How do I use a hair dryer in Japan?

Japanese power outlet

Will my hair dryer work in Japan?

Check your hair dryer can work in Japan:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair dryer and other applicances with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet, however this is substantially heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel hair dryer. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit in the power outlet used in Japan, therefore check that your power converter [7] has an appropriate power adapter for Japan otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Be aware that your own domestic hair dryer might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle the 100 volts used in Japan you run the potential risk of damage to your hair dryer, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your hair dryer in Japan please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in Japan

Can I use my American hair dryer in Japan?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Japan and provide guidance for using your US hair dryer with a Japanese power outlet.

Will my hair dryer work in Japan?

This will depend on if your hair dryer can operate using the 100 volts as used in Japan:

Best travel hair dryers for Japan

Choosing the best hair dryer

A hair dryer cool shot button

Choosing the best hair dryer

When looking for the best travel hair dryer choose a sturdy but light dual voltage model which will work with a 100 volt Japanese power outlet power outlet, has a folding handle, long cord and a safety plug. When drying thick hair buy a model with a diffuser that uses a stronger 1600+ watt motor.

9 things to consider when buying a blow dryer

  1. Buying the cheapest dryer available might be risky, as well as safety issues there is a greater risk that the dryer could break during your trip abroad due to a flimsy construction.
  2. Safe travel hair dryers will include an ALCI safety plug which reduces the risk of the motor overloading leading to starting a fire, these can be recognised by the 2 reset and test buttons on the plug.
  3. Curlier or thicker hair might need a hair dryer which has a more powerful motor - a higher wattage ceramic model that has a diffuser will dry hair faster, thereby preventing damage.
  4. To operate in Japan a travel hair dryer has to support dual voltage.
  5. Modern travel dryers could include a cool shot option for rapidly cooling hair down after drying to hold a style but this option lacks in cheaper models.
  6. Some hotel rooms in Japan might have a fixed mirror positioned away from a convenient outlet making it difficult to style hair, therefore search for a model with the longest power cord available or use either a pocket mirror or extension cord.
  7. It could be cheaper and more convenient to buy a new dryer that includes a diffuser and concentrator from the manufacturer rather than scouring shops to look for expensive 3rd party attachments to fit the dryer barrel size perfectly.
  8. Look for lighter travel dryers which are durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, dryers which have a folding handle mean more space.
  9. The best travel hair dryers give control of the speed and temperature settings with high and low options, hotter faster speeds can quickly dry hair and a slower speed with a lower temperature will prevent damage to hair.
What is a good dual voltage hair dryer with a diffuser attachment?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with bundled diffuser

What is a good dual voltage hair dryer with a diffuser attachment?

  • A X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [8] has a 1600 watt motor with a 1.65 metre power cord, it comes with a tourmaline diffuser however doesn't have cool shot.
  • The Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] features a lengthy 1.82m electric power cable for more flexibility when styling with an ALCI power plug and removable filter for cleaning. It utilises a powerful 1875 watt motor including a cool shot option making it perfect for drying thicker hair.

Each ionic hair dryer features both diffuser and concentrator attachments with strong motors to make them the most suitable hair dryers for thick hair. Each dryer is light and folds up to fit into carry-on baggage and only require a plug adapter for Japan to fit into a Japanese power outlet.

Which is a good folding travel hair dryer for Japan?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer

Which is a good folding travel hair dryer for Japan?

  • A Conair Compact Styler [10] uses a powerful 2 speed 1875 watt motor, removable filter and features a cool shot setting which can be used to rapidly cool down hair.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [9] also has a cool shot setting, uses a ceramic tourmaline air outlet meaning faster styling, two heat options, a longer 1.8m power cord and includes a concentrator.

Both models can fold, include an ALCI plug to prevent overloading and has dual voltage making both perfect for visiting Japan in carry on luggage when plugged into a power adapter for a Japanese power outlet.

Which is a good blow dryer for thick curly hair?

Thick hair takes longer to dry and can be difficult to do so without your hair turning frizzy, so the best option is an ionic blow dryer, if the hair is curly use a diffuser as both are suitable to dry and manage hair smoothly. Either an Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] or the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [8] are suitable as they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and included diffusers, avoid buying a hair dryer with a motor that is less powerful than 1600 watts as it will struggle to dry thicker hair.

