How do I use my hair straighteners in Italy?

Italian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Italy?

First check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Italy:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with an 230 volt Italian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of power outlet used in Italy, so please check that the power converter includes a suitable power adapter for Italy otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Note that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in transit. [9] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts used in Italy you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Italy check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Italy

Will my hair straighteners work in Italy?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to operate using the 230 volts as used in Italy:

Italy power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Italy?

The residential voltage in Italy is 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Italy?

The frequency in an Italian power outlet is 50Hz. [10]

Which plug adapter will you need for using  hair straighteners in Italy?

Type C, F and L power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need for using hair straighteners in Italy?

There are three types of power outlets used in Italy, these are type L, C and F with the primary power outlets being type L:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two round adjacent holes where the plug socket pins sit.
  • Plug Type F - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm apart from each other for live and neutral pins along with a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  • Plug Type L - The hexagon shaped power socket, technically called a type L power outlet, looks like 3 large adjecent holes in a line for live, neutral and earth. You'll find there are two different variations of Type L power socket rated for 10 and 16 amps. The 10 amp wall socket has 4mm thick pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart whilst a 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm thick pins spaced 8mm apart.

A recommended power adapter to bring for using 230 volt hair straighteners in Italy is a Type L plug adapter, read the step by step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Italy. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to bring a power converter.  [8] [11] [AD]

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?

The method to tell if your hair straighteners supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location will depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however other straighteners will have a button or switch which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Italy then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with an Italian power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in an Italian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Italy.
  • 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 Italy or any other country if these numbers are shown.
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Travelling to Italy with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Italy?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Italy as it is safer to assume that they will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with an Italian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Italy. Note that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by an airline baggage handler in Italy. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing or repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Italy might be more than buying cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, or use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.   [13] [14] [AD]

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Italy?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Italy?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Italy will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible by airport security, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.    [12] [13] [15] [16] [AD]

Power converters for Italy

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and expensive power converter will convert a 230 volt Italian power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Italy. [9] [AD]

Do I need a converter for Italy to use hair straighteners?

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Italy. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to bring their own hair straighteners, however it might be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. A power converter is also significantly bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for packing compared to travel hair straighteners. [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 end cap 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 Italy using a type C power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Italy with a 2 pronged Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if it doesn't then don't continue because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in Italy, consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Italy you'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Italy by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type C plug adapter into the power outlet. This unearthed plug supply (sometimes called the Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) is identified by the 2 round holes next to each other.
  4. Then plug in the hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Italian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your straighteners in Italy.
How to use  hair straighteners in Italy using a type C power adapter

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

How to power your hair straighteners in Italy with a 2 pronged Type F power adapter.

  1. Check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then do not attempt these instructions as you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, please consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in Italy won't accomodate the plug shape on your hair straighteners you will need to use a Type F plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Italy simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type F plug adapter into the Italian power outlet. This sunken circular power outlet, also known as a Type F power outlet [5] or Schuko plug, can be identified by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm next to each other along with two metal grounding clips above and below.
  4. After that plug in your hair straighteners into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Italian power outlet.
  6. The straighteners are now ready to be turned on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Italy using a type F power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Italy using a type L power adapter

Instructions showing how to use hair straighteners in Italy using a Type L travel adapter.

  1. Check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't continue because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Some travel hair straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Italy - consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Italy you'll need to bring a Type L plug adapter [8]. This plug adapter will help fit plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet used in Italy by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type L plug adapter into the power outlet. The hexagon shaped wall outlet, sometimes known as the Type L power outlet [7], looks like 3 large adjecent holes in a line for live, neutral and earth. You'll find there are two different variations of Type L power outlet rated for 10 and 16 amps. The 10 amp wall outlet has 4mm thick pins that are spaced 5.5mm apart whilst a 16 amp version has slightly larger 5mm thick pins spaced 8mm apart.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type L plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Italian power outlet. You can now turn on your straighteners in Italy.
How to use  hair straighteners in Italy using a type L power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org web page about Italy
  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, under C$15.
  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, under C$20.
  7. iec.ch - Type L power outlet
  8. Type L plug adapter - Earthed Italian Type L plug adapters comprise of three pins placed in parallel, each rounded pin is either 4mm thick with 5.5mm gaps or 5mm thick with 8mm gaps depending on 10 or 16 amp version, under C$10.
  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, under C$140.
  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, under C$40.
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, C$20-C$25.
  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, costing around C$25.
  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, priced at C$70-C$80.
  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, priced around C$5.
  18. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, estimated cost under C$10.
  19. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under C$20.
  20. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated price 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, costs under C$20.