How do I use a hair dryer in Panama?

Panamanian power outlet

Will my hair dryer work in Panama?

First check your hair dryer can work in Panama:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair dryer and other applicances with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel hair dryer. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit in the wall outlet used in Panama, so check that the power converter [7] has the right power adapter for Panama otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your own personal hair dryer might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit.

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

Using a hair dryer in Panama

How can I use my American hair dryer in Panama?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Panama and will provide guidance for using your American hair dryer with a Panamanian power outlet.

Will my hair dryer work in Panama?

It depends on if your hair dryer is designed to operate using the 120 volts used in Panama:

Best travel hair dryers for Panama

How to choose the best travel blow dryer for Panama

Multiple speed options on a travel hair dryer

How to choose the best travel blow dryer for Panama

When looking for the best hair dryer choose a strong but lightweight dual-voltage dryer which will work with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet power outlet, includes an ALCI safety plug, a long cord and a folding handle. If drying thick hair look for a model with a bundled diffuser that uses a higher 1600+ watt dryer.

Things to look for when purchasing a hair dryer

  1. Depending on the accommodation in Panama there could be a mirror positioned some distance away from a outlet which makes it hard to dry hair, therefore look for the longest power cord available.
  2. It could be cheaper purchasing a hair dryer which includes a diffuser and concentrator from the manufacturer instead of scouring stores to look for more expensive 3rd party attachments to fit the unique dryer barrel securely.
  3. Thicker or curlier hair could need a hair dryer with a more powerful motor. A high wattage ceramic model which has a diffuser will dry hair faster to avoid damage.
  4. The safest travel hair dryers will include an ALCI safety plug which minimises the danger of overloading that could lead to a fire, you can recognise these by test and reset switches.
  5. The best hair dryers will give control of the speed and temperature with two options, a faster hotter speed will dry thicker wet hair quicker and a slower speed with a lower temperature should prevent damage to hair.
  6. Don't be tempted to just buy the cheapest travel hair dryer available; as well as safety issues there is a greater chance that the dryer could fail during your trip abroad due to cheaper components.
  7. Look for a lightweight travel dryer which is durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, dryers with a folding handle will mean more room.
  8. To work with a 120 volt Panamanian power outlet a hair dryer needs to support dual voltage.
  9. A modern travel dryer could feature a 'cool shot' option for rapidly cooling down the hair after drying to hold the style but this feature lacks in more compact models.
Which is the best travel hair dryer with cool shot for Panama?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer

Which is the best travel hair dryer with cool shot for Panama?

  • With a strong two speed 1875 watt motor and removable filter the Conair Compact Styler [9] features a cool shot setting which can will quickly cool down hair.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [8] also features cool shot, a ceramic tourmaline air outlet meaning safer and quicker drying, 2 heat options, a longer 1.8m power cord and also comes with a concentrator.

Both models can fold, have an ALCI power plug which prevents overloading and has dual voltage making them perfect for visiting Panama in carry on luggage if used with a power adapter for a Panamanian power outlet.

Which is the best hair dryer for thick hair?

Thicker hair will take longer to dry and can be difficult to dry without hair turning frizzy. The best option is an ionic hair dryer, if the hair is curly we suggest a diffuser as both are able to dry and manage hair smoothly without frizz. Either an Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] or the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [10] are recommended because of their powerful motors, ionic outlets and bundled diffusers - avoid buying a hair dryer with a motor which is less powerful than 1600 watts as it will struggle to dry thicker hair.

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

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium with concentrator attachment

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

  • A Conair MiniPRO [12] is the cheapest small ionic hairdryer available on the market, this 1200 watt ceramic dryer is suited for quickly drying fine and thin hair whilst on the go.
  • For a blow dryer which is compact enough to carry in a purse then a 10.5oz BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [11] is recommend. With a removable filter and tourmaline outlet that can emit infrared heat for a shinier finish this dryer manages to include options normally reserved for bulkier blow dryers.

Both mini hair dryers are dual voltage when used with a suitable plug adapter for a Panamanian power outlet they should work in Panama folding conveniently enough to be carried around all day for styling on the go. Both have a two speed motor, have a 1.5 metre electric power cable and include a concentrator.

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

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with folding handle

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

  • The X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [10] is a 1600 watt travel hair dryer with a 1.65m power cord, it includes a tourmaline diffuser however lacks a cool shot option.
  • A Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] features a lengthy 1.82m electric power cord for greater freedom when drying with an ALCI power plug and removable filter to clean easily. It also has a powerful 1875 watt motor including a cool shot button making it more suited for styling thicker hair.

Both ionic travel hair dryers feature both diffuser and concentrator attachments with strong enough motors to make them the most suitable travel blow dryers for thick hair. They require a suitable power adapter for Panama to fit into a Panamanian power outlet, they are lightweight and will fold up to fit in carry-on luggage.

Best travel hair dryers for 2018

What is the best blow dryer to buy in 2018?

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 Panama 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

Panama power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Panama?

Power outlets in Panama are 120 volts.

What is the frequency used in a Panamanian power outlet?

The frequency from a Panamanian power outlet is 60Hz.

