How to use hair straighteners in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Puerto Rico?

Check that your hair straighteners can work in Puerto Rico:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 120 volts or can support dual voltage (how you can tell) then you will only need to bring an appropriate power adapter listed on this page if the plug on your hair straighteners will not fit.

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 120 volt Puerto Rican power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier, heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but won't change the physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the power outlet used in Puerto Rico, so please check that the power converter comes with a power adapter for Puerto Rico otherwise you will still need to purchase another power adapter. Note - 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 120 volts you run the potential risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before using your hair straighteners in Puerto Rico please read the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Puerto Rico

Will my hair straighteners work in Puerto Rico?

It depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 120 volt power outlets in Puerto Rico. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners is designed to handle 120 volts and you have the correct power adapter then you should be able to use your hair straighteners in Puerto Rico. If not then you will need to consider using either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter, read the section on can you use a power converter with your domestic hair straighteners in Puerto Rico for help deciding which solution is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Puerto Rico power outlets and plug sockets

What voltage is used in Puerto Rico?

The standard voltage in Puerto Rico is 120 volts.

What is the frequency used in Puerto Rico?

The frequency from a Puerto Rican power outlet is 60Hz. [8]

Which plug adapter do you need to bring for using  hair straighteners in Puerto Rico?

Type A and B power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need to bring for using hair straighteners in Puerto Rico?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the wall socket by the 2 thin adjacent slots where the live and neutral blades go.
  • Plug Type B - The power outlet, technically known as a type B power outlet, can be identified by the two slots next to each other for live and neutral blades with a hole below for the earthed pin.

A recommended plug adapter to bring for using 120 volt hair straighteners in Puerto Rico is a Type B plug adapter - read the step-by-step guide below for full details of using a travel adapter for Puerto Rico. Please note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to check if you also need to use a power converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

Dual voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

Single voltage hair straighteners

Are my hair straighteners dual voltage?

A simple method to tell if your hair straighteners supports a dual voltage outlet is to check for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or the plug. This location will vary depending on the make and model of your hair straighteners and could also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners might change automatically, however other straighteners will have a button which allows you to toggle between different voltage ranges.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 120 volts used in Puerto Rico then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Puerto Rican 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 120 volts used in a Puerto Rican power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Puerto Rico.
  • A large voltage range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Puerto Rico or any other country.
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Travelling to Puerto Rico with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Puerto Rico?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners instead of packing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Puerto Rico as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 120 volt power outlets used with a Puerto Rican power outlet, as long as you bring the correct plug adapter for Puerto Rico. It is also worth concidering that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners might place them at risk because of potential damage or loss in your check in luggage by an airline baggage handler in Puerto Rico. The cost and inconvenience of repairing or replacing expensive quality hair straighteners in Puerto Rico could outweigh the costs of buying cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] . If you intend to bring along your own hair straighteners in your luggage it is recommended to either slide them inside a sneaker or boot to protect from light damage, or 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 whilst hot without risk of burning.   [11] [12] [AD]

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Puerto Rico?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you carry on hair straighteners to Puerto Rico?

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 US. The TSA also suggests that you should check that the airline that is taking you to Puerto Rico 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 for airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly and should avoid a tangle of cords 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 drops and knocks during your journey.    [10] [11] [13] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Puerto Rico

Do I need a power converter for Puerto Rico to use hair straighteners?

The correct model of power converter (or voltage transformer) allows hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 120 volt power outlet used in Puerto Rico. Travellers wishing to use their existing hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it might be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. A power converter is significantly heavier and bulkier than travel hair straighteners making a power converter less suitable for packing compared to travel hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

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

Voltage converter

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet found in Puerto Rico, however a heavy and bulkier power converter converts the voltage of 120 volts from a Puerto Rican power outlet to work with non-120 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.    [11] [12] [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 Puerto Rico using a type B power adapter

A guide showing how to power your hair straighteners in Puerto Rico using a Type B travel adapter.

  1. Make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or works with a 120 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't continue as you may blow a fuse, damage your straighteners or create an electrical fire hazard. Some travel hair straighteners might usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your hair straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting to use in Puerto Rico; please refer to the owners manual for more information on where the switch is.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same type of outlet used in Puerto Rico you will need to use a Type B plug adapter [4]. The Type B plug adapter is designed to convert plugs from other countries for use with a power outlet found in Puerto Rico 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 120 volt outlet.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type B plug adapter into the power outlet. You can recognise the wall supply by the 2 thin slots next to each other where the live and neutral plug outlet blades sit with a semicircular shaped hole below for the longer ground pin.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type B plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Puerto Rican power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners in Puerto Rico.
How to use  hair straighteners in Puerto Rico using a type B power adapter

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

A guide showing how to power your hair straighteners in Puerto Rico using a Type A travel adapter.

  1. Ensure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 120 volt power supply; if it doesn't then don't attempt these instructions as you may damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Before using a dual voltage travel hair straighteners which can toggle between different voltages make sure the switch is set to the 120 volt setting to use in Puerto Rico; please consult the user guide for more information on where this switch is.
  2. Please check 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 you will still need to check that your hair straighteners can work with a 120 volt power outlet). You'll need to bring a Type A plug adapter [6] if the shape of plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the power outlet used in Puerto Rico. The plug adapter is designed to adapt plugs from other countries for use in an electrical outlet used in Puerto Rico by changing the shape of the plug, but the adapter doesn't change the voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 120 volt outlet.
  3. Firstly plug the Type A plug adapter in the power outlet. This plug outlet (called the Type A power outlet [5]) can be recognised by 2 slots parallel to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Turn on the Puerto Rican power outlet.
  6. You can now switch on your straighteners in Puerto Rico.
How to use  hair straighteners in Puerto Rico using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Puerto Rican Wiki 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, priced at £5-£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, costs £4-£5.
  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, priced at £100-£110.
  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, £25-£30.
  11. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, costing £5-£10.
  12. 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, under £10.
  13. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  14. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced £40-£45.
  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, costing £5-£10.
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, costs £10-£15.
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, costs £20-£25.
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, estimated cost £220-£230.
  19. Power outlet splitter - Splits a single power outlet to multiple power outlets, allowing multiple appliances to simultaneously use a single wall outlet, £5-£10.