How do I use a hair dryer in America?

American power outlet

Can I use my hair dryer in America?

Check your hair dryer can handle the voltage in America:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair dryer and other applicances with an 120 volt American power outlet, however this is considerably heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel hair dryer. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit in the types of power outlet used in America, therefore check that the power converter [7] has an appropriate power adapter for America otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware your personal hair dryer might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle 120 volts you run the risk of a blown fuse, damage to your hair dryer or even an electrical fire hazard. Prior to using your hair dryer in America check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in America

Will my US hair dryer work in America?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader visiting America and will provide guidance for using your American hair dryer with an American power outlet.

Will my hair dryer work in America?

This will depend on if your hair dryer can handle the 120 volt power outlets used in America. If you're using either a dual voltage hair dryer or your hair dryer can operate using 120 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you'll be able to use the hair dryer in America. If not then then you will need to consider buying either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2], read the section on can you use a power converter to use your hair dryer in America for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Best travel hair dryers for America

Choosing the best travel hair dryer

Multiple speed options on a travel hair dryer

Choosing the best travel hair dryer

When choosing the best travel hair dryer look for a strong but lightweight dual voltage dryer that operates with an 120 volt American power outlet power outlet, has an ALCI safety plug, a long power cord and folding handle. If drying thicker hair look for a dryer with a stronger 1600+ watt motor and included diffuser.

What should I look for when purchasing a blow dryer?

  1. If you have thicker or curlier hair then you may need a blow dryer with a more powerful motor, a high wattage ceramic dryer that includes a diffuser will dry hair much faster to avoid damage.
  2. Safe travel hair dryers include ALCI safety plugs which will minimise the risk of overloading that could lead to fires - models can be recognised by the two test and reset buttons.
  3. Depending on the hotel room there could be a mirror installed away from the nearest power outlet which could make it difficult to dry hair, therefore search for a unit with the longest power cord available.
  4. Rather than looking for expensive 3rd party attachments it might be more convenient to buy a new hair dryer that includes a diffuser and concentrator from the manufacturer.
  5. Buying the cheapest dryer available might be risky - as well as issues with safety there is also a greater chance that the dryer could fail during your trip abroad due to a poor build.
  6. A hair dryer needs to support dual voltage in order to function in America.
  7. The best travel hair dryers let you to control the speed and temperature with two options; a slower speed with a lower temperature can prevent damage to hair whereas a faster hotter speed can quickly dry hair.
  8. Modern travel dryers could include a cool shot option for quickly cooling down the hair after drying to hold the style but this feature could be lacking in cheaper models.
  9. Look for lighter travel dryers which are durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, models with a handle which folds will mean more room to pack other items.
Which is a good folding dual voltage hair dryer for America?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer with attached concentrator

Which is a good folding dual voltage hair dryer for America?

  • Using a strong two speed 1875 watt motor and removable filter the Conair Compact Styler [9] includes cool shot that can will quickly cool down hair.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [8] also has cool shot, uses a ceramic tourmaline air outlet meaning faster and safer styling, two heat settings, a longer 1.8 metre power cord and also comes with a concentrator attachment.

Each model folds, has an ALCI safety plug which prevents overloading and has dual voltage making them ideal for visiting America in carry on luggage when plugged into a power adapter for an American power outlet.

Which is a good hair dryer for thick curly hair?

Thick hair will take much longer to dry and will be difficult to dry without hair going frizzy, the best option for thicker hair will be an ionic blow dryer and for curly thick hair we suggest a diffuser as both are able to dry and manage hair smoothly without frizz. Both an Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] or the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [10] are suitable because they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and bundled diffusers, avoid buying a hair dryer with a motor which is less powerful than 1600 watts as it will struggle to dry thicker hair.

What is a good travel ionic hair dryer with a diffuser attachment for America?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer

What is a good travel ionic hair dryer with a diffuser attachment for America?

  • The X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [10] is a 1600 watt travel hair dryer with a 1.65m electric power cable, it includes a tourmaline diffuser but doesn't have a cool shot button.
  • A Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] has a generous 1.82 metre power cable for more freedom when styling with an ALCI power plug and removable filter for cleaning. With a strong 1875 watt motor it also has a cool shot button making it suitable for styling thick hair.

Each ionic travel hair dryer includes a concentrator and diffuser with powerful motors to make them the most suitable hair dryers for thick hair. They are lightweight and fold up to fit into a carry-on bag and only require a suitable cheap power adapter for America to work with an American power outlet.

Which is the smallest dual voltage hair dryer for America?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium with folding handle and concentrator

Which is the smallest dual voltage hair dryer for America?

  • For quickly drying fine and thin hair on the go then a 1200 watt ceramic Conair MiniPRO [12] is the best value small ionic blowdryer available on the market.
  • For a folding hairdryer which is lightweight enough to carry in a purse then the 10.5oz BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [11] is recommend. With a removable filter and tourmaline outlet that emits infrared heat to protect from heat damage this dryer has options typically found with larger models.

Both mini hair dryers support dual voltage and when used along with a suitable power adapter for an American power outlet they will work in America and fold conveniently making them small enough to be carried for styling on the go. Both have a 1.5m electric power cable, a twin speed motor and include a concentrator.

