Using a curling iron in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leonean power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Sierra Leone:

  • If your curling iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to bring an appropriate power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need the correct power adapter for Sierra Leone but 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 230 volt Sierra Leonean power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Sierra Leone, therefore please check that the power converter comes with the correct power adapter for Sierra Leone otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your own domestic curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk damage in your luggage. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 230 volts used in Sierra Leone you run a risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before using your curling iron in Sierra Leone read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Sierra Leone

Will my curling iron work in Sierra Leone?

That will depend on if your curling iron can handle the 230 volt power outlets used in Sierra Leone:

Can I use my US curling iron in Sierra Leone?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Sierra Leone and provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a Sierra Leonean power outlet.

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in a Sierra Leonean power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Sierra Leonean power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

What is the mains voltage in Sierra Leone?

Power outlets in Sierra Leone are 230 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Sierra Leone?

Type D and G power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Sierra Leone?

There are two types of power outlets used in Sierra Leone, types G and D with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - You can identify the plug outlet by the 3 round holes in a triangular shape.
  • Plug Type G - The power outlet (also known as a type G power outlet) looks like 3 vertical rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern for live, neutral and earth.

A recommended plug adapter to bring when using a 230 volt curling iron in Sierra Leone is a Type G power adapter, read the step by step instructions below for full details of using a power adapter for Sierra Leone. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to confirm if you also need to bring a power converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can I tell if my curling iron is dual voltage?

The method to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your curling iron and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically, however other irons will have a button which allows you to operate between different regions depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Sierra Leone then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Sierra Leonean 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 230 volts used in a Sierra Leonean power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Sierra Leone.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Sierra Leone or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Sierra Leone with a curling iron

Can you pack a curling iron in your carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Sierra Leone will allow a curling iron 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 for airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.   [10] [11] [12]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Sierra Leone?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron as opposed to bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Sierra Leone as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Sierra Leonean power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Sierra Leone.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic curling iron might place it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by airport baggage handlers. The costs involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Sierra Leone could be higher than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own personal curling iron in your luggage 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 will also allow the curling iron to be packed immediately after use without waiting to cool down.  [11]

Power converters for Sierra Leone

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter?

A heavy and bulky power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Sierra Leonean power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, whereas a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Sierra Leone. [7]

Can I use my curling iron with a voltage converter for Sierra Leone?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Sierra Leone. Travellers who wish to bring their own curling iron can use a power converter, however it might be cheaper to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is significantly bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage. [7]

How to use a curling iron in Sierra Leone using a type D power adapter

Instructions showing how to use a curling iron in Sierra Leone with a Type D travel charger.

  1. Please check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if not then do not proceed as you might damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Sierra Leone, please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type D plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet which is used in Sierra Leone isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron. This plug adapter is designed to fit plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Sierra Leone simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type D plug adapter and plugging it into the Sierra Leonean power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the 3 round holes in a triangular shape.
  4. Then plug in your curling iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Sierra Leonean power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Sierra Leone using a type D power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Sierra Leone using a type G power adapter

How to power your curling iron in Sierra Leone by using a three pinned Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then don't continue because you might create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Dual voltage curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, consult the user guide for more information on where the switch is located.
  2. If the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Sierra Leone you will need to buy a Type G plug adapter [6]. This Type G plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet used in Sierra Leone by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start the process by plugging the Type G plug adapter into the power outlet. The wall supply (sometimes called the Type G power outlet [5]) looks like 3 rectangular slots forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sierra Leonean power outlet. Your hair curling iron can now be used in Sierra Leone.
How to use a curling iron in Sierra Leone using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Sierra Leone entry on Wikipedia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - A Type G power adapter has three thick rectangular blades in a triangular shape with the longer top blade acting as the earthing pin, costing between $5 to $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, 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, between $10 to $15.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $45 to $50.