Using hair straighteners in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Sri Lanka?

Check that your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Sri Lanka:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Sri Lankan power outlet, however this is substantially heavier, bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Sri Lanka, so please check that your power converter includes a power adapter for Sri Lanka otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your existing hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your luggage. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts used in Sri Lanka you run the potential risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Sri Lanka please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Sri Lanka

Will my hair straighteners work in Sri Lanka?

That depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 230 volts used in Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Sri Lanka?

The normal residential voltage used in Sri Lanka is 230 volts.

What is the frequency used in Sri Lanka?

The frequency of the current used in a Sri Lankan power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

Which plug adapter do you need when using  hair straighteners in Sri Lanka?

Type D, G and M power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need when using hair straighteners in Sri Lanka?

There are three types of power outlets used in Sri Lanka, types G, D and M with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - This power socket (called a type D power outlet) can be identified by the three round holes forming a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  • Plug Type G - The power outlet, also called a type G power outlet, looks like 3 holes containing plastic shutters in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  • Plug Type M - You can identify the plug socket by the 3 circular holes forming a triangular pattern.

A recommended travel adapter to bring for using 230 volt hair straighteners in Sri Lanka is a Type G power adapter - read the simple instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Sri Lanka with a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

The way to tell if your hair straighteners can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of the hair straighteners. This location might depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners and could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to toggle 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 230 volts used in Sri Lanka then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Sri Lankan 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 Sri Lankan power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Sri Lanka.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Sri Lanka or any other country if these numbers are shown.
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Travelling to Sri Lanka with hair straighteners

Can you pack hair straighteners in your hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you pack hair straighteners in your hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline which is flying you to Sri Lanka will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your 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 suggests wrapping cords tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.    [12] [13] [14] [15] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Sri Lanka?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Sri Lanka as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Sri Lankan power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Sri Lanka. Be aware that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by airline baggage handlers. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Sri Lanka might be more than buying much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, or use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which also allows the hair straighteners to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.   [14] [16] [AD]

Power converters for Sri Lanka

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Sri Lanka, whereas an expensive and bulkier power converter will convert a 230 volt Sri Lankan power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [9] [AD]

Do you need a power converter to use your hair straighteners in Sri Lanka?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Sri Lanka. Travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it can be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. In addition, travel hair straighteners can be noticeably smaller than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when packing. [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.    [14] [16] [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 Sri Lanka using a type D power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Sri Lanka with a three pin Type D power charger.

  1. Ensure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed as you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Sri Lanka, please consult the manufacturers instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type D plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Sri Lanka. The Type D plug adapter will help convert plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet used in Sri Lanka by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type D plug adapter in the Sri Lankan power outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by 3 circular holes forming a triangular pattern.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your straighteners to use in Sri Lanka.
How to use  hair straighteners in Sri Lanka using a type D power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Sri Lanka using a type G power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing how to power your hair straighteners in Sri Lanka with a three pinned Type G power charger.

  1. Ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not continue as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Sri Lanka you'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [6]. The power adapter will fit different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in Sri Lanka by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type G plug adapter and plugging it into the Sri Lankan power outlet. This wall supply (sometimes called a Type G power outlet [5]) can be identified by the three vertical rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangular shape.
  4. Then plug in the hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. Your straighteners can now be used in Sri Lanka.
How to use  hair straighteners in Sri Lanka using a type G power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Sri Lanka using a type M power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Sri Lanka with a three pin Type M travel charger.

  1. Please make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Dual voltage straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Sri Lanka; consult the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type M plug adapter [8] if the type of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of power outlet used in Sri Lanka. This Type M plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with a power outlet used in Sri Lanka 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 230 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to plug in the Type M plug adapter into the wall outlet. This plug outlet, technically called a Type M power outlet [7], looks like 3 holes in a triangular pattern.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type M plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sri Lankan power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the straighteners for use in Sri Lanka.
How to use  hair straighteners in Sri Lanka using a type M power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org page about Sri Lanka
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, estimated price under C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, under C$10.
  7. iec.ch - Type M power outlet
  8. Type M plug adapter - South African Type M power adapters have three large circular pins in a triangular shape with the top earthed pin longer and larger in diameter, priced under C$15.
  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, 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 at C$45-C$50.
  13. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  14. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, C$25-C$30.
  15. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, C$80-C$90.
  16. 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, priced at around C$10.
  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, under C$10.
  18. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, costs around C$15.
  19. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, C$5-C$10.
  20. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant bag - Example of hair straighteners with a protective bag suitable for travel, under 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, estimated cost around C$20.