Using your hair straighteners in Ecuador

Ecuadorian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Ecuador?

First check your hair straighteners can work in Ecuador:

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with an 120 volt Ecuadorian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of power outlet used in Ecuador, so check that the power converter [7] includes the right power adapter for Ecuador otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 120 volts used in Ecuador you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair straighteners. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Ecuador please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Ecuador

Can I use my US hair straighteners in Ecuador?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to Ecuador and will provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with an Ecuadorian power outlet.

Will my hair straighteners work in Ecuador?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 120 volts as used in Ecuador. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to operate using 120 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you can use it in Ecuador. If not then then you will need to consider buying either a power converter [7] or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Read the section on will a voltage converter work with domestic hair straighteners in Ecuador for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Ecuador power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Ecuador?

The common residential voltage in Ecuador is 120 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in an Ecuadorian power outlet?

The frequency of the current in an Ecuadorian power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use  hair straighteners in Ecuador?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use hair straighteners in Ecuador?

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

  • Plug Type A - The wall outlet (also known as the type A power outlet) is identified by two slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify the power outlet by the 2 thin slots parallel to each other where the short live and neutral blades go with a single hole below for the earthed pin.

A recommended plug adapter to bring when using 120 volt hair straighteners in Ecuador is a Type B power adapter [4], read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for Ecuador. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners can accept dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. This location will depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Ecuador then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with an Ecuadorian 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 120 volts used in an Ecuadorian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Ecuador.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Ecuador or any other country.

Travelling to Ecuador with hair straighteners

Should I bring my domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Ecuador?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Ecuador as it is safer to assume that they'll work with the 120 volt power outlets used with an Ecuadorian power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Ecuador.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by airline baggage handlers in Ecuador. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in Ecuador could overshadow the costs of buying cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before travelling to bring along with you. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [10] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [11] which also allows the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.

Can hair straighteners go in carry on?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [12] there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that the airline which is taking you to Ecuador 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 [10] leaves them easily accessible by airport security, they can be packed away quickly avoiding 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 do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [14] as this offers the most protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for Ecuador

Will a power converter work with a normal hair straighteners in Ecuador?

A voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 120 volt power outlet used in Ecuador. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to use their existing domestic hair straighteners, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, travel hair straighteners can be substantially lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suited for travelling.

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Ecuador?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Ecuador?

A lightweight, small and cheap power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Ecuador, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] converts the voltage of 120 volts from an Ecuadorian power outlet to work with non-120 volt hair straighteners.

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 Ecuador using a type B power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Ecuador by using a three prong Type B power charger.

  1. Check that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply - if not then don't continue because you might blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners ensure you have set it to the 120 volt setting; please consult the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet used in Ecuador isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners you will need to use a Type B plug adapter [4]. This plug adapter helps adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Ecuador by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. Plug the Type B plug adapter into the Ecuadorian power outlet. This plug supply, sometimes known as a Type B power outlet [3], is identified by the 2 thin slots next to each other where the twin blades go with a single semicircular shaped hole below for the longer grounded pin.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ecuadorian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your straighteners to use in Ecuador.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ecuador using a type B power adapter

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

How to power your hair straighteners in Ecuador by using a three pronged Type A power charger.

  1. Check that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply; if not then do not continue because you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners ensure you have set it to the 120 volt setting; please refer to the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume 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 120 volt power outlet). You will need to use a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet which is used in Ecuador. The plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Ecuador simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 120 volt supply.
  3. First insert the Type A plug adapter in the power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the two thin slots parallel to each other.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ecuadorian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the straighteners to use in Ecuador.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ecuador using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecuador - Ecuadorian country entry on Wikipedia.org
  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.