Why Hair Blocks Drains?

Hair does not break down quickly. Due to its light weight and small mass it readily catches on surfaces, and so naturally it is often found within the first metre of the drain it washed into, generally above or in line with the trap or water seal as this also provides an additional obstruction for the hair. 

Once hair catches on a surface this provides a skeleton of sorts for other matter, primarily in the form of the waste washed down the drain including more hair strands to bind to and this eventually causes blockages. 

Step-by-Step Guide: Clearing the Drain Yourself

There are a number of effective ways to unblock drains from hair. Hair can be removed using a set of long nose tweezers or long nose pliers. This is often enough to get a good flow on the drainage again however is likely to leave residual blockage. It can often resolve the problem at least temporarily.

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink with Hair

Start by trying the simplest method: boiling water. Pouring boiling water directly into the drain helps loosen and dissolve hair and soap scum.

If this doesn’t work, a flexible wire hanger can come in handy. Straighten the hanger, leaving a small hook at one end, and gently guide it down the drain to catch and pull out hair clogs.

Alternatively, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can be effective. Pour equal parts of each down the drain, let the fizzing action work for an hour, and then flush with hot water

Using a drain snake 

Another way is to purchase a drain snake. These are specialist tools designed more or less for the exact purpose of drain unblocking of hair and other blockages. Plumbers are often equipped with these tools also. Where accessible, the hair in bathroom drain can be removed by disconnecting the trap and washing / rinsing it out. The blocked drain is often in this very location. 

Preventative Measures: Keeping Hair out of Drains

There are a few ways to keep hair out of drains. There are a number of hair traps on the market that will stop hair washing into the drain. These can be good but it is important to note that these need to be cleared out regularly. 

Ultimately there is no way to keep drains cleared of hair without at least a little work or effort and it really is just part and parcel of normal bathroom maintenance. Brushing your hair before having a shower or bath or washing in the basin can significantly reduce the amount of hair washed down drains. 

Maintenance is key

Also maintaining the drains and clearing regularly will often prevent regular buildups and blockages. 

When to call professional drain unblockers?

After you have attempted some of the recommendations above and not succeeded it is now time to call professional drain unblockers.

As with most drains the problem may not always be what you think or there may be other problems with the drain.

The professional unblockers are armed with a few things that can assist them to investigating some of the more extensive problems with blocked drains.