Using hair straighteners in Uganda

Ugandan power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Uganda?

First check that your hair straighteners can work in Uganda:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 240 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to use a suitable power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 240 volt Ugandan power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Uganda, so check that your voltage transformer comes with an appropriate power adapter for Uganda otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Be aware that your domestic hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you could risk damage in your luggage. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 240 volts used in Uganda you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your hair straighteners in Uganda check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Uganda

Will my hair straighteners work in Uganda?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 240 volt power outlets used in Uganda. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to operate using 240 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use it in Uganda. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Read the section on can you use a power converter with domestic hair straighteners in Uganda for help deciding which option is more suitable. [5] [AD]

Uganda power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Uganda?

Power outlets in Uganda are 240 volts.

What frequency is used in a Ugandan power outlet?

The frequency used in a Ugandan power outlet is 50Hz. [6]

Which plug adapter will you need for using hair straighteners in Uganda?

Type G power outlets are used in Uganda. You can identify this plug outlet by the three vertical holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular configuration. A recommended plug adapter to bring for using 240 volt hair straighteners in Uganda is a Type G plug adapter, read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Uganda. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also need to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Which plug adapter will you need for using  hair straighteners in Uganda?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage power outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically but other straighteners will have a button or switch which allows you to change between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Uganda then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Ugandan 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 240 volts used in a Ugandan power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Uganda.
  • A large voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Uganda or any other country.
 [8] [AD]

Travelling to Uganda with hair straighteners

Should I bring my domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Uganda?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Uganda as it is safer to assume that they will operate correctly with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Ugandan power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Uganda. Be aware that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by airline baggage handlers. The cost involved in replacing or repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Uganda might be higher than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, or use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed immediately after use without waiting to cool down.   [9] [10] [AD]

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners 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 taking you to Uganda will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing your hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible by airport security, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against drops and knocks during transit.    [8] [9] [11] [12] [AD]

Power converters for Uganda

Do I need a voltage converter to use my hair straighteners in Uganda?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 240 volt power outlet used in Uganda. A power converter is more suited for travellers who wish to use their existing hair straighteners, however it might be cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, travel hair straighteners can be substantially lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable for packing. [5] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Uganda, whereas a heavier and more expensive power converter will convert a 240 volt Ugandan power outlet to work with non-240 volt hair straighteners. [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.    [9] [10] [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 Uganda using a type G power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Uganda with a Type G travel charger.

  1. Make sure that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 240 volt power supply - if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Before using a travel hair straighteners make sure you have set it to the 240 volt setting to use in Uganda - refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to bring a Type G plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Uganda. The Type G plug adapter will help convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Uganda by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 240 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type G plug adapter into the Ugandan power outlet. This plug supply, technically known as a Type G power outlet [3], looks like 3 vertical rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern.
  4. Then plug in your hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ugandan power outlet. Your straighteners can now be turned on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Uganda using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Ugandan country page on Wikipedia
  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, 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, under 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, priced under C$50.
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costing C$20-C$25.
  10. 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, estimated cost around C$20.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, C$90-C$100.
  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, under C$10.
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, under C$20.
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, priced under C$45.
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated cost 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, estimated cost under C$15.