Which travel adapter will you need to use hair straighteners in Gambia?

Gambian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Gambia?

Check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Gambia:

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Gambian power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Gambia, so check that the voltage transformer has a suitable power adapter for Gambia otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Be aware that your personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in your luggage. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your hair straighteners in Gambia please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Gambia

Will my hair straighteners work in Gambia?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 230 volt power outlets in Gambia:

Gambia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used in Gambia?

The frequency from a Gambian power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

What is the mains voltage in Gambia?

The typical voltage in Gambia is 230 volts.

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using hair straighteners in Gambia?

The type of power outlet used in Gambia is type G. You can identify the plug socket by 3 vertical rectangular holes in a triangular pattern. A recommended travel adapter to bring for using 230 volt hair straighteners in Gambia is a Type G power adapter; read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Gambia using a plug adapter. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also have to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Which power adapter will you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in Gambia?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners can support dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your hair straighteners. The location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Gambia then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Gambian 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 Gambian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Gambia.
  • Dual voltage will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Gambia or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [8] [AD]

Travelling to Gambia with hair straighteners

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also suggests that you should check that your airline that is flying you to Gambia will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing the hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.    [8] [9] [10] [11] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Gambia?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Gambia as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Gambian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct power adapter for Gambia. Please be aware that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by an airport baggage handler. The costs involved in repairing expensive specialised hair straighteners in Gambia could overshadow the costs of purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand. If you intend to bring your own hair straighteners in your suitcase 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 also allows the hair straighteners to be packed immediately after use without risk of burning.   [10] [12] [AD]

Power converters for Gambia

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 small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Gambia, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter will convert a 230 volt Gambian power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [5] [AD]

Do you need a voltage converter to use your hair straighteners in Gambia?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Gambia. A power converter is suitable for travellers wishing to use their own hair straighteners, but it can be considerably cheaper to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, travel hair straighteners can be substantially lighter and smaller than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when travelling. [5] [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.    [10] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [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.
  [15] [17] [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 Gambia using a type G power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Gambia by using a three prong Type G travel adapter.

  1. Please ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet - but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners ensure the switch is set to accept 230 volts, refer to the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Gambia you will need to bring a Type G plug adapter [4]. The plug adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet in Gambia 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 Gambian power outlet. The plug supply (technically known as the Type G power outlet [3]) can be identified by three vertical slots with shutters forming a triangular configuration for live, neutral and ground.
  4. Next plug in your hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Gambian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on the straighteners for use in Gambia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Gambia using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia page about Gambia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  4. 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, priced at C$30-C$35.
  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, estimated cost C$160-C$170.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, estimated cost under C$50.
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, under C$25.
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at C$90-C$100.
  12. 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, under C$25.
  13. 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, priced C$5-C$10.
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, priced around C$15.
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, estimated cost under C$45.
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, under C$90.
  17. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, under C$15.