How do I use a curling iron in Thailand?

Thai power outlet

Summary

Check your curling iron can work in Thailand:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Thailand but these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for the rigors of travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 220 volt Thai power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Thailand, so please check that the voltage transformer includes a power adapter for Thailand otherwise you will need to bring a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your personal curling iron might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in transit. [9]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle the 220 volts used in Thailand you run the potential risk of damage to your curling iron, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your curling iron in Thailand please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Thailand

Will my curling iron work in Thailand?

That depends on if your curling iron is designed to operate using the 220 volt power outlets in Thailand. If you're using either a dual voltage curling iron or your curling iron can operate using 220 volts and you have the appropriate power adapter then you'll be able to use it in Thailand. If not then you will need to consider using either a power converter or a dual voltage travel curling iron [2], read the guide on can you use a power converter with a curling iron in Thailand for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [9]

Thailand power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Thailand?

The frequency from a Thai power outlet is 50 Hz. [10]

What voltage is used in Thailand?

The typical voltage used in Thailand is 220 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Thailand?

Type A, B and C power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need to bring for using a curling iron in Thailand?

There are three types of power outlets used in Thailand, types B, A and C with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the plug socket by the 2 slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the plug socket by 2 slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the ground pin.
  • Plug Type C - You can recognise the plug socket by 2 holes next to each other for live and neutral pins.

A recommended travel adapter to bring for using a 220 volt curling iron in Thailand is a Type B power adapter - read the step by step guide below for full details of using a curling iron in Thailand. Note that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you might also need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [11]

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 check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make and model of your curling iron, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically but other irons will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates a single voltage curling iron. If this number matches the 220 volts used in Thailand then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Thai 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 Thai power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Thailand.
  • A larger range separated with a slash such as 100/240V indicates a dual voltage curling iron capable of being used in Thailand or any other country.

Travelling to Thailand with a curling iron

Can I carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there are no restrictions when carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is flying you to Thailand will allow a curling iron onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible when going through airport security checks, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.   [12] [13] [14]

Should you bring domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Thailand?

It is preferable to bring a dual voltage curling iron rather than bringing your existing domestic curling iron to Thailand as it ensures that it will work with the 220 volt power outlets used with a Thai power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Thailand.

Please be aware that bringing expensive domestic curling iron could place it at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by an airline baggage handler. The inconvenience and costs of replacing or repairing an expensive specialised domestic curling iron in Thailand might be higher than purchasing a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before your trip. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your luggage either slide it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case which will also allow the curling iron to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [13]

Power converters for Thailand

Do you need a power converter to use your curling iron in Thailand?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow a curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 220 volt power outlet used in Thailand. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing domestic curling iron, but it might be more expensive to buy a power converter than it is to buy a dedicated dual voltage travel curling iron [2]. Also worth noting, a travel curling iron can be significantly lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suited for packing in luggage. [9]

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter will transform the voltage of 220 volts from a Thai power outlet to work with a non-220 volt curling iron, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to slot into a power outlet in Thailand. [9]

How to use a curling iron in Thailand using a type B power adapter

Instructions showing how to use your curling iron in Thailand with a three pin Type B travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or is compatible with a 220 volt power supply but if not then don't attempt these instructions as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to accept 220 volts - please refer to the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. If the plug shape on your curling iron isn't the same type of outlet which is used in Thailand you will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4]. The plug adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into a power outlet used in Thailand simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt supply.
  3. Firstly insert the Type B plug adapter into the wall outlet. This wall supply (technically known as a Type B power outlet [3]) can be identified by 2 slots parallel to each other with a semicircular shaped hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Thai power outlet. The hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Thailand using a type B power adapter

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

Instructions showing how to power a curling iron in Thailand with a Type C travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 220 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not continue as you might blow a fuse, damage your curling iron or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage curling irons usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating the iron make sure you have set it to accept 220 volts to use in Thailand; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type C plug adapter [6] if the type of power outlet which is used in Thailand doesn't accomodate the plug of your curling iron. This power adapter will fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Thailand by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type C plug adapter in the wall outlet. You can identify this wall supply by two circular holes adjacent to each other.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Thai power outlet. The curling iron can now be used in Thailand.
How to use a curling iron in Thailand using a type C power adapter

How to use a curling iron in Thailand using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing how to power a curling iron in Thailand with a three prong Type A travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or works with a 220 volt power outlet but if not then don't continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages ensure you have set it to accept 220 volts - please refer to the instructions for more details on how to do this.
  2. This guide assumes that you're not already using a curling iron with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your curling iron will work with a 220 volt power supply). You'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8] if the shape of plug used on your curling iron isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Thailand. This Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Thailand by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your curling iron to work with a 220 volt outlet.
  3. Start by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the Thai power outlet. The power supply, sometimes called a Type A power outlet [7], is recognised by the two thin slots adjacent to each other.
  4. Plug in your curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Thai power outlet. You can now switch on the curling iron in Thailand.
How to use a curling iron in Thailand using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - Thai entry on Wikipedia
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel curling iron
  3. iec.ch - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - US and Japanese 3 pinned Type B plug adapters have a single unearthed round pin along with 2 shorter parallel rectangular flat blades containing holes in each blade, under $10 USD (£5-£10 GBP / C$5-C$10).
  5. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  6. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$15).
  7. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, priced at between $10 to $15 USD (under £4 GBP / under C$15).
  9. 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 (£100-£110 GBP / under C$80).
  10. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  11. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  12. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  13. 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 (under £10 GBP / under C$25).
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $45 to $50 USD (under £45 GBP / under C$80).