How to use hair straighteners in Tobago

Tobagonian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Tobago?

Check that your hair straighteners can work in Tobago:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 115 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can check) then you will only need to use a suitable power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit in the outlet.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - you can then use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 115 volt Tobagonian power outlet, however this is noticeably heavier 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 wall outlet used in Tobago, therefore check that your power converter includes the right power adapter for Tobago otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Please note that your own existing hair straighteners might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 115 volts you run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your hair straighteners. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Tobago please check the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Tobago

Will my hair straighteners work in Tobago?

It depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 115 volt power outlets used in Tobago. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 115 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you'll be able to use the hair straighteners in Tobago. If not then you will need to consider purchasing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read the guide on will a power converter work with your hair straighteners in Tobago for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Tobago power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used with a Tobagonian power outlet?

The frequency used in a Tobagonian power outlet is 60 Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in Tobago?

Power outlets in Tobago are 115 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need for using  hair straighteners in Tobago?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need for using hair straighteners in Tobago?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise this wall socket by the 2 thin adjacent slots for live and neutral.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket (technically called a type B power outlet) is recognised by 2 slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the grounded pin.

A Type B power adapter is suitable for powering 115 volt hair straighteners in Tobago; read the step by step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Tobago using a power adapter. Be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you have to use a voltage converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage power outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or the handle. The location might depend on the make or model of your hair straighteners, it should also state on the box. Some dual voltage models can change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to operate between different voltages.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 115 volts used in Tobago then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Tobagonian 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 Tobagonian power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Tobago.
  • A large voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Tobago or any other country.
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Travelling to Tobago with hair straighteners

Can I carry on hair straighteners to Tobago in my hand luggage?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I carry on hair straighteners to Tobago in my hand luggage?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA suggests that you should verify that your airline which is flying you to Tobago 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 leaves them easily accessible when going through airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and will avoid a tangle of cables in your carry on luggage (the TSA recommends wrapping cables tightly around electric items such as hair straighteners). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to bring hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Tobago?

Bringing dual voltage travel hair straighteners are preferable to packing your existing hair straighteners as it ensures that they will operate correctly with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Tobagonian power outlet, provided that you use the correct plug adapter for Tobago.

Be aware that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners could put them at risk due to potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Tobago. The inconvenience and costs of repairing expensive quality hair straighteners in Tobago might outweigh the cost of buying cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, 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 right after use without waiting to cool down.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Tobago

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and expensive power converter transforms the voltage of 115 volts from a Tobagonian power outlet to work with non-115 volt hair straighteners, however a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet in Tobago. [7] [AD]

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

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to work using a 115 volt power outlet used in Tobago. Travellers wishing to bring their existing domestic hair straighteners can use a power converter, but it can be more costly to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, travel hair straighteners can be considerably smaller and lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when packing in luggage. [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 Tobago using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Tobago with a 3 prong Type B power charger.

  1. Make sure that your straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power outlet; but if not then do not continue because you may create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Before using a travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 115 volt setting, consult the manufacturers instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type B plug adapter [4] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet used in Tobago. The plug adapter helps adapt plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet found in Tobago simply by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt supply.
  3. Begin the process by taking the Type B plug adapter and inserting it into the power outlet. This plug supply (called the Type B power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the longer ground pin.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Tobagonian power outlet. You can now switch on your straighteners in Tobago.
How to use  hair straighteners in Tobago using a type B power adapter

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

How to power hair straighteners in Tobago with a 2 bladed Type A power charger.

  1. Please make sure that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 115 volt power outlet; but if not then don't continue because you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel straighteners make sure you have set it to the 115 volt setting, consult the manufacturers instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. This guide assumes that you don't already own hair straighteners with a Type A plug - if it does then you won't need a power adapter (but still check that your hair straighteners can work with a 115 volt power supply). If the shape of the power outlet which is used in Tobago doesn't take the plug shape on your hair straighteners you'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6]. This Type A plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries into a power outlet in Tobago by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly plug the Type A plug adapter into the Tobagonian power outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by the two thin slots parallel to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet blades sit.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Tobagonian power outlet. Your hair straighteners can now be used in Tobago.
How to use  hair straighteners in Tobago using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org entry about Tobago
  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, around C$45.
  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, costs under C$15.
  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, estimated cost C$80-C$90.
  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, around C$35.
  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, under C$25.
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, around C$70.
  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, estimated cost under C$30.
  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, estimated cost C$5-C$10.
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, estimated price under C$10.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costing under C$20.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, 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, priced C$10-C$15.