Which is the smallest dual voltage hair dryer for Japan?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium

Which is the smallest dual voltage hair dryer for Japan?

  • If you want to dry fine and thin hair whilst on the go the 1200 watt ceramic Conair MiniPRO [12] is the best value small ionic blowdryer available on the market.
  • The BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [11] is both small and lightweight enough to carry in a handbag because of the 10.5oz body with folding handle that also includes features reserved for larger dryers including a tourmaline outlet which can emit infrared heat to protect against heat damage during styling resulting in a glossier finish.

Both of these are dual voltage mini hair dryers when used with a suitable plug adapter for a Japanese power outlet they should work in Japan and fold conveniently making them small enough to be carried for styling on the go. Both are twin speed, have a 1.5m electric power cable and include a concentrator.

Best travel hair dryers for 2018

What is the best travel hair dryer for Japan?

Conair
MiniPRO
Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment
BaByliss
PRO
https://www.amazon.ca/BaBylissPRO-Bambino-Titanium-Travel-Dryer/dp/B00G6K4Q2G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=luxury-beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1526763008&sr=8-4&keywords=BaBylissPRO+Tourmaline+Titanium+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=72e11c75afb6439cf02b232579a5f2b0
Conair
Compact
https://www.amazon.ca/Conair-Compact-Folding-Handle-Voltage/dp/B01KXNCTA2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1519921295&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=Conair+1875+Watt+Compact+Hair+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=51431d36fc488ca4d8a48ab1f4ffe61f
Berta
Folding
https://www.amazon.ca/Berta-Negative-Folding-Voltage-100-240V/dp/B015MI8CE0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1519920710&sr=1-3-fkmr0&keywords=erta+1875W+Folding+Hair+Dryer+Dual+Voltage+Blow+dryer+Negative+Ions+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=3dc0e1fbd88d50b389612b2d9b3c34aa
X5
Superlite
https://www.amazon.ca/Travel-dryer-1600w-dual-voltage-Count/dp/B001FSK70Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1519941997&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=X5+Superlite+1600W+Dual+Voltage+Ceramic-Ionic+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=6fafe5e0fa9b14128840bf0cecfa35a7
Hot Tools
1044
https://www.amazon.ca/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1519989887&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=d22904e808073d320ddc26958cd3bab5
Class Mini Compact Compact with diffuser
Works in Japan 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

Japan power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Japan?

Power outlets in Japan are 100 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in Japan?

The frequency from a Japanese power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which power adapter do you need to use a hair dryer in Japan?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to use a hair dryer in Japan?

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

  • Plug Type A - This unearthed wall outlet, technically known as a type A power outlet, can be identified by 2 slots next to each other where the twin plug socket pins go.
  • Plug Type B - The power outlet, also called a type B power outlet, is recognised by two thin slots parallel to each other with a semicircle shaped hole below for the ground pin.

A recommended travel adapter to bring when using a 100 volt hair dryer in Japan is a Type B power adapter [4] - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Japan. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage hair dryer you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage hair dryers

How can I tell if my hair dryer is dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if my hair dryer is dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair dryer supports a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or plug. The location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair dryer, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other hair dryers will feature a button or switch which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are in.

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

How should I use a dual voltage hair dryer in Japan?

  1. Check that you are using a dual voltage hair dryer or that it will operate with a 100 volt power socket.
  2. If the dryer is dual voltage please ensure that it is switched to work in the 100-127 volt range. This is normally found on the base or handle of the hair dryer and requires a coin or screwdriver to switch.
  3. Plug your dryer into the power adapter for Japan and also plug in the power adapter into the Japanese power outlet.
  4. The hair dryer can now be used in Japan.
  5. Expect travel hair dryers which were purchased in a country that operates with 220-240 volts to blow slower when used in a country which uses 100-127V electricity.

