Using your hair dryer in Canada

Canadian power outlet

Can I use my hair dryer in Canada?

First check your hair dryer can handle the voltage in Canada:

  • If your hair dryer can run on 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair dryer won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair dryer and other applicances with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel hair dryer. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit in the wall outlet used in Canada, therefore please check that the power converter [5] includes a suitable power adapter for Canada otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Note that your own existing hair dryer might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle 120 volts used in Canada you run a risk of damage to your hair dryer, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your hair dryer in Canada please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in Canada

Will my American hair dryer work in Canada?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to Canada and will provide advice on using your US hair dryer with a Canadian power outlet.

Will my hair dryer work in Canada?

This depends on if your hair dryer can handle the 120 volt power outlets used in Canada:

Best travel hair dryers for Canada

Choosing the best travel blow dryer

Bundled diffuser and concentrator attachments

Choosing the best travel blow dryer

When looking for the best hair dryer for Canada choose a robust but light dual voltage model that works with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet power outlet, includes an ALCI safety plug, folding handle and a long cable. When drying thicker hair look for a model which includes a bundled diffuser that has a higher 1600+ watt dryer.

What to look for when purchasing a hair dryer?

  1. The safest travel hair dryers include 'ALCI' safety plugs which will reduce the risk of overloading the motor that could start electrical fires, you can idenfity these with the 2 test and reset switches on the plug.
  2. You shouldn't risk buying the cheapest hair dryer available; as well as safety issues there is also a greater risk that the dryer could fail during your trip abroad due to cheaper components.
  3. Thicker or curlier hair might need a travel hair dryer with a stronger motor - a high wattage ceramic model that includes a diffuser will dry hair faster to avoid damage.
  4. In order to operate with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet the travel hair dryer needs to support dual voltage.
  5. Depending on your hotel room in Canada there could be a fixed mirror installed some distance away from a convenient power outlet which makes it awkward to style hair, so when buying a travel blow dryer search for the unit with the lengthiest power cord available.
  6. A modern blow dryer include a 'cool shot' option for quickly cooling hair down after drying to hold the style but this option could be missing in more compact models.
  7. It might be cheaper purchasing a new dryer which includes both a concentrator and diffuser from the manufacturer instead of scouring shops looking for more expensive 3rd party attachments which fit the unique barrel size securely.
  8. Try looking for lightweight travel dryers which are durable enough to survive being transported in baggage, dryers with folding handles mean more room for packing other items.
  9. Ideal travel hair dryers will give control of the temperature and speed settings with different options, a hotter faster speed will dry thicker wet hair quickly whereas a slower speed with a lower temperature will reduce damage to your hair.
What is a good dual voltage ionic hair dryer with diffuser attachment for Canada?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with folding handle

What is a good dual voltage ionic hair dryer with diffuser attachment for Canada?

  • A X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [6] is a 1600 watt travel hair dryer with a 1.65 metre electric power cord, it comes with a tourmaline diffuser however doesn't have a cool shot option.
  • The Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] includes a generous 1.82m power cable for greater freedom when styling with an ALCI safety plug and removable filter for easy cleaning. It also has a strong 1875 watt motor including cool shot making it perfect for styling thicker hair.

Each ionic hair dryer includes both concentrator and diffuser attachments with powerful motors to make them the best travel hair dryers suitable for thick hair. Both will require a suitable cheap power adapter for Canada to work with a Canadian power outlet, each dryer is lightweight and folds up to fit in carry-on baggage.

What is a good dual voltage travel hair dryer?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer

What is a good dual voltage travel hair dryer?

  • A Conair Compact Styler [8] has a powerful 2 speed 1875 watt motor, has a removable filter and includes a cool shot setting that can be used to quickly cool down hair.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [7] also features a cool shot setting, a ceramic tourmaline air outlet resulting in safer styling, twin heat options, a longer 1.8 metre electric power cord and also includes a concentrator attachment.

Each model folds, includes an ALCI plug which prevents overloading and support dual voltage making them perfect for travel to Canada in carry on luggage when used with a power adapter for a Canadian power outlet.

What is a good hair dryer for thick hair?

Thick hair can take longer to dry and will be hard to do so without the hair going frizzy, the best option for thick hair is an ionic hair dryer and for curly thick hair use a diffuser as both are able to dry and manage hair smoothly. Both an Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] or the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [6] are recommended as they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and included diffusers - avoid buying a blow dryer with a motor that is less powerful than 1600 watts as it will struggle to dry thicker hair.