Which power adapter do you need when using a hair dryer in Panama?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need when using a hair dryer in Panama?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this power socket by the 2 thin adjacent slots next to each other where the twin blades go.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify this power socket by the 2 thin slots next to each other with a semicircular shaped hole below for the earthed pin.

A Type B power adapter [4] will allow you to use a 120 volt hair dryer in Panama, read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a hair dryer in Panama. 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 should I change the voltage on a dual voltage hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have some type of switch or dial which toggles between two voltages although some brands can automatically detect the voltage from a Panamanian power outlet.
  2. The switch or dial will typically require either a screwdriver or coin to set the hair dryer to the right voltage between the 220v-240v range or the 110v-120v range.
  3. Also, it's worth noting down the 2 switch positions as the painted numbers are prone to rubbing off on some models.
Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

Is my hair dryer dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair dryer supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or the plug of the hair dryer. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair dryer, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other hair dryers will have a button which allows you to change between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

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

How should I use a dual voltage blow dryer in Panama?

  1. Ensure that you are have a dual voltage hair dryer or that it will work with a 120 volt power socket.
  2. If your hair dryer is dual voltage then ensure that it is set to the 100-127V range. The switch is normally found on the base or handle of the blow dryer and requires a coin or screwdriver to turn.
  3. Plug the hair dryer into the correct power adapter for Panama and also plug in the power adapter into the Panamanian power outlet.
  4. The hair dryer can now be operated with a Panamanian power outlet.
  5. Expect travel hair dryer models that originated from a country that operates with 220-240V to blow slower than usual when in a country which uses 100-127 volt electricity.

Travelling to Panama with a hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Panama?

Hotel hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Panama?

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

When staying in budget motels, hostels and hotels a shared hair dryer could be offered at reception but that might involve waiting in turn for other guests. If in doubt about the hotel hairdryer policy you could either telephone your hotel in Panama or check on the booking web site to find out what is available for guests. Hair dryers in hotels are usable but are normally rudimentary models with no diffuser, notorious for slow air speeds and low heat. Those worried about hygiene might want to check for burnt hair from previous guests on a communal hair dryer as room service might not have scraped this off when cleaning the room.

For travellers who aren't sure that a suitable or clean hair dryer is readily available should put their mind at rest by bringing their own Dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or telephone the hotel in Panama to check first.

Can hair dryers go in your carry on luggage?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Can hair dryers go in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [15] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered hair dryer in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Panama will allow a hair dryer onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing your blow dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [16] 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 do intend to pack fragile or expensive hair dryers in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [17] as this offers the most protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Should you bring a travel hair dryer or domestic hair dryer to Panama?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage travel hair dryer rather than packing your existing domestic blow dryer to Panama (typically marked with 'For domestic use only') as it ensures that it will work with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Panamanian power outlet (as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Panama). Travel hair dryers typically feature a collapsing handle and will be much lighter which will help reduce the size and weight when packed in luggage compared to packing a domestic hair dryer.

Note 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 costs involved in repairing or replacing an expensive specialised domestic hair dryer in Panama could overshadow the cost of purchasing a cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] with a suitable travel hair dryer case [16] before travelling to bring along .

Power converters for Panama

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and heavy power converter [7] transforms the voltage of 120 volts from a Panamanian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt hair dryer, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit into a power outlet found in Panama.

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

A suitable voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow your hair dryer using a different voltage to operate using a 120 volt power outlet used in Panama. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic hair dryer can use a power converter, but it can be considerably less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel hair dryer can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suitable for travelling.

How to use a hair dryer in Panama using a type B power adapter

How to power a hair dryer in Panama with a 3 prong Type B travel charger.

  1. Check that the blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or works with a 120 volt power outlet - but if not then don't continue as you may blow a fuse, damage your hair dryer or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel blow dryers sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the hair dryer ensure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting; consult the manufacturers instructions to find out where the switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in Panama isn't the same shape as the plug of your hair dryer. The plug adapter will adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Panama 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 120 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type B plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by the 2 slots adjacent to each other where the short two blades go with a single semicircular hole below for the grounded pin.
  4. Plug in your hair dryer into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Panamanian power outlet. You can now turn on your hair dryer for use in Panama.
How to use a hair dryer in Panama using a type B power adapter

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

Learn how to power your hair dryer in Panama using a 2 blade Type A power charger.

  1. Check that the blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or works with a 120 volt power outlet; but if not then don't continue as you may 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 make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting; consult the manufacturers instructions to find out where the switch is found.
  2. These instructions assume 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 120 volt power outlet). So, if the plug shape on your hair dryer isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Panama you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [6]. This Type A plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Panama simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type A plug adapter in the Panamanian power outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by two thin slots parallel to each other.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Panamanian power outlet. Your hair dryer can now be switched on.
How to use a hair dryer in Panama using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama - wikipedia web page about Panama
  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/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. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - 10.5 ounce dual voltage travel blow dryer small enough to carry in a purse including concentrator
  12. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler - Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment.
  13. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  14. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  15. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20dryer - TSA guidelines for hair dryers
  16. Hard case for travel hair dryer - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a hair dryer safely during travel in luggage.
  17. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.