7 Easy Ways to Clear Hair From Your Shower Drain

Updated March 9, 2022
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There’s nothing like a warm shower to wash away the troubles of the day. However, if your shower drains are slow, you may be dealing with a nasty hair clog, which can be its own added trouble. Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can take to clear hair out of your shower drain and turn your bathroom back into the luxurious oasis you deserve. 

Before Unclogging Drain

Before going any further, you’ll want to remove the shower drain cover and give it a thorough cleaning. You can do this by hand (properly gloved, of course). Start by clearing away any trapped hair or other debris. And while you’re at it, you should go ahead and use a scrubbing pad or toothbrush to remove any soap buildup. A solution of baking soda and water or vinegar and water can help you get rid of the deposits and give your drain cover a nice sheen.

If you have a tub shower combo, this is also an opportune time to remove your bathtub drain stopper so it’s out of the way.

How to Get Hair Out of Drain

1. Use a Wire Hanger to Dislodge the Clog

Chances are, though, cleaning the drain cover won’t be enough, and you’ll need to clear the first few inches of the drain of the hair that has built up inside it. A wire hanger is a perfect tool for this. Use the hanger to gently dislodge any hair or other clogs. 

Pull the clog a bit at a time from the drain and discard it in the trash. Take it slowly and be patient. And remember, it’s a pretty gnarly task, so brace yourself and think of puppies and rainbows.

2. Employ a Drain Snake

If you’ve done the wire hanger treatment and your drain is still slow, that could mean the clog is further down the pipe than the wire can reach. In that case, you might need to go to the next level and use a longer hand-held device, such as a drain snake. This flexible tube can help to dislodge the clog and break it up so that it will flow on through your system. You can find a snake at your local hardware store and at many drug stores.

3. Use Hot Water

Another great way to clear a hair clog is to flush your system. Usually, pouring a few gallons of hot water will be enough to clear the obstruction and any other debris that might be building up in your pipes. Remember to be careful and pour slowly.

4. Make a Drain-Cleaning Solution

Sometimes, though, you’ll need something a bit stronger than hot water. While you can reach for store-bought drain cleaners, many can contain harsh chemicals that may corrode your pipes.

Rather than risk it, you can try making a homemade drain cleaner. After pouring water down the drain, a solution of equal parts baking soda and white vinegar or lemon juice can be highly effective in dissolving and dislodging the hair clog without damaging your pipes. 

5. Call in a Professional

Sometimes, despite your best DIY efforts, you still can’t clear the hair out of your shower drain yourself, and you need to call in a pro. Thankfully, a local plumber will be able to clear out your shower drain in no time and make sure the clog isn’t being caused by something more serious.

Practice Prevention

A close up of a shower drain
Photo: Jari Hindström / Adobe Stock

As is so often the case, one of the best ways to solve a problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. And when it comes to preventing hair clogs from forming in your drains, there are several quick and easy steps you can take.

  • Use a drain cover that’s specifically designed to trap hair. 

  • If you’re not washing your hair, then consider tying it up or using a shower cap to keep your locks out of the drain as much as possible.

  • Flush your drains with hot water or your homemade drain cleaner at least once or twice a week. This will help prevent clogs from building up in the first place.

  • Hire a plumbing pro to inspect and clear your system regularly so you can protect your lines from damaging and disruptive clogs.

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