What is the best mini travel hair dryer with dual voltage for Canada?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium

What is the best mini travel hair dryer with dual voltage for Canada?

  • For quickly drying fine or thin hair on the go the ceramic 1200 watt Conair MiniPRO [10] is the best value mini ionic hairdryer available to buy.
  • The BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [9] is compact enough to carry in a handbag due to a 10.5oz body with folding handle and also has features reserved for larger hair dryers including a removable filter and a tourmaline outlet which emits infrared heat to protect against heat damage resulting in a shiny finish.

Both are dual voltage mini hair dryers and when used with the right power adapter for a Canadian power outlet they should work in Canada folding conveniently making them small enough to be carried for drying on the go. Both are two speed, have a 1.5 metre electric power cord and include a concentrator attachment.

Best travel hair dryers for 2018

Which is the best travel blow dryer to buy for Canada?

Conair
MiniPRO
Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment
BaByliss
PRO
https://www.amazon.com/BaBylissPRO-Tourmaline-Titanium-Travel-Dryer/dp/B003QKL5YQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506766914&sr=1-1&keywords=babyliss+pro+tourmaline+titanium+travel+dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=42ac8156b2378ba326cc5bd3c1fbaccb
Conair
Compact
https://www.amazon.com/Conair-Compact-Folding-Handle-Voltage/dp/B00006IV22/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767106&sr=1-1&keywords=Conair+1875+Watt+Compact+Folding+Handle+Styler+/+Hair+Dryer+with+Dual+Voltage&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b7a9525a9878573b5912d116cbadea28
Berta
Folding
https://www.amazon.com/Berta-Folding-Voltage-Negative-Setting/dp/B06XWV3K4L/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767023&sr=1-1&keywords=Berta+1875W+Folding+Hair+Dryer+Dual+Voltage+Blow+dryer+Negative+Ions+Travel+Dryer+with+2+Heat+2+Speed+Setting&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=48f8830f8b22743bab2b92d60efe19ae
X5
Superlite
https://www.amazon.com/X5-Superlite-Voltage-Ceramic-Ionic-Travel/dp/B001FSK70Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&keywords=X5+Superlite+1600W+Dual+Voltage+Ceramic-Ionic+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=63c08ef699ac6c441e4c0862ebe99524
Hot Tools
1044
https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767312&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle+and+Dual+Votage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e4d6cd8511a014951b16d43f9ec3a809
Class Mini Compact Compact with diffuser
Works in Canada Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Works in US Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual voltage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watts 1200 1000 1875 1875 1600 1875
Folds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ceramic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ionic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tourmaline Yes Yes Yes
Infrared Yes
Speed settings 2 2 2 2 2 2
Heat settings 1 1 1 2 1 1
Cool shot Yes Yes Yes
Removable filter Yes Yes
Concentrator Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Diffuser Yes Yes
ALCI safety plug Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cord length 1.52m 1.52m 1.52m 1.8m 1.65m 1.82m
Color
Cost Price Price Price Price Price Price

Canada power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Canada?

Power outlets in Canada are 120 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Canada?

The frequency from a Canadian power outlet is 60Hz.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a hair dryer in Canada?

Type A power outlets are used in Canada. This ungrounded plug outlet, technically called a type A power outlet, can be recognised by the 2 thin slots next to each other where the two plug socket blades slide into. A suitable travel adapter to bring to use a 120 volt hair dryer in Canada is a Type A plug adapter [4]; read the simple guide below for full details of using a hair dryer in Canada using a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage hair dryer you will need to confirm if you also need to use a voltage converter.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a hair dryer in Canada?

Dual voltage hair dryers

How can you tell if your hair dryer is dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if your hair dryer is dual voltage?

The method to tell if your hair dryer can accept a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the base, handle or the plug. This location will depend on the make or model of your hair dryer, it could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair dryers can change automatically but other hair dryers will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage hair dryer. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Canada then you should be able to use your hair dryer with a Canadian power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage hair dryer which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 120 volts used in a Canadian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair dryer then you should be able to use it in Canada.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage hair dryer capable of being used in Canada or any other country.

How do you switch a travel hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have a switch which selects between two ranges of voltages however some models can automatically detect the voltage used in Canada.
  2. This dial or switch will normally require a small screwdriver or coin to set the dryer to the correct voltage between a 220v-240v range or the 110v-120v range.
  3. Also it's worth noting down both switch positions because the painted numbers can sometimes rub off on some models of travel dryer.

How do I use a dual voltage blow dryer in Canada?

