Which power adapter will you need to bring when using a hair dryer in Malawi?

Malawian power outlet

Will my hair dryer work in Malawi?

Check your hair dryer can work in Malawi:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair dryer and other applicances with a 230 volt Malawian power outlet, however this is considerably heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel hair dryer. A power converter will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to fit in the power outlet used in Malawi, therefore please check that your power converter [5] has an appropriate power adapter for Malawi otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware your own domestic hair dryer might not be suitable for travel and you risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your hair dryer won't handle the 230 volts used in Malawi you run the potential risk of damage to your hair dryer, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair dryer in Malawi check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a hair dryer in Malawi

Will my hair dryer work in Malawi?

This will depend on if your hair dryer can operate using the 230 volts which are used in Malawi:

Can I use my American hair dryer in Malawi?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader travelling to Malawi and provide advice on using your US hair dryer with a Malawian power outlet.

Best travel hair dryers for Malawi

Choosing the best hair dryer

A dual voltage switch on a travel hair dryer

Choosing the best hair dryer

When looking for the best travel hair dryer choose a sturdy but light dual-voltage model which will work with a 230 volt Malawian power outlet power outlet with an ALCI safety plug, a folding handle and long cord. If drying thick hair look for one which includes a bundled diffuser that has a faster 1600+ watt dryer.

Things to consider when purchasing a blow dryer

  1. Look for lighter travel dryers which are durable enough to survive being transported in luggage, dryers which have a folding handle mean more space.
  2. A cool shot option on modern hair dryers can quickly cool down hair after drying to hold in the style but this feature could be missing in cheaper dryers.
  3. To operate in Malawi a travel hair dryer has to support dual voltage.
  4. The best travel hair dryers for styling should give control of both speed and temperature settings with low and high options - lower temperatures with slower speeds reduce damage to hair and a hotter faster speed can quickly dry thicker hair.
  5. You shouldn't risk getting the cheapest dryer; as well as concerns with safety there is also a greater risk that the dryer could break during your trip abroad due to a poor build.
  6. Rather than looking for expensive 3rd party attachments to fit the dryer barrel size perfectly it could be more convenient purchasing a dryer that is supplied with both a diffuser and a concentrator.
  7. Some hotel rooms in Malawi might have a fixed mirror positioned some distance away from a outlet making it cumbersome to dry hair, therefore when buying a travel hair dryer shop for the lengthiest power cord available or pack either an extension cord or pocket mirror.
  8. Safe travel hair dryers will include an ALCI safety plug which reduces the risk of the motor overloading leading to electrical fires; these can be recognised by the two 'test' and 'reset' buttons.
  9. Curlier or thicker hair might need a hair dryer which has a stronger motor; a higher wattage ceramic model which includes a diffuser will dry hair faster, thereby preventing damage.
What is a good dual voltage hair dryer with a diffuser attachment?

Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer with bundled diffuser and concentrator

What is a good dual voltage hair dryer with a diffuser attachment?

  • A X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [6] has a 1600 watt motor with a 1.65 metre power cord, it includes a tourmaline diffuser however is missing a cool shot button.
  • The Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] features a generous 1.82 metre power cable for more freedom when drying with an ALCI safety plug and removable filter to clean. With a powerful 1875 watt motor it includes cool shot making it more suited for styling thick hair.

Both ionic travel hair dryers include both concentrator and diffuser with powerful enough motors to make them the best travel hair dryers for thick hair. They are lightweight and fold up to fit into a carry-on bag and only require a suitable cheap plug adapter for Malawi to fit into a Malawian power outlet.

Which is the best small ionic dual voltage hair dryer for Malawi?

BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium with concentrator and folding handle

Which is the best small ionic dual voltage hair dryer for Malawi?

  • For quickly drying fine and thin hair on the go then a ceramic 1200 watt Conair MiniPRO [8] is the best value small ionic hair dryer available to buy.
  • A BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium [7] is lightweight enough to carry in a purse due to it's 10.5 ounce body and folding handle and has options found on larger hair dryers such as a removable filter and a tourmaline outlet which can emit infrared heat to protect from heat damage for a shinier finish.

Both of these are dual voltage mini hair dryers when used with a suitable plug adapter for a Malawian power outlet they should work in Malawi and fold conveniently making them small enough to be carried for styling on the go. Both have a 1.5 metre power cord, a two speed motor and include a concentrator attachment.

Which is a good blow dryer for thick and curly hair?

