Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet? (We Asked a Plumber)

Can You Flush Hair Down The Toilet

We’ve all run onto the dreaded problem of trying to get rid of excess hair.  Maybe you decided to shave your head or even just got a simple, at-home haircut, but now you’ve got to figure out what to do with it.  So, the question becomes, can you flush hair down the toilet?

Flushing hair down the toilet is not recommended and should be avoided. Flushing large pieces of hair, or a lot of hair at once, has been known to cause build-up and will eventually clog up your pipes. You should always dispose of hair by placing it in the garbage.

So, what do you do with all that extra hair?  In this article, we will discuss other options and what to do if it is too late to stop you from flushing hair.   Hopefully, we got you before you flushed, but if not, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered!

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Stressed out and wondering how to remove hair clogs caused by flushing your hair down the toilet before you knew better?  We’ve all been there.  It’s frustrating to try and fix a clogged toilet, but we’ve got your back!

Try one of these options next time you need to get rid of a clog fast:

1. Drain Snake – This powerful snake will smash through tough clogs!

2. Plunger – When you think you have the power to do it manually.

3. Clog Remover – Use this lye-based liquid to soften hair and other materials before plunging.

Hair Types

To start out, let’s talk about what kind of hair you’re thinking of flushing. 

After all, the minor amount of hair you accumulate while shaving (if you typically shave every day or two) is a lot different than, say, if you shave off your long locks. 

Either way, should you flush it?

What Happens if Hair Gets Flushed Down the Toilet?

If hair has been flushed down the toilet, it can build up in the pipes without ever reaching the septic system.  This can eventually cause clogs, leading to your pipes backing up and causing a mess in your bathroom.

Flushing long strands of hair are particularly bad, as it will catch and tangle in any way possible.  Odds are, the hair will not ever reach the septic tank. 

Instead, it will catch somewhere in the pipes, causing a clog.

Can You Flush Short Hair Down the Toilet?

You should not flush even short hair down the toilet.  Hair does not disintegrate when it hits the water, unlike flushable products.  Instead, even short hair will clump together and can cause clogs. 

In fact, to keep your toilet and septic system running optimally, you should never flush anything besides human waste and toilet tissue. 

Toilet tissue is treated and extremely biodegradable.  If in doubt, don’t flush it.

You might also enjoy our post on If You Should Flush the Toilet After Peeing

Can You Flush Beard Hair Down the Toilet?

We do not recommend flushing beard hair down the toilet.  No matter how short the hair is, it can build up in your pipes, eventually causing a major clog. You should throw hair of all types away instead of flushing them.

If you’ve been flushing your beard hair, you may be noticing that your toilet is flushing poorly or backing up.

You’ll need to use a good drain clog dissolver to get rid of that hair build-up. If the clog remover isn’t enough, you may need to try an auger.

Can You Flush Pubic Hair Down a Toilet?

You should not flush pubic hair down a toilet.  Like other hair types, pubic hair can cause a clog when you try and flush it.  Talk about an awkward conversation with your plumber!  Instead, just throw it away after you’re done grooming.

Though we can see why it’s tempting to simply flush away your hairs, it’s better for your pipes to refrain. 

Hair is one of the biggest contributors to clogs, as hair does not disintegrate in water, unlike toilet paper. So keep your pipes clear, and throw that hair away instead.

What to Do if You Flush Hair Down the Toilet?

If you’ve already flushed hair down the toilet, you can try adding some clog remover to your next flush to try and help the hair break down and prevent a clog.  Hopefully, it won’t be costly if you’ve only made this mistake once.

We recommend using a clog remover in your toilet when you find out any hair has been flushed.  If the clog has already formed, you may need to use a plunger or even an auger.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to knock all the hair from your pipes before a clog fully forms!

Septic Systems

Now that we’ve discussed hair types let’s jump into why flushing hair is bad for your septic system. 

We’ll also discuss the best way to remove hair that is causing problems in your pipes. Check it out! 

What Does Hair Do in a Septic Tank?

If hair gets into a septic tank, it can slow the draining, causing clogs to form towards the front of your septic system.  This can lead to your toilet backing up and can cause a myriad of expensive issues to pop up in your bathroom. 

You may think that just because the hair disappeared out of your toilet bowl, it definitely made it through your pipes, and you don’t have to worry about it, but that’s not truly the case. 

That hair can get caught at the beginning of your septic tank and will eventually form a blockage that’ll be difficult to reach. 

Is Hair Safe for Septic?

Hair is never safe for a septic system.  Even small pieces can build-up given time, and they will cause you a headache. In addition, Flushing hair down your toilet will eventually lead to clogs, as hair does not break down like other waste. 

Because the hair will not naturally disintegrate, it is recommended never to flush hair down the toilet. 

In fact, the only things we recommend flushing (ever) are human waste and toilet paper, which is designed to break down quickly in a septic system. 

Not flushing other things down your toilet is the best way to save your septic system.

You might also enjoy our post on If Charmin Clogs Toilets

Does Hair Decompose in a Septic Tank?

Hair does not easily decompose in a septic tank.  It can take years for hair to break down if left untreated.  Before it breaks down, it will most likely cause clogs and other major issues.  

In fact, if the hair is left too long in a septic system, it can even throw off the bacterial balance of the septic tank and cause issues beyond clogs. 

This is just one reason we recommend only flushing human waste and toilet paper.

Does Hair Dissolve in a Septic Tank?

Hair does hot dissolve in a septic tank.  Septic tanks do not contain the correct bacteria to break down human hair.  Therefore, it can take many, many years for the hair to decompose naturally.

