How do I use hair straighteners in Mexico?

Mexican power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Mexico?

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

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 127 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) 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:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 127 volt Mexican 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 Mexico, so check that the voltage transformer includes the right power adapter for Mexico otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your existing hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 127 volts you run the risk of a blown fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Mexico read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Mexico

Can I use my American hair straighteners in Mexico?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader travelling to Mexico and provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Mexican power outlet.

Will my hair straighteners work in Mexico?

That depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 127 volt power outlets in Mexico. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 127 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you should be able to use your hair straighteners in Mexico. If not then then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter [7] or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Read our section on will a voltage converter work with hair straighteners in Mexico for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Mexico power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Mexico?

The common residential voltage used in Mexico is 127 volts.

What is the frequency used in a Mexican power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a Mexican power outlet is 60Hz.

Which power adapter do you need to use  hair straighteners in Mexico?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to use hair straighteners in Mexico?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Mexico, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify the plug socket by the 2 slots next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into. These sockets are less commonplace however are still used in some hotels in Mexico.
  • Plug Type B - The power outlet, also called a type B power outlet, is recognised by the two thin slots parallel to each other with a semicircle shaped hole below for the ground pin. The most common sockets found in Mexico are Type B power sockets.

A Type B power adapter [4] is suitable for powering 127 volt hair straighteners in Mexico; read the step by step guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in Mexico. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

The way to tell if your hair straighteners will handle a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location will depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other straighteners will feature a switch which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 127 volts used in Mexico then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Mexican 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 127 volts used in a Mexican power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Mexico.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Mexico or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Mexico with hair straighteners

Can I carry on hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I carry on hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [10] there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to Mexico will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [12] leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords 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 advisable to use hard carry on luggage [13] as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Power converters for Mexico

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Mexico, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] will transform the voltage of 127 volts from a Mexican power outlet to work with non-127 volt hair straighteners.

Do I need a power converter to use my normal hair straighteners in Mexico?

A power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 127 volt power outlet used in Mexico. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic hair straighteners, however it could be considerably cheaper to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, travel hair straighteners can be significantly lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when packing.

Travelling to Mexico with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Mexico?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they will work with the 127 volt power outlets used with a Mexican power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Mexico.

Please note that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airport baggage handler. The cost involved in repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Mexico could be more than buying much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own 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 [12] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [14] which will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

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 [15] 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 [18] 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 [14] or use a hot tools travel case [12] 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 [16] 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 [14] 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 [17] 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 [17] 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 [19] 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 Mexico using a type B power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in Mexico by using a Type B power charger.

  1. Make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 127 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you could damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage hair straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 127 volts for use in Mexico; consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of power outlet used in Mexico. This Type B plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Mexico simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 127 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the Mexican power outlet. The plug outlet, sometimes called a Type B power outlet [3], is recognised by two thin slots parallel to each other with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the grounded pin. The most common sockets found in Mexico are Type B power sockets.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Mexican power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be used in Mexico.
How to use  hair straighteners in Mexico using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Mexico using a type A power adapter

Simple instructions showing how to use your hair straighteners in Mexico with a 2 bladed Type A power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 127 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Some hair straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure you have set it to the 127 volt setting for use in Mexico; consult the owners manual for more information on where this switch is located.
  2. Check that you're 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 can work with a 127 volt power supply). If the type of power outlet which is used in Mexico won't take the plug on your hair straighteners you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6]. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Mexico by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 127 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type A plug adapter into the wall outlet. This power outlet (called a Type A power outlet [5]) is recognised by the two thin slots parallel to each other. Note that Type A plug outlets aren't as commonplace however are still used by some hotels in Mexico.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Mexican power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your straighteners to use in Mexico.
How to use  hair straighteners in Mexico using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://www.visitmexico.com/en - Visit Mexico Web Site
  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/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  11. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners..
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  14. 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.
  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
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.