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

Bolivian power outlet

Will my hair straighteners work in Bolivia?

Check your hair straighteners can handle the voltage in Bolivia:

If not then:

  • Use a power converter (or voltage transformer) - this enables you to use your existing hair straighteners and other applicances with a 115 volt Bolivian power outlet, however this is considerably bulkier and more expensive than dedicated travel hair straighteners. A voltage transformer changes the voltage but won't change the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit in the wall outlet used in Bolivia, so please check that your power converter has an appropriate power adapter for Bolivia otherwise you will still need to bring another power adapter. Note - your own domestic hair straighteners might not be suitable for travelling and you could risk potential damage in your suitcase. [7] [AD]
Warning: If your hair straighteners won't handle 115 volts you run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your hair straighteners or even an electrical fire hazard. Before attempting to use your hair straighteners in Bolivia please check the instruction manual first to ensure safe operation.

Using hair straighteners in Bolivia

Will my hair straighteners work in Bolivia?

That depends on if your hair straighteners is designed to handle the 115 volt power outlets in Bolivia. If you're using either dual voltage hair straighteners or your hair straighteners can operate using 115 volts and you have the correct plug adapter then you should be able to use it in Bolivia. If not then you will need to consider bringing either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or a heavier and more expensive power converter. Read our section on do you need a voltage converter to use a hair straighteners for help deciding which option is more suitable. [7] [AD]

Bolivia power outlets and plug sockets

What is the electrical frequency used in Bolivia?

The frequency of the alternating current found in a Bolivian power outlet is 50 Hz. [8]

What voltage is used in Bolivia?

The voltage in Bolivia is 115 volts.

Which plug adapter do you need for using  hair straighteners in Bolivia?

Type A and C power outlets

Which plug adapter do you need for using hair straighteners in Bolivia?

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

  • Plug Type A - You can recognise the plug socket by 2 adjacent slots next to each other.
  • Plug Type C - This unearthed power socket can be identified by two round holes next to each other.

A suitable plug adapter to bring to use 115 volt hair straighteners in Bolivia is a Type C power adapter; read the simple instructions below for full details of using a power adapter for Bolivia. Note that unless you that have dual voltage hair straighteners you might also need to bring a voltage converter.  [4] [9] [AD]

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?

One way to tell if your hair straighteners supports dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the plug or handle. This location might depend on the make and model of your hair straighteners, it should also be written in the instruction manual. Some dual voltage models might change automatically, however other straighteners will feature a button which allows you to change between different voltages.

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

Travelling to Bolivia with hair straighteners

Can hair straighteners go in my hand luggage to Bolivia?

Travel hair straighteners with heat protective cap

Can hair straighteners go in my hand luggage to Bolivia?

According to the TSA guidelines for hair straighteners there are no restrictions when bringing mains powered hair straighteners in your hand luggage through airport security in the US. The TSA suggests that you should check that your airline that is flying you to Bolivia 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 when going through airport security checks, they can be packed away quickly avoiding a tangle of cords in your carry on luggage (the TSA suggests wrapping cables 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 use hard carry on luggage as this provides the most protection against bumps and knocks during your journey.    [10] [11] [12] [13] [AD]

Is it safer to bring your domestic hair straighteners or travel hair straighteners to Bolivia?

It is preferable to bring dual voltage travel hair straighteners rather than bringing your existing domestic hair straighteners to Bolivia as it ensures that they'll operate correctly with the 115 volt power outlets used with a Bolivian power outlet, provided that you bring the correct plug adapter for Bolivia.

Please be aware that bringing expensive domestic hair straighteners could place them at risk because of potential loss or damage in transit by airline baggage handlers in Bolivia. The costs of replacing or repairing expensive specialised hair straighteners in Bolivia could overshadow the cost of buying much cheaper dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] . If you intend to bring your own hair straighteners in your suitcase either slide them inside a sneaker or boot 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 packed immediately after use without risk of burning.   [12] [14] [AD]

Power converters for Bolivia

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

Voltage converter

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

A lightweight, cheap and small power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your hair straighteners to fit into a power outlet found in Bolivia, but a more expensive and heavier power converter will convert a 115 volt Bolivian power outlet to work with non-115 volt hair straighteners. [7] [AD]

Do you need a power converter to use your hair straighteners in Bolivia?

