Which travel adapter do I need to bring for using a hair dryer in China?

Confused by travel adaptors? Straightforward advice for those travelling to China and using a hair dryer.

Chinese power outlet

Will my hair dryer work in China?

First check your hair dryer can work in China:

If not then either:

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of damage to your hair dryer, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before attempting to use your hair dryer in China read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in China

How can I use my American hair dryer in China?

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

Will my hair dryer work in China?

It depends on if your hair dryer is designed to operate using the 220 volts which are used in China:

Best travel hair dryers for China

What to look for in a travel blow dryer for China

Travel hair dryer with a folding handle

What to look for in a travel blow dryer for China

When choosing the best travel hair dryer for China look for a robust but light dual-voltage model which operates with a 220 volt Chinese power outlet power outlet, has a folding handle, long power cable and a safety plug. If drying thicker hair look for one with a diffuser that uses a higher 1600+ watt dryer.

What should you look for when buying a travel hair dryer?

  1. The most suitable hair dryers will give control of the speed and temperature with different options - hotter faster speeds can quickly dry thicker hair whilst lower temperatures with slower speeds prevent damage to your hair.
  2. It could be more convenient purchasing a new hair dryer that includes both a diffuser and concentrator instead of scouring shops to look for expensive 3rd party attachments which fit the unique barrel perfectly.
  3. Depending on the accommodation you might find a wall mirror positioned away from a convenient power outlet which could make it difficult to style hair, so when buying a hair dryer search for a model with the lengthiest power cord possible or pack either a hand mirror or extension cord.
  4. Try looking for lighter travel hair dryers which are durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, models with folding handles will mean more space for packing other items.
  5. Thicker or curlier hair could need a blow dryer with a stronger motor, a higher wattage ceramic model that has a diffuser will dry hair much faster, thereby avoiding damage.
  6. The safest travel hair dryers will include an ALCI safety plug which minimises the risk of overloading leading to an electrical fire - you can idenfity these with the two 'reset' and 'test' buttons on the plug.
  7. The 'cool shot' feature can rapidly cool down the hair after drying to hold in the style but this option lacks in smaller models.
  8. To work with a 220 volt Chinese power outlet a hair dryer has to support dual voltage.
  9. Don't risk getting the cheapest travel hair dryer, as well as concerns with safety there is also a greater risk that the dryer could break during travelling abroad due to a flimsy build.
Which is the best dual voltage travel hair dryer with cool shot for China?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer with bundled concentrator

Which is the best dual voltage travel hair dryer with cool shot for China?

  • The Conair Compact Styler [11] has a powerful two speed 1875 watt motor, has a removable filter and features a cool shot button that can will rapidly cool hair down which gives it a longer lasting hold.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [10] also has a cool shot setting, uses a tourmaline ceramic outlet for negative ions resulting in faster and safer styling, twin heat settings, a longer 1.8m electric power cord and comes with a concentrator attachment.

Both models can fold, include an ALCI power plug which prevents power overloads and has dual voltage making them perfect for visiting China in carry on luggage if used with a power adapter for a Chinese power outlet.

Which is the best hair dryer for thick hair?

Thicker hair takes longer to dry and will be difficult to dry without the hair turning frizzy, the best option will be an ionic blow dryer and for curly thick hair use a diffuser as both are suitable to manage and dry hair smoothly. Both the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [12] or a Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] will be suitable because they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and included diffusers, avoid buying a blow dryer with a motor less powerful than 1600 watts as this won't be strong enough.

What is a good mini ionic travel hair dryer with dual voltage for China?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium with folding handle and concentrator

What is a good mini ionic travel hair dryer with dual voltage for China?

  • If you want to dry thin and fine hair on the go then a 1200 watt ceramic Conair MiniPRO [14] is the most cost effective mini ionic blow dryer available to buy.
  • A BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [13] is compact enough to carry in a purse because of the 10.5 ounce body with folding handle and includes features reserved for larger dryers such as a removable filter and a tourmaline outlet which emits infrared heat to protect from heat damage during styling resulting in a shinier finish.

