How to use hair straighteners in Colombia

Colombian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Colombia?

Check that your hair straighteners can work in Colombia:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 110 volt Colombian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Colombia, so check that the power converter [7] comes with a power adapter for Colombia otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 110 volts you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Colombia check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Colombia

Will my US hair straighteners work in Colombia?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from the US visiting Colombia and provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Colombian power outlet.

Will my hair straighteners work in Colombia?

It depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 110 volt power outlets used in Colombia:

Colombia power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Colombia?

Power outlets in Colombia are 110 volts.

What is the frequency used with a Colombian power outlet?

The frequency used in a Colombian power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in Colombia?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using hair straighteners in Colombia?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this power socket by two thin adjacent slots for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type B - This plug socket (technically called a type B power outlet) is recognised by 2 slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the longer grounded pin.

A Type B plug adapter [4] is suitable for powering 110 volt hair straighteners in Colombia, read the simple guide below for full details of using a power adapter for Colombia. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you need to use a power converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair straighteners will support a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners and should also be written on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other straighteners will have a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 110 volts used in Colombia then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Colombian power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 110 volts used in a Colombian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Colombia.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Colombia or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Colombia with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Colombia?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to packing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 110 volt power outlets used with a Colombian power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Colombia.

Note that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler in Colombia. The cost and inconvenience of repairing or replacing expensive quality hair straighteners in Colombia could be more than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal 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 [10] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [11] which will also allow the hair straighteners to be transported immediately after use without risk of burning.

Can I carry on hair straighteners to Colombia in my hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I carry on hair straighteners to Colombia in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [12] there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline which is taking you to Colombia 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 [10] leaves them easily accessible for airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage [14] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during transit.

Power converters for Colombia

Can I use a voltage converter with my normal hair straighteners in Colombia?

The correct type power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 110 volt power outlet used in Colombia. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to use their existing hair straighteners, however it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, a power converter is considerably bulkier and heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage compared to travel hair straighteners.

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a power adapter for Colombia?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a voltage converter and a power adapter for Colombia?

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] converts the voltage of 110 volts from a Colombian power outlet to work with non-110 volt hair straighteners, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in Colombia.

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 [11] or use a hot tools travel case [10] 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 [11] 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 Colombia using a type B power adapter

The WikiConnections guide on how to power your hair straighteners in Colombia using a Type B power adapter.

  1. Please check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 110 volt power supply - if it doesn't then don't proceed as you might blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 110 volts to use in Colombia, please refer to the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Colombia doesn't accomodate the plug on your hair straighteners you'll need to use a Type B plug adapter [4]. The power adapter is designed to adapt plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Colombia simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by taking the Type B plug adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by two slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircular shaped hole below for the long earth pin.
  4. Then plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Colombian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners in Colombia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Colombia using a type B power adapter

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

The WikiConnections guide on how to power your hair straighteners in Colombia by using a Type A power adapter.

  1. Make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 110 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't proceed as you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners make sure the switch is set to accept 110 volts to use in Colombia; please consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. Please check that you are not already using 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 will work with a 110 volt power outlet). You'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Colombia. This Type A plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Colombia by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly plug the Type A plug adapter into the Colombian power outlet. You can recognise the wall outlet by the 2 thin slots parallel to each other where the blades go.
  4. Next plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Colombian power outlet.
  6. Your hair straighteners can now be used in Colombia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Colombia using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia - Colombia country page on wikipedia
  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. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners..
  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.
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  13. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  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.