Using hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in The US Virgin Islands?

Check that your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in The US Virgin Islands:

If not then you can either:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 110 volt Virgin Islands power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands, therefore check that your power converter has the right power adapter for The US Virgin Islands otherwise you will need to bring another power adapter. Note that your personal hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk damage in your luggage. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 110 volts used in The US Virgin Islands you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands please read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands

Will my hair straighteners work in The US Virgin Islands?

That will depend on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 110 volts which are used in The US Virgin Islands:

The US Virgin Islands power outlets and plug sockets

What is the frequency used with a Virgin Islands power outlet?

The frequency from a Virgin Islands power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in The US Virgin Islands?

Power outlets in The US Virgin Islands are 110 volts.

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands?

There are two types of power outlets used in The US Virgin Islands, these are type B and A with the primary power outlets being type B:

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the power outlet by two thin adjacent slots where the plug socket pins go.
  • Plug Type B - This power socket (called a type B power outlet) is recognised by the two slots where the twin plug socket blades go with a semicircular shaped hole below for the grounded pin.

A Type B plug adapter allows you to use 110 volt hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands, read the simple guide below for full details of using a plug adapter for The US Virgin Islands. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also have to use a power converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

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 dual voltage is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle of your hair straighteners. The location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also state in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other models will have a button which allows you to change between different regions.

  • Single voltage might say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 110 volts used in The US Virgin Islands then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Virgin Islands power outlet.
  • Single voltage might also have a small voltage range with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V. If the 110 volts used in a Virgin Islands power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you can use it in The US Virgin Islands.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your hair straighteners will be capable of being used in The US Virgin Islands or any other country if these numbers are shown.
 [10] [AD]

Travelling to The US Virgin Islands with hair straighteners

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to The US Virgin Islands?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can I pack hair straighteners in my carry on to The US Virgin Islands?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when carrying mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that the airline that is taking you to The US Virgin Islands will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane. Packing your 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 avoiding a tangle of power 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 use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during transit.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Should I bring travel hair straighteners or domestic hair straighteners to The US Virgin Islands?

It is preferable to packing dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to The US Virgin Islands as it is safer to assume that they'll operate correctly with the 110 volt power outlets used with a Virgin Islands power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for The US Virgin Islands.

Please note that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk due to potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by a baggage handlers in The US Virgin Islands. The cost and inconvenience of replacing or repairing expensive specialised domestic hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands might be more than purchasing much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal hair straighteners in your luggage either slide them inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light damage, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which also allows the hair straighteners to be transported right after use without waiting to cool down.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for The US Virgin Islands

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and expensive power converter will convert a 110 volt Virgin Islands power outlet to work with non-110 volt hair straighteners, whereas a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in The US Virgin Islands. [7] [AD]

Do you need a power converter to use hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 110 volt power outlet used in The US Virgin Islands. Travellers who want to bring their existing hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it could be more expensive to purchase a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also, travel hair straighteners can be significantly lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suited for 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?

Energy saving outlet with timer

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 The US Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use your hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands by using a Type B travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 110 volt power outlet; if it doesn't then do not proceed because you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting - please refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is located.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet which is used in The US Virgin Islands you'll need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4]. The plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in The US Virgin Islands 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. Insert the Type B plug adapter in the Virgin Islands power outlet. The plug supply (technically known as the Type B power outlet [3]) can be identified by the two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a semicircular hole below for the slightly longer ground pin.
  4. Then plug in the hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Virgin Islands power outlet. Your straighteners should now be ready for use.
How to use  hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands using a type B power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands with a Type A power charger.

  1. Please ensure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 110 volt power outlet; but if it doesn't then don't proceed because you might damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your straighteners ensure the switch is set to the 110 volt setting - refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is located.
  2. Check 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). So, if the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet which is used in The US Virgin Islands you'll need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6]. The plug adapter will convert different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet in The US Virgin Islands 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. Insert the Type A plug adapter in the Virgin Islands power outlet. The plug supply (technically known as the Type A power outlet [5]) can be identified by the two thin slots next to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Virgin Islands power outlet.
  6. Your straighteners can now be used in The US Virgin Islands.
How to use  hair straighteners in The US Virgin Islands using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - The US Virgin Islands Wikipedia web page
  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, C$45-C$50.
  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 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, costing C$70-C$80.
  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, around 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, priced C$5-C$10.
  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, estimated price under C$15.