Which plug adapter will you need when using hair straighteners in Bulgaria?

Bulgarian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Bulgaria?

First check that your hair straighteners can work in Bulgaria:

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Bulgarian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of power outlet used in Bulgaria, so check that the power converter includes the right power adapter for Bulgaria otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in your suitcase. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts used in Bulgaria you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair straighteners. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Bulgaria please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Bulgaria

Will my hair straighteners work in Bulgaria?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners can handle the 230 volts used in Bulgaria:

Bulgaria power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in a Bulgarian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Bulgarian power outlet is 50Hz. [8]

What is the mains voltage in Bulgaria?

Power outlets in Bulgaria are 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need when using  hair straighteners in Bulgaria?

Type C and F power outlets

Which power adapter will you need when using hair straighteners in Bulgaria?

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

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded plug socket (known as a Europlug) is identified by the 2 circular adjacent holes where the twin pins go.
  • Plug Type F - The circular power outlet, technically called a Schuko plug, can be identified by the two round adjacent holes where the live and neutral pins go, plus thin grounding clips above and below.

A Type F power adapter allows you to use 230 volt hair straighteners in Bulgaria; read the step by step instructions below for full details of using a travel adapter for Bulgaria. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to bring a power converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your hair straighteners. This location will depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners can change automatically, however other straighteners will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltages depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Bulgaria then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Bulgarian 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 230 volts used in a Bulgarian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Bulgaria.
  • A large range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Bulgaria or any other country.
 [10] [AD]

Travelling to Bulgaria with hair straighteners

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that your airline who is taking you to Bulgaria will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping wires tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Should you bring your travel hair straighteners or domestic hair straighteners to Bulgaria?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they'll work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Bulgarian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for Bulgaria. Note that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler in Bulgaria. The cost of repairing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in Bulgaria might be more than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to bring along your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase either slot them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which also allows the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Bulgaria

Do I need a voltage converter in Bulgaria to use my hair straighteners?

The correct type power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Bulgaria. Travellers wishing to use their existing domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it could be considerably less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for packing. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Bulgaria, but a heavy and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Bulgarian power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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 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 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 or use a hot tools travel case 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 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 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 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.    [12] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [AD]
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 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 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.
  [17] [19] [AD]

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 Bulgaria using a type C power adapter

A page showing how to power your hair straighteners in Bulgaria with a two prong Type C power adapter.

  1. Please check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Dual voltage hair straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts for use in Bulgaria - consult the manufacturers instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Bulgaria you'll need to buy a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in an electrical outlet used in Bulgaria by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by inserting the Type C plug adapter into the Bulgarian power outlet. You can identify the plug supply by the 2 circular holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins go.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bulgarian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the straighteners to use in Bulgaria.
How to use  hair straighteners in Bulgaria using a type C power adapter

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

How to power your hair straighteners in Bulgaria by using a two prong Type F power adapter.

  1. Please check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Travel straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your hair straighteners ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts, consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Bulgaria you'll need to bring a Type F plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Bulgaria by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Plug the Type F plug adapter into the Bulgarian power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the two large holes 19 mm next to each other and a pair of metal grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Bulgarian power outlet.
  6. The straighteners are now ready for use.
How to use  hair straighteners in Bulgaria using a type F power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Bulgarian Wikipedia web page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, under $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$10-C$15).
  5. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  6. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, estimated price between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$20).
  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, around $110 USD (£130-£140 GBP / C$130-C$140).
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, between $60 to $70 USD (£25-£30 GBP / under C$40).
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$25).
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost under $60 USD (£40-£45 GBP / C$70-C$80).
  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, around $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$25-C$30).
  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, priced at between $4 to $5 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$5).
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, priced at between $10 to $15 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$10).
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costing between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$20).
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, between $230 to $240 USD (under £150 GBP / under C$90).
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, between $5 to $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / under C$20).