Both of these are dual voltage mini hair dryers and when used in combination with a suitable power adapter for a Chinese power outlet they should work in China and fold conveniently enough to be carried around during the day for drying on the go. Both are twin speed, have a 1.5 metre power cable and include a concentrator attachment.

What is a good folding travel hair dryer with diffuser attachment?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with bundled diffuser and concentrator

What is a good folding travel hair dryer with diffuser attachment?

  • The X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [12] is a 1600 watt travel blow dryer with a 1.65 metre power cable, it comes with a tourmaline diffuser but doesn't have cool shot.
  • The Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] has a long 1.82 metre power cable for more flexibility when styling with an ALCI safety plug and a removable filter for cleaning. It uses a strong 1875 watt motor including a cool shot option making it ideal for styling thick hair.

Both ionic travel hair dryers include both diffuser and concentrator attachments with strong enough motors to make them the best blow dryers suitable for thick hair. Each hair dryer is light and folds up to fit into a carry-on bag, only requiring a cheap plug adapter for China to work with a Chinese power outlet.

Best travel hair dryers for 2017

What is the best blow dryer to buy in 2017?

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&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 China 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

China power outlets

What is the frequency used with a Chinese power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Chinese power outlet is 50 Hz.

What voltage is used in China?

Power outlets in China are 220 volts.

Which travel adapter do you need when using a hair dryer in China?

Type A, I and C power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need when using a hair dryer in China?

There are three types of power outlets used in China, types I, A and C with the primary power outlets being type I:

  • Plug Type A - The wall outlet, technically known as a type A power outlet, is identified by 2 adjacent slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type C - You can identify this plug socket by two round adjacent holes next to each other where the plug socket pins go.
  • Plug Type I - 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 a 220 volt hair dryer in China is a Type I power adapter [6]; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a hair dryer in China with a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage hair dryer you will need to confirm if you have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage hair dryers

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

  1. Check that you are have a dual voltage hair dryer or that it will operate with a 220 volt power socket.
  2. If your hair dryer is dual voltage then ensure that it is set to the 220-240v range. The switch is normally found on the base or handle of the hair dryer and requires a screwdriver or coin to turn.
  3. Plug your hair dryer into the power adapter for China and then plug in the power adapter into the Chinese power outlet.
  4. It's normal for most travel hair dryers operating in the 220-240V range to only work safely on their lowest speed setting - however the speed should be sufficient enough for drying hair. Check the manufacturers instructions to find out if this is appropriate for your model of dual voltage hair dryer to stop overheating.
  5. The hair dryer can now be operated with a Chinese power outlet.

How should I change the voltage on a dual voltage hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have some type of dial or switch which changes between 2 types of voltages although some hair dryers are capable of automatically detecting the voltage used in China.
  2. This dial or switch requires a small coin or screwdriver to change the dryer to the correct voltage between the 110v-120v range or a 220v-240v range.
  3. In addition to changing this over it's worth jotting down the 2 switch positions because the painted numbers can sometimes fade on some models of hair dryer.
Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair dryer

Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair dryer will accept dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or the handle of the hair dryer. The location will depend on the make and model of your hair dryer and could also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair dryers can change automatically, however other hair dryers will feature a switch which allows you to toggle between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage hair dryer. If this number matches the 220 volts used in China then you should be able to use your hair dryer with a Chinese 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 220 volts used in a Chinese power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair dryer then you should be able to use it in China.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage hair dryer capable of being used in China or any other country.

Travelling to China with a hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in China?

Hotel hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in China?