Thick hair takes longer to dry and could be difficult to do so without your hair turning frizzy, the best option is an ionic dryer and for curly thick hair use a diffuser as both are suitable to dry and manage hair smoothly without frizz. Both an Hot Tools 1044 Ionic Travel Dryer [2] or the X5 Superlite Ceramic Ionic [6] are suitable because they both have powerful motors, ionic outlets and bundled diffusers - avoid buying a hair dryer with a motor which is less powerful than 1600 watts as this won't be strong enough.

Which is a good folding travel hair dryer for Malawi?

Berta Folding Hair Dryer with attached concentrator

Which is a good folding travel hair dryer for Malawi?

  • A Conair Compact Styler [10] uses a powerful two speed 1875 watt motor, has a removable filter and features cool shot that can be used to rapidly cool down hair.
  • The Berta Folding Hair Dryer [9] also has cool shot, a ceramic tourmaline air outlet for negative ions resulting in safer drying, twin heat settings, a longer 1.8m electric power cable and also comes with a concentrator.

Each model folds, has an ALCI safety plug which prevents power overloads and support dual voltage making them ideal for travel to Malawi in carry on luggage if used with a power adapter for a Malawian power outlet.

Best travel hair dryers for 2019

What is the best travel hair dryer to buy for Malawi?

Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment
Hot Tools
Class Mini Compact Compact with diffuser
Works in Malawi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Works in US Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual voltage Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Watts 1200 1000 1875 1875 1600 1875
Folds Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ceramic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ionic Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tourmaline Yes Yes Yes
Infrared Yes
Speed settings 2 2 2 2 2 2
Heat settings 1 1 1 2 1 1
Cool shot Yes Yes Yes
Removable filter Yes Yes
Concentrator Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Diffuser Yes Yes
ALCI safety plug Yes Yes Yes Yes
Cord length 1.52m 1.52m 1.52m 1.8m 1.65m 1.82m
Estimated price around $15 under $80 under $20 under $90 under $70 under $40
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy

Original testing and suitability of hair dryer models was compiled 2017, subsequent updates and price checks performed monthly - last updated April 2019.

Malawi power outlets and plug sockets

What electrical frequency is used in Malawi?

The frequency from a Malawian power outlet is 50 Hz.

What is the mains voltage in Malawi?

Power outlets in Malawi are 230 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using a hair dryer in Malawi?

Type G power outlets are used in Malawi. This wall outlet, technically known as a type G power outlet, looks like three slots containing shutters forming a triangular pattern. A Type G power adapter [4] is suitable for powering a 230 volt hair dryer in Malawi, read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a hair dryer in Malawi using a plug adapter. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage hair dryer you might also need to bring a voltage converter.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using a hair dryer in Malawi?

Dual voltage hair dryers

How can I use a dual voltage hair dryer in Malawi?

  1. Check that you are using a dual voltage hair dryer or that it works with a 230 volt power outlet.
  2. If the dryer is dual voltage then make sure that it is switched to operate within the 220-240v range. The switch is normally found on the base or handle of the blow dryer and may require a screwdriver or coin to switch.
  3. Plug your hair dryer into the correct power adapter for Malawi, also plug in the power adapter into the Malawian power outlet.
  4. It is normal for most dual voltage hair dryers operating within the 220-240v range to only work safely on their lowest speed setting, but this temperature should be sufficient enough for drying hair. Always check the hair dryer instructions to see if this is appropriate for your model of dryer to avoid the risk of overheating.
  5. The hair dryer is now ready to operate in Malawi.
How can I tell if my hair dryer is dual voltage?

Single voltage hair dryer

How can I tell if my hair dryer is dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair dryer supports a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle, base or plug of your hair dryer. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your hair dryer and should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other hair dryer models will have a button which allows you to change between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage hair dryer. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Malawi then you should be able to use your hair dryer with a Malawian power outlet.
  • A small voltage range with a dash such as 100-120V also indicates a single voltage hair dryer which can accomodate small voltage fluctuations. If the 230 volts used in a Malawian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair dryer then you can use it in Malawi.
  • A large range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage hair dryer capable of being used in Malawi or any other country.

How do I switch a dual voltage hair dryer?

  1. Normal dual voltage hair dryers have some type of switch which selects between 2 voltages however some models are capable of automatically detecting the voltage used in Malawi.
  2. The switch or dial needs a coin or screwdriver to set the hair dryer to the correct voltage between a 220v-240v range or a 110v-120v range.
  3. In addition to switching this over it is worth making a note of both switch positions as the painted numbers can sometimes fade on certain models of travel hair dryer.

Travelling to Malawi with a hair dryer

Should you bring a travel hair dryer or domestic blow dryer to Malawi?

Packing a dual voltage travel hair dryer is preferable to packing your existing blow dryer to Malawi (typically marked with 'For domestic use only') as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Malawian power outlet (as long as you use the correct power adapter for Malawi). Certain types of travel hair dryer will typically feature a collapsible handle and are lighter which will help in reducing the size and weight when packed in travellers luggage compared to bringing a domestic hair dryer.

