Which plug adapter do you need to bring for using hair straighteners in New Zealand?

New Zealand power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in New Zealand?

First check that your hair straighteners can work in New Zealand:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt New Zealand power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in New Zealand, so please check that the voltage transformer has an appropriate power adapter for New Zealand otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in a suitcase. [5]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts you run a risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before using your hair straighteners in New Zealand please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in New Zealand

Will my hair straighteners work in New Zealand?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 230 volt power outlets in New Zealand. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you'll be able to use the hair straighteners in New Zealand. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Read our guide on do you need a voltage converter to use your domestic hair straighteners for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5]

New Zealand power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in New Zealand?

The frequency of the current found in a New Zealand power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

What is the voltage in New Zealand?

The common voltage in New Zealand is 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to bring to use  hair straighteners in New Zealand?

Type I power outlet

Which power adapter will you need to bring to use hair straighteners in New Zealand?

Type I power outlets are used in New Zealand. You can identify this power socket by the 3 thin slots for the live, neutral and ground blades. A recommended travel adapter to bring for using 230 volt hair straighteners in New Zealand is a Type I power adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in New Zealand with a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners will handle dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a switch which allows you to change 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 New Zealand then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a New Zealand 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 a New Zealand power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in New Zealand.
  • Dual voltage will say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in New Zealand or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [2]

Travelling to New Zealand with hair straighteners

Can you take hair straighteners in your hand luggage to New Zealand?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you take hair straighteners in your hand luggage to New Zealand?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to New Zealand 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 for airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables 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 use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.    [2] [8] [9] [10]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to New Zealand?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to packing your existing hair straighteners as it is safer to assume that they will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a New Zealand power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for New Zealand. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by an airport baggage handler in New Zealand. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in New Zealand might overshadow the cost of purchasing cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively 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 transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [9] [11]

Power converters for New Zealand

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for New Zealand?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for New Zealand?

A heavy and expensive power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a New Zealand power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in New Zealand. [5]

Can you use hair straighteners with a power converter in New Zealand?

The correct power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in New Zealand. Travellers wishing to use their existing hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it can be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. A power converter is significantly heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for packing. [5]

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.    [9] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]
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.
  [14] [16]

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 New Zealand using a type I power adapter

Instructions on how to power your hair straighteners in New Zealand using a 3 pin Type I power charger.

  1. Make sure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts to use in New Zealand; please consult the instructions to find out where this switch is located.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in New Zealand you will need to use a Type I plug adapter [4]. The power adapter will help adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in New Zealand 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 230 volt outlet.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type I plug adapter in the New Zealand power outlet. You can identify this power outlet by three thin slots for the live, neutral and ground blades.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the New Zealand power outlet. Your straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in New Zealand using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org page about New Zealand
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, priced at under C$5.
  5. 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$70.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated cost under C$25.
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price under C$10.
  11. 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$20.
  12. 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 at around C$5.
  13. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, under C$40.
  14. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under C$5.
  15. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated price under C$60.
  16. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, under C$15.