Which power adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in Sierra Leone?

Sierra Leonean power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Sierra Leone?

Check your hair straighteners can work in Sierra Leone:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you'll only need to bring the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Sierra Leonean power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Sierra Leone, therefore check that your power converter has an appropriate power adapter for Sierra Leone otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Please be aware your own domestic hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 230 volts used in Sierra Leone you run the potential risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Sierra Leone check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Sierra Leone

Will my hair straighteners work in Sierra Leone?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 230 volts which are used in Sierra Leone. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you can use your hair straighteners in Sierra Leone. If not then you will need to consider buying either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read our section on will a voltage converter work with hair straighteners in Sierra Leone for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Can I use my American hair straighteners in Sierra Leone?

The guides on this page assume that you are an America reader travelling to Sierra Leone and provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Sierra Leonean power outlet.

Sierra Leone power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Sierra Leone?

The frequency from 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 do you need for using  hair straighteners in Sierra Leone?

Type D and G power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need for using hair straighteners in Sierra Leone?

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

  • Plug Type D - This wall outlet, also called a type D power outlet, looks like three round holes forming a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground.
  • Plug Type G - You can recognise the power outlet by 3 rectangular holes containing plastic shutters in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground.

A recommended power adapter to bring to use 230 volt hair straighteners in Sierra Leone is a Type G power adapter; read the simple instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Sierra Leone. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if my hair straighteners are dual voltage?

One way to tell if your hair straighteners will handle a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug of your hair straighteners. The location will vary depending on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other models will feature a button which allows you to change between different regions.

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

Travelling to Sierra Leone with hair straighteners

Can you bring hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you bring hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to Sierra Leone will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible for airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords tightly around hair straighteners). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Is it safer to bring domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Sierra Leone?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Sierra Leone as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Sierra Leonean power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Sierra Leone. Note that bringing your expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler in Sierra Leone. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Sierra Leone could overshadow the cost of buying much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slot them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Sierra Leone

Do I need a converter to use hair straighteners in Sierra Leone?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in Sierra Leone. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic hair straighteners, but it can be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. A power converter is substantially heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable when travelling. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 230 volts from a Sierra Leonean power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Sierra Leone. [7] [AD]

Hair straightener safety

Are hair straighteners dangerous?

The temperature of the ceramic plates used in hair straighteners can reach over 200 degrees with the potential to burn hair, skin, and even start a fire if not used correctly. According to figures from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service electrical beauty products have been responsible for an estimated 650,000 fires in the United Kingdom alone.

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

A heat resistant glove

How can I minimise risk using hair straighteners?

  • Skin protection: Wear heat resistant gloves during styling to protect hands from heat.
  • Children's protection: With 10% of children's burns being caused by hair straighteners it is recommended to look for hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap to keep the plates closed shut when not in use, making it easier to store out of reach of children.
  • Luggage protection: Placing hair straighteners directly into luggage without allowing them to cool down can risk damage to clothes and heating up combustible or flammable packed items. If your hair straighteners weren't supplied with a heat protective cap then wrap them in a heat mat or use a hot tools travel case to pack them into luggage whilst warm. A travel case will also keep expensive hair straighteners protected from damage during transit.
  • Hair protection: Applying a heat protectant spray prior to using hair straighteners is essential to prevent burning, as well as using the correct technique for your hair type - read our guide on how to use hair straighteners for comprehensive information.
  • Fire protection: It can take up to 40 minutes for hair straighteners to cool down so resting your straighteners on a heat mat could reduce the risk of setting fire to furniture. Forgetting to turn off hot domestic appliances can also cause fires. This risk can be reduced by using a model of straightener with a timer socket which will turn itself off automatically after a certain length of time, you can also add this feature to any basic straighteners by using a timer socket in a power outlet.    [12] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [AD]
How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

Hair straighteners connected to a timer power outlet

How can I add a safety timer to my existing hair straighteners?

1 in 12 owners of hair straighteners admit to forgetting to turn them off after use, unless your hair straighteners have a built in automatic timer then leaving them on could potentially start a fire. However you can add this functionality to any model even if it doesn't have an integrated timer:

  1. Add an automatic timer to any hair straighteners by plugging them into a timer socket then plugging the timer into a power outlet.
  2. Turn on the timer and use the hair straighteners as normal.
  3. After you have finishing using the hair straighteners turn off the power at the outlet.
  4. However if you forget to turn the power outlet off then the timer will automatically switch off the straighteners after a pre-set length of time. Depending on the model of timer this could be 15, 30, 60 or 120 minutes - ideally pick the shortest length of time possible.
  5. For added peace of mind use a power outlet splitter to share the outlet from the timer with both your hair straighteners and a lamp. When the timer is running both the straighteners and the lamp will be turned on, making the lamp a clear indicator that the straighteners are still being heated. When leaving a room it is second nature to ensure all lights are turned off, if the lamp is still on then this acts as a reminder to switch off the straighteners.
  [17] [19] [AD]

How to treat a hot iron burn

If you accidentally burn yourself run cold water under your burn and if it is severe it is advised to seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital.

How to use hair straighteners in Sierra Leone using a type D power adapter

Instructions showing how to use your hair straighteners in Sierra Leone with a three pinned Type D power charger.

  1. Check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - but if not then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Some travel hair straighteners might typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in Sierra Leone, please consult the owners manual for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet used in Sierra Leone isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners you'll need to use a Type D plug adapter [4]. This power adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Sierra Leone by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type D plug adapter in the Sierra Leonean power outlet. The power supply, sometimes called a Type D power outlet [3], looks like three circular holes in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sierra Leonean power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in Sierra Leone.
How to use  hair straighteners in Sierra Leone using a type D power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Sierra Leone using a type G power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in Sierra Leone with a Type G power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not continue as you might blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts; refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is.
  2. If the type of power outlet which is used in Sierra Leone doesn't take the plug on your hair straighteners you will need to buy a Type G plug adapter [6]. The Type G plug adapter will help fit plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Sierra Leone simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Insert the Type G plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can recognise the power supply by 3 vertical rectangular holes in a triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Next plug in your hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Sierra Leonean power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in Sierra Leone.
How to use  hair straighteners in Sierra Leone using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Sierra Leone
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  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, under $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 $110 to $120.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, between $50 to $60.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, between $10 to $15.
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $50 to $60.
  14. Heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons - Protects surfaces from hot hair irons and wraps around the appliance allowing instant packing into baggage, between $15 to $20.
  15. Heat resistant gloves for hair styling - Heat resistant glove recommended to protect skin against the risk of heat from a curling iron, flat iron or hair dryer, costing between $4 to $5.
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, costing between $10 to $15.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under $10.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, priced at between $230 to $240.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, estimated price between $5 to $10.