Using your curling iron in Gabon

Gabonese power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can work in Gabon:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you might still need a suitable power adapter for Gabon however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Gabonese power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A power converter changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of power outlet used in Gabon, so check that your voltage transformer has a power adapter for Gabon otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Be aware that your domestic curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you risk potential damage in a suitcase.

Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 220 volts used in Gabon you run the risk of an electrical fire hazard, blowing a fuse or damage to your curling iron. Before using your curling iron in Gabon check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Gabon

Will my curling iron work in Gabon?

That will depend on if your curling iron can handle the 220 volt power outlets used in Gabon:

Will my American curling iron work in Gabon?

The guides on this page assume that you're a reader from America travelling to Gabon and will provide advice on using your US curling iron with a Gabonese power outlet.

Gabon power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Gabon?

The frequency of the current from a Gabonese power outlet is 50Hz.

What mains voltage is used in Gabon?

Power outlets in Gabon are 220 volts.

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

Type C power outlets are used in Gabon. This ungrounded plug outlet (called the Europlug) is identified by the 2 circular holes next to each other for live and neutral pins. A suitable power adapter to bring to use a 220 volt curling iron in Gabon is a Type C plug adapter [4], read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use a travel adapter for Gabon. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to use a voltage converter.

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

Dual voltage curling irons

Is my curling iron dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your curling iron. The location might 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 models will change automatically, however other irons will have a button or switch which allows you to change 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 220 volts used in Gabon then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Gabonese 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 220 volts used in a Gabonese power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Gabon.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Gabon or any other country.

Travelling to Gabon with a curling iron

Can you carry on a curling iron to Gabon?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons [8] 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 who is taking you to Gabon will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing the curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case [9] leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests 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 [10] as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during transit.

Is it safe to bring my curling iron to Gabon?

It is preferable to packing a dual voltage curling iron rather than packing your existing domestic curling iron to Gabon as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Gabonese power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Gabon. Note that packing 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 Gabon. The cost involved in replacing or repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Gabon might overshadow the costs of purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to pack your own curling iron in your luggage either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [9] which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without risk of burning.

Power converters for Gabon

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet found in Gabon, whereas a more expensive and heavier power converter [5] converts the voltage of 220 volts from a Gabonese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron.

Do I need a power converter to use a normal curling iron in Gabon?

The correct model of power converter [5] (or voltage transformer) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work with the 220 volt power outlet used in Gabon. Travellers wishing to bring their own curling iron can use a power converter, but it could be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to purchase a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. A power converter is also considerably heavier and bulkier than a travel curling iron making a power converter less suitable when packing.

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

How to power your curling iron in Gabon with a Type C travel charger.

  1. Check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power supply; if not then do not attempt these instructions as you may create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Some dual voltage curling irons might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using the iron ensure you have set it to the 220 volt setting to use in Gabon, consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. You will need to use a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Gabon. The Type C plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Gabon 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 220 volt supply.
  3. Start by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it in the Gabonese power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two round adjacent holes for live and neutral pins.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Gabonese power outlet.
  6. The curling iron should now be ready for use.
How to use a curling iron in Gabon using a type C power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabon - Gabon 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, between $5 to $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / around C$15).
  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, costing between $90 to $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / around C$60).
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  8. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=curling%20iron - TSA guidelines for curling irons
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$20).
  10. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $60 to $70 USD (£25-£30 GBP / around C$60).