How do I use my curling iron in Uganda?

Ugandan power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Uganda:

  • If your curling iron can run on 240 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need the right power adapter for Uganda but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 240 volt Ugandan power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Uganda, therefore please check that the voltage transformer has the right power adapter for Uganda otherwise you will need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit. [5]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 240 volts you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your curling iron. Prior to using your curling iron in Uganda please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Uganda

Will my curling iron work in Uganda?

This will depend on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 240 volt power outlets used in Uganda:

How can I use my American curling iron in Uganda?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from the US visiting Uganda and provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a Ugandan power outlet.

Uganda

Uganda power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Uganda?

The frequency of the current used in a Ugandan power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

What is the voltage in Uganda?

Power outlets in Uganda are 240 volts.

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in Uganda?

Type G power outlets are used in Uganda. You can recognise this wall socket by the three vertical holes containing shutters forming a triangle configuration. A suitable power adapter to bring when using a 240 volt curling iron in Uganda is a Type G power adapter, read the simple guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Uganda. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a power converter.  [4] [7]

Which power adapter do you need to bring when using a curling iron in Uganda?

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 will handle dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the curling iron. The location might depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other models will feature a button or switch which allows you to toggle 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 240 volts used in Uganda then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Ugandan power outlet.
  • Single voltage could also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 240 volts used in a Ugandan power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Uganda.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Uganda or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Uganda with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron to Uganda in my luggage?

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 check that your airline who is flying you to Uganda will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the 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 cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.   [8] [9] [10]

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Uganda?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron instead of packing your existing domestic curling iron to Uganda as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Ugandan power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Uganda.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by a baggage handlers. The cost involved in replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Uganda could be higher than buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] . If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be transported immediately after use without risk of burning.  [9]

Power converters for Uganda

Can I use a curling iron with a power converter for Uganda?

A suitable power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 240 volt power outlet used in Uganda. Travellers wishing to use their existing domestic curling iron can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also, a power converter is noticeably bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing in luggage. [5]

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter will transform a 240 volt Ugandan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt curling iron, however a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Uganda. [5]

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

Instructions showing how to use a curling iron in Uganda with a three prong Type G travel charger.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 240 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron ensure you have set it to accept 240 volts - refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Uganda isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron you'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [4]. This Type G plug adapter will fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Uganda simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 240 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it in the Ugandan power outlet. You can recognise this power outlet by three holes containing shutters forming a triangle shape.
  4. Next plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ugandan power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron to use in Uganda.
How to use a curling iron in Uganda using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Ugandan Wikipedia web page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  4. 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, estimated cost between $5 to $10.
  5. 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, estimated cost between $90 to $100.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costs under $15.
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost between $45 to $50.