How do I use hair straighteners in El Salvador?

Salvadoranf power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in El Salvador?

First check that your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in El Salvador:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 115 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to bring the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 115 volt Salvadoranf power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in El Salvador, so please check that the voltage transformer has a suitable power adapter for El Salvador otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 115 volts you run the risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in El Salvador read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in El Salvador

Will my hair straighteners work in El Salvador?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners can handle the 115 volt power outlets in El Salvador. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can handle 115 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you can use the hair straighteners in El Salvador. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7], read the section on do you need a power converter to use your hair straighteners for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Will my US hair straighteners work in El Salvador?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America travelling to El Salvador and provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Salvadoranf power outlet.

El Salvador power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in El Salvador?

The frequency from a Salvadoranf power outlet is 60 Hz.

What is the voltage in El Salvador?

Power outlets in El Salvador are 115 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need to use  hair straighteners in El Salvador?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to use hair straighteners in El Salvador?

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

  • Plug Type A - The plug outlet (technically known as the type A power outlet) can be recognised by the 2 slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify this power socket by the 2 slots where the plug socket blades go with a semicircle shaped hole below for the long earth pin.

A recommended travel adapter to bring for using 115 volt hair straighteners in El Salvador is a Type B power adapter [4], read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using hair straighteners in El Salvador. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to bring a voltage converter.

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 supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the hair straighteners. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it could also state on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 115 volts used in El Salvador then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Salvadoranf power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates single voltage hair straighteners which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 115 volts used in a Salvadoranf power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in El Salvador.
  • A larger range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in El Salvador or any other country.

Travelling to El Salvador with hair straighteners

Can I pack hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [10] there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that your airline that is flying you to El Salvador 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 [12] leaves them easily accessible for airport security, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage [13] as this offers the greatest protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Is it better to bring your domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to El Salvador?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to El Salvador as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Salvadoranf power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for El Salvador.

Please be aware that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by an airport baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing or repairing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in El Salvador might outweigh the cost of buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before travelling. If you intend to bring your own hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [12] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [14] which will also allow the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

Power converters for El Salvador

Do I need a power converter to use my hair straighteners in El Salvador?

A suitable voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 115 volt power outlet used in El Salvador. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic hair straighteners, however it could be less expensive to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for travelling compared to travel hair straighteners.

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] converts a 115 volt Salvadoranf power outlet to work with non-115 volt hair straighteners, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in El Salvador.

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 [15] 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 [18] 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 [14] or use a hot tools travel case [12] 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 [16] 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 [14] 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 [17] 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.

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 [17] 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 [19] 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.

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 El Salvador using a type B power adapter

How to power hair straighteners in El Salvador with a Type B travel adapter.

  1. Please ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power outlet but if not then do not continue as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 115 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in El Salvador you'll need to use a Type B plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in El Salvador by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt supply.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type B plug adapter in the Salvadoranf power outlet. The power supply, sometimes known as the Type B power outlet [3], is identified by two slots parallel to each other with a single semicircular hole below for the grounded pin.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Salvadoranf power outlet. You can now switch on the straighteners in El Salvador.
How to use  hair straighteners in El Salvador using a type B power adapter

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

A guide showing you how to use your hair straighteners in El Salvador by using a 2 blade Type A power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power supply but if not then do not continue because you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 115 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume 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 still check that your hair straighteners can work with a 115 volt power supply). You will need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in El Salvador. This Type A plug adapter will help convert plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in El Salvador simply 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 115 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it into the Salvadoranf power outlet. This wall outlet (sometimes known as the Type A power outlet [5]) can be identified by the 2 slots for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Salvadoranf power outlet.
  6. The hair straighteners are now ready to be used in El Salvador.
How to use  hair straighteners in El Salvador using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Salvador - El Salvador wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RNFY344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&keywords=Salona+Professional+1%22+Titanium+Flat+Iron+Hair+Straightener+Worldwide+Dual+Voltage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e3d3466bd15690b0f8d286099f4ac0f1 - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  11. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners..
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  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.
  15. 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
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.