How do I use my curling iron in Colombia?

Colombian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Colombia:

  • If your curling iron can run using 110 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to use an appropriate power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Colombia however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 110 volt Colombian power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Colombia, so please check that the power converter [7] includes a suitable power adapter for Colombia otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Be aware that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travel and you could risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 110 volts you run the risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Colombia please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Colombia

Will my curling iron work in Colombia?

This depends on if your curling iron can handle the 110 volt power outlets used in Colombia. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can handle 110 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use it in Colombia. If not then then you will need to consider purchasing either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7]. Read the section on do you need a voltage converter to use your curling iron for help deciding which solution is more suitable.

Can I use my US curling iron in Colombia?

The instructions on this page assume that you are a reader from the US travelling to Colombia and provide guidance for using your American curling iron with a Colombian power outlet.

Colombia power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Colombia?

Power outlets in Colombia are 110 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Colombia?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Colombian power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which plug adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Colombia?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Colombia?

There are two types of power outlets used in Colombia, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - The power outlet, technically called a type A power outlet, can be identified by the two slots adjacent to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  • Plug Type B - You can identify the power outlet by the two slots adjacent to each other for live and neutral blades with a semicircle hole below for the longer grounded pin.

A Type B power adapter [4] allows you to use a 110 volt curling iron in Colombia - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for Colombia. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a power converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

A simple way to tell if your curling iron can accept 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 curling iron and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons can change automatically but other models will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges depending on which country you are in.

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

Travelling to Colombia with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Colombia?

Packing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it ensures that it will operate correctly with the 110 volt power outlets used with a Colombian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Colombia. Note that packing expensive domestic curling iron might put it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience of repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Colombia could outweigh the costs of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] . 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 damage, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [10] which also allows the curling iron to be transported immediately after use without waiting to cool down.

Can you take a curling iron in your carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [11] there are no restrictions when bringing a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline that is flying you to Colombia will allow curling irons 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 [10] leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cables tightly around curling irons). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage [12] as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.

Power converters for Colombia

Can I use a voltage converter to use a normal curling iron in Colombia?

A voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 110 volt power outlet used in Colombia. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to use their own curling iron, however it might be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also, a travel curling iron can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for travelling.

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet in Colombia, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] converts the voltage of 110 volts from a Colombian power outlet to work with a non-110 volt curling iron.

How to use a curling iron in Colombia using a type B power adapter

Learn how to power your curling iron in Colombia with a Type B travel charger.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 110 volt power supply but if not then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Travel curling irons sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron ensure you have set it to the 110 volt setting to use in Colombia, refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet which is used in Colombia. The Type B plug adapter helps fit different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet in Colombia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type B plug adapter into the Colombian power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the slightly long grounded pin.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Colombian power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Colombia using a type B power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Colombia using a type A power adapter

How to power your curling iron in Colombia with a Type A travel charger.

  1. Ensure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 110 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron ensure you have set it to the 110 volt setting to use in Colombia - consult the manufacturers instructions for more information on how to do this.
  2. These instructions assume that you are not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but you will still need to check that your curling iron can work with a 110 volt power supply). If the shape of the power outlet which is used in Colombia isn't the same shape as the plug on your curling iron you'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Colombia by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and plugging it in the Colombian power outlet. The power outlet, sometimes known as a Type A power outlet [5], can be recognised by 2 thin slots where the live and neutral blades slide into.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Colombian power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be turned on.
How to use a curling iron in Colombia using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia - Colombia Wikipedia page
  2. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Smart-Conair-Ceramic-Curling/dp/B002WQ93F8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1484157133&sr=8-3&keywords=dual+voltage+curling+iron&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=9539dbabb2cd76a0541c75b1e59576ba - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  10. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  11. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.