Full Flow Plumbing & Drainage

can hair block drains

Can Hair Block Drains? Yes! Tips to Fix Drains Blocked With Hair

Hair is one of the most common culprits of a blocked drain. If you’ve ever experienced a slow-draining shower or bathroom sink, it’s probably due to a buildup of hair. It can easily become tangled and trapped in the pipes, preventing water from flowing freely.

While a few strands of hair may not seem like a big deal, over time, it can accumulate and cause a major blockage. This is especially true in households with multiple people or pets with long hair. When hair gets caught in the drain, it can also trap other debris like soap, body oil, and toiletries, making the clog even worse.

If left untreated, a hair-blocked drain can cause water to back up and potentially damage your plumbing system.

The Structure of Your Hair and Why it Blocks Drains

Hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is also found in nails and animal hooves. Keratin is a strong and durable material that makes hair resistant to decay and damage. Hair is made up of three layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla.

The cuticle is the outermost layer and is made up of overlapping scales that protect the hair shaft. The cortex is the middle layer and gives hair its strength and elasticity. The medulla is the innermost layer and is only present in thick hair.

Hair blockages occur when hair combines with other substances in the drain, such as soap, shampoo, and conditioner. These can cause hair to clump together and form a ball that can clog the drain. Over time, this ball can become larger and more difficult to remove.

Common Causes of Hair Blocking Drains

Hair blockages are a common problem in many households. They can lead to slow-draining water, unpleasant odours, and even complete blockages. Here are some common causes of hair blockages:

Showering and Bathing

When you shower or bathe, you may not realise how much hair you are shedding – on average, up to 100 hairs per day as part of the hair growth cycle. Over time, this hair can accumulate in the drain and cause a blockage.

Hair Brushing and Styling

Hair brushing and styling can also contribute to hair blockages. When you brush or style your hair, some of the loose hairs can fall onto the floor or into the sink. If these hairs are not cleaned up promptly, they can find their way into the drain and cause a blockage.

Effects of Hair Blockages

Hair blockages can have a number of negative effects on your plumbing system, including:

Drainage Issues

One of the most obvious effects of hair blockages is that they can cause drainage issues. When hair accumulates in your pipes, it can create a clog that prevents water from flowing freely. This can lead to slow drainage, standing water, and even complete blockages that prevent water from draining at all.

If you notice that your sink, shower, or bathtub is draining more slowly than usual, it’s possible the drain is blocked by hair. While you can clear some hair blockages on your own, more severe blockages may require professional help, particularly those further down the drain.

Potential Damage to Plumbing System

Hair blockages can also potentially damage your plumbing system. When hair accumulates in your pipes, it can create a blockage that puts pressure on your pipes. Over time, this pressure can cause your pipes to crack or burst, which can lead to costly repairs.

If you try to clear a hair blockage on your own using harsh chemical drain cleaners, you may inadvertently damage your plumbing system. Chemical drain cleaners can corrode your pipes and cause leaks, which can lead to even more extensive damage.

To avoid potential damage to your plumbing system, it’s best to address drains blocked by hair as soon as possible. At Full Flow Plumbing and Drainage, we can help clear blocked drains safely and effectively.

How to Prevent Hair Blocking Drains

Routine Drain Cleaning

One of the best ways to prevent hair blockages in your drains is to routinely clean them. This can be done by pouring hot water down the drain once a week to help dissolve any buildup that may be present.

If this doesn’t work, you can try using a plunger. Failing that, call a plumber who has specialised equipment for unblocking drains, such as the team at FullFlow Plumbing and Drainage. Our jet rodder effectively cleans drains with just water.

Use Drain Guards

Another effective way to prevent hair blockages in your drains is to use drain guards. These are small mesh screens that fit over your drain and catch any hair or other debris before it has a chance to go down the drain. Drain guards are easy to install and can be purchased at most hardware stores.

In addition to using drain guards, be mindful of what you put down your drain. Avoid pouring grease, oil, or other liquids down the drain as these can solidify and cause blockages. Be sure to dispose of any food scraps or other debris in the garbage bin rather than down the drain.

By taking these preventative measures, you can avoid hair blockages in your drains and keep your plumbing system running smoothly.

Remedies for Hair Blockages

If you have a clogged drain due to hair, there are a few remedies you can try to fix the problem. In this section, we’ll go over some DIY methods and professional plumbing services that can help you get rid of hair blockages.

DIY Methods

Here are some DIY methods you can try to unclog your drain:

  • Baking soda and vinegar: A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can break down hair and other debris that is clogging your drain. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then pour hot water down the drain to flush it out.
  • Boiling water: Boil a pot of water and pour it down the drain. This can help loosen up hair and other debris that is clogging the drain.
  • Plunger: Use a plunger to create suction and push the clog through the drain. Make sure you have a good seal around the drain before you start plunging.

Professional Plumbing Services

If the DIY methods don’t work, you may need to call a professional plumber to help you with the clog. Here are some professional plumbing services that can help:

  • Electric Eel: An electric eel (also known as a plumber’s snake) is a long, flexible tool that can be used to remove hair and other debris from your drain.
  • Camera inspection: We use CCTV cameras to inspect the inside of your drain and locate the clog. This can help them determine the best method for removing the clog.
  • Jet Rodding: Our hydrojetting machine will remove hair and clean your pipes efficiently, without causing damage.

Remember to always follow safety precautions when attempting to unclog your drain. If you’re unsure about what to do, it’s best to call a professional plumber to avoid causing damage to your plumbing system.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I remove hair from a drain without using a snake?

If you want to remove hair from a drain without using a snake, you can try using a plunger. Place the plunger over the drain and push down and up several times to create suction. This can help dislodge the hair and push it down the drain, or bring it to the surface. Another option is to use a wire hanger. Straighten the hanger and create a hook at one end. Insert the hanger into the drain and use the hook to pull out the hair. This should be done with caution, as you can damage your pipes.

Does hydrogen peroxide dissolve hair in drains?

Hydrogen peroxide can dissolve hair in drains, but it is not the most effective solution. It can be useful in removing small amounts of hair, but for larger clogs, it may not be strong enough. Additionally, hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to some types of pipes, so it’s important to use it with caution.

Can hair blocking a drain be removed by bleach?

Bleach is not an effective method for removing hair clogs in drains.

Is it safe to let hair go down the drain?

Try to avoid letting your hair go down the drain, it is likely to cause clogging at some point.

What dissolves hair in pipes?

Enzymatic drain cleaners are a common DIY solution for dissolving hair in pipes. They contain natural enzymes that break down organic materials like hair, soap, and grease. Failing that, talk to us at FullFlow Plumbing and Drainage, we have professional jet rodding machines and drain snakes to effectively remove hair and clean your pipes.

What could be clogging a shower drain other than hair?

Hair and dead skin cells are the most common reasons for a clogged shower drain. Other causes may be soap scum build up, hard water and mineral build up, and small objects accidentally finding their way into the drain, like cosmetic bottle caps, labels and sealers, and children’s toys.


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