you in a private room. Even in these cases, though, they will screen you PRIVATELY, so if your main fear is being outed as a wig wearer for whatever reason, you can rest easy, there. Wigs are extremely commonplace and considered a normal part of someone’s attire. The TSA are used to seeing hundreds of people in wigs come through their gateways every day.

I have worn all sorts of wigs on airplanes! I travel frequently for this job (always looking for new products) and have never had issues with my hair.

A list of some of the wigs I’ve worn through domestic and international airport security (for your reference):

Hailey by Noriko (Burnt Sienna-R)

Jessica by Jon Renau (Shaded Peach) <– This is one of the most comfy wigs EVER for super-long airplane commutes!

Scarlett by Jon Renau (Shaded Sun)

Amal by Rene of Paris (Crimson-LR)

Kristen by Jon Renau (Shaded Peach)

* Always remember: just because we wig wearers tend to be a secretive bunch does NOT mean that it’s a rare thing to wear a wig. There are A LOT of wig wearers out there!

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!


  1. Rebecca
    April 10, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    but what about the metal ear tabs? we can’t take those out and most wigs have them

    • Gina
      April 11, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      Hi there Rebecca, I’ve gone through TSA with both wigs (metal ear tabs) and toppers (metal clips) and have not had any issues. When I first started wearing hair through security, I use to discreetly notify the agent that I was wearing a wig or something. No issues and they didn’t make a big deal about it. I don’t know if it’s me being lazy or what but I now skip notifying them and haven’t had them question me.

      If you have any further questions, please write to us in the CCHD to address any concerns you may have. I know traveling already stressful.

      Our CCHD team is available 10 am – 6pm (EST/EDT)
      Monday – Friday (excluding most major US holidays)

      Thank you for choosing CysterWigs, and have a lovely hair day! Safe travels!

      • Rebecca
        April 15, 2019 / 6:25 pm

        Thank you Gina so much for that confidence building information. I am really nervous about it and you help ease that.

        • Gina
          April 16, 2019 / 5:14 pm

          It was my pleasure Rebecca! Safe travels and have good excitement wherever you plan on traveling to!

      • Kim G
        April 29, 2019 / 3:16 am

        I have alopecia and have been wearing human hair wigs for 8 years now. I would say for about the last 3 or 4 years, every time I fly out of Newark, NJ, I get a pat down on my head after passing through the scanners. Weird, because so far, it’s ONLY been here. I have to admit, the first time it was embarrassing to me (not that it should have been though!), but I’m self conscious about wearing them anyway. But… it’s just a quick, 2 or 3 second pat down, and they send you on your way. Nobody around you even notices, or knows what’s going on. Maybe the metal ear tabs set it off, or maybe the 1 or 2 bobby pins I have on underneath pinning what little hair I do have. But, no need to worry about having to pull it off your wig in front of everyone… that won’t happen!

        • Gina
          April 29, 2019 / 4:30 pm

          Oh wow, thank you sooooo much for sharing Kim! It’s really good to know the other side of “what if”. 🙂

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