Which plug adapter do I need for using hair straighteners in Cuba?

Cuban power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Cuba?

Check your hair straighteners can work in Cuba:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 110 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to bring an appropriate power adapter for Cuba listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) - this will enable you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 110 volt Cuban power outlet, however this is substantially bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Cuba, therefore please check that your power converter [9] has a suitable power adapter for Cuba otherwise you will also need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Please be aware that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your luggage.

Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 110 volts you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Cuba please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Cuba

Will my American hair straighteners work in Cuba?

The guides on this page assume that you are a reader from America visiting Cuba and will provide guidance for using your US hair straighteners with a Cuban power outlet.

Will my hair straighteners work in Cuba?

This will depend on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 110 volt power outlets in Cuba:

Cuba power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Cuba?

The standard residential voltage used in Cuba is 110 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Cuban power outlet?

The frequency from a Cuban power outlet is 60 Hz.

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in Cuba?

Type A, B and C power outlets

Which power adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in Cuba?

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

  • Plug Type A - The power outlet (called the type A power outlet) can be identified by two thin adjacent slots.
  • Plug Type B - You can recognise the power socket by 2 slots parallel to each other with a single semicircle shaped hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.
  • Plug Type C - This wall outlet (called a Europlug) is recognised by the two round holes next to each other.

A Type C plug adapter [6] allows you to use 110 volt hair straighteners in Cuba, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of how to use a plug adapter for Cuba. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also need to bring a voltage converter.

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 check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug of your hair straighteners. This location will vary depending on the make or model of your hair straighteners and could also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models can change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltages depending on which country you are visiting.

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

Travelling to Cuba with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Cuba?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to bringing your existing hair straighteners as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 110 volt power outlets used with a Cuban power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Cuba.

Please be aware that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk because of potential loss or damage in your check in suitcase by an airport baggage handler. The costs involved in repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Cuba might outweigh the costs of buying cheap dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to bring your own hair straighteners in your suitcase either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case [12] or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons [13] which also allows the hair straighteners to be packed whilst hot without waiting to cool down.

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to Cuba?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to Cuba?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners [14] there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline which is taking you to Cuba 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 [12] leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of power wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping wires tightly around electronic items). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to use hard carry on luggage [16] as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.

Power converters for Cuba

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power adapter and a power converter?

A cheap, small and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Cuba, whereas a heavy and bulkier power converter [9] transforms a 110 volt Cuban power outlet to work with non-110 volt hair straighteners.

Will a voltage converter work with a hair straighteners in Cuba?

A suitable power converter [9] (or voltage transformer) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 110 volt power outlet used in Cuba. Travellers who want to use their own domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also worth noting, a power converter is considerably heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suited for packing in luggage compared to travel hair straighteners.

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 [17] 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 [20] 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 [13] or use a hot tools travel case [12] 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 [18] 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 [13] 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 [19] 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 [19] 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 [21] 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 Cuba using a type B power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in Cuba with a three pinned Type B travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 110 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting, please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the plug outlet used in Cuba. This power adapter will help fit different plugs from other countries for a power outlet used in Cuba simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type B plug adapter in the Cuban power outlet. The power supply (called a Type B power outlet [3]) can be identified by two thin slots with a semicircular hole below for the slightly longer earthed pin.
  4. Next plug in the hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Cuban power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in Cuba.
How to use  hair straighteners in Cuba using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Cuba using a type C power adapter

Simple instructions showing you how to power hair straighteners in Cuba by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 110 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not continue as you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your straighteners or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting for use in Cuba; refer to the user guide to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet used in Cuba isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners. This power adapter will convert plugs on appliances from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Cuba simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 110 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by taking the Type C plug adapter and plugging it in the Cuban power outlet. The plug outlet can be identified by two circular adjacent holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Cuban power outlet.
  6. The straighteners can now be used in Cuba.
How to use  hair straighteners in Cuba using a type C power adapter

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

How to use your hair straighteners in Cuba with a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 110 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a travel straighteners which can toggle between different voltages ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting for use in Cuba, please consult the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. This guide assumes that you're 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 110 volt power supply). If the shape of the power outlet used in Cuba isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners you'll need to use a Type A plug adapter [8]. The Type A plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for a power outlet found in Cuba by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 110 volt supply.
  3. Plug in the Type A plug adapter into the wall outlet. This wall supply, sometimes called a Type A power outlet [7], is recognised by the two thin slots next to each other.
  4. Then plug in the hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Cuban power outlet. The straighteners can now be used in Cuba.
How to use  hair straighteners in Cuba using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuba - wikipedia.org page about Cuba
  2. https://www.amazon.ca/Salona-Professional-Straightener-Worldwide-Resistant/dp/B00RNFY344/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1519922940&sr=8-1&keywords=Salona+Professional+1%22+Titanium+Flat+Iron+Hair+Straightener+Worldwide+Dual+Voltage&linkCode=ll1&tag=wikiconnectio-20&linkId=890eced392f65c51961e1309e5a4c538 - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeB.htm - Type B power outlet
  4. Type B plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type B power outlets without converting voltage
  5. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeC.htm - Type C power outlet
  6. Type C plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type C power outlets without converting voltage
  7. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/typeA.htm - Type A power outlet
  8. Type A plug adapter - Allows appliances to connect to Type A power outlets without converting voltage
  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
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country
  11. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm - IEC World Plugs by location
  12. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners..
  13. 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.
  14. https://apps.tsa.dhs.gov/mytsa/cib_results.aspx?search=hair%20iron - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners
  15. Dual voltage travel hair dryer - Folding handle hair dryer with dual voltage suitable for international travel
  16. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on.
  17. 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
  18. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons.
  19. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time.
  20. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel.
  21. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet.