Which travel adapter do I need to bring for using hair straighteners in Australia?

Australian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Australia?

Check that your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Australia:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with an 230 volt Australian power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Australia, therefore check that your power converter includes the correct power adapter for Australia otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in your luggage. [5]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 230 volts used in Australia you run the risk of a blown fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your hair straighteners in Australia please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Australia

Will my hair straighteners work in Australia?

It depends on if your hair straighteners is designed to operate using the 230 volts which are used in Australia:

Australia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used with an Australian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from an Australian power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

What voltage is used in Australia?

Power outlets in Australia are 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to use  hair straighteners in Australia?

Type I power outlet

Which power adapter will you need to use hair straighteners in Australia?

Type I power outlets are used in Australia. The plug outlet (technically called a type I power outlet) can be recognised by the three slots in a triangular configuration with a single vertical pin at the base and the top pair of slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and ground. A suitable power adapter to bring when using 230 volt hair straighteners in Australia is a Type I power adapter; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Australia with a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to confirm if you have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

One method to tell if your hair straighteners will handle dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug of the hair straighteners. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it could also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Australia then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with an Australian power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in an Australian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Australia.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Australia or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [2]

Travelling to Australia with hair straighteners

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 recommends that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Australia will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during transit.    [2] [8] [9] [10]

Should I bring domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Australia?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Australia as it is safer to assume that they'll work with the 230 volt power outlets used with an Australian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Australia. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Australia. The cost of replacing expensive quality hair straighteners in Australia could be more than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before travelling. If you intend to bring your own personal 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 packed right after use without waiting to cool down.   [9] [11]

Power converters for Australia

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

Voltage converter

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

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 in Australia, however a more expensive and heavier power converter transforms the voltage of 230 volts from an Australian power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [5]

Can I use hair straighteners with a power converter for Australia?

The correct type power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Australia. Travellers who wish to bring their existing domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it might be considerably less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also worth noting, travel hair straighteners can be substantially lighter and smaller than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when packing in luggage. [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.    [9] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]
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.
  [14] [16]

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 Australia using a type I power adapter

A guide on how to power your hair straighteners in Australia using a 3 pin Type I power charger.

  1. Please check 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 do not proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Australia - please refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Australia you'll need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Australia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by inserting the Type I plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by three thin slots for the live, neutral and earth blades. Please note that the live and neutral pins are reversed compared to Argentinian plug outlets therefore please check that your Type I travel adaptor is compatible with an Australian power outlet.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Australian power outlet.
  6. Your straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Australia using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia page about Australia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, costing £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, £100-£110.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced £10-£15.
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, £40-£45.
  11. 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 price under £10.
  12. 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 around £5.
  13. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, priced £5-£10.
  14. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costs £10-£15.
  15. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, under £150.
  16. 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.