How do I use a curling iron in Canada?

Canadian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Canada:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use an appropriate power adapter for Canada but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 120 volt Canadian power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Canada, so please check that your power converter [5] has a suitable power adapter for Canada otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your own domestic curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in transit.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 120 volts used in Canada you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Canada please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Canada

Will my curling iron work in Canada?

This depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 120 volts which are used in Canada:

How can I use my American curling iron in Canada?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Canada and provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Canadian power outlet.

Canada power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used with a Canadian power outlet?

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

What is the voltage in Canada?

The common residential voltage used in Canada is 120 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Canada?

Type A power outlet

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Canada?

The type of power outlet used in Canada is type A. You can identify this wall outlet by 2 adjacent slots. A suitable plug adapter to bring to use a 120 volt curling iron in Canada is a Type A power adapter [4] - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Canada. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your curling iron. This location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Canada with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [8] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline that is flying you to Canada will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [9] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around curling irons). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [10] as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Canada?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron instead of bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Canada as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Canadian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Canada.

Please note that packing your expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers in Canada. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Canada might outweigh the costs of buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your luggage it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [9] which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

Power converters for Canada

Can I use a voltage converter with a curling iron in Canada?

The correct model of voltage transformer [5] (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 120 volt power outlet used in Canada. Travellers who want to use their own domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it could be less expensive to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to buy a power converter. A power converter is substantially heavier and bulkier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for packing compared to a travel curling iron.

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?

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Canada, but a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] will convert the voltage of 120 volts from a Canadian power outlet to work with a non-120 volt curling iron.

How to use a curling iron in Canada using a type A power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a curling iron in Canada by using a 2 bladed Type A travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 120 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting for use in Canada, refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume that you're not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron can work with a 120 volt power outlet). So, if the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Canada you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [4]. The Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Canada simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by 2 slots.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Canadian power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron for use in Canada.
How to use a curling iron in Canada using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada - Wikipedia entry about Canada
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  4. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  5. 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
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.