What Happens if I Leave My Straightener on All Day?

What happens if I leave my straightener on all day?“. A legit question! And it requires a legit answer. Now read this story and see if it is your story :)

That day, Sarah woke up early, as she usually did, and got ready for work. She had a lot to do that day and didn’t want to be late. She quickly styled her hair with her straightener and headed out the door.

Sarah made it to work on time and started her day. But as the workday went on, piles of paper accumulated on her desk and she started to become busier and busier. Her colleagues were also asking her to do things, and she had difficulty saying no. Her boss even asked her to stay late to complete the paperwork. Her deadline was quickly approaching and she had to be fast.

Sarah started to forget about things. She forgot to eat lunch, she forgot to drink water, and she even forgot to go to the bathroom.

But the worst thing Sarah forgot was to turn off her hair straightener. At noon, she suddenly remember about it but what could she do? The straightener was at home and she was at the office, the bad news was that it took more than one hour to get home from the office. And Sarah knew that she just couldn’t ask her boss to let her leave early, everyone was already working so hard to complete the project so Sarah just had to suck it up and deal with it.

She started to feel panicked. What if the straightener caught on fire and the whole house burned down? “It will be fine”, she told herself, “I’ll just turn it off when I get home.”

But as the minutes passed, Sarah’s anxiety increased. So, she decided to open the web browser, go to Google.com, and do a search for “how to turn off a straightener from the office.” No result, of course. Then, she tried to search for a more realistic question: “What happens if I leave my straightener on all day?”.

Luckily for Sarah, she found this blog post, which is run by a real person who has actually left the straightener on all day :) (j/k, I have not).

If you are like Sarah, keep reading :)

What happens if you leave a straightener on thevenusface

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What happens if you leave a straightener on for a long time?

Your electricity bill will be skyrocketed.

Joking aside, the good news is that…nothing serious will happen. If you’re using a good-quality straightener that has an automatic shut-off function, it will turn off after a certain level of temperature, and will automatically turn on again when it cools down.

But if you’re using a cheaper model, and you forget to turn it off, there is a chance that it could overheat and damage things around it. The most likely scenario is that the straightener will just start smoking and leaving burn marks on the furniture around it (usually the wood table). However, the chance that it causes a fire is slim considering that the wood furniture has a decent fire-resistant rating. And it’s usually not a problem if you have functioning smoke detectors in your home. (We strongly recommend reading our review of hair straighteners with auto shut-off feature if you are going to buy one).

The worst scenario is that your house burns down, you know, everything can happen.

In any case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so if you have a straightener that doesn’t have an automatic shut-off function, it’s best to unplug it when you’re not using it. This will help to prevent any accidents from happening. Or an easier option is buying a straightener that has an automatic shut-off function.

How long can you leave a straightener on?

Theoretically, modern straightener with an auto shut-off function, hence you can leave it on all day without any problems.

However, if you have a straightener without the auto shut-off function, it may take a while for it to overheat, usually 45 minutes to 1 hour. The general rule of thumb is that you should unplug it immediately after use.

Can a hair straightener cause a fire?

No, how can a hair straightener itself cause a fire? It’s not a murderer who lurks in your house and sets things on fire. It’s just electronic equipment.

The real question is “I left my straightener on, will it start a fire?”.

Can leaving a straightener on cause a fire?

Maybe. If you’re using a cheaper model and you forget to turn it off, there is a chance that it could overheat and damage things around it. Even if your straightener has an automatic shut-off function, there is still a possibility that it will start a fire.


If you have watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, you should know that accident is sometimes created by a domino effect. So, although your straightener has the auto shut-off function, unfortunately, there’s maybe a chance that the function doesn’t work. Although every wood piece of furniture should have a decent fire-resistant rating, unfortunately, your furniture has a low rating because you bought the fake one. And although you have your smoke detector set to go off when the temperature reaches a certain level, unfortunately, it doesn’t work either.

And on that day, when you forget to turn off your cute straightener, unfortunately, all of these unfortunate events start happening at the same time. Then, your house is on fire.

Don’t worry, if you have learned Statistics and Probability, you will know that this event is very rare. In fact, your house has the same chance of burning down when you’re not using your straightener.

What should I do when I leave my straightener on at home and I am on vacation?

This is the real question that people should ask. Not some unrealistic questions like what if my house catches on fire (you know, if it’s on fire, then it’s on fire, you are far away, and there’s nothing you can do about it).

Ok, the situation is not that bad, to answer the question, there is still something you can do:

  • Call your friends for help: Have you given your keys to your friends? If you have, then call them and ask them to get into your house to unplug the straightener. Does no one have your keys? Have you left your keys under the mat? If you have, then your neighbor can do it, too.
  • Call your electricity company: Many companies have a service that allows you to turn off your electricity remotely. Just call and ask them to cut your power, but be careful, your fridge with tons of food in it might go bad.
  • Get a locksmith: This is the last resort, but if you have a friend who is a locksmith, they might be able to create a key. Chances are, you don’t have any locksmith friends. In this case, ask your friend to hire a locksmith to help you out.

If all of these options fail, then your best bet is to call the police and hope they can find a way.

Hopefully, one of these solutions will work for you, but remember, prevention is key (pun intended). Make sure you give your keys to someone you trust or, even better, hide the keys somewhere outside so that your trusted friend can get in without any trouble.

Time to buy auto shut-off straighteners!

Ok, now you know how uncomfortable and annoying it is when it comes to forgetting to turn off your straighteners. Seriously, the current year is 202x and not 199x, buy yourself a straightener with an auto shut-off feature! It is not that expensive at all. The list below is the top sellers of auto shut-off straighteners on Amazon, just buy one and you will never go wrong with it.

The list below comprises top-notch, best price-to-performance reputable hair straighteners that feature an auto shut-off:

  1. Sutra IR2 Infrared Flat Iron: auto shut off after 30 mins of inactivity
  2. Croc Classic Silver Titanium Flat Iron: auto shut off after 40 mins of inactivity
  3. NuMe Megastar Flat Iron: auto shut off after 60 mins of inactivity, can be adjusted in 10 min increments
  4. CHI Tourmaline Ceramic Hairstyling Iron: auto shut off after 60 mins of inactivity
  5. Faszin Professional Hair Straightener: auto shut off after 30 mins of inactivity
  6. Neuro by Paul Mitchell Smooth Titanium Flat Iron: can be set shut-off time up to 120 minutes

You can read the full review of these 6 hair straighteners with auto shut-off here.


Final thought

If you have read this post all the way to the end, then chances are you really forgot to turn off your straightener. And that’s ok! We all make mistakes. But, hopefully, this post has given you a few ideas of what to do if that happens. And, remember, prevention is key, so make sure you unplug your straightener as soon as you’re done using it.



Nala Hale
Nala Hale
Hi there! I'm Nala Hale, an African American woman who wears many hats. I'm a hair stylist, blogger, and proud mother of three amazing kids. In addition to my work as a stylist, I'm also the owner and content writer for Thevenusface.com, where I share my passion for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle with the world.