Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in The Central African Republic?

Central African power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in The Central African Republic?

Check your hair straighteners can work in The Central African Republic:

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

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 Central African power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in The Central African Republic, therefore check that the voltage transformer includes the right power adapter for The Central African Republic otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Also worth noting that your personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk potential damage in transit. [7]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 220 volts you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in The Central African Republic please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in The Central African Republic

Will my hair straighteners work in The Central African Republic?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 220 volts which are used in The Central African Republic:

The Central African Republic power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in The Central African Republic?

Power outlets in The Central African Republic are 220 volts.

What electrical frequency is used in The Central African Republic?

The frequency from a Central African power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in The Central African Republic?

Type C and E power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using hair straighteners in The Central African Republic?

There are two types of power outlets used in The Central African Republic, these are type E and C with the primary power outlets being type E:

  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the power outlet by 2 round holes adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type E - You can recognise the power outlet by two round holes 19mm adjacent to each other where the live and neutral plug socket pins slide into plus a metal earth pin protruding in the top to form a triangular pattern.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use 220 volt hair straighteners in The Central African Republic is a Type E power adapter; read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for The Central African Republic. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also need to bring a voltage converter.  [6] [9]

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?

One way to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug of your hair straighteners. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your hair straighteners and could also state on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners can change automatically, however other models will have a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 220 volts used in The Central African Republic then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Central African 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 220 volts used in a Central African power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in The Central African Republic.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in The Central African Republic or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [2]

Travelling to The Central African Republic with hair straighteners

Should you bring domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to The Central African Republic?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to The Central African Republic as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Central African power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for The Central African Republic.

Be aware that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by an airport baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of repairing or replacing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in The Central African Republic might be more than purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand. If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase either slide them inside a boot or sneaker 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 also allows the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.   [10] [11]

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to The Central African Republic 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 checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around hair straighteners). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the greatest protection against knocks and drops during transit.    [2] [10] [12] [13]

Power converters for The Central African Republic

Do you need a converter to use hair straighteners in The Central African Republic?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in The Central African Republic. Travellers wishing to use their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it might be a lot less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is significantly heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to travel hair straighteners. [7]

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for The Central African Republic?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power converter and a plug adapter for The Central African Republic?

A heavy and bulky power converter transforms the voltage of 220 volts from a Central African power outlet to work with non-220 volt hair straighteners, but a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in The Central African Republic. [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 The Central African Republic using a type C power adapter

Instructions showing how to power your hair straighteners in The Central African Republic with a two pin Type C travel adapter.

  1. Check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't proceed because you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Some travel hair straighteners might typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts for use in The Central African Republic; refer to the owners manual to find out where the switch is found.
  2. You'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of plug outlet used in The Central African Republic. This Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in The Central African Republic by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the Central African power outlet. The power supply (sometimes known as the Europlug) can be identified by two round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Central African power outlet. The hair straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in The Central African Republic using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in The Central African Republic using a type E power adapter

Instructions showing how to use your hair straighteners in The Central African Republic with a two pinned Type E travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 220 volt setting - please consult the user guide for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet which is used in The Central African Republic you'll need to buy a Type E plug adapter [6]. The Type E plug adapter helps convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in The Central African Republic simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Begin by taking the Type E plug adapter and plugging it into the wall outlet. This round power outlet (called the Type E power outlet [5]) can be identified by two large round adjacent holes next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet pins slide into and one long metal grounding pin protruding from the top forming a triangle configuration.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type E plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Central African power outlet. The hair straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in The Central African Republic using a type E power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about The Central African Republic
  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, under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$4-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, estimated cost 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, priced 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, estimated price under $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$20-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, between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$20).
  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, under $50 USD (£40-£45 GBP / C$5-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, estimated cost 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, estimated cost between $10 to $15 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$35).
  16. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, priced 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, between $30 to $35 USD (under £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, between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$15).