Can You Use a Hair Dryer with an Extension Cord?

Can you use a hair dryer with an extension cord? This has been the talk of thousands of users who use a hairdryer on a regular basis and constantly seek solutions for short cords.

Where most manufacturer brands often discourage using an extension cord with a hairdryer, they often bypass the fact, it is safe to use quality extension cords. This is because manufacturers don’t want to be reliable in case any accident takes place.

Let us make things clear for you. In our article today, we will directly talk about every detail of using an extension cord with a hairdryer.

Hair Dryer with an Extension Cord

Can You Use A Hair Dryer With An Extension Cord?

Using an extension cord with a hairdryer is often discouraged. This is because most heat-generating devices are prohibited from being used with an extension cord by the NFPA.

They drag too much electricity from the source. If your extension cord is thin and long enough, it could cause severe damage to the cord leading to meltdown and in the worst-case scenario, start a fire.

However, when it comes to a gas dryer, the situation can be otherwise. Gas dryers often draw less electricity. Hence, they are safer than other heavy electrical appliances.

Other electrical appliances like microwave ovens, electric washing machines, and even some hair dryers are often recommended to be used directly with similar receptors.

However, if you have no other option, and the outlet in your home is not suitable for your dryer, you might need to use an alternative cord for your dryer.

But you have to make sure that the extension cord you are about to use is capable enough to handle the load delivered by the dryer.

You can consider using 12 AWG heavy-duty extension cords for powerful hair dryers. 14 AWG cords would become very unreliable for any kind of hairdryer.

But for small home appliances like hair dryers or flat irons, the 12 AWG is the best one. They are 12 gauge taller, not too long. A thick heavy-duty 12 gauge can take the load of average hair dryers that are driven by 1600 watts.

Before you finally use an extension cord, make sure it matches the power rating of your hairdryer. Also, the wise solution is to get the best hair dryer with retractable cord.

Suitable Extension Cords for Hair Dryers

When it comes to gauge extensions, the smaller the number the greater the quality. Cord extensions are generally measured in AWG (American wire gauge). 14 AWG cords are the thinnest and longest of available extension cords for average electrical appliances.

However, they are not safe for hair dryers or medium home appliances. When it comes to average to powerful hair dryers, you can go with 10-12 AWG extension cords.

The 10 AWG extension cords are the thickest of all. And they can be reassuring for powerful hair dryers.

For example, a hairdryer that drags 1800W from the outlet, using a 12AWG is the marginal choice to have. To ensure proper safety, you can use 10 AWG extension cords.

Volt Ratings for Extension Cords

 Hairdryers are moderate electrical home appliances. They are not as powerful enough as microwave machines or electric heaters. Hence, using an extension cord for them can be carried out safely if you keep some factors in mind.

    • Extension cords are rated by their gauge and amp. The more powerful hairdryer you use, the more powerful the extension cable you should use.
    • For minimal to averagely powerful hairdryers, you must use 12AWG 15 amp extension cords.
    • For powerful hairdryers the gauge number should be 10AWG with an amp rating suitable for the hair dryers.
    • If you need to increase the length of your extension cord, you must also increase the gauge of it as well.

Otherwise, if you increase the length of the cord, the watt rating of that extension cord will drop down to a significant amount. Hence, you will need to increase the gauge as well.


Can a hairdryer be plugged into an extension cord?

Hairdryers are not as powerful as clothes dryers. Although It is not often considered safe to use an extension cord with your hairdryer, you can use it with proper caution and measurement.

But you have to make sure the volt rating of the extension cord matches that of your dryer.

Can a hairdryer be plugged into a power strip?

Although NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has made it clear to not use any electrical gadgets with an extension cord or power strips.

This is because due to their generation of heat it is not completely safe to use them without the outlet. However, if you have no other option, you can use quality power strips that can convert the sustainable voltage for the hairdryer.

Why do extension cords get hot?

This happens when you do not properly connect extension cords. Another reason why your extension cord is getting heated is that you might have connected devices that consume more wattage than the cord can handle.

This type of situation can cause very harmful results and even cause fires.

Is a 16-gauge or 14 gauge extension cord better?

If the distance you need to cover is less than 50 feet to your outlet, 16 gauge medium-duty extension cords will be better.

And in case you need to cover more distance or bring it outdoors, the 14 gauge extension cords are a reliable solution. For connecting high rating accessories, do use a heavy-duty 14 gauge extension cord.


Most hair dryers often come with short cords. Everyone is not lucky enough to have outlets close to their spot of use. In the worst case, the outlet you have might not deliver enough power for the hairdryer.

This is where the use of an extension cord comes in and many people seek the answer to the question, ‘ can you use a hairdryer with an extension cord? ‘. We hope our article was helpful enough for you to have the answer.

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