Using your curling iron in Laos

Lao power outlet

Summary

First check that your curling iron can work in Laos:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Laos however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Lao power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Laos, therefore please check that the power converter includes a suitable power adapter for Laos otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Also worth noting that your own personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your suitcase. [9]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your curling iron in Laos please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Laos

Will my curling iron work in Laos?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 230 volts which are used in Laos. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to operate using 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use the curling iron in Laos. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Read the section on can you use a voltage converter to use a domestic curling iron in Laos for help deciding which option is more suitable. [9]

How can I use my US curling iron in Laos?

The guides on this page assume that you're an America reader visiting Laos and provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Lao power outlet.

Laos

Laos power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Laos?

Power outlets in Laos are 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Laos?

The frequency of the current from a Lao power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Laos?

Type C, E and F power outlets

Which travel adapter do you need to bring for using a curling iron in Laos?

There are three types of power outlets used in Laos, these are type F, C and E with the primary power outlets being type F:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two holes adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify the power socket by two 4.8mm round holes 19mm adjacent to each other where the twin pins slide into plus one long metal grounding pin protruding the top to form a triangle pattern.
  • Plug Type F - This recessed round plug outlet, technically called the Schuko socket, can be identified by the two 4.8mm round holes 19 mm next to each other where the twin pins slide into and a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.

A Type F plug adapter is suitable for powering a 230 volt curling iron in Laos - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Laos using a travel adapter. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also have to bring a power converter.  [8] [11]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location will depend on the make or model of your curling iron, it could also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically but other models will feature a button or switch which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Laos then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Lao power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 230 volts used in a Lao power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Laos.
  • 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 Laos or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Laos with a curling iron

Should you bring travel curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Laos?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron instead of packing your existing domestic curling iron to Laos as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Lao power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Laos. Be aware that packing expensive domestic curling iron might place it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Laos could be higher than buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own personal curling iron in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide it inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.  [12]

Can I carry on a curling iron to Laos?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should check that the airline that is flying you to Laos 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 when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping wires tightly around electronic items such as curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.   [12] [13] [14]

Power converters for Laos

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter will convert a 230 volt Lao power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Laos. [9]

Can you use your curling iron with a converter for Laos?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) allows a curling iron using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Laos. Travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron can use a power converter, but it could be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also, a power converter is noticeably bulkier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable for packing. [9]

How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type C power adapter

How to power your curling iron in Laos with a 2 pronged Type C power adapter.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions because you might 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 using the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Laos - consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is.
  2. You will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the type of power outlet used in Laos isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron. This plug adapter will help fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet in Laos simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it in the Lao power outlet. The wall outlet (known as a Europlug) is identified by the two round holes adjacent to each other where the twin pins slide into.
  4. After that plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Lao power outlet.
  6. The curling iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type E power adapter

A page showing how to use a curling iron in Laos using a Type E travel charger.

  1. Please check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage curling irons will typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, please refer to the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Laos you'll need to bring a Type E plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter will help fit different plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet found in Laos by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type E plug adapter into the power outlet. You can recognise this power supply by the two 4.8mm round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins and a single metal earth pin protruding in the top in a triangular configuration.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Lao power outlet. The curling iron should now be ready to use.
How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type E power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type F power adapter

A page showing how to use a curling iron in Laos using a Type F travel charger.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet - if not then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage curling irons might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Laos - consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the outlet which is used in Laos you will need to use a Type F plug adapter [8]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet in Laos simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type F plug adapter and plugging it in the Lao power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two large holes 19 mm adjacent to each other and a pair of thin grounding clips at the top and bottom.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type F plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Lao power outlet.
  6. The curling iron should now be ready for use.
How to use a curling iron in Laos using a type F power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Laos page on Wikipedia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10.
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, costs between $5 to $10.
  7. iec.ch - Type F power outlet
  8. Type F plug adapter - Schuko Type F plug adapters are earthed using two clips at the top and bottom with two rounded 4.8mm pins set 19mm apart, under $10.
  9. 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, costs between $90 to $100.
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under $15.
  13. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated price between $45 to $50.