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

Portuguese power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Portugal?

First check that your hair straighteners can work in Portugal:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Portuguese power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Portugal, therefore check that your voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Portugal otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware that your own personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 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 Portugal please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Portugal

Will my hair straighteners work in Portugal?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 230 volts used in Portugal:

Portugal power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Portugal?

Power outlets in Portugal are 230 volts.

What frequency is used in Portugal?

The frequency from a Portuguese power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

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

Type C and F power outlets

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

There are two types of power outlets used in Portugal, these are type F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this wall socket by the two circular holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins sit.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify this plug socket by two large round holes 19 mm apart from each other for live and neutral pins along with two thin grounding clips above and below.

A Type F power adapter is suitable for powering 230 volt hair straighteners in Portugal; read the step by step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Portugal. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you have to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Single 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 look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

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

Travelling to Portugal with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Portugal?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Portugal as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Portuguese power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Portugal. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by a baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in Portugal might overshadow the cost of purchasing much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before travelling to bring along with you. If you intend to bring along your own hair straighteners in your luggage either slide them inside a sneaker or boot 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 transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [11] [12] [AD]

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

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 your airline who is flying you to Portugal will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible by airport security, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you do 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 offers the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.    [10] [11] [13] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Portugal

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

Voltage converter

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

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 Portugal, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts a 230 volt Portuguese power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

Do I need a power converter in Portugal to use hair straighteners?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Portugal. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to use their own hair straighteners, but it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to travel 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.    [11] [12] [15] [16] [17] [18] [AD]
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.
  [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 Portugal using a type C power adapter

Instructions on how to use your hair straighteners in Portugal by using a Type C travel adapter.

  1. Please check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 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. Travel straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts for use in Portugal - please refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Portugal you will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter helps convert different plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Portugal by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type C plug adapter into the Portuguese power outlet. This unearthed power outlet is recognised by 2 round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Then plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Portuguese power outlet.
  6. Your hair straighteners can now be used in Portugal.
How to use  hair straighteners in Portugal using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Portugal using a type F power adapter

How to power hair straighteners in Portugal using a 2 pin Type F power adapter.

  1. Ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Portugal, please refer to the owners manual for more information on where this switch is.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Portugal you will need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6]. This Type F plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Portugal 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 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type F plug adapter and inserting it in the Portuguese power outlet. The round plug outlet can be recognised by the two large holes 19 mm apart from each other for live and neutral pins along with two thin grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Portuguese power outlet.
  6. The hair straighteners can now be turned on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Portugal using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia page about Portugal
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, under £10.
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, costs £5-£10.
  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, estimated price £100-£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. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, £10-£15.
  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, priced at £5-£10.
  13. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price £40-£45.
  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 cost under £15.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, £10-£15.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated cost £140-£150.
  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 £5-£10.