Blow Dryer and Flat Iron Question


I've been frustrated in years past when I've purchased a dual voltage blow dryer, only to have it only run at the low speed setting and heat when I travel to Europe and run it at 240 (or whatever the voltage is). So, this trip I've bought a 2000 watt converter with adaptor plugs that SAYS that it will convert my 2000 watt blow dryer and 50 watt flat iron to the local voltage and autosense the right wattage.

Has anyone really achieved this true speed with a converter? I also have very expensive hair appliances and don't want to ruin them. Normally I wouldn't care a whit about this, but we're going to three very important events--two of which are black tie--and I really want to look my best! The big events are in Monte Carlo, but we're also going to Italy and France.

I know this sounds trivial, but honestly, I've searched everywhere for answers and there's only speculation, not facts and I'm hoping someone on this board has been obsessed by this and has found the solution!

Many thanks,


Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6888 posts

One early suggestion is to see if your hair dryer plugs into your converter. Sounds dumb but my wife's typical hair dryer would not because of the extra large left blade on the dryer. Many American applicances have a larger left plug blade to make sure that you plug it in the right way. Every converter we saw in Europe did not have the larger left slot and thus, my wife could not use her hair dryer.

Second, you have a really hot dryer. A 2000 watt dryer will take 17 amps on a typical 20-amp house or hotel circuit (I do electrical conversions for data centers). So even at home, you are close to tripping the circuit breaker. At 240VAC, your dryer would be drawing 8.5 amps. I don't know the amperage on electrical circuits where you are going. If they are 10amp or 15amp circuits, you should be fine.

Posted by Ann
Staten Island, NY, USA
9 posts

Hi Jenny: I too have been frustrated in the past. I bring converters and they work on my blow dryer but not on my curling iron, or if your blow dryer is older, then it may not work at all! It sounds as if you go to Europe a lot (if you plan this trip and are pretty sure you will be going back to Europe)I would strongly suggest that you do what I did. I bought a curling iron and blowdryer in Europe. As long as it is not Great Britian, they will work. I bought my curling iron in Paris and my blow dryer in Florence and now I bring them when I go to Europe! It makes life alot easier and less stressful. I know it may cost a little more to do this, but being able to dry and style your hair is worth the cost. Both items were about the same I pay in NY so I did not find the cost expensive, just can't use unless I am in Europe. Go to a pharmacy near your hotel and buy it. I know this is not the answer you were looking for but I think this may be a good solution.

Posted by Jennifer
Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
2 posts

Larry, what a good idea--I probably would NOT have tried the adapters before I left the US and yes, I think both of them have the larger side. Ann, I sent you a PM and will see what brand/features your European purchased blow dryer was.

Thanks for the replies and if anyone else has any suggestions, I'm thankful for advice!



Posted by Laura
Virginia, USA
3254 posts

I agree with Ann. I also have a blow dryer which I bought in Europe and I always take it with me. I find the dual voltage don't work as well. Ann, you can use your European appliances in the U.K. --- you just need to get an adapter that converts a continental plug to a UK plug. You can find them at most European airports.

Posted by Geoff
Powell River, Canada
359 posts

Hi Jenny, agree with both Larry and Ann. Buy the required appliances over there and save them for future trips. The only thing you'll need are adapter plugs so if you buy the stuff on the continent you can also use them in the UK -with adapters for the different 'prongs' (2-cont versus 3-UK). The 240 will work throughout Europe (UK or Cont) without power/heat/speed fluctuations. When I moved overseas for a few years, some stuff worked, some didn't, and some was so-so. Wound up replacing all of it overseas locally (Holland) have kept it for trips back as a tourist. Try for the (UK/Cont)adapters, etc., their stuff does accept the wider 'left hand prong' from our side of the pond.

Posted by meg
los angeles, ca, united states
1 posts

I just picked up a blow dryer and flat iron (they also had curling irons) for under ten euros in Paris at a Tati. It was the one on Temple. I popped into some pharmacies for prices but they were about 60 euros. These worked out great and were a really good buy. I'd say buy abroad but search for discount stores.