Which plug adapter do I need for using hair straighteners in Vietnam?

Vietnamese power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Vietnam?

Check your hair straighteners can work in Vietnam:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you'll only need to bring a suitable power adapter for Vietnam listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

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 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Vietnam, so please check that your power converter has an appropriate power adapter for Vietnam otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your suitcase. [9]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 220 volts used in Vietnam you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair straighteners. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Vietnam read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Vietnam

Will my hair straighteners work in Vietnam?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 220 volt power outlets in Vietnam. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can operate using 220 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in Vietnam. If not then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read our section on can you use a voltage converter with hair straighteners in Vietnam for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [9]

Will my American hair straighteners work in Vietnam?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from America visiting Vietnam and will provide guidance for using your US hair straighteners with a Vietnamese power outlet.

Vietnam

Vietnam power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Vietnam?

The standard residential voltage used in Vietnam is 220 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Vietnamese power outlet?

The frequency from a Vietnamese power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in Vietnam?

Type A, C and G power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using hair straighteners in Vietnam?

There are three types of power outlets used in Vietnam, types G, A and C with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the power socket by 2 slots next to each other where the two blades slide into.
  • Plug Type C - The power outlet can be recognised by the two round holes adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type G - You can identify this wall outlet by 3 holes with plastic shutters forming a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use 220 volt hair straighteners in Vietnam is a Type G power adapter - read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Vietnam with a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [11]

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?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your hair straighteners and could also state on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltages.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Vietnam then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Vietnamese 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 220 volts used in a Vietnamese power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Vietnam.
  • 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 Vietnam or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [12]

Travelling to Vietnam with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Vietnam?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to packing your existing hair straighteners as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Vietnamese power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Vietnam. Be aware that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Vietnam. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Vietnam might be more than purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] . If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slot them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, alternatively 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 transported right after use without risk of burning.   [13] [14]

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to Vietnam?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to Vietnam?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Vietnam 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 for airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.    [12] [13] [15] [16]

Power converters for Vietnam

Do I need a converter to use hair straighteners in Vietnam?

A suitable power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Vietnam. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who want to use their own domestic hair straighteners, but it might be a lot less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, travel hair straighteners can be significantly smaller than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suited for packing. [9]

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

Voltage converter

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

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Vietnam, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter transforms a 220 volt Vietnamese power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners. [9]

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]
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]

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 Vietnam using a type C power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in Vietnam with a two pin Type C travel adapter.

  1. Check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts - please consult the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Vietnam you will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. The Type C plug adapter is designed to fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Vietnam by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. The plug outlet can be identified by two circular adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Vietnamese power outlet. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Vietnam.
How to use  hair straighteners in Vietnam using a type C power adapter

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

How to use your hair straighteners in Vietnam with a three pin Type G travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts, refer to the instructions for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Vietnam isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [6]. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Vietnam simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type G plug adapter in the Vietnamese power outlet. The plug outlet (called a Type G power outlet [5]) looks like three vertical rectangular holes containing plastic shutters in a triangle configuration.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Vietnamese power outlet. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Vietnam.
How to use  hair straighteners in Vietnam using a type G power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Vietnam using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Vietnam by using a 2 bladed Type A travel charger.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. Please check that you don't already own hair straighteners with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your hair straighteners can work with a 220 volt power outlet). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Vietnam. This power adapter will fit plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Vietnam simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the Vietnamese power outlet. This wall supply (called a Type A power outlet [7]) is recognised by the two thin slots next to each other.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Vietnamese power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in Vietnam.
How to use  hair straighteners in Vietnam using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia entry about Vietnam
  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, between $5 to $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, priced between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, between $10 to $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, between $90 to $100.
  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, between $50 to $60.
  13. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costing under $15.
  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, priced between $10 to $15.
  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, costs between $45 to $50.
  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, costs between $4 to $5.
  18. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, between $10 to $15.
  19. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, between $110 to $120.
  20. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated price between $230 to $240.
  21. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, costs between $25 to $30.