How do I use my curling iron in Gambia?

Gambian power outlet

Summary

First check your curling iron can handle the voltage in Gambia:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use the correct power adapter for Gambia but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt Gambian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the wall outlet used in Gambia, therefore please check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Gambia otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Note that your own personal curling iron might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in transit. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts used in Gambia you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your curling iron in Gambia check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Gambia

Will my curling iron work in Gambia?

That will depend on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 230 volt power outlets in Gambia:

Gambia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Gambia?

The residential voltage in Gambia is 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in a Gambian power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current from a Gambian power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in Gambia?

Type G power outlet

Which travel adapter do you need to bring to use a curling iron in Gambia?

The type of power outlet used in Gambia is type G. You can identify the power outlet by the three rectangular slots forming a triangle pattern. A suitable travel adapter to bring to use a 230 volt curling iron in Gambia is a Type G plug adapter; read the simple guide below for full details of how to use a curling iron in Gambia. Please be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

One method 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 the plug. This location will depend on the make and model of your curling iron and should also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will feature a button which allows you to operate between different voltages depending on which country you are in.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Gambia then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Gambian 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 230 volts used in a Gambian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Gambia.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Gambia or any other country.

Travelling to Gambia with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Gambia?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron rather than packing your existing domestic curling iron to Gambia as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Gambian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct power adapter for Gambia.

Please note that bringing your expensive domestic curling iron might place it at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airport baggage handler in Gambia. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Gambia might be higher than buying a cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your luggage either slot it inside a boot or sneaker 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.  [8] [AD]

Can curling irons go in my carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons 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 your airline that is flying you to Gambia 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 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 wires 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 as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.   [8] [9] [10] [AD]

Power converters for Gambia

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Gambia?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a power converter for Gambia?

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 Gambia, however a heavier and more expensive power converter converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Gambian power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron. [5] [AD]

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

A suitable power converter (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 230 volt power outlet used in Gambia. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring along 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 noticeably lighter and smaller than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for travelling. [5] [AD]

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

A page showing how to use your curling iron in Gambia with a 3 pronged Type G 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 supply but if it doesn't then don't 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 make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting to use in Gambia - consult the user guide for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet used in Gambia you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [4]. This plug adapter helps adapt plugs from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Gambia 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 plugging the Type G plug adapter into the power outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes known as a Type G power outlet [3], looks like 3 vertical holes with plastic shutters in a triangular configuration.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Gambian power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Gambia using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia entry about Gambia
  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, estimated price £5-£10.
  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 £100-£110.
  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, around £10.
  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, £35-£40.