A power converter (or voltage transformer) allows your hair straighteners using a different voltage to operate using a 115 volt power outlet used in Bolivia. Travellers wishing to bring along their existing hair straighteners can use a power converter, however it could be more costly to buy a power converter than it is to buy dedicated dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2]. Also worth noting, travel hair straighteners can be significantly lighter than a power converter making travel hair straighteners more suitable when packing. [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 Bolivia using a type C power adapter

How to use hair straighteners in Bolivia by using a Type C power charger.

  1. Check that your hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power outlet - but if it doesn't then do not continue as you might damage your hair straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Dual voltage straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure the switch is set to the 115 volt setting for use in Bolivia; refer to the owners manual to find out how to do this.
  2. You will need to bring a Type C plug adapter [4] if the shape of the power outlet used in Bolivia isn't the same shape as the plug shape on your hair straighteners. The Type C plug adapter is designed to adapt different plugs from other countries for use with an electrical outlet in Bolivia by changing the shape of the plug, but it doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. First insert the Type C plug adapter into the wall outlet. This power supply can be identified by two round holes next to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type C plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bolivian power outlet. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Bolivia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Bolivia using a type C power adapter

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

How to use hair straighteners in Bolivia by using a Type A power charger.

  1. Make sure that the hair straighteners are either dual voltage travel hair straighteners [2] or can work with a 115 volt power outlet but if it doesn't then do not continue as you could damage your straighteners, blow a fuse or create an electrical fire hazard. Travel hair straighteners usually have a switch to toggle between voltages, before operating your straighteners make sure you have set it to accept 115 volts to use in Bolivia; refer to the instructions to find out how to do this.
  2. This guide assumes 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 115 volt power supply). So, if the plug on your hair straighteners isn't the same shape as the outlet used in Bolivia you will need to buy a Type A plug adapter [6]. The Type A plug adapter will help fit plugs on appliances from other countries for use with an electrical outlet found in Bolivia simply by changing the shape of the plug, however the adapter doesn't change the voltage of your hair straighteners to work with a 115 volt outlet.
  3. Start the process by inserting the Type A plug adapter in the wall outlet. This power outlet (sometimes known as a Type A power outlet [5]) can be identified by two thin slots next to each other.
  4. Plug in your hair straighteners into the Type A plug adapter.
  5. Switch on the Bolivian power outlet. You can now switch on your straighteners to use in Bolivia.
How to use  hair straighteners in Bolivia using a type A power adapter

See also

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  1. Wikipedia - Bolivian wikipedia page
  2. Amazon - dual voltage travel hair straighteners
  3. iec.ch - Type C power outlet
  4. Type C plug adapter - European Europlug Type C plug adapters are unearthed and comprise of two 4mm rounded pins placed 19mm apart, between $5 to $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / under C$15).
  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, under $15 USD (£2-£3 GBP / C$10-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, between $90 to $100 USD (£100-£110 GBP / under 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, estimated price around $50 USD (£20-£25 GBP / C$35-C$40).
  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, between $10 to $15 USD (around £10 GBP / under C$25).
  13. Hard carry on luggage - Example of hard cases, suitcases and luggage suitable for airline carry on, priced between $50 to $60 USD (around £35 GBP / under 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, between $15 to $20 USD (£5-£10 GBP / 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, priced between $4 to $5 USD (around £5 GBP / under C$10).
  16. Heat protectant spray - Thermal protector spray used prior to styling with heated tools such as blow dryers and flat irons, costs between $10 to $15 USD (under £15 GBP / under C$10).
  17. Energy saving outlet with timer - Automatic power shut down of a connected appliance after a preset length of time, under $10 USD (£10-£15 GBP / C$15-C$20).
  18. Hair straighteners which include a heat resistant end cap - Example of hair straighteners with a protective cap suitable for travel, costing between $190 to $200 USD (under £150 GBP / 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, between $30 to $35 USD (£5-£10 GBP / under C$15).