Using a curling iron in Barbados

Barbadian power outlet

Summary

Check that your curling iron can handle the voltage in Barbados:

If not then:

  • Use a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] - you may still need to use a suitable power adapter for Barbados however these cheap lightweight accessories are designed specifically for travel.
  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing curling iron and other applicances with a 115 volt Barbadian power outlet, however this is significantly bulkier, heavier and more expensive than a dedicated travel curling iron. A voltage transformer will change the voltage but not the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Barbados, therefore please check that your voltage transformer includes an appropriate power adapter for Barbados otherwise you will also need to bring another power adapter. Note - your own existing curling iron might not be suited for travelling and you could risk damage in transit. [7]
Warning: If your curling iron won't handle 115 volts you run a risk of a blown fuse, damage to your curling iron or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your curling iron in Barbados check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using a curling iron in Barbados

Will my curling iron work in Barbados?

This will depend on if your curling iron is designed to handle the 115 volts used in Barbados:

How can I use my US curling iron in Barbados?

The instructions on this page assume that you are an America reader visiting Barbados and will provide advice on using your American curling iron with a Barbadian power outlet.

Barbados

Barbados power outlets and plug sockets

What frequency is used in Barbados?

The frequency used in a Barbadian power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

What is the voltage in Barbados?

The typical voltage used in Barbados is 115 volts.

Which travel adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Barbados?

Type A and B power outlets

Which travel adapter will you need for using a curling iron in Barbados?

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

  • Plug Type A - This plug socket (technically known as the type A power outlet) can be recognised by two adjacent slots for live and neutral blades.
  • Plug Type B - This plug socket (technically called a type B power outlet) is recognised by two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircular hole below for the slightly long earth pin.

A Type B power adapter allows you to use a 115 volt curling iron in Barbados - read the simple instructions below for full details of using a curling iron in Barbados. Be aware that unless you that have a dual voltage curling iron you will need to check if you need to use a power converter.  [4] [9]

Dual voltage curling irons

How can you tell if your curling iron is dual voltage?

An easy way how to tell if your curling iron supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your curling iron, 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 voltage ranges.

  • Single voltage could say a specific number - such as 110V. If this number matches the 115 volts used in Barbados then you should be able to use your curling iron with a Barbadian 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 115 volts used in a Barbadian power outlet falls within the range shown on your curling iron then you can use it in Barbados.
  • Dual voltage will typically say a larger voltage range separated with a slash - such as 100/240V. Your curling iron will be capable of being used in Barbados or any other country if these numbers are shown.

Travelling to Barbados with a curling iron

Can you carry on a curling iron?

According to the TSA guidelines for curling irons there is no restriction on carrying a mains powered curling iron in your carry on luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA recommends that you should verify that your airline that is flying you to Barbados will allow curling irons onboard and that it will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.

Packing your curling irons in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves it easily accessible by airport security, it can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of wires in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cords tightly around curling irons). If you do intend to pack fragile or expensive curling irons in your hand held luggage then it is recommended to use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against knocks and bumps during your journey.   [10] [11] [12]

Is it better to bring my domestic curling iron or dual voltage curling iron to Barbados?

Bringing a dual voltage travel curling iron is preferable to bringing your existing curling iron as it is safer to assume that it will work with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Barbadian power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Barbados. It is also worth bearing in mind that packing expensive domestic curling iron could put it at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airport baggage handlers in Barbados. The inconvenience and costs of repairing an expensive quality curling iron in Barbados could outweigh the cost of buying a cheap dual voltage travel curling iron [2] before setting off. If you intend to pack your own personal curling iron in your suitcase either slot it inside a boot or sneaker to protect from light knocks, alternatively use a heat resistant and shockproof hot tools travel case which also allows the curling iron to be transported whilst hot without waiting to cool down.  [11]

Power converters for Barbados

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

Voltage converter

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

A heavy and bulky power converter converts a 115 volt Barbadian power outlet to work with a non-115 volt curling iron, but a cheaper and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your curling iron to fit into a power outlet found in Barbados. [7]

Do I need a power converter to use my curling iron in Barbados?

A suitable voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow your curling iron using a different voltage to work using a 115 volt power outlet used in Barbados. A power converter is more suited for travellers who wish to bring their existing domestic curling iron, however it can 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 substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making a travel curling iron more suitable when packing in luggage. [7]

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

Instructions showing you how to use your curling iron in Barbados with a Type B travel adapter.

  1. Please check that the curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 115 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not attempt these instructions because you could create an electrical fire hazard, damage your iron or blow a fuse. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 115 volt setting - refer to the user guide for more details on where the switch is found.
  2. You will need to buy a Type B plug adapter [4] if the type of plug on your curling iron isn't the same type of power outlet used in Barbados. The plug adapter will adapt different plugs on appliances from other countries for an electrical outlet in Barbados simply by changing the shape of the plug, however it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of your curling iron to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by plugging the Type B plug adapter in the wall outlet. The power supply (known as the Type B power outlet [3]) can be recognised by the two slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades with a single semicircular hole below for the earthed pin.
  4. Plug in the curling iron into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Barbadian power outlet.
  6. The hair curling iron can now be powered on.
How to use a curling iron in Barbados using a type B power adapter

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

How to use a curling iron in Barbados with a 2 prong Type A travel charger.

  1. Please ensure that your curling iron is either a dual voltage travel curling iron [2] or can work with a 115 volt power supply but if it doesn't then do not proceed because you could create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your iron. Before using a dual voltage travel curling iron which can toggle between different voltages make sure you have set it to the 115 volt setting, refer to the user guide to find out where the switch is located.
  2. This guide assumes that you don't already own 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 can work with a 115 volt power outlet). You will need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of the power outlet used in Barbados doesn't accomodate the plug on your curling iron. This Type A plug adapter helps convert different plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet found in Barbados by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the curling iron to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Start by taking the Type A plug adapter and inserting it in the power outlet. You can recognise this wall outlet by the 2 thin slots parallel to each other for live and neutral blades.
  4. Then plug in the curling iron into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Barbadian power outlet.
  6. Your hair curling iron can now be used in Barbados.
How to use a curling iron in Barbados using a type A power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org entry about Barbados
  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, between $5 to $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, priced at between $10 to $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, costs between $90 to $100.
  8. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  9. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for curling irons -
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, priced between $10 to $15.
  12. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, between $45 to $50.