How do I use my hair straighteners in Benin?

Beninese power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Benin?

First check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Benin:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 220 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you will only need to bring the correct power adapter for Benin listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit in the outlet.

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 220 volt Beninese power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of power outlet used in Benin, so please check that the power converter includes a suitable power adapter for Benin otherwise you will still need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware your existing hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your suitcase. [7]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 220 volts used in Benin 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 Benin check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Benin

Will my hair straighteners work in Benin?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can handle the 220 volts used in Benin. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can handle 220 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you can use the hair straighteners in Benin. If not then you will need to consider using 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 Benin for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7]

Benin power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Benin?

The standard voltage used in Benin is 220 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used with a Beninese power outlet?

The frequency of the current from a Beninese power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use  hair straighteners in Benin?

Type C and E power outlets

Which power adapter do you need to bring to use hair straighteners in Benin?

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

  • Plug Type C - This ungrounded plug outlet is recognised by 2 circular adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins slide into.
  • Plug Type E - You can identify the power outlet by the two large holes 19mm adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins with a single metal earth pin protruding in the top to form a triangle pattern.

A Type E power adapter allows you to use 220 volt hair straighteners in Benin - read the simple instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Benin. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to confirm if you also have to bring a power converter.  [6] [9]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

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

Single 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 dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. This location will depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it could also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models will change automatically, however 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 single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Benin then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Beninese 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 220 volts used in a Beninese power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Benin.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Benin or any other country.
 [2]

Travelling to Benin with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Benin?

Packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they'll work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Beninese power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Benin.

It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk due to potential loss or damage in your check in luggage by an airport baggage handler in Benin. The inconvenience and costs involved in replacing or repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Benin could be higher than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slide them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively 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 whilst hot without risk of burning.   [10] [11]

Can I carry on hair straighteners in my luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I carry on hair straighteners in my luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline who is taking you to Benin will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. Packing the 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 recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.    [2] [10] [12] [13]

Power converters for Benin

Can you use hair straighteners with a converter for Benin?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Benin. A power converter is more suitable for travellers who wish to bring their own hair straighteners, however it can be cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is substantially bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for travelling compared to travel hair straighteners. [7]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter converts the voltage of 220 volts from a Beninese power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Benin. [7]

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.    [10] [11] [14] [15] [16] [17]
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.
  [16] [18]

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 Benin using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing how to use hair straighteners in Benin using a two pronged Type C power adapter.

  1. Check that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 220 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting; please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Benin you'll need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4]. This Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Benin simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type C plug adapter and inserting it in the Beninese power outlet. You can identify this plug supply by the two round holes next to each other where the two plug outlet pins sit.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Beninese power outlet. The hair straighteners can now be used in Benin.
How to use  hair straighteners in Benin using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Benin using a type E power adapter

How to power hair straighteners in Benin using a two pinned Type E power adapter.

  1. Please check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet - if not then do not attempt these instructions because you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to accept 220 volts for use in Benin, consult the owners manual for more details on how to do this.
  2. You'll need to bring a Type E plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Benin. The power adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Benin by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type E plug adapter and plugging it into the power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the two large holes 19mm adjacent to each other for live and neutral pins with a metal earth pin protruding in the top forming a triangle pattern.
  4. After that plug in your hair straighteners into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Beninese power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be turned on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Benin using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia entry about Benin
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10 USD (around £10 GBP / under C$5).
  5. iec.ch - Type E power outlet
  6. Type E plug adapter - There are two 4.8mm pins on the Type E plug adapter which are placed 19mm apart and includes a hole in the top for an earthing pin, priced at between $5 to $10 USD (under £5 GBP / under C$5).
  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, between $90 to $100 USD (under £110 GBP / under C$70).
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - 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, costing between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$25).
  11. 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, costing between $5 to $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$15).
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, estimated cost between $45 to $50 USD (£40-£45 GBP / under C$10).
  14. 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, priced between $4 to $5 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$5).
  15. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, between $10 to $15 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$40).
  16. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$4-C$5).
  17. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated cost between $30 to $35 USD (£140-£150 GBP / under C$60).
  18. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, costing between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$15).