Using your hair straighteners in Spain

Spanish power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Spain?

First check your hair straighteners can work in Spain:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Spanish power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Spain, so check that your voltage transformer comes with a suitable power adapter for Spain otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Note - your own personal hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your hair straighteners in Spain check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Spain

Will my hair straighteners work in Spain?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 230 volts as used in Spain:

Can I use my US hair straighteners in Spain?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader visiting Spain and will provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Spanish power outlet.

Spain power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in a Spanish power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Spanish power outlet is 50 Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Spain?

The common residential voltage in Spain is 230 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need when using  hair straighteners in Spain?

Type C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need when using hair straighteners in Spain?

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

  • Plug Type C - You can identify the power outlet by the 2 circular holes next to each other where the twin pins go.
  • Plug Type F - You can identify the power outlet by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other and a pair of two metal grounding clips on the top and bottom.

A recommended power adapter to bring to use 230 volt hair straighteners in Spain is a Type F plug adapter [6]; read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in Spain with a plug adapter. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to use a voltage converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

Single voltage hair straighteners

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

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners will accept a dual voltage power outlet 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 might change automatically, however other straighteners will have a button which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Spain then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Spanish 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 230 volts used in a Spanish power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Spain.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Spain or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Spain with hair straighteners

Can hair straighteners go in hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [10] there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Spain will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing your 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 should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cords tightly around hair straighteners). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage [13] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Spain?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Spain as it is safer to assume that they will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Spanish power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Spain.

It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airport baggage handlers. The costs involved in replacing or repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Spain could outweigh the cost of purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your luggage either slide them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof 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 right after use without waiting to cool down.

Power converters for Spain

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Spain, however a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] transforms the voltage of 230 volts from a Spanish power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners.

Will a power converter work with a normal hair straighteners in Spain?

A suitable voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Spain. Travellers who wish to bring along their own hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it might be cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also significantly heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing in luggage.

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 Spain using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Spain using a Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply; but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Spain - refer to the manufacturers instructions to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Spain you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Spain 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 C plug adapter into the power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by the two round holes next to each other.
  4. After that plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Spanish power outlet. The straighteners are now ready for use.
How to use  hair straighteners in Spain using a type C power adapter

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

Learn how to use hair straighteners in Spain with a Type F travel adapter.

  1. Check that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply; if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting to use in Spain, please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Spain you will need to use a Type F plug adapter [6]. This Type F plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Spain 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 F plug adapter into the Spanish power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by two large adjacent holes next to each other for live and neutral and a pair of metal grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Spanish power outlet.
  6. The hair straighteners can now be used in Spain.
How to use  hair straighteners in Spain using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spain - Spain entry on wikipedia
  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/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. 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.