Depending on the individual hotel or bed and breakfast and class of the accommodation a hair dryer might be available in the hotel room, either packed away in a bedroom cupboard, wardrobe or drawer, found in the bathroom or could be of a slower air hose variety. When staying in cheaper motels, hostels and hotels a communal hair dryer could be available at reception but could involve waiting in turn for other guests. If in doubt as to hotel hairdryer policy you can either telephone your hotel in China or check on the booking web site to find out what is available for guests. Hotel hair dryers are usable but normally basic models with no diffuser and notorious for low heat and providing slow air speeds. For those concerned with hygiene should remove any grime from other guests on a shared hair dryer as the hotel room service might not have removed it when cleaning the room.

Guests who are uncertain that a suitable and germ-free hair dryer is available should put their mind at rest by bringing their own Dual voltage travel hair dryer [2].

Is it safe to bring a domestic hair dryer to China?

Bringing a dual voltage travel hair dryer is preferable to packing your existing blow dryer to China as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Chinese power outlet (provided that you bring the correct power adapter for China). Certain models of travel hair dryer will normally feature a collapsible handle and are lighter, this helps in reducing the size and weight when packed in travellers luggage compared to packing a domestic blow dryer.

Be aware that bringing your expensive domestic hair dryer could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your suitcase by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic hair dryer in China could be higher than purchasing a much cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] and a suitable travel hair dryer case [17] before your trip .

Is a blow dryer allowed onboard a plane to China?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Is a blow dryer allowed onboard a plane to China?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [18] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered blow dryer in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline who is flying you to China will allow a hair dryer onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your blow dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [17] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electronic items). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive blow dryers 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.

Power converters for China

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter [19] (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit into a power outlet in China, however a more expensive and heavier power converter [9] transforms the voltage of 220 volts from a Chinese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt hair dryer.

Do I need a voltage converter to use my normal hair dryer in China?

The correct model of voltage transformer [9] (or power converter) allows your hair dryer using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in China. Travellers wishing to use their existing hair dryer can use a power converter, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2]. Also, a travel hair dryer can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suitable for packing.

How to use a hair dryer in China using a type C power adapter

Instructions on how to use your hair dryer in China by using a Type C power adapter.

  1. Check that your blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet; but if not then don't continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your hair dryer. Before using a travel hair dryer ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts for use in China - please refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair dryer isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in China you'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in China simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by inserting the Type C plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by the 2 round holes adjacent to each other.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Chinese power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on the blow dryer for use in China.
How to use a hair dryer in China using a type C power adapter

How to use a hair dryer in China using a type I power adapter

How to power a hair dryer in China with a 3 prong Type I travel charger.

  1. Please make sure that your hair dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your hair dryer, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel blow dryers typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the hair dryer ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in China; please consult the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type I plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your hair dryer isn't the same type of power outlet used in China. The plug adapter will adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in China by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair dryer to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type I plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This plug outlet, sometimes called the Type I power outlet [5], can be recognised by 3 slots for the live, neutral and ground blades. Please be aware that the neutral and live pins are configured reversed compared to Argentinian plug outlets, please check that your Type I power adaptor is compatible in China.
  4. Next plug in your hair dryer into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Chinese power outlet. You can now turn on the hair dryer for use in China.
How to use a hair dryer in China using a type I power adapter

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

Instructions on how to use your hair dryer in China by using a Type A power adapter.

  1. Check that the blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair dryer or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel hair dryer which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is.
  2. Check that you're 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 will work with a 220 volt power outlet). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [8] if the type of power outlet which is used in China isn't the same shape as the plug shape of your hair dryer. The plug adapter helps adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in China by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type A plug adapter in the power outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by the 2 thin slots adjacent to each other where the two plug outlet blades go.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Chinese power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on the blow dryer for use in China.
How to use a hair dryer in China using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China - China Wikipedia web 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/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeI.htm - Type I power outlet
  6. Type I plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type I power outlets without converting voltage
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - 10.5 ounce dual voltage travel blow dryer small enough to carry in a purse including concentrator
  14. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler - Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment.
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  16. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  17. Hard case for travel hair dryer - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a hair dryer safely during travel in luggage.
  18. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20dryer - TSA guidelines for hair dryers
  19. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter