#1 7-21-2009 1:26 PM

shrutebucks
Toronto, Canada
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Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

Hey guys, I'm going to Europe - Berlin and Prague for 12 days this Thurs. I tried to buy a power converter (I am in Toronto, Canada) and the salesman asked what I needed it for...I said blow dryer and hair straightener, and he said not to buy that converter, as it is not designed to handle heat-producing devices.

Has anyone used a converter successfully with their straightener? If so, what brand?

Has anyone found that hostels provide power converters?

Let me know your experiences...thanks smile

 

#2 7-21-2009 1:39 PM

shrutebucks
Toronto, Canada
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

haha ok...my straightener is really old so i don't care about it too much...just need it for this trip and then i can get a new one. shopper's drug mart has the big ones for 30$ with different continents and stuff...is that the one your friend got?

 

#3 7-21-2009 3:17 PM

jockchristie
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

Given my current haircut... I'm no expert on hair products, but I'm a bit of a nerd. Basically if your dryer/straighteners are dual voltage, all you need is a plug socket converter. It will probably state the input voltage requirement on the product, it will say 110v - 240v is its dual, it will probably also show the power consumption in watts.

If its not dual voltage then you need a 240v step down converter, these are pretty cheap if you want a small one but the small ones are only capable of outputting around 100Watts, e.g a cheap set of straighteners like Ivana said. Expensive straighteners (especially turbo start ones) will usually draw more than this so they will probably melt a cheap converter. Blow dryers can consume over 2000 Watts, to safely step down the voltage and output that amount of power, you'd need a massive step down converter, the size and weight of a house brick.

I'd check your straighteners and see if they say the power consumption on them, then see if you can get a suitable step down converter.  I'd forget the hair dryer and try and pick up a cheap one over here or borrow one from someone in your hostel. I'd imagine if you were in a female dorm it would be like a salon :p

 

#4 7-21-2009 4:28 PM

maryta
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

What is the safety range imprinted on your device?  The range is usually 110V to 220 V.  All you need is an European adapter plug (around $2 or less).  I've used my flat iron with only the adapter in Italy and it is safe.  Just as long as your device state the safety range then check the voltage supplied for the country you're in, then everything should be fine.  Don't waste your money on converters.

 

#5 7-21-2009 4:47 PM

poohstanggt
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

I'm certainly no expert on the voltage converter stuff but I blew 3 of them while traveling Europe last year. LOL I finally ended up buying a hair straightener there so I didn't have to worry about it anymore.  I had brought a mid range priced one with me from the US and it worked fine for about a day - it was the hair straightener that blew it.  I used my BF's and it worked fine for all my stuff (he got it years ago from Brookstone in the US) but my friend went to use it with her blow dryer and it fried instantly. 

We ended up trying to find another one in Strasbourg France when we arrived down there, making sure it was compatible with my straightener and it blew before I even finished one side of my hair! LOL.  Fortunately the store accepted it on return 1/2 hour later! 

We were in a nice hotel and they did not even have adapters/converters available.  I've found that several times while traveling abroad so I always bring stuff in case.  It might be cheaper to just buy a straightener abroad (mine was $60 which was less than one of the blown converters!).

 

#6 7-21-2009 6:22 PM

amy
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Perth, Australia
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

At times like this I'm glad my hair is naturally straight.

 

#7 7-21-2009 7:15 PM

ladysith
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

LOL i always carry a hair dryer and a hair straightener... next time I travel, I'm going to get my hair rebonded (chemical straightened) so I won't have to carry anything anymore.

=p

 

#8 7-21-2009 8:36 PM

hancock826
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

Honestly, I would go to the store when you arrive in Germany and just buy one there.  Then you don't have to worry if your own is an expensive one.  My last trip my friend that lives in Italy brought hers so I could use it, but my sister brought hers and it blew out.  My friend from Italy had a 30 Euro Vidal Sassoon that worked fantastic.

 

#9 7-21-2009 10:08 PM

amy
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

laughingBoy wrote:

come on...who needs hair straighteners...go for the funky frizzy holiday look...its all the go tongue

Jeremy, for a lot of girls this is basically just as bad as asking them to go naked in public.

