Using hair straighteners in Canada

Canadian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Canada?

First check that your hair straighteners can work in Canada:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to bring a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Canada, so check that the power converter [5] comes with a power adapter for Canada 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 potential damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 120 volts used in Canada you run a risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Canada read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Canada

Will my hair straighteners work in Canada?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 120 volts used in Canada. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can operate using 120 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you can use the hair straighteners in Canada. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either a power converter [5] or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2], read our section on do you need a voltage converter to use a domestic hair straighteners for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

How can I use my US hair straighteners in Canada?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Canada and will provide advice on using your American hair straighteners with a Canadian power outlet.

Canada power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Canada?

The typical voltage used in Canada is 120 volts.

What frequency is used in Canada?

The frequency from a Canadian power outlet is 60Hz.

Which travel adapter do you need when using hair straighteners in Canada?

The type of power outlet used in Canada is type A. This unearthed plug socket (technically known as the type A power outlet) is recognised by 2 adjacent slots next to each other. A suitable power adapter to bring when using 120 volt hair straighteners in Canada is a Type A power adapter [4], read the simple guide below for full details of using a travel adapter for Canada. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to use a voltage converter.

Which travel adapter do you need when using  hair straighteners in Canada?

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 will support a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the hair straighteners. The location might depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners and should also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other straighteners will have a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Canada then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Canadian 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 120 volts used in a Canadian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Canada.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Canada or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Canada with hair straighteners

Can hair straighteners go in carry on luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [8] there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Canada 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 [10] leaves them easily accessible by airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables 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 bring hard carry on luggage [11] as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.

Power converters for Canada

Will a power converter work with my hair straighteners in Canada?

A voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 120 volt power outlet used in Canada. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring their existing domestic hair straighteners, however it can be considerably cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage.

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 heavy and expensive power converter [5] transforms the voltage of 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet to work with non-120 volt hair straighteners, however a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Canada.

Travelling to Canada with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Canada?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Canada as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Canadian power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Canada.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Canada. The inconvenience and costs of repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Canada could outweigh the cost of buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot them inside a boot or sneaker 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 will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.

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 Canada using a type A power adapter

Simple instructions showing you how to use your hair straighteners in Canada with a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your hair straighteners. Dual voltage hair straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting; please consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. 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 still check that your hair straighteners will work with a 120 volt power supply). So, if the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Canada you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [4]. This Type A plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Canada by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it in the wall outlet. The plug supply (known as the Type A power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Canadian power outlet. Your hair straighteners can now be used in Canada.
How to use  hair straighteners in Canada using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - wikipedia page about Canada
  2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RNFY344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&keywords=Salona+Professional+1%22+Titanium+Flat+Iron+Hair+Straightener+Worldwide+Dual+Voltage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e3d3466bd15690b0f8d286099f4ac0f1 - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  4. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  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
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners..
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  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.
  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
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons.
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time.
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel.
  17. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.