Which travel adapter do I need to bring to use hair straighteners in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Hong Kong?

First check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Hong Kong:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to bring the right power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 220 volt Hong Kong power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Hong Kong, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Hong Kong otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Note that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 220 volts you run the risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Hong Kong check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Hong Kong

Will my hair straighteners work in Hong Kong?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can handle the 220 volts which are used in Hong Kong:

Can I use my US hair straighteners in Hong Kong?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Hong Kong and provide guidance for using your American hair straighteners with a Hong Kong power outlet.

Hong Kong power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in a Hong Kong power outlet?

The frequency used in a Hong Kong power outlet is 50Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Hong Kong?

The standard voltage in Hong Kong is 220 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in Hong Kong?

Type G power outlet

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using hair straighteners in Hong Kong?

The type of power outlet used in Hong Kong is type G. The wall socket, also known as a type G power outlet, looks like three rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and ground pins. A Type G power adapter [4] allows you to use 220 volt hair straighteners in Hong Kong - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in Hong Kong. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you have to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically but other models will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Hong Kong then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Hong Kong power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates single voltage hair straighteners which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in a Hong Kong power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Hong Kong.
  • A large range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Hong Kong or any other country.

Travelling to Hong Kong with hair straighteners

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [8] there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Hong Kong will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [10] leaves them easily accessible for airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [11] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Hong Kong?

Packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they'll work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Hong Kong power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for Hong Kong.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience of repairing expensive specialised hair straighteners in Hong Kong might overshadow the costs of buying cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] . If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your luggage either slide them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [10] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [12] which also allows the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.

Power converters for Hong Kong

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Hong Kong?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Hong Kong?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in Hong Kong, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] converts a 220 volt Hong Kong power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners.

Will a voltage converter work with a normal hair straighteners in Hong Kong?

The correct model of power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Hong Kong. Travellers who wish to bring along their own hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to travel hair straighteners.

Hair straightener safety

Are hair straighteners dangerous?

The temperature of the ceramic plates used in hair straighteners can reach over 200 degrees with the potential to burn hair, skin, and even start a fire if not used correctly. According to figures from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service electrical beauty products have been responsible for an estimated 650,000 fires in the United Kingdom alone.

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

A heat resistant glove

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

  • Skin protection: Wear heat resistant gloves [13] during styling to protect hands from heat.
  • Children's protection: With 10% of children's burns being caused by hair straighteners it is recommended to look for hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap [16] to keep the plates closed shut when not in use, making it easier to store out of reach of children.
  • Luggage protection: Placing hair straighteners directly into luggage without allowing them to cool down can risk damage to clothes and heating up combustible or flammable packed items. If your hair straighteners weren't supplied with a heat protective cap then wrap them in a heat mat [12] or use a hot tools travel case [10] to pack them into luggage whilst warm. A travel case will also keep expensive hair straighteners protected from damage during transit.
  • Hair protection: Applying a heat protectant spray [14] prior to using hair straighteners is essential to prevent burning, as well as using the correct technique for your hair type - read our guide on how to use hair straighteners for comprehensive information.
  • Fire protection: It can take up to 40 minutes for hair straighteners to cool down so resting your straighteners on a heat mat [12] could reduce the risk of setting fire to furniture. Forgetting to turn off hot domestic appliances can also cause fires. This risk can be reduced by using a model of straightener with a timer socket [15] which will turn itself off automatically after a certain length of time, you can also add this feature to any basic straighteners by using a timer socket in a power outlet.

How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

Hair straighteners connected to a timer power outlet

How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

1 in 12 owners of hair straighteners admit to forgetting to turn them off after use, unless your hair straighteners have a built in automatic timer then leaving them on could potentially start a fire. However you can add this functionality to any model even if it doesn't have an integrated timer:

  1. Add an automatic timer to any hair straighteners by plugging them into a timer socket [15] then plugging the timer into a power outlet.
  2. Turn on the timer and use the hair straighteners as normal.
  3. After you have finishing using the hair straighteners turn off the power at the outlet.
  4. However if you forget to turn the power outlet off then the timer will automatically switch off the straighteners after a pre-set length of time. Depending on the model of timer this could be 15, 30, 60 or 120 minutes - ideally pick the shortest length of time possible.
  5. For added peace of mind use a power outlet splitter [17] to share the outlet from the timer with both your hair straighteners and a lamp. When the timer is running both the straighteners and the lamp will be turned on, making the lamp a clear indicator that the straighteners are still being heated. When leaving a room it is second nature to ensure all lights are turned off, if the lamp is still on then this acts as a reminder to switch off the straighteners.

How to treat a hot iron burn

If you accidentally burn yourself run cold water under your burn and if it is severe it is advised to seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital.

How to use hair straighteners in Hong Kong using a type G power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Hong Kong using a three pinned Type G power adapter.

  1. Ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts; please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Hong Kong you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [4]. This plug adapter will help fit plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Hong Kong simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it in the Hong Kong power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Hong Kong power outlet. The hair straighteners can now be used in Hong Kong.
How to use  hair straighteners in Hong Kong using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong - Hong Kong Wikipedia web page
  2. https://www.amazon.co.uk/JINRI-Titanium-Straightener-Portable-Perfect/dp/B073LGTG34/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1540824979&sr=1-11&keywords=Dual+Voltage+Titanium+Flat+Iron+Hair+Straightener&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-21&linkId=2fe163aab279737c9ae436bc2dabe48f&language=en_GB - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage, priced under £10.
  5. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under £110.
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  9. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel, estimated price £10-£15.
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, £10-£15.
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing under £30.
  12. Heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons - Protects surfaces from hot hair irons and wraps around the appliance allowing instant packing into baggage, estimated cost under £10.
  13. Heat resistant gloves for hair styling - Heat resistant glove recommended to protect skin against the risk of heat from a curling iron, flat iron or hair dryer, £5-£10.
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, under £20.
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, £5-£10.
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costs under £150.
  17. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, priced at £5-£10.