Note that bringing an expensive domestic blow dryer might put it at risk due to potential damage or loss in your luggage by an airport baggage handler. The costs involved in repairing an expensive quality domestic blow dryer in Malawi could overshadow the cost of buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] with a suitable travel hair dryer case [13] before setting off .

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Malawi?

Hotel hair dryer

Are there hair dryers in hotel rooms in Malawi?

It will all depend on the hotel and the quality of the room. Hotel hair dryers are typically found in the bathroom, these could be a slower air hose variety, or might be located in a bedroom wardrobe, drawer or cupboard. If staying in budget motels, hotels and hostels a communal hair dryer could be available at the reception but that might involve waiting in turn for other guests. If in doubt as to hotel hairdryer availability then either telephone the hotel in Malawi or look on the booking web site to find out if a suitable hairdryer available for guests. Hotel hair dryers are usable but normally rudimentary models lacking a diffuser and notorious for providing slower air speeds and low heat. Those worried about hygiene should remove burnt hair cuticles from previous guests on a shared hair dryer as the hotel room service might not have removed this when cleaning the room.

Remember, if in doubt either call ahead to your hotel in Malawi or use a suitable dual voltage travel hair dryer [2].

Is a blowdryer allowed onboard a flight in Malawi?

Folding travel hair dryer

Is a blowdryer allowed onboard a flight in Malawi?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair dryers [15] there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered blow dryer in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Malawi will allow a blow dryer onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing the hair dryer in a dedicated heat resistant protective travel hair dryer case [13] leaves it easily accessible by airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electronic items such as hair dryers). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive blow dryers in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [16] as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Malawi

Do I need a converter to use a hair dryer in Malawi?

A power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) allows a hair dryer using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Malawi. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their existing hair dryer, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel hair dryer [2]. Also worth noting, a travel hair dryer can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel hair dryer more suited for packing in luggage.

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter [5] will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Malawian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt hair dryer, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair dryer to slot into a power outlet in Malawi.

How to use a hair dryer in Malawi using a type G power adapter

How to power a hair dryer in Malawi by using a Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that your blow dryer is either a dual voltage travel hair dryer [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair dryer or blow a fuse. Before using a travel hair dryer which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts, refer to the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type G plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your hair dryer isn't the same type of plug outlet used in Malawi. This Type G plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Malawi by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair dryer to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type G plug adapter into the power outlet. This wall supply (technically known as the Type G power outlet [3]) looks like 3 slots with shutters forming a triangular shape.
  4. Plug in the hair dryer into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Malawian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your hair dryer to use in Malawi.
How to use a hair dryer in Malawi using a type G power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malawi - Malawian entry on Wikipedia
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Hot-Tools-Professional-Ht1044-Folding/dp/B003A1DWRO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1506767312&sr=1-1&keywords=Hot+Tools+Professional+Ht1044+Ionic+1875+Watt+Travel+Dryer+with+Folding+Handle+and+Dual+Votage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e4d6cd8511a014951b16d43f9ec3a809 - dual voltage travel hair dryer
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeG.htm - Type G power outlet
  4. Type G plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type G power outlets without converting voltage, costs 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, under $100.
  6. X5 Superlite 1600W Dual Voltage Ceramic Ionic Travel Dryer - 1600 watt travel blow dryer with a 1.65 metre power cable, tourmaline diffuser and concentrator, between $60 to $70.
  7. BaBylissPRO Tourmaline Titanium Travel Dryer - 10.5 ounce dual voltage travel blow dryer small enough to carry in a purse including concentrator, between $70 to $80.
  8. Conair MiniPRO Folding Handle Tourmaline Ceramic Styler - Budget mini ionic hair dryer with 1200 watt 2 speed motor and bundled concentrator attachment, estimated price between $15 to $20.
  9. Berta 1875W Folding Hair Dryer Dual Voltage Blow dryer Negative Ions Travel Dryer - Ceramic tourmaline hair dryer with cool shot, two heat settings, 1.8m power cord and bundled concentrator, costs between $80 to $90.
  10. Conair 1875 Watt Compact Folding Handle Hair Dryer with Dual Voltage - Budget 1875 watt 2 speed travel hair dryer, ALCI safety plug, removable filter and cool shot, between $15 to $20.
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  12. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  13. Hard case for travel hair dryer - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a hair dryer safely during travel in luggage, priced around $40.
  14. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel, priced at between $70 to $80.
  15. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20dryer - TSA guidelines for hair dryers
  16. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced between $80 to $90.