Isis Brantley says she had already passed through security and was waiting for an airport train when a TSA officer stopped her.
She says the officer searched her hair for weapons in full view of other travelers.
The TSA says Brantley was offered a private screening but refused. She denies that.
"It was humiliating, it was very, like, disrespectful, and I was very distraught," said Brantley. "I thought - how can you do this in front of everybody?"
The TSA issued a statement saying its screening procedures are designed to ensure the security of the traveling public and that additional screening may be required for clothing, headwear or hair where prohibited items could be hidden.