Ladies- Light curling iron

Ladies have any of you found a light, compact curling iron. I use one with a bigger barrel.
I am trying to pack very light- only one carry on. Thanks.

Posted by Kim
Paris
544 posts

Shelley -- for anything with a heating element, you may be better off buying a European appliance when you get here. The electronics chain store Darty sells lots of curling irons.

Posted by Suz
Denver, USA
223 posts

I agree with Kim. The electrical systems in European countries are 220V, vs. our North American 115V. You'll need either a dual-voltage curling iron you can switch to 240 to use in Europe, or one you buy over there. I strongly prefer the latter, but that's your call. See this overview guide on electricity for travelers: http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/world-electricity-guide.html Also, this has been discussed here on the forum: http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/99826/electrical-needs-when-in-france.html http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/93055/voltage-adaptor.html http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm/rurl/topic/96131/us-hairstraighteners-in-europe.html - this one is about flat irons (like curling irons) and may be helpful for your specific question. Happy trails!

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3076 posts

Better yet - forget the curling iron. Between smoking curling irons, singed hair, red hot hair dryers and blown circuits, I've seen it all traveling with wife and daughter. After several European trips they gave up and realized it wasn't that big of a deal.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Tim, it's hard to forget the curling...never had smoking hair or burnt it... I was a Hairstylist for over 30 years... it's pretty hard to forget the curling iron. :) So, I'm wondering though if when plugged into a univeral plug in the curling iron won't work? I know with the blow dryers they have a switch you have to move to convert the power...maybe not on the curling irons. How much am I looking at for anyone that's bought one?
Then I'll consider if it's worth the money or not. :) Thanks.

Posted by Devon
Ballwin
818 posts

Don't try to use an adapter or convertor, it's really not worth it, like others have mentioned. Buy a curling iron once you get to Europe, even if it's a cheap one just to last for your time there. You can always sell it back home to someone else who is going. I don't curl my hair but I straighten it occasionally and understand needing it along with you. I bought a pretty cheap flat iron, it worked well enough and I didn't have to worry about any surges.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

We start off the trip in GB and then onto Paris and Germany... different voltage in each area or ?

Posted by Suz
Denver, USA
223 posts

Same voltages, but different plug configurations. See that REI page I linked to above for info on plugs. The UK uses a plug with 3 big flat prongs; pretty much the rest of Europe uses a plug with 2 round prongs. If your appliance is OK for the power supply (220V), you'll just need the right adapter to plug it in if its own plug isn't the correct configuration. Those are cheap.

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
307 posts

I've tried several options. I tried one from Travelsmith with a voltage convertor. It fit the bill for compact but the barrel was too small. I have a butane one that I bought at Boots. They advertise that many flight attendants use them. The cartridges are supposed to be safe for air travel. You might be able to order them from some place like Amazon. You just snap the cartridge in when you need it and tHen you don't have to fuss with plugs or cords. frequently there is trouble finding a plug and a mirror in close proximity

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

I'm calling for a moratorium on men telling women to "forget" bringing various beauty products when traveling, when obviously the OP feels it's important to do so. That said, I agree with the others - buy one there, and maybe consider leaving it behind at the end, perhaps you can ask the front desk of your last hotel if they want it, maybe a staffer could use it or they could give it to a guest in the future. You will of course need plug adapters between the UK and continental europe.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Thank you Ladies. Thank you for understanding my plight. :) Will probably either see what I can do with my hair via Velcro roller or will try to find one over there. I was questioning whether they would let a Butane Curling iron on the plane. i have one of those that I take campng. Are you sure those are allowed?
Thanks for your help.

Posted by mimi
Vancouver, BC, Canada
175 posts

A good idea would be to go onto the website of the airline you're flying on - it will tell you if Butane curler is admissible. Also, any Rick Steves' guidebook will tell you which adapters are needed in the countries you will be visiting. In fact, that info will be on
this website if you look.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
869 posts

Shelley, my wife's curling iron (flat iron?) works here and in the EU. She had no problem finding what she wanted in the stores here. Just look at the label (or raised printing on the device) If it says 120-240 volts you are in business; just get an adaptor plug. You may want to bring a decent extension cord, also.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
784 posts

I have never had a problem using my curling iron or dryer in Europe. I just borrow my husband's adapter and it works.

Posted by Jennifer
Carbondale
9 posts

Shelley:
I've had a couple of small curling/flat irons that I have purchased at Target here, used with the correct adaptor in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Prague. All worked fine, as the newer ones are adapted for several voltages. You can also look online at Minibus, and other travel sites. I tried to use the one my daughter had that was purchased in Prague where she was on a college semester, but didn't find that it heated well enough...she said all the girls complained about that with appliances purchased there. Don't know it this is common or not. My little irons were about half the size of the normal curling irons. DOn't know if they would be great if you had long hair, or a lot of hair - mine's short. Most places DO have dryers...just watch that you aren't trying to use the shaver outlet...I tried that once in Portugal. We forget that they have "shaver only" outlets overseas. Beautiful travel!

Posted by Thomas
Hermosa Beach, CA, USA
74 posts

My wife visited a local beauty supply store and bought an X5 Superlite dual voltage curling iron. She says it worked fine as we drove all over southern England last year. You'll need the cheap plug converter that allows you to plug US plugs into the appropriate outlet. But you don't need the converter that converts 220 to 110. It does both. Here's a link: http://www.x5superlite.com/Travel%20Curling%20Irons.htm It's nice not to have to worry about finding one when you get there or having one that's useless when you get home.

Posted by Cindy
San Jose
39 posts

Conair sells many dual voltage curling irons. Just add a plug adapter and go! Just check to see if the unit is dual voltage or not. It should be in the specs. It usually says: 100-240 V
50-60 Hz

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Thanks again everyone. I think I'll see if I can get one of those superlight ones that Thomas recommended. That would be awesome. It's not like I can't use it again. That's exactly what I was hoping to find out...Thanks Thomas! We are trying to pack light so I will take a look.