Using your hair straighteners in Kenya

Kenyan power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Kenya?

First check your hair straighteners can work in Kenya:

  • If your hair straighteners can run using 240 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Kenya, therefore check that your voltage transformer comes with an appropriate power adapter for Kenya otherwise you will need to purchase another power adapter. Please be aware your own personal hair straighteners might not be suitable for travel and you risk potential damage in a suitcase. [5] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 240 volts you run the potential risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Kenya check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Kenya

Will my hair straighteners work in Kenya?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 240 volts as used in Kenya:

Kenya power outlets and plug sockets

What mains voltage is used in Kenya?

The common residential voltage in Kenya is 240 volts.

What frequency is used in a Kenyan power outlet?

The frequency of the alternating current in a Kenyan power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

Which plug adapter will you need to use hair straighteners in Kenya?

The type of power outlet used in Kenya is type G. You can identify the wall socket by the three holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular configuration. A Type G plug adapter will allow you to use 240 volt hair straighteners in Kenya - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Kenya with a plug adapter. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you also need to use a voltage converter.  [4] [7] [AD]

Which plug adapter will you need to use  hair straighteners in Kenya?

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 will accept a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your hair straighteners. The location will depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it should also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically but other straighteners will have a button or switch which allows you to toggle between different regions depending on which country you are visiting.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Kenya then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Kenyan power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 240 volts used in a Kenyan power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Kenya.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a large range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in Kenya or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [8] [AD]

Travelling to Kenya with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Kenya?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Kenya as it is safer to assume that they will work with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Kenyan power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Kenya.

It is also worth bearing in mind that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by a baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Kenya might be higher than purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring along your own hair straighteners in your luggage either slot 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 will also allow the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.   [9] [10] [AD]

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners?

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 also suggests that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to Kenya will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible for airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around electronic items). If you intend to pack fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.    [8] [9] [11] [12] [AD]

Power converters for Kenya

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter transforms the voltage of 240 volts from a Kenyan power outlet to work with non-240 volt hair straighteners, whereas a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Kenya. [5] [AD]

Do you need a voltage converter for Kenya to use hair straighteners?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work with the 240 volt power outlet used in Kenya. Travellers who wish to bring their own hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it might be cheaper to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. A power converter is also significantly heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing in luggage. [5] [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.    [9] [10] [13] [14] [15] [16] [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.
  [15] [17] [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 Kenya using a type G power adapter

A guide showing how to use your hair straighteners in Kenya with a Type G power adapter.

  1. Check that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 240 volt power supply - if not then do not continue because you could damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 240 volt setting to use in Kenya, please refer to the manufacturers instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Kenya you will need to use a Type G plug adapter [4]. This Type G plug adapter will adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet found in Kenya by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 240 volt supply.
  3. Firstly plug in the Type G plug adapter in the power outlet. You can identify the wall outlet by the three holes containing plastic shutters in a triangular configuration.
  4. Next plug in your hair straighteners into the Type G plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Kenyan power outlet.
  6. The straighteners should now be ready to use.
How to use  hair straighteners in Kenya using a type G power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Kenyan entry on Wikipedia.org
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type G power outlet
  4. 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, priced at under $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$10-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, between $90 to $100 USD (under £110 GBP / under C$90).
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Dual voltage travel hair straighteners - Hair straighteners with adjustable temperature and dual voltage for 110 volts and 220 volts suitable for international travel, priced at between $50 to $60 USD (£20-£25 GBP / around C$35).
  9. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced at between $10 to $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$25).
  10. 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, around $15 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$25-C$30).
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced at around $50 USD (£35-£40 GBP / C$70-C$80).
  13. 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, under $5 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$5-C$10).
  14. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, under $15 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$5-C$10).
  15. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costs between $5 to $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / around C$15).
  16. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated price between $190 to $200 USD (under £150 GBP / under C$90).
  17. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, between $30 to $35 USD (under £10 GBP / under C$15).