How to use your curling iron in Mexico

Mexican power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Mexico:

  • If your curling iron can run on 127 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to bring the right power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need the right power adapter for Mexico but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 127 volt Mexican power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Mexico, so please check that the voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Mexico otherwise you will also need to purchase another power adapter. Be aware that your own personal curling iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 127 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your curling iron in Mexico please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Mexico

Will my US curling iron work in Mexico?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting Mexico and provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Mexican power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in Mexico?

This will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 127 volt power outlets in Mexico:

Mexico power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Mexico?

The voltage used in Mexico is 127 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Mexico?

The frequency from a Mexican power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which travel adapter will you need to use a curling iron in Mexico?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to use a curling iron in Mexico?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Mexico, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can identify this plug socket by the 2 adjacent slots next to each other for live and neutral blades. Note that Type A electrical outlets aren't as common but still found in some hotels in Mexico.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the power outlet by two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a semicircular hole below for the ground pin. The most common outlets found in Mexico are Type B power outlets.

A recommended travel adapter to bring when using a 127 volt curling iron in Mexico is a Type B power adapter [4] - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Mexico using a plug adapter. Please note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

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

A simple method to tell if your curling iron will accept a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the curling iron. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron and should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically but other irons will have a switch which allows you to change between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 127 volts used in Mexico then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Mexican power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage curling iron which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 127 volts used in a Mexican power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Mexico.
  • A large voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Mexico or any other country.

Travelling to Mexico with a curling iron

Should I bring travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Mexico?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to packing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 127 volt power outlets used with a Mexican power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for Mexico.

Please note that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by airport baggage handlers in Mexico. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Mexico might overshadow the cost of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before travelling to bring with you. If you intend to bring along your own curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [10] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.

Can you pack a curling iron in your carry on to Mexico?

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 United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that your airline who is flying you to Mexico will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [10] leaves it easily accessible for airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [12] as this offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.

Power converters for Mexico

Will a power converter work with my curling iron in Mexico?

The correct type voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to operate with the 127 volt power outlet used in Mexico. Travellers who want to bring along their existing domestic curling iron can use a power converter, however it might be cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to buy a power converter. In addition, a travel curling iron can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and expensive power converter [7] converts a 127 volt Mexican power outlet to work with a non-127 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 fit into a power outlet in Mexico.

How to use a curling iron in Mexico using a type B power adapter

How to use your curling iron in Mexico by using a 3 prong Type B travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 127 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Some curling irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure the switch is set to the 127 volt setting - refer to the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Mexico. This Type B plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Mexico by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 127 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type B plug adapter in the Mexican power outlet. The power supply (technically known as a Type B power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two slots next to each other with a single hole below for the long earthed pin. The most common sockets found in Mexico are Type B power sockets.
  4. After that plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Mexican power outlet.
  6. Your curling iron can now be used in Mexico.
How to use a curling iron in Mexico using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Mexico using a type A power adapter

How to power a curling iron in Mexico with a three blade Type A power charger.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 127 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Some curling irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure the switch is set to the 127 volt setting - refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is located.
  2. These instructions assume that you're not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron will work with a 127 volt power supply). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet which is used in Mexico. This Type A plug adapter is designed to fit plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Mexico by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 127 volt outlet.
  3. First plug in the Type A plug adapter in the Mexican power outlet. The plug supply (technically known as a Type A power outlet [5]) can be recognised by the two slots. Please note that Type A power outlets are less common but still used by some hotels in Mexico.
  4. Next plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Mexican power outlet. You can now switch on your curling iron for use in Mexico.
How to use a curling iron in Mexico using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://www.visitmexico.com/en - Visit Mexico Web Site
  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/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  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.
  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.