I may have straight hair but I at least have empathy. tongue

 

#10 7-22-2009 4:35 AM

almond72
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

It's the power required that kills most of the auto converters. Check the Power Rating = XXX watts.
Handphone = 20W approx.
Shaver = 60W or less
hair dryer = 500W or more ? this will kill most of your converter devices except pretty big ones.
Buy the appliance local to the area. Does mainland Europe share the same voltage & cycle ?
big_smile

 

#11 7-22-2009 5:22 AM

mdanelaite
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Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

curls rock!

 

#12 7-22-2009 5:44 AM

ratu
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

500w air dryer? 2000w!!

Every converter will die!

In each hotel you have your own dryer

Or just buy a dual 220/110v one

In all countries in europe are 220/240v 50 hz, but the plug could be different (UK)

 

#13 7-22-2009 3:10 PM

imperialistic88
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Vancouver, Canada
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

My straightener melted in London. Literally, the plates fell off but I was a little desperate since I had to dinner so I melted them back into the plastic with a metal candlestick. I do not recommend ever doing this. It is probably by far the stupidest thing I've done. From there on, I started plugging it in for 10 seconds (it gets extremely hot in that time), unplugging and straightening.
However, when I took another straighter to Islamabad, it worked fine (with a different convertor). Even though they work the same way. Sometimes you can never tell.

 

#14 7-24-2009 1:45 AM

sha6ana
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Leeds, England
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

Hi everyone

Ok glad i came aross this thread. im from the UK and whn i went over to the states my straightners didn't work at all! and my hairdryer was about half as powerful as it is over here. Now can anyone figure that one out?? Im heading back out there in a month and have no idea what to do???

 

#15 7-24-2009 2:30 AM

jockchristie
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

sha6ana wrote:

Hi everyone

Ok glad i came aross this thread. im from the UK and whn i went over to the states my straightners didn't work at all! and my hairdryer was about half as powerful as it is over here. Now can anyone figure that one out?? Im heading back out there in a month and have no idea what to do???

You need the opposite of what I suggested above, you need a step up converter, which steps up the US mains voltage (110v) to UK mains voltage (230v). The same rules apply though, most are very small units, e.g 45-100W and will probably struggle to power a set of straighteners unless you have cheap ones.

As for your hairdryer... to give you as least a nerdy answer as possible, lets say its draws 10Amps, so 10A @ 110v = 1100W power where as on 230v its 2300W.

 

#16 7-24-2009 10:41 AM

sha6ana
Shabana
Leeds, England
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

Thanks for that, makes sense! Im on Amazon and been looking at step up adaptors and they all got really bad reviews. Everyone's saying they still melt or burn out. Am i looki gat the right ones? its the 110v - 230 v 45w??

Thanks

 

#17 7-25-2009 12:37 AM

tiffybear24
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

I use a dual voltage travel sized hair dryer when I travel overseas.  If I use it on the low setting with a power converter, it works perfectly.  If I put it on the high setting, it'll burn out.  I can't figure out the hair straightener situation, though... I brought mine to GBR a couple years ago and it was in danger of burning out so I couldn't use it.  I didn't even bring it with me to Europe this last time for fear of the same thing happening (I have an expensive straightener due to my ridiculous, out of control hair). 

What I do now is get my hair to dry thoroughly, then use the hair dryer and a round brush to straighten my hair out, and it works well.  Of course, if it happens to rain outside, then I'm screwed  smile

 

#18 7-25-2009 6:59 AM

jockchristie
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Re: Female Travelers: Power Converters and Hair Straighteners?

sha6ana wrote:

Thanks for that, makes sense! Im on Amazon and been looking at step up adaptors and they all got really bad reviews. Everyone's saying they still melt or burn out. Am i looki gat the right ones? its the 110v - 230 v 45w??

Thanks

Most straighteners are more than 45W so they will probably burn out, you'd probably be better with a 100W one.  Check your straighteners are not dual voltage, you might not need the step up adaptor.

 
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