How do I use hair straighteners in South Korea?

Confused by travel adaptors? A straightforward guide for those travelling to South Korea and bringing their hair straighteners.

South Korean power outlet

Summary

Check your hair straighteners can work in South Korea:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit.

If not then either:

  • Use dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for South Korea but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 220 volt South Korean power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in South Korea, so please check that your power converter [7] comes with the right power adapter for South Korea otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your luggage.

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

Using hair straighteners in South Korea

Will my hair straighteners work in South Korea?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 220 volt power outlets in South Korea:

Will my American hair straighteners work in South Korea?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting South Korea and will provide guidance for using your US hair straighteners with a South Korean power outlet.

South Korea power outlets

What electrical frequency is used with a South Korean power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current found in a South Korean power outlet is 60Hz.

What is the mains voltage in South Korea?

The normal residential voltage used in South Korea is 220 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need to use  hair straighteners in South Korea?

Type C and F power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to use hair straighteners in South Korea?

There are two types of power outlets used in South Korea, types F and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (known as the Europlug) is recognised by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the twin pins slide into.
  • Plug Type F - This round wall outlet (called a type F power outlet) can be recognised by the two large circular adjacent holes next to each other where the twin pins slide into and grounding clips on the top and bottom.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use 220 volt hair straighteners in South Korea is a Type F power adapter [6]; read the simple guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in South Korea with a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to use a power 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?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners can support a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your hair straighteners. This location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners can change automatically but other straighteners will feature a switch which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 220 volts used in South Korea then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a South Korean power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates single voltage hair straighteners which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 220 volts used in a South Korean power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in South Korea.
  • A larger range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in South Korea or any other country.

Travelling to South Korea with hair straighteners

Can hair straighteners go in carry on to South Korea?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in carry on to South Korea?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [10] there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to South Korea 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 [12] leaves them easily accessible for airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for South Korea

Can I use a voltage converter with a hair straighteners in South Korea?

The correct model of voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in South Korea. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing hair straighteners, but it might be a lot 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 substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suited for packing.

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter [7] transforms a 220 volt South Korean power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter [13] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in South Korea.

Travelling to South Korea with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to South Korea?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to South Korea as it ensures that they will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a South Korean power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for South Korea.

Please note that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers in South Korea. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in South Korea could be more than purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own hair straighteners in your suitcase either slide them inside a boot or sneaker 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 also allows 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 a model which includes 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 [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 [18] 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 South Korea using a type C power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in South Korea by using a 2 pinned Type C travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in South Korea; refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in South Korea. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in South Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Plug in the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. This wall supply (called a Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) can be identified by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the South Korean power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in South Korea.
How to use  hair straighteners in South Korea using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in South Korea using a type F power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power hair straighteners in South Korea by using a Type F power charger.

  1. Ensure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in South Korea; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in South Korea. This power adapter helps fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in South Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type F plug adapter in the wall outlet. This round wall supply, also called a Type F power outlet [5], can be recognised by the two 4.8mm round adjacent holes and grounding clips on the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the South Korean power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be used in South Korea.
How to use  hair straighteners in South Korea using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Korea - South Korean Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RNFY344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e3d3466bd15690b0f8d286099f4ac0f1 - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  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/typeF.htm - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type F 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. 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
  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. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.