What is a Hair Trap?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2019
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The hair trap can be one of several devices that can be employed to keep a tub or a sink from becoming filled with hair that then blocks drainage. There are very simple versions of this product, usually available for less than five US Dollars (USD). For greater use of a sink or tub, as in professional circumstances, more elaborate hair traps that fit in the drainage piping could be purchased, instead, to help prevent clogging.

A simple hair trap may even come with the purchase of a tub. The device can look like a small flat metal or plastic piece that has a few holes in it, and may fit in the drain or on top of it via suction cup attachment. It often stops hair from draining into the piping, and keeps the hair collected at the top of the sink drain.

A few stray pieces can get in, but they may be caught on the trap and are easy to remove. To keep the drain clear, any hair on top of the hair trap should be removed after each shower. From time to time, the trap itself should be taken out and cleaned and replaced. Children frequently learn to pull these traps out, too, and might need a few reminders not to do this, so that they do not clog the tub.


A slightly fancier hair trap could sit on top of the drain opening, often using suction again to catch hair, and may have different shapes or configurations that purportedly catch even more hair than simpler models. These may also need cleaning depending on frequency of shower use, and the length of hair of people in the home.

In many home settings, basic hair trap models are perfectly acceptable, but they may not be adequate when use of sink or shower is relatively constant. In beauty salons, for instance, the amount of hair that may go down the drain for each hair-washing sink, is greatly increased. Having a means to prevent constant clogging is vital in keeping the salon operating and not having to pay plumbers continuously.

Especially for sinks, there are a number of devices that fit into the drainage piping. These hair trap models take a little more installation, but they can be removed and cleaned regularly, avoiding plumbing disasters. They also have the advantage of not requiring placement of traps over the sink drain, but depending on model, maintenance can be regularly needed so that the trap doesn’t back up.

Some of these models might require special order. Others can be purchased online, and a few could be available from plumbers or in hardware and home improvement stores. Since many of these models fit in the sink, they may not be as useful for tubs because access to the trap may have to be open.

Plenty of hair trap options exist for those who want to keep a sink hair free. A common feature of all of them is they begin to lose their effectiveness if they are not cleaned often. They can thus be viewed as a good preventative step to avoid clogging that needs to be combined with human action to work correctly.


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