How to use your curling iron in France

Don't know which travel adapter to use abroad? A straightforward guide for those travelling to France and bringing their curling iron.

French power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in France:

  • If your curling iron can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your curling iron won't fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need to use a suitable power adapter for France but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 230 volt French power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the power outlet used in France, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes the correct power adapter for France otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Be aware that your own domestic curling iron might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your suitcase.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 230 volts you run the risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in France read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in France

How can I use my American curling iron in France?

The instructions on this page assume that you're an America reader travelling to France and will provide guidance for using your US curling iron with a French power outlet.

Will my curling iron work in France?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 230 volts as used in France. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron is designed to handle 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you should be able to use your curling iron in France. If not then then you will need to consider purchasing either a power converter [7] or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read the guide on do you need a voltage converter to use a curling iron for help deciding which option is more suitable.

France power outlets

What voltage is used in France?

Power outlets in France are 230 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a French power outlet?

The frequency from a French power outlet is 50 Hz.

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in France?

Type C and E power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in France?

There are two types of power outlets used in France, types E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (called a Europlug) is recognised by the two circular adjacent holes.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify this wall outlet by two 4.8mm round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into and one metal earth pin protruding in the top in a triangle shape.

A Type E plug adapter [6] will allow you to use a 230 volt curling iron in France, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for France. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

The way to tell if your curling iron can handle a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. The location will depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage curling irons will change automatically but other irons will feature a switch which allows you to operate between different regions.

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

Travelling to France with a curling iron

Can curling irons go in hand luggage to France?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [10] there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to France will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [11] leaves it easily accessible by airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA advices wrapping cords tightly around curling irons). If you intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.

Power converters for France

Do I need a voltage converter to use a normal curling iron in France?

A suitable power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) allows your curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 230 volt power outlet used in France. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who want to use their own domestic curling iron, but it might be considerably cheaper to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. A power converter is substantially bulkier and heavier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to a travel curling iron.

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter [12] (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in France, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter [7] transforms a 230 volt French power outlet to work with a non-230 volt curling iron.

Travelling to France with a curling iron

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to France?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a French power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for France.

Please note that packing your expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing an expensive quality domestic curling iron in France might outweigh the costs of buying a much cheaper dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to bring along your own curling iron in your suitcase either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case [11] which will also allow the curling iron to be transported right after use without risk of burning.

How to use a curling iron in France using a type C power adapter

A step-by-step guide showing you how to power a curling iron in France by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Check that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 230 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Dual voltage curling irons typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts - please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in France isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your curling iron you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. The Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in France simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the French power outlet. This unearthed power supply (called a Europlug or Type C power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two circular adjacent holes.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the French power outlet. You can now switch on your curling iron to use in France.
How to use a curling iron in France using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in France using a type E power adapter

How to use your curling iron in France with a Type E power charger.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you may damage your iron, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting for use in France, please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You'll need to use a Type E plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same type of plug outlet used in France. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in France simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type E plug adapter in the French power outlet. The recessed circular plug outlet can be identified by two large circular adjacent holes next to each other and one metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangular pattern.
  4. Next plug in the curling iron into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the French power outlet. The curling iron can now be used in France.
How to use a curling iron in France using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France - French 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/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeE.htm - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type E 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. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners.
  12. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-GP-12PK-International-Worldwide-Universal/dp/B01DJEBLQU/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CFDDSXZJ59CH648AVQ0H&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=b865b6ca5e535d710bf1e1b3a790f622 - power adapter