TSA rules are especially pesky when you have a head full of curls that demand to be well kept by an entourage of hair products, or vacation photos be damned. However, I’ll let you in on a little travel secret. If you pack one carry-on and one personal item, you’re almost guaranteed to scoot through TSA with 2 separate toiletry bags, as long as they are with their respective bag.
Now don't go stashing your expensive perfume or anything else that's super valuable to you that you'd be devastated to put in the trash at security. Be reasonable. Sephora perfume sample bottles are clearly the better choice in that case. They work well for toner as well.
Also, I never pull out my makeup bag, which is guaranteed to have additional liquid-y stuff from toner, to nail polish to face serum. Not to mention the random lotion or hand sanitizer floating around anywhere in my purse or backpack. It’s literally never been a problem, except for that one time I tried to be a do-gooder and properly package everything in those clear baggies into one carry-on. BIG MISTAKE. Ended up having to check my bag that day.
Smuggling enough hair products to go the distance is typically my struggle. Three out of my allotted carry-on toiletry items are guaranteed to be shampoo, conditioner and a small amount of gel (which I regularly get away with in a ziplock plastic baggie), and MAYBE a cream styler. Ok, so sometimes it’s 4. Typically, this is enough for 2-3 wash n gos. But more often than not I try to stick to a simple paired down routine when I can.
In any case, for trips longer than a week or if I’ll be swimming regularly, I’ll often buy some cheap conditioner that doubles as a co-wash & leave-in when I touchdown wherever. If you’re gonna spend $2 for a travel size conditioner you mine as well put another $.50 with it and get some cheap, but effective regular-sized product to co-wash & moisturize your heart out. IJS.
That way, if your don’t use it all you won’t be extra hurt about it and can probably even refill your travel size to take back home and save for the next jaunt.