How do I use hair straighteners in England?

British power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in England?

Check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in England:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt British power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in England, so check that the voltage transformer includes the right power adapter for England otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Note - your own domestic hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage. [5]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts used in England you run the potential risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in England please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in England

Will my hair straighteners work in England?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners can handle the 230 volts as used in England. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can operate using 230 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in England. If not then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read the guide on will a power converter work with your domestic hair straighteners in England for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5]

England power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in England?

The frequency of the current from a British power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

What is the mains voltage in England?

Power outlets in England are 230 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in England?

Type G power outlet

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in England?

Type G power outlets are used in England. You can recognise the power outlet by 3 vertical rectangular holes in a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth pins. A Type G power adapter is suitable for powering 230 volt hair straighteners in England, read the simple guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in England. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you also have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

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?

The way to tell if your hair straighteners will support a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it could also state on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other models will have a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 230 volts used in England then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a British 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 230 volts used in a British power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in England.
  • A large range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in England or any other country.
 [8]

Travelling to England with hair straighteners

Can hair straighteners go in your carry on to England?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in your carry on to England?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline that is flying you to England will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible by airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.    [8] [9] [10] [11]

Is it safer to bring domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to England?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it is safer to assume that they'll work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a British power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for England.

It is also worth concidering that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by an airline baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in England might be more than buying much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slot them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [10] [12]

Power converters for England

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for England?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for England?

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in England, however a heavy and bulkier power converter transforms the voltage of 230 volts from a British power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [5]

Do I need a power converter for England to use my hair straighteners?

The correct model of voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in England. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it might be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. A power converter is substantially bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when travelling. [5]

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.    [10] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
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 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.
  [15] [17]

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 England using a type G power adapter

Instructions showing how to power your hair straighteners in England with a three pin Type G travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your hair straighteners. Some hair straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in England, please consult the user guide for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in England you will need to bring a Type G plug adapter [4]. The power adapter will convert different plugs from other countries for a power outlet in England by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type G plug adapter in the wall outlet. The plug outlet, technically known as a Type G power outlet [3], can be recognised by the three vertical slots containing shutters forming a triangular pattern.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the British power outlet. Your straighteners can now be used in England.
How to use  hair straighteners in England using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - England Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, costs £5-£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, estimated price £100-£110.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, priced £25-£30.
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, £5-£10.
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing under £45.
  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, £5-£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, costs £5-£10.
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, around £5.
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under £10.
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costs £140-£150.
  17. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, estimated cost £5-£10.