Moving down from Phuket's terminal one to terminal two, the boy apparently mistook the handrail for a headrail.
Staff saw what happened and quickly stopped the escalator in time before the boy lost any hair. Paramedics at the airport were able to remove his hair without permanent damage.
At one stage, they held him horizontally to dislodge his hair.
The boy was checked for injuries, interviewed by officers from Tachatchai Police Station, who patrol the airport, and allowed to catch his 10pm flight.
Australians have a growing reputation on Phuket for getting into mischief, either accidentally or deliberately.