Traveling Abroad With Your Hair Styling Tools


Whether you are traveling abroad for pleasure or business, it becomes a necessity to pack a hair dryer, curling iron, hair straightener, hot rollers, or even a shaving appliance. The problem is that the electrical power (voltage and plugs) are not the same as what is used in the United States and Canada. This can be a real problem if your hair styling tool is not equipped to handle these changes. There are options available to handle this dilemma and it is important to note that if you don’t take the necessary precautions, the end result can be disastrous.

Because there is considerable travel taking place all over the world, hair styling tool manufacturers have stepped up to the plate to provide consumers with a variety of ways to overcome any obstacles you may incur in the use of your appliance. There is some terminology that can be extremely helpful when it comes time to plan for your travel as it pertains to your hair styling tools. If you know what affects the positive use of your tool, then traveling with them becomes a no brainer.

Dual Voltage/Worldwide Use

Appliances that are labeled as dual voltage or worldwide use means that this item can be used in countries outside of the United States and Canada. What this means is that either by a flip of a switch on the appliance itself, or that the appliance has been engineered to automatically increase the voltage, the appliance will accept the voltage of that particular country without any fear of it shorting out.


The types of electrical outlets vary around the world. So, for example, when you go to plug in your hair dryer you will see that the plug that is attached to the cord will not just plug into the outlet. The shape will be different. You can easily overcome this by the use of an adapter. An adapter is a plug that is two-sided. On one side there are holes that you will plug in the plug from your appliance. On the other side of the adapter is the correct type plug for use in the outlet.


A converter does exactly what it says, it converts the voltage of the appliance to the standard voltage use of the particular country that you are in. There are many factors, however, that you must take into consideration when purchasing a converter. The first and probably most important thing that you should do is to check your appliance’s wattage requirement and your destination’s voltage standard to ensure compatibility. Voltage can range anywhere from110 volts to 240 volts. So, for example, if you have a 1600 watt hair dryer, you want to be certain that the converter will handle 1600 watts.

There are a variety of converters available in the marketplace. It is especially important that you read on the packaging what type appliances and/or wattage options the particular converter has to offer. Some converters are designed to only handle low wattage appliances and others are designed to handle the higher wattage appliances. Voltage compatibility is very important. The last thing you want to do is to purchase a converter that was designed to only convert up to 1600 watts of power and your hair dryer is a 2000 watt variety.

When Do I Use A Converter and When Don’t I?

This question is not always the easiest to answer. If your appliance is not dual voltage, and you want to use it in a country outside of the United States and Canada, this is when the use of a converter is needed. While this should do the trick (if you have the appropriate wattage type converter) there are instances when a short can still occur. There can be a variety of reasons this happens, but most of the time it has to do with it being the wrong type converter.

What Happens If I Short Out The Appliance?

If the appliance that you are using is not a dual voltage, consider the loss of the appliance as a total loss. There are not guarantees or warranties that the manufacturers of these small appliances will honor in these situations. And, be sure important to read the warranty information that comes with the appliance that is labeled as dual voltage. There are a variety of rules and regulations that each manufacturer has with regard to what is covered and what isn’t. Be informed before you make that final purchase.

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