How do I use my hair straighteners in Ghana?

Ghanaian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Ghana?

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

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Ghanaian power outlet, however this is substantially heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Ghana, therefore please check that the power converter comes with the correct power adapter for Ghana otherwise you will also need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please note that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you could risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle the 230 volts used in Ghana you run the risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Ghana please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Ghana

Will my hair straighteners work in Ghana?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can handle the 230 volt power outlets used in Ghana:

Ghana power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Ghana?

Power outlets in Ghana are 230 volts.

What is the electrical frequency used in Ghana?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Ghanaian power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

Which plug adapter will you need for using  hair straighteners in Ghana?

Type D and G power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need for using hair straighteners in Ghana?

There are two types of power outlets used in Ghana, these are type G and D with the primary power outlets being type G:

  • Plug Type D - You can identify this power outlet by the three holes forming a triangle shape for live, neutral and earth.
  • Plug Type G - You can identify the wall socket by the three rectangular slots containing shutters in a triangle pattern.

A recommended power adapter to bring for using 230 volt hair straighteners in Ghana is a Type G plug adapter, read the step by step instructions below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Ghana with a power adapter. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you also have to bring a power converter.  [6] [9] [AD]

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?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your hair straighteners. The location might vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners and should also be written in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically but other models will feature 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 single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Ghana then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Ghanaian 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 230 volts used in a Ghanaian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Ghana.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Ghana or any other country.
 [10] [AD]

Travelling to Ghana with hair straighteners

Is it safer to bring my travel hair straighteners or domestic hair straighteners to Ghana?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Ghana as it is safer to assume that they will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Ghanaian power outlet, as long as you use the correct plug adapter for Ghana. Note that packing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler in Ghana. The cost of replacing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in Ghana 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 hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which also allows the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without risk of burning.   [11] [12] [AD]

Can you take hair straighteners in your carry on?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you take hair straighteners in your carry on?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also suggests that you should verify that the airline which is flying you to Ghana will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

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 avoiding a tangle of power cords 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 advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and drops during your journey.    [10] [11] [13] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Ghana

Do you need a power converter to use hair straighteners in Ghana?

The correct voltage transformer (or power converter) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 230 volt power outlet used in Ghana. Travellers who wish to use their existing domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it could 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 heavier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to travel hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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 cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Ghana, but a heavy and bulkier power converter will convert the voltage of 230 volts from a Ghanaian power outlet to work with non-230 volt hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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.    [11] [12] [15] [16] [17] [18] [AD]
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.
  [17] [19] [AD]

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 Ghana using a type D power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Ghana with a Type D travel charger.

  1. Check that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 230 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then don't continue because you could blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners ensure you have set it to accept 230 volts; please refer to the manufacturers instructions for more information on where this switch is.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in Ghana won't accomodate the plug shape on your hair straighteners you will need to use a Type D plug adapter [4]. The Type D plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into a power outlet found in Ghana simply by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type D plug adapter into the wall outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes known as a Type D power outlet [3], looks like 3 round holes in a triangular configuration for live, neutral and earth.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type D plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Ghanaian power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on the straighteners to use in Ghana.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ghana using a type D power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Ghana using a type G power adapter

Instructions showing how to use hair straighteners in Ghana using a three prong Type G power adapter.

  1. Please check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply - if not then do not proceed as you might create an electrical fire hazard, damage your hair straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners make sure you have set it to the 230 volt setting to use in Ghana - consult the user guide for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the type of power outlet used in Ghana isn't the same shape as the plug on your hair straighteners you'll need to buy a Type G plug adapter [6]. This plug adapter is designed to convert different plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet used in Ghana by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin the process by plugging the Type G plug adapter into the Ghanaian power outlet. You can identify the power supply by the three rectangular slots containing shutters forming a triangle pattern.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Ghanaian power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Ghana using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Ghana Wiki page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type D power outlet
  4. Type D plug adapter - The three pinned earthed Type D plug adapter has large rounded pins placed in a triangular shape, costs between $5 to $10 USD (around £5 GBP / under C$10).
  5. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  6. 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, between $5 to $10 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$15).
  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$90).
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, between $50 to $60 USD (under £25 GBP / under C$40).
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$25).
  12. 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, priced between $15 to $20 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$30).
  13. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $50 to $60 USD (£35-£40 GBP / around C$70).
  15. 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, between $4 to $5 USD (£5-£10 GBP / around C$5).
  16. 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 (£10-£15 GBP / under C$10).
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costing under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costing around $190 USD (£140-£150 GBP / C$80-C$90).
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, priced at between $30 to $35 USD (£5-£10 GBP / under C$15).