How do I use a curling iron in Kenya?

Kenyan power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Kenya:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for Kenya but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Kenya, so check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for Kenya otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please note that your personal curling iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk potential damage in transit. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 240 volts used in Kenya you run the risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Kenya please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Kenya

Will my curling iron work in Kenya?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 240 volt power outlets in Kenya. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can handle 240 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in Kenya. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read the guide on can you use a voltage converter with a curling iron in Kenya for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Kenya power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Kenya?

The typical voltage used in Kenya is 240 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Kenya?

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

Which power adapter do you need to use a curling iron in Kenya?

Type G power outlet

Which power adapter do you need to use a curling iron in Kenya?

The type of power outlet used in Kenya is type G. You can recognise the power outlet by 3 rectangular holes with plastic shutters forming a triangle configuration. A recommended travel adapter to bring for using a 240 volt curling iron in Kenya is a Type G power adapter - read the step by step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Kenya. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

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 check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Kenya then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Kenyan 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 240 volts used in a Kenyan power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you should be able to use it in Kenya.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Kenya or any other country.

Travelling to Kenya with a curling iron

Should you bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Kenya?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Kenya as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Kenyan power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Kenya.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in Kenya might be more than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before travelling. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [8] [AD]

Can I carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline that is flying you to Kenya will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against knocks and drops during transit.   [8] [9] [10] [AD]

Power converters for Kenya

Do you need a power converter to use your curling iron in Kenya?

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 240 volt power outlet used in Kenya. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic curling iron, but it can be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be considerably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing in luggage. [5] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

An expensive and bulky power converter will convert the voltage of 240 volts from a Kenyan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt curling iron, but a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Kenya. [5] [AD]

How to use a curling iron in Kenya using a type G power adapter

Instructions showing how to use your curling iron in Kenya with a three pinned Type G travel adapter.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 240 volt power outlet - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to the 240 volt setting for use in Kenya; consult the owners manual to find out where this switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type G plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Kenya. This Type G plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Kenya simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 240 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type G plug adapter into the Kenyan power outlet. This wall supply, sometimes called the Type G power outlet [3], looks like three vertical slots in a triangular pattern for live, neutral and earth pins.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Kenyan power outlet. You can now turn on the curling iron in Kenya.
How to use a curling iron in Kenya using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Kenya Wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  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, costing around C$30.
  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 price under C$170.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, C$20-C$25.
  9. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under C$100.