How do I use my hair straighteners in Barbados?

Barbadian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Barbados?

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

If not then either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 115 volt Barbadian power outlet, however this is noticeably bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter changes the voltage but not the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Barbados, therefore please check that the voltage transformer comes with the correct power adapter for Barbados 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 115 volts 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 Barbados please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Barbados

Will my hair straighteners work in Barbados?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners is designed to operate using the 115 volts as used in Barbados. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to operate using 115 volts and you have the appropriate plug adapter then you'll be able to use your hair straighteners in Barbados. If not then you will need to consider bringing either a power converter or dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Read the guide on will a voltage converter work with your hair straighteners in Barbados for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Barbados power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in a Barbadian power outlet?

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

What is the mains voltage in Barbados?

The residential voltage in Barbados is 115 volts.

Which power adapter will you need when using  hair straighteners in Barbados?

Type A and B power outlets

Which power adapter will you need when using hair straighteners in Barbados?

There are two different types of power outlets used in Barbados, types B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this plug outlet by the two slots adjacent to each other.
  • Plug Type B - This plug outlet (also called a type B power outlet) is identified by the two slots for live and neutral blades with a single hole below for the earth pin.

A recommended plug adapter to bring for using 115 volt hair straighteners in Barbados is a Type B power adapter; read the step by step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Barbados. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to confirm if you also need to use a voltage converter.  [4] [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 state in the instruction manual or on the box. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically but other models will feature a button which allows you to toggle 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 115 volts used in Barbados then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Barbadian 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 115 volts used in a Barbadian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in Barbados.
  • A larger voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Barbados or any other country.
 [10] [AD]

Travelling to Barbados with hair straighteners

Can you carry on hair straighteners in your luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners in your luggage?

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 recommends that you should check that the airline which is flying you to Barbados will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft. 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 avoiding a tangle of power cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you do 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 most protection against drops and knocks during transit.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Barbados?

Packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they'll work with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Barbadian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Barbados. Please be aware that bringing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk because of potential damage or loss in transit by airport baggage handlers. The cost and inconvenience of repairing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in Barbados could outweigh the costs of purchasing cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] beforehand to bring along with you. If you intend to bring your own personal hair straighteners in your suitcase 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 packed whilst hot without risk of burning.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Barbados

Can you use hair straighteners with a converter for Barbados?

A voltage transformer (or power converter) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 115 volt power outlet used in Barbados. Travellers who wish to bring their own hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it could be a lot less expensive to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to purchase a power converter. Also worth noting, a power converter is noticeably heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for travelling compared to travel hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Barbados, but an expensive and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 115 volts from a Barbadian power outlet to work with non-115 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.    [12] [14] [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 Barbados using a type B power adapter

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

  1. Ensure that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you might damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to accept 115 volts; please refer to the user guide to find out where this switch is.
  2. If the shape of the power outlet which is used in Barbados won't accomodate the plug shape on your hair straighteners you will need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4]. The Type B plug adapter will adapt plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Barbados 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 115 volt supply.
  3. Start by plugging the Type B plug adapter into the Barbadian power outlet. You can recognise this plug supply by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a semicircle hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. Then plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Barbadian power outlet.
  6. You can now turn on your straighteners in Barbados.
How to use  hair straighteners in Barbados using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Barbados using a type A power adapter

How to power your hair straighteners in Barbados with a 2 pronged Type A travel charger.

  1. Make sure that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power supply but if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to accept 115 volts; please refer to the owners manual to find out where this switch is.
  2. This guide assumes that you are not already using hair straighteners with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but please check that your hair straighteners will work with a 115 volt power outlet). You'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of plug outlet which is used in Barbados. The Type A plug adapter will help convert different plugs on appliances from other countries for use in a power outlet in Barbados simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Insert the Type A plug adapter into the power outlet. The wall outlet, sometimes known as the Type A power outlet [5], can be recognised by 2 thin slots parallel to each other.
  4. Plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Barbadian power outlet. The straighteners can now be turned on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Barbados using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org web page about Barbados
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  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, costs under C$10.
  5. iec.ch - Type A power outlet
  6. Type A plug adapter - There are 2 parallel rectangular flat blades on an unearthed Type A plug adapter with small holes in each blade, estimated cost C$35-C$40.
  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, costs C$170-C$180.
  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, estimated price C$45-C$50.
  11. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced at under C$25.
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, around C$110.
  14. 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 C$20-C$25.
  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, around C$5.
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, costing under C$50.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under C$20.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, priced under 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, costing around C$15.