How do I use hair straighteners in North Korea?

North Korean power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in North Korea?

Check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in North Korea:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you'll only need to bring the right power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit.

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 220 volt North Korean power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in North Korea, so please check that your voltage transformer includes a power adapter for North Korea otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Be aware that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in a suitcase. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 220 volts used in North Korea you run the potential risk of a blown fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your hair straighteners in North Korea read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in North Korea

Will my hair straighteners work in North Korea?

That depends on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 220 volt power outlets in North Korea. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can operate using 220 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use it in North Korea. If not then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read the guide on will a voltage converter work with domestic hair straighteners in North Korea for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [9] [AD]

North Korea power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in North Korea?

The voltage in North Korea is 220 volts.

What is the frequency used in North Korea?

The frequency from a North Korean power outlet is 60 Hz. [10]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in North Korea?

Type A, C and F power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in North Korea?

There are three types of power outlets used in North Korea, types F, A and C with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type A - This power socket (technically known as the type A power outlet) can be identified by two thin adjacent slots next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into.
  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (technically known as the Europlug) can be identified by two circular holes adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise the power outlet by two adjacent holes next to each other along with a pair of two thin metal grounding clips above and below.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use 220 volt hair straighteners in North Korea is a Type F power adapter; read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for North Korea. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also have to use a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

One way to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of the hair straighteners. This location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners can change automatically but other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 220 volts used in North Korea then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a North Korean 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 220 volts used in a North Korean power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in North Korea.
  • A larger range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in North Korea or any other country.
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Travelling to North Korea with hair straighteners

Is it safer to bring your domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to North Korea?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to North Korea as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with a North Korean power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for North Korea. Note that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in North Korea might outweigh the costs of purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] . If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slot them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [13] [14] [AD]

Can you bring hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you bring hair straighteners in your carry on luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to North Korea 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 by airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.    [12] [13] [15] [16] [AD]

Power converters for North Korea

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

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in North Korea. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it can be considerably cheaper to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. A power converter is considerably heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when travelling. [9] [AD]

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for North Korea?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a plug adapter for North Korea?

A heavy and bulky power converter transforms the voltage of 220 volts from a North Korean power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in North Korea. [9] [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 bag 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.    [13] [14] [17] [18] [19] [20] [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.
  [19] [21] [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 North Korea using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing you how to use your hair straighteners in North Korea with a two pin Type C travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in North Korea, please consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in North Korea doesn't take the plug on your hair straighteners you will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. This power adapter will convert plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it into the North Korean power outlet. This unearthed wall supply (sometimes known as the Type C power outlet [3]) can be identified by two round holes adjacent to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be used in North Korea.
How to use  hair straighteners in North Korea using a type C power adapter

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

Instructions showing how to power your hair straighteners in North Korea with a two prong Type F travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting for use in North Korea; consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in North Korea you will need to buy a Type F plug adapter [6]. The plug adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in North Korea simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type F plug adapter and inserting it into the North Korean power outlet. You can recognise the plug outlet by two adjacent holes next to each other and two thin metal grounding clips above and below.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. Your straighteners can now be used in North Korea.
How to use  hair straighteners in North Korea using a type F power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in North Korea using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing you how to use your hair straighteners in North Korea with a three blade Type A travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not continue as you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel hair straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure you have set it to the 220 volt setting for use in North Korea; refer to the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. Check that you don't already own hair straighteners 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 straighteners will work with a 220 volt power supply). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of plug outlet used in North Korea. This power adapter will help adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in North Korea by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Plug the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. This wall supply (technically known as the Type A power outlet [7]) can be identified by two thin slots next to each other where the two blades sit.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the North Korean power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be used in North Korea.
How to use  hair straighteners in North Korea using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - North Korean Wiki 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, costs under C$30.
  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 cost C$5-C$10.
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, priced at C$35-C$40.
  9. 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, estimated cost C$220-C$230.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, priced under C$50.
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced C$25-C$30.
  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, under C$15.
  15. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  16. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, costing C$80-C$90.
  17. 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, C$5-C$10.
  18. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, under C$20.
  19. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costing C$5-C$10.
  20. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant bag - Example of hair straighteners with a protective bag suitable for travel, C$80-C$90.
  21. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, costing C$20-C$25.