How do I switch a travel hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have either a dial or switch which selects between 2 types of voltages although some models are capable of automatically detecting the voltage used in Japan.
  2. This dial or switch typically requires either a small coin or screwdriver to set the dryer to the right voltage between a 110v-120v range or a 220v-240v range.
  3. Also, it's worth making a note of the two switch positions because the painted numbers are prone to rubbing off on some models of dryer.

Travelling to Japan with a hair dryer

Can I carry on a hair dryer to Japan in my hand luggage?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Can I carry on a hair dryer to Japan in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [15] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered blow dryer in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to Japan will allow hair dryers 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 for airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around blow dryers). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair dryers in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [17] as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Japan?

Hotel hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Japan?

Depending on the individual hotel or bed and breakfast and class of the accommodation a hair dryer might be available in the room, either packed in a bedroom wardrobe, cupboard or drawer, found attached to a bathroom wall unit or could potentially be a slower air hose type. When staying in cheaper hotels, hostels and motels a shared hair dryer could be offered at reception, however that might involve waiting in turn for other guests. If you are uncertain about the hotel hairdryer policy you can either call ahead to your hotel in Japan or check on the hotel web site to find out what type of hairdryer is available to guests. Hair dryers in hotels are usable but are typically basic models lacking a diffuser and notorious for slow air speeds and low heat. For those concerned with hygiene should remove grime from previous guests on a shared hair dryer as the hotel room service might not have scraped this off when cleaning the room.

Remember, if in doubt either call ahead to your hotel in Japan or use a suitable dual voltage travel hair dryer [2].

Is it better to bring a travel hair dryer or domestic blow dryer to Japan?

Packing a dual voltage travel hair dryer is preferable to packing an existing blow dryer to Japan as it ensures that it will work with the 100 volt power outlets used with a Japanese power outlet (as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Japan). Travel hair dryers normally feature a collapsing handle and are much lighter, this helps reduce the size and weight when packed in luggage compared to packing a domestic blow dryer. Please note that packing your expensive domestic hair dryer could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airline baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive quality domestic hair dryer in Japan might be more than purchasing a much cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] with a suitable travel hair dryer case [16] .

Power converters for Japan

Can I use a power converter to use a hair dryer in Japan?

The correct type power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows your hair dryer using a different voltage to operate with the 100 volt power outlet used in Japan. A power converter is more suited for travellers who want to bring their existing hair dryer, but it might be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2]. A power converter is also substantially bulkier and heavier than a travel hair dryer making a power converter less suitable for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit into a power outlet found in Japan, but a heavier and more expensive power converter [7] transforms a 100 volt Japanese power outlet to work with a non-100 volt hair dryer.

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

Simple instructions showing how to use your hair dryer in Japan with a three pinned Type B power charger.

  1. Check that the blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 100 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair dryer or blow a fuse. Travel hair dryers usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the hair dryer make sure you have set it to the 100 volt setting for use in Japan; consult the owners manual for more information on where this switch is located.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your hair dryer isn't the same type of power outlet which is used in Japan. This power adapter will help adapt different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet in Japan by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 100 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type B plug adapter into the wall outlet. You can recognise the power supply by two thin slots next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet blades go with a hole below for the slightly longer earth pin.
  4. Plug in your hair dryer into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Japanese power outlet.
  6. The hair dryer can now be used in Japan.
How to use a hair dryer in Japan using a type B power adapter

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

The WikiConnections page on how to power a hair dryer in Japan by using a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Check that your blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 100 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair dryer or blow a fuse. Some travel blow dryers might typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the hair dryer make sure you have set it to accept 100 volts for use in Japan; refer to the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. Please check that you are not already using a hair dryer with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but still check that your hair dryer can work with a 100 volt power outlet). So, if the plug on your hair dryer isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Japan you will need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6]. The plug adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet used in Japan by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair dryer to work with a 100 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the Japanese power outlet. This wall supply, sometimes called the Type A power outlet [5], can be identified by 2 slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Next plug in the hair dryer into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Japanese power outlet. You can now switch on your blow dryer in Japan.
How to use a hair dryer in Japan using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://www.japan.travel/en/ - Japan National Tourism Organization Web Site
  2. https://www.amazon.ca/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1519989887&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=d22904e808073d320ddc26958cd3bab5 - 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. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  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.