Is Hair Bad for Your Drain?

Wednesday, July 19th, 2023

Everyone sheds their hair naturally, and it seems like you notice many stray hairs in the shower in particular. This is because you are rinsing and manipulating already shed hair that will now wash away from your head and into your drain.

But hair is a primary cause behind many clogs in shower drains. While you might know that long head hair will create this problem, the short hair washed away as you shave your legs, face, or armpits will also pose a threat to your drain.

Clearing away clogs can be a hassle. Water alone will not wash away clumps of hair clogging your plumbing. And this type of clog will not respond to chemical drain cleaners either.

You will need to contact a plumber to remove these clogs in many cases. So to avoid this troublesome task, you will want to be careful about the hair that you send down your shower drain. Read on to learn more about how hair will affect the function of your bathroom drains and how you can avoid a clog.

Is Hair Bad for Your Drain

How Does Hair Impact a Drain?

When hair clogs a drain, you will notice that water will drain slowly or not at all in the case of a full blockage. Then you can start to notice a foul odor from the drain where the clog accumulates smelly residues and particles.

Hair has several features that make it particularly harmful to drains. Hair easily wraps and grips, as you may notice on your hairbrush or when you use styling tools. This makes it better able to cling to plumbing and then collect with other strands of hair to form a clog that blocks your drains and pipes.

Hair also contains natural oils that will further encourage clumping and therefore clogging. In conjunction with shampoos, soaps, and conditioners, a clog can be even more likely.

Hair expands when wet as well. That means that water going down the drain will make a clog even more problematic. This is why running water into the drain will not get rid of this clog.

Strong hair follicles also do not break down when exposed to chemical drain cleaners either. So these clogs will prove even more stubborn and difficult to remove. Plumbing experts promote preventative measures to avoid forming clogs in the first place for this reason.

How Can I Prevent Drain Clogs?

You should practice routine maintenance on shower drains to avoid clogging a drain with your hair. This will involve flushing the drain with hot water after each use. You may want to use a cleaning solution every so often to ensure the drain remains clean.

You may benefit from using a drain screen to catch stray hairs that would otherwise go down the drain. Then you can clean the screen rather than worry about hair clogging within your plumbing. Even if you try to remove shed hair with your hands and dispose of it outside of the shower, you will not catch every hair this way.