How do I use hair straighteners in Rwanda?

Rwandan power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Rwanda?

First check that your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Rwanda:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 230 volts or can support dual voltage (how to check) then you'll only need to bring the correct power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter [7] (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet, however this is significantly heavier, bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but not the actual shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Rwanda, so please check that the voltage transformer comes with a suitable power adapter for Rwanda otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Also worth noting that your existing hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you risk damage in transit.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 230 volts you run a risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Before using your hair straighteners in Rwanda please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Rwanda

Will my US hair straighteners work in Rwanda?

The instructions on this page assume that you're a reader from America visiting Rwanda and provide advice on using your US hair straighteners with a Rwandan power outlet.

Will my hair straighteners work in Rwanda?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners can handle the 230 volt power outlets in Rwanda. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can handle 230 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you can use the hair straighteners in Rwanda. If not then then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter [7], read the guide on do you need a power converter to use your hair straighteners for help deciding which option is more suitable.

Rwanda power outlets and plug sockets

What is the voltage in Rwanda?

Power outlets in Rwanda are 230 volts.

What is the frequency used with a Rwandan power outlet?

The frequency found in a Rwandan power outlet is 50 Hz.

Which power adapter do you need when using  hair straighteners in Rwanda?

Type C and J power outlets

Which power adapter do you need when using hair straighteners in Rwanda?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Rwanda, these are type J and C with the primary power outlets being type J:

  • Plug Type C - This unearthed wall socket (known as the Europlug) can be identified by the 2 holes next to each other where the live and neutral pins sit.
  • Plug Type J - You can recognise the hexagon shaped power socket by the 3 large round holes in a triangle pattern.

A Type J power adapter [6] allows you to use 230 volt hair straighteners in Rwanda, read the step by step guide below for full details of how to use hair straighteners in Rwanda with a travel adapter. Please be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also need to bring a power converter.

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle of the hair straighteners. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a switch which allows you to toggle between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 230 volts used in Rwanda then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Rwandan 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 Rwandan power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Rwanda.
  • A large range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Rwanda or any other country.

Travelling to Rwanda with hair straighteners

Is it better to bring your domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Rwanda?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners as opposed to packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Rwanda as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 230 volt power outlets used with a Rwandan power outlet, provided that you use the correct power adapter for Rwanda.

Please note that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by an airline baggage handler. The cost and inconvenience involved in replacing expensive specialised hair straighteners in Rwanda might be more than buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before travelling to bring with you. If you intend to bring along your own hair straighteners in your suitcase it is recommended to either slot them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [10] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [11] which also allows the hair straighteners to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

Can I pack hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [12] there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to Rwanda 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 [10] leaves them easily accessible for airport security, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). 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 [14] as this offers the greatest protection against drops and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Rwanda

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Rwanda?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a plug adapter and a voltage converter for Rwanda?

A heavy and bulky power converter [7] will convert a 230 volt Rwandan power outlet to work with non-230 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 fit into a power outlet in Rwanda.

Do I need a power converter to use my hair straighteners in Rwanda?

A suitable voltage transformer [7] (or power converter) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 230 volt power outlet used in Rwanda. A power converter is more suitable for travellers wishing to bring along their own domestic hair straighteners, but it could be a lot less expensive to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it will be to purchase a power converter. Also, a power converter is significantly heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for travelling.

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 [15] 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 [18] 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 [11] or use a hot tools travel case [10] 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 [16] 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 [11] 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 [17] 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.

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 [17] 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 [19] 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.

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 Rwanda using a type C power adapter

A guide showing you how to use your hair straighteners in Rwanda using a 2 prong Type C travel charger.

  1. Please make sure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not continue because you may damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage hair straighteners typically have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 230 volt setting, refer to the owners manual for more information on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Rwanda you'll need to use a Type C plug adapter [4]. The power adapter will help adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for a power outlet found in Rwanda by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt supply.
  3. Firstly you'll need to insert the Type C plug adapter into the Rwandan power outlet. You can identify this power outlet by the 2 round adjacent holes next to each other where the plug outlet pins go.
  4. After that plug in the hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Rwandan power outlet.
  6. The hair straighteners should now be ready to be used in Rwanda.
How to use  hair straighteners in Rwanda using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Rwanda using a type J power adapter

The WikiConnections guide on how to power your hair straighteners in Rwanda with a Type J travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 230 volt power outlet; but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to accept 230 volts for use in Rwanda, please consult the instructions to find out where the switch is located.
  2. You'll need to use a Type J plug adapter [6] if the type of plug used on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of power outlet used in Rwanda. The Type J plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet used in Rwanda simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 230 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by taking the Type J plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. This squashed hexagon shaped power supply, sometimes known as the Type J power outlet [5], looks like 3 circular holes forming a flattened triangle configuration for live, neutral and ground pins.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type J plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Rwandan power outlet. Your hair straighteners can now be used in Rwanda.
How to use  hair straighteners in Rwanda using a type J power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwanda - Wikipedia.org entry about Rwanda
  2. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RNFY344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&keywords=Salona+Professional+1%22+Titanium+Flat+Iron+Hair+Straightener+Worldwide+Dual+Voltage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnections-20&linkId=e3d3466bd15690b0f8d286099f4ac0f1 - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  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
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeJ.htm - Type J power outlet
  6. Type J plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type J power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  9. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - 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..
  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.
  12. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  13. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  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
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.