Using a curling iron in Burkina Faso

Burkinabe power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Burkina Faso:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Burkina Faso however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Burkinabe power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Burkina Faso, therefore please check that your voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Burkina Faso otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Note - your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Burkina Faso check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Burkina Faso

Will my curling iron work in Burkina Faso?

This will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 220 volts used in Burkina Faso:

How can I use my US curling iron in Burkina Faso?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Burkina Faso and will provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Burkinabe power outlet.

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Burkina Faso?

The typical voltage used in Burkina Faso is 220 volts.

What frequency is used in Burkina Faso?

The frequency used in a Burkinabe power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

Which power adapter will you need to bring to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso?

Type C and E power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso?

There are two types of power outlets used in Burkina Faso, these are type E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded wall socket (technically known as a Europlug) is identified by 2 round holes adjacent to each other where the two plug socket pins go.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify this power socket by two large circular adjacent holes next to each other plus one metal grounding pin protruding in the top forming a triangle shape.

A suitable travel adapter to bring when using a 220 volt curling iron in Burkina Faso is a Type E power adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also have to use a voltage converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Burkina Faso then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Burkinabe power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 220 volts used in a Burkinabe power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Burkina Faso.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Burkina Faso or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Burkina Faso with a curling iron

Can you carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Burkina Faso will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.   [10] [11] [12]

Is it better to bring my domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Burkina Faso?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Burkinabe power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Burkina Faso. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Burkina Faso. The inconvenience and costs of repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Burkina Faso could outweigh the cost of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [11]

Power converters for Burkina Faso

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Burkina Faso?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Burkina Faso?

A heavy and bulky power converter converts a 220 volt Burkinabe power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Burkina Faso. [7]

Do I need a power converter to use my curling iron in Burkina Faso?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Burkina Faso. A power converter is more suited for travellers who wish to bring their existing domestic curling iron, however it can be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing in luggage. [7]

How to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso using a type C power adapter

How to power a curling iron in Burkina Faso with a 2 prong Type C travel charger.

  1. Please check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then do not attempt these instructions because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting - refer to the owners manual for more details on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the power outlet used in Burkina Faso. The plug adapter will adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet in Burkina Faso by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by the two circular adjacent holes next to each other where the pins go.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Burkinabe power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be used in Burkina Faso.
How to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso using a type E power adapter

A guide on how to power your curling iron in Burkina Faso using a Type E power adapter.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply; but if not then don't continue as you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in Burkina Faso; please consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Burkina Faso you'll need to bring a Type E plug adapter [6]. This Type E plug adapter will help convert plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Burkina Faso by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. First you'll need to insert the Type E plug adapter in the Burkinabe power outlet. You can identify this plug outlet by two large round adjacent holes next to each other along with one metal earth pin protruding the top forming a triangle pattern.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Burkinabe power outlet. Your hair curling iron can now be used in Burkina Faso.
How to use a curling iron in Burkina Faso using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org web page about Burkina Faso
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, under $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, estimated cost under $10.
  7. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, costs between $90 to $100.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced between $10 to $15.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under $50.