I'm studying abroad for 3 months in Austria and my roommate and I have already decided to just buy a hair dryer over there, but what about a hair straightener? Can you buy them over there, and how expensive are they? Or, would it be better to bring my own and use a converter? A friend of mine went to Austria a few years ago and said that even though she used a converter, it still fried her straightener, so can anyone recommend a good brand? Thanks!
It would be best to buy there. Unless you can buy one here with a dual converter. My hair dryer has a dual converter and you can buy them all over here in the US.
Hair straighteners are widely available. The price depends on the quality you require. Anything from cheap and chearful at around $20.00 to Salon model quality at around $300.00 with every shade of price and specification in between.
Buy your hairdryer and straightner over there. I have yet to see a hairdryer sold here that is legal (i.e., CE marked) for use in the EU. I think that, technically, EU customs could confiscate any non-CE applicance you tried to bring in.
Second, the handy two-round-pin plug adapter, called a Europlug over there, is only legal for appliances drawing 2-1/2 amps or less (about 600 watts, well below hairdryer power).
So, if you care about being legal, get those appliance over there.
Relax and stop stressing regarding such issues. European ladies were curling their hair before the USA was founded. You will find nearly everything readily available in western Europe.Take very little with you, except an open mind.
Have a great trip!
To Lee - I used my dual voltage Conair hairdryer all over Europe last year without a problem (and no one confiscated it either). I'm not sure how many watts it uses but I'm sure it's well over 600. On the other hand, 90% of the hotels/b&b's we stayed in already had hairdryers, so next trip I'll probably leave it at home.
Kaitie, I'd take their advice and buy the hairdryer over there. I brought one with dual voltage for my last trip and it blew out the first time I used it. What a waste! BUT, I'm curious if they sell decent hair straighteners over there. Until I just read this posting, I thought I'd have no problem with my hair straightener, but now I'm not so sure... The last thing I want to do when I get there is shop for a hair straightener! I guess I'll have to bring a cheap one and hope it works!
My daughter blew out her $150 straightener over there this summer. Take a cheap one, buy one there or do without!
Dual voltage hair dryers are inexpensive and available here in the US. I have one. In my earlier post I used the word converter....actually it is dual voltage. It has a dial.
I actually just came back from Europe less than a week ago, but had to buy a hairdryer in Germany while I was there (My 13 year-old son accidentally fried the dual voltage one my sister-in-law brought). It is a Braun and has the right plug for the continent. I had planned to sell it on Ebay, but my sister-in-law sent me this post. If you are interested in buying it, I would be happy to sell it to you at a decent price.
If Kaitie doesn't want to buy it, I want it!!! I tried looking for one on Ebay and had no luck...
Both LL Bean and REI sell the dual voltage hair dryers.
I'm skeptical. I BOUGHT a dual voltage hairdryer specifically to go to Europe and when I went, it blew out the first day. Even with a voltage converter AND setting the hairdryer for the right wattage... It kind of made the rest of my trip a bit difficult -- hairwise I mean. The hotels' hairdryers SUCKED. Can you vouch for the hairdryers from LL Bean? If so, I may go for it...
I bought mine from REI. Noticed that LL Bean also sells them.
On the dual voltage you have to turn the dial or lever from 125v to 250v. Mine is a Travel Smart from REI. My daughter and I use it almost daily during our 8 week trip to Europe....still works although I save it for traveling.
If your blew the first time you used it perhaps it was not turned all the way to 250v.
It may have just been a crappy hairdryer. (Even though it was a name brand.) I don't think it actually blew out, but it would only blow cold. When I got home, I exchanged it for a new one, and the same thing happened again, but it was here in the states! I may buy a different one (different brand) and hope for the best. Come to think of it, when I lived in Germany for a year for school, I brought a good hairdryer and my converter, and I used it the whole time with no problem. Thinking back, I should have just bought one when I got there...
I have an inexpensive hair dryer I bought for Wal-Mart (fold up kind for travel). It says 125/250 VAC 80/50Hz 1600W. So, do I need a converter for this one?
Thanks for your help!
No you don't....the dryer will cope with Europe's 220 volts....if there's a switch on it, you just need to throw the switch, otherwise it's automatic. However, you will need the adapter plug to fit European plugs.
Well, I'm so excited. I went to Walmart yesterday and found that Revlon had an "international hairdryer". It was $18.00 and it came with the European plug adaptors, too! It's foldable, has a carrying bag, and it's 1875 watts! That was cheaper than the one on LL Bean, or was it REI? Anyway, I'm going to hang on to the receipt, and if it blows out, I won't feel bad returning it because it was designed to be used overseas.