  1. First ensure that you are have a dual voltage hair dryer or it works with a 120 volt power socket.
  2. If your dryer supports dual voltage then ensure it is set to work in the 100-127V range. The switch is normally found on the handle or base of the blow dryer and requires a screwdriver or coin to switch.
  3. Plug the hair dryer into the power adapter for Canada, also plug in the power adapter into the Canadian power outlet.
  4. The dryer is now ready to be used with a Canadian power outlet.
  5. You can expect travel hair dryer models which came from a country that operates with 220-240 volts to work slower than usual when used in a country which uses 100-127 volt electricity.

Travelling to Canada with a hair dryer

Can a blow dryer go in hand luggage?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Can a blow dryer go in hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [13] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered hair dryer in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to Canada will allow blow dryers onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your hair dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [14] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around hair dryers). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair dryers in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage [15] as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.

Is there a hair dryer in your hotel room in Canada?

Hotel hair dryer

Is there a hair dryer in your hotel room in Canada?

Depending on the hotel or bed and breakfast and class of the accommodation a hair dryer might be available in the hotel room, either packed in the bedroom cupboard, wardrobe or drawer, found attached to a bathroom wall or could be a slower air hose variety.

If staying in cheaper motels, hotels and hostels a shared hair dryer might be available at reception, however that could involve waiting in turn for other guests. If in doubt about the hotel hairdryer availability then either telephone your hotel in Canada or look on the hotel web site to find out what is available to guests. Hair dryers found in hotels are usable but are normally basic models lacking a diffuser, notorious for low heat and slower air speeds. For those worried about hygiene might want to remove any burnt hair from previous guests on a communal hair dryer as the hotel room service might not have removed it when cleaning the room.

For travellers who don't want to take a chance that a suitable and germ-free hair dryer is readily available should put their mind at rest by bringing their own Dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or phone their hotel in Canada to check before travelling.

Is it better to bring a domestic hair dryer or a travel hair dryer to Canada?

Bringing a dual voltage travel hair dryer is preferable to packing an existing hair dryer to Canada (marked with 'For domestic use only') as it ensures that it will work with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Canadian power outlet (provided that you use the correct power adapter for Canada). Travel hair dryers typically feature a folding handle and are much lighter which helps in reducing the size and weight when packed in luggage compared to bringing a domestic blow dryer. Be aware that packing an expensive domestic hair dryer could put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler in Canada. The cost of replacing an expensive specialised domestic blow dryer in Canada might overshadow the costs of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] with a suitable travel hair dryer case [14] .

Power converters for Canada

Do I need a power converter to use a normal hair dryer in Canada?

The correct type power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) allows a hair dryer using a different voltage to operate using a 120 volt power outlet used in Canada. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to bring their own hair dryer, however it can be considerably less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. In addition, a travel hair dryer can be significantly smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to slot into a power outlet found in Canada, however an expensive and bulkier power converter [5] will convert a 120 volt Canadian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt hair dryer.

How to use a hair dryer in Canada using a type A power adapter

How to power your hair dryer in Canada with a 2 pronged Type A travel charger.

  1. Check that the hair dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or works with a 120 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't continue because you could damage your hair dryer, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel hair dryer make sure the switch is set to accept 120 volts; please refer to the user guide for more information on where this switch is found.
  2. This guide assumes that you are not already using a hair dryer with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your hair dryer can work with a 120 volt power supply). You will need to buy a Type A plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your hair dryer isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Canada. The Type A plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Canada simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type A plug adapter into the power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Canadian power outlet. Your hair dryer should now be ready for use.
How to use a hair dryer in Canada using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - Canada Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767312&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle+and+Dual+Votage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e4d6cd8511a014951b16d43f9ec3a809 - dual voltage travel hair dryer
  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. X5 Superlite 1600W Dual Voltage Ceramic Ionic Travel Dryer - 1600 watt travel blow dryer with a 1.65 metre power cable, tourmaline diffuser and concentrator.
  7. Berta 1875W Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Blow dryer Negative Ions Travel Dryer - Ceramic tourmaline hair dryer with cool shot, two heat settings, 1.8m power cord and bundled concentrator
  8. Conair 1875 Watt Compact Folding Handle Hair Dryer with Dual Voltage - Budget 1875 watt 2 speed travel hair dryer, ALCI safety plug, removable filter and cool shot.
  9. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - 10.5 ounce dual voltage travel blow dryer small enough to carry in a purse including concentrator
  10. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler - Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  13. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20dryer - TSA guidelines for hair dryers
  14. Hard case for travel hair dryer - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a hair dryer safely during travel in luggage.
  15. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.