How do I use hair straighteners in Kiribati?

Kiribati power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Kiribati?

Check your hair straighteners can work in Kiribati:

  • If your hair straighteners can run on 240 volts or can support dual voltage (how to tell) then you will only need to use the correct power adapter listed below if the plug on your hair straighteners won't fit.

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 240 volt Kiribati power outlet, however this is significantly heavier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A power converter will change the voltage but not the actual physical shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the types of wall outlet used in Kiribati, so please check that your power converter has an appropriate power adapter for Kiribati otherwise you will still need to purchase a seperate power adapter. Note - your personal hair straighteners might not be suited for travel and you risk damage in your luggage. [5]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 240 volts you run a risk of damage to your hair straighteners, an electrical fire hazard or blowing a fuse. Prior to using your hair straighteners in Kiribati read the instruction manual to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Kiribati

Will my hair straighteners work in Kiribati?

This depends on if your hair straighteners can operate using the 240 volt power outlets in Kiribati:

Kiribati power outlets and plug sockets

What is the mains voltage in Kiribati?

The normal residential voltage used in Kiribati is 240 volts.

What electrical frequency is used with a Kiribati power outlet?

The frequency used in a Kiribati power outlet is 50 Hz. [6]

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using  hair straighteners in Kiribati?

Type I power outlet

Which travel adapter will you need to bring when using hair straighteners in Kiribati?

The type of power outlet used in Kiribati is type I. You can identify this wall outlet by 3 slots in an upside-down triangle configuration with the top two slots sloping upward for the live, neutral and earth blades. A Type I plug adapter allows you to use 240 volt hair straighteners in Kiribati, read the step-by-step instructions below for full details of using hair straighteners in Kiribati. Please be aware that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you will need to see if you need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [7]

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 can support a dual voltage outlet is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the handle or plug of your hair straighteners. This location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also be written on the box or in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage hair straighteners will change automatically but other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to toggle between different regions.

  • A specific number such as 110V indicates single voltage hair straighteners. If this number matches the 240 volts used in Kiribati then you should be able to use your hair straighteners with a Kiribati 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 240 volts used in a Kiribati power outlet falls within the range shown on your hair straighteners then you should be able to use it in Kiribati.
  • A larger range separated with a dash or slash such as 100/240V indicates dual voltage hair straighteners capable of being used in Kiribati or any other country.
 [2]

Travelling to Kiribati with hair straighteners

Is it safe to bring my hair straighteners to Kiribati?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Kiribati as it ensures that they will work with the 240 volt power outlets used with a Kiribati power outlet, as long as you use the correct power adapter for Kiribati. Please be aware that packing your expensive domestic hair straighteners might put them at risk due to potential damage or loss in transit by airline baggage handlers in Kiribati. The cost and inconvenience involved in repairing expensive quality domestic hair straighteners in Kiribati might outweigh the costs of purchasing 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, or use a shockproof and heat resistant hot tools travel case or heat travel mat for hair straighteners and curling irons which will also allow the hair straighteners to be transported right after use without risk of burning.   [8] [9]

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on to Kiribati?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can you pack hair straighteners in your carry on to Kiribati?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there is no restriction on bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your carry on hand luggage through airport security in the United States. The TSA also recommends that you should verify that the airline who is flying you to Kiribati will allow hair straighteners onboard and that they will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the aircraft.

Packing your hair straighteners in a dedicated heat resistant protective hot tools travel case leaves them easily accessible for 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 hair straighteners). If you do intend to bring fragile or expensive hair straighteners in your hand held luggage then it is advisable to bring hard carry on luggage as this offers the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.    [2] [8] [10] [11]

Power converters for Kiribati

Do you need a converter in Kiribati to use hair straighteners?

The correct type voltage transformer (or power converter) will allow hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate with the 240 volt power outlet used in Kiribati. A power converter is more suited for travellers wishing to bring along their existing hair straighteners, but it might be a lot cheaper to purchase dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] than it is to buy a power converter. In addition, travel hair straighteners can be substantially smaller and lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suited for packing in luggage. [5]

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 heavy and expensive power converter transforms a 240 volt Kiribati power outlet to work with non-240 volt hair straighteners, whereas a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to slot into a power outlet in Kiribati. [5]

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.    [8] [9] [12] [13] [14] [15]
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.
  [14] [16]

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 Kiribati using a type I power adapter

Instructions showing how to power hair straighteners in Kiribati by using a 3 pinned Type I travel adapter.

  1. Please make sure that the straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or is compatible with a 240 volt power supply - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might create an electrical fire hazard, blow a fuse or damage your straighteners. Some dual voltage travel hair straighteners will sometimes have a switch to toggle between voltages, before using your hair straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 240 volts, please consult the user guide for more details on where this switch is located.
  2. If the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Kiribati you will need to bring a Type I plug adapter [4]. The Type I plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries into an electrical outlet found in Kiribati by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the frequency or voltage of the hair straighteners to work with a 240 volt supply.
  3. Begin by inserting the Type I plug adapter in the Kiribati power outlet. The plug outlet, technically known as the Type I power outlet [3], can be recognised by the three slots for the live, neutral and ground.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type I plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Kiribati power outlet. Your straighteners can now be powered on.
How to use  hair straighteners in Kiribati using a type I power adapter

See also

  1. Wikipedia - wikipedia.org page about Kiribati
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type I power outlet
  4. Type I plug adapter - Type I plug adapters use three short flat blades in a V format with the top blade acting as a grounding pin, costing under £10.
  5. 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 price £100-£110.
  6. Wikipedia - WikiPedia - Mains electricity by country -
  7. iec.ch - IEC World Plugs by location -
  8. Hard case for hot tools - Hard case designed for storing and protecting a flat irons, curling irons and hair straighteners, estimated price around £10.
  9. 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, £5-£10.
  10. tsa.gov - TSA guidelines for hair straighteners -
  11. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, under £45.
  12. 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 around £5.
  13. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, priced at £5-£10.
  14. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, priced £10-£15.
  15. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, priced at £140-£150.
  16. 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 £10.