How to use hair straighteners in Japan

Japanese power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Japan?

Check that your hair straighteners can work in Japan:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 100 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to bring a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, 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 types of power outlet used in Japan, so please check that the power converter has the correct power adapter for Japan otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you could risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 100 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair straighteners. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Japan please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Japan

Will my hair straighteners work in Japan?

It depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 100 volt power outlets in Japan. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 100 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use your hair straighteners in Japan. If not then you will need to consider buying either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the section on will a power converter work with domestic hair straighteners in Japan for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Japan power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Japan?

The standard voltage in Japan is 100 volts.

What is the frequency used in Japan?

The frequency from a Japanese power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use  hair straighteners in Japan?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need to bring to use hair straighteners in Japan?

There are two types of power outlets used in Japan, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the wall socket by the 2 thin adjacent slots where the live and neutral blades go.
  • Plug Type B - The power outlet, technically known as a type B power outlet, can be identified by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earthed pin.

A Type B power adapter will allow you to use 100 volt hair straighteners in Japan - read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Japan. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you also need to bring a power converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it could also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners can change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 100 volts used in Japan then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Japanese 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 100 volts used in a Japanese power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Japan.
  • A large voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Japan or any other country.
 [10] [AD]

Travelling to Japan with hair straighteners

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Japan in your hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Japan in your hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners 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 recommends that you should check that the airline who is taking you to Japan 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 leaves them easily accessible for airport security, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Japan?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Japan as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 100 volt power outlets used with a Japanese power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Japan. It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Japan could be more than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which also allows the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Japan

Do you need a voltage converter to use hair straighteners in Japan?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 100 volt power outlet used in Japan. Travellers wishing to use their own hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it might be considerably less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. A power converter is also significantly heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for travelling compared to travel hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Japan?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Japan?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Japan, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 100 volts from a Japanese power outlet to work with non-100 volt hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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 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 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 or use a hot tools travel case 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 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 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 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.    [12] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [AD]
How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

Energy saving outlet with timer

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 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 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.
  [17] [19] [AD]

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 Japan using a type B power adapter

Instructions on how to use your hair straighteners in Japan by using a Type B travel charger.

  1. Ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 100 volt power supply - if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 100 volt setting; consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Japan. The plug adapter helps adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Japan simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 100 volt supply.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type B plug adapter into the Japanese power outlet. This power outlet, sometimes called the Type B power outlet [3], can be identified by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Japanese power outlet. Your hair straighteners should now be ready to be used in Japan.
How to use  hair straighteners in Japan using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Japan using a type A power adapter

Instructions on how to use your hair straighteners in Japan by using a three pronged Type A travel charger.

  1. Check that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 100 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners make sure you have set it to the 100 volt setting; consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. Please check that you are not already using hair straighteners with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your hair straighteners will work with a 100 volt power outlet). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Japan isn't the same shape as the plug shape of your hair straighteners. This Type A plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Japan simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 100 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it in the Japanese power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by two thin slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Japanese power outlet. Your hair straighteners should now be ready to be used in Japan.
How to use  hair straighteners in Japan using a type A power adapter

See also

We endeavour to ensure that links on this page are periodically checked and correct for suitability. This website may receive commissions for purchases made through links on this page. As an Amazon Associate WikiConnections earn from qualifying purchases. For more details please read the disclaimers page.

  1. Japan - Japan National Tourism Organization Web Site
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, estimated price £5-£10.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, costs around £4.
  7. 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.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, £25-£30.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under £10.
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing £40-£45.
  14. 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, costs £5-£10.
  15. 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.
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, estimated price under £15.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, £20-£25.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costing £220-£230.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, estimated price under £10.