Which power adapter will I need when using a curling iron in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Zimbabwe:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a power adapter for Zimbabwe but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Zimbabwe 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 won't change the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Zimbabwe, so check that your power converter [7] includes a suitable power adapter for Zimbabwe otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk damage in transit.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts used in Zimbabwe you run the risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Zimbabwe check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Zimbabwe

Will my curling iron work in Zimbabwe?

This depends on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 220 volt power outlets in Zimbabwe. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to operate using 220 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use the curling iron in Zimbabwe. If not then you will need to consider bringing either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Read our guide on can you use a power converter with a domestic curling iron in Zimbabwe for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Will my US curling iron work in Zimbabwe?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from America travelling to Zimbabwe and will provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Zimbabwe power outlet.

Zimbabwe power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Zimbabwe?

Power outlets in Zimbabwe are 220 volts.

What frequency is used in a Zimbabwe power outlet?

The frequency from a Zimbabwe power outlet is 50Hz.

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

Type D and G power outlets

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

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

  • Plug Type D - You can identify the wall outlet by the three round holes in a triangular shape for live, neutral and ground pins.
  • Plug Type G - This plug outlet, also known as a type G power outlet, can be identified by 3 vertical rectangular slots forming a triangle shape.

A Type G plug adapter [6] is suitable for powering a 220 volt curling iron in Zimbabwe - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Zimbabwe. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a power converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

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

The method to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of the curling iron. The location will depend on the make or 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 feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Zimbabwe then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Zimbabwe 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 220 volts used in a Zimbabwe power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Zimbabwe.
  • 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 Zimbabwe or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Zimbabwe with a curling iron

Is it safer to bring your travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Zimbabwe?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Zimbabwe power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Zimbabwe.

Please be aware that packing expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler in Zimbabwe. The cost of repairing an expensive specialised curling iron in Zimbabwe might be higher than buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your luggage either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [10] which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.

Can curling irons go in carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [11] there is no restriction on bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Zimbabwe will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [10] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires 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 use hard carry on luggage [12] as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during transit.

Power converters for Zimbabwe

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and heavy power converter [7] will transform a 220 volt Zimbabwe power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, however 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 Zimbabwe.

Do I need a converter for Zimbabwe to use my curling iron?

The correct type power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 220 volt power outlet used in Zimbabwe. Travellers who wish to bring along their own curling iron can use a power converter, however it might be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also, a power converter is substantially heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for travelling compared to a travel curling iron.

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

Instructions showing how to use a curling iron in Zimbabwe with a Type D power adapter.

  1. Please ensure 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 do not attempt these instructions because you could damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts to use in Zimbabwe, please refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Zimbabwe you will need to buy a Type D plug adapter [4]. This Type D plug adapter helps convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Zimbabwe simply 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 outlet.
  3. Plug the Type D plug adapter into the Zimbabwe power outlet. This plug supply (sometimes known as a Type D power outlet [3]) can be recognised by three holes forming a triangle configuration.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Zimbabwe power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your curling iron for use in Zimbabwe.
How to use a curling iron in Zimbabwe using a type D power adapter

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

How to use a curling iron in Zimbabwe with a Type G travel adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some travel curling irons will usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts, consult the instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type G plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet used in Zimbabwe doesn't accomodate the plug shape on your curling iron. This plug adapter helps adapt plugs from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Zimbabwe by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type G plug adapter and inserting it in the wall outlet. You can identify the power supply by the 3 vertical slots containing shutters 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 Zimbabwe power outlet.
  6. The hair curling iron can now be used in Zimbabwe.
How to use a curling iron in Zimbabwe using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zimbabwe - Zimbabwe country wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeD.htm - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type D power outlets without converting voltage, under $10.
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  6. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage, around $5.
  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, under $100.
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced at between $10 to $15.
  11. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost between $80 to $90.