Best travel hair dryers for 2018

What is the best travel blow dryer for America?

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 America 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

America power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in America?

Power outlets in America are 120 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in America?

The frequency of the current from an American power outlet is 60Hz.

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

Type A and B power outlets

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

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

  • Plug Type A - The plug socket, also called a type A power outlet, is recognised by 2 adjacent slots.
  • Plug Type B - The plug socket, technically called a type B power outlet, is recognised by the two slots parallel to each other where the twin plug socket blades go with a semicircular hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.

A growing number of hotels in America are upgrading their power outlets to include built in USB charging ports.

Dual voltage hair dryers

How do I switch a dual voltage travel hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have either a dial or switch which toggles between two voltages however some hair dryers can automatically detect the voltage used in America.
  2. The switch or dial needs 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 is worth noting down the 2 switch positions as the painted numbers can sometimes fade on certain models.
How can I tell if my hair dryer is dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair dryer

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

One way to tell if your hair dryer will handle a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug, base or handle of the hair dryer. This location will vary depending on the make or model of your hair dryer and should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other hair dryers will feature a switch which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are visiting.

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

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

  1. First check that you are using a dual voltage hair dryer and it will work with a 120 volt power socket.
  2. If your hair dryer supports dual voltage then make sure it is set to work in the 100-127v range. The switch is usually found on the base or handle of the blow dryer and may require a coin or screwdriver to switch.
  3. Plug your hair dryer into the power adapter for America and also plug in the power adapter into the American power outlet.
  4. The hair dryer is now ready to be used in America.
  5. It is common on travel hair dryers that came from a country that uses 220-240V to work slower than expected when used in a country which uses 100-127 volt electricity.

Travelling to America with a hair dryer

Can I take a hair dryer in my carry on to America?

Folding travel hair dryer with cord wrapped for carry on

Can I take a hair dryer in my carry on to America?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [15] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered hair dryer in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to America will allow a hair dryer onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the hair dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [16] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables tightly around electronic items). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair dryers in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [17] as this provides the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in America?

Hotel hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in America?

Depending on the hotel or bed and breakfast and class of the accommodation a hair dryer could be available in the hotel room, either packed in a bedroom cupboard, wardrobe or drawer, found on a bathroom wall unit or could potentially be a slower air hose type. In cheaper hotels, hostels and motels a communal hair dryer might be offered at reception but that could involve waiting in turn for other guests. If in doubt as to hotel hairdryer availability then either check on the hotel web site or telephone the hotel in America to find out if a suitable hairdryer available to guests. Hair dryers in hotels are usable but are typically basic models lacking a diffuser and notorious for slower air speeds and low heat. Those worried about hygiene should check for any burnt hair cuticles from other guests on a communal hair dryer as room service might not have removed this when cleaning the room.

For travellers who are uncertain that a suitable and germ-free hair dryer is available should put their mind at rest by bringing their own Dual voltage travel hair dryer [11] or phone their hotel in America to check beforehand.

Is it safe to bring a domestic hair dryer to America?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage travel hair dryer as opposed to bringing an existing domestic blow dryer to America (typically marked with 'For domestic use only') as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 120 volt power outlets used with an American power outlet (as long as you use the correct power adapter for America). Travel hair dryers normally feature a collapsing handle and are much lighter, this helps in reducing the size and weight in luggage compared to packing a domestic hair dryer.

Please be aware that bringing an expensive domestic blow dryer might put it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your suitcase by airport baggage handlers in America. The cost of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic hair dryer in America might be more than buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] and a suitable travel hair dryer case [16] .

Power converters for America

Do I need a voltage converter to use a normal hair dryer in America?

A power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow a hair dryer using a different voltage to work with the 120 volt power outlet used in America. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic hair dryer can use a power converter, but it might be less expensive to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a travel hair dryer can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suited for packing in luggage.

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter [7] transforms the voltage of 120 volts from an American power outlet to work with a non-120 volt hair dryer, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to slot into a power outlet in America.

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

Learn how to power a hair dryer in America with a three pin Type B power charger.

  1. Check that your blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 120 volt power supply but if not then do not continue as you might damage your hair dryer, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair dryer which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 120 volts to use in America; refer to the owners manual to find out 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 used in America. This Type B plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in America simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the American power outlet. You can recognise the power supply by two thin slots adjacent to each other where the short twin blades sit with a single hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. Plug in your hair dryer into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the American power outlet. You can now turn on the hair dryer to use in America.
How to use a hair dryer in America using a type B power adapter

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

How to use your hair dryer in America by using a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Check that your hair dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 120 volt power supply but if not then don't continue as you could blow a fuse, damage your hair dryer or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel hair dryer which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 120 volts, refer to the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. Check that you're not already using a hair dryer with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your hair dryer will work with a 120 volt power supply). You will need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet used in America won't take the plug shape on your hair dryer. This power adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet used in America simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair dryer to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to plug in the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify the plug outlet by 2 slots next to each other.
  4. Then plug in the hair dryer into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the American power outlet.
  6. The hair dryer can now be used in America.
How to use a hair dryer in America using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://www.visittheusa.co.uk/ - Visit The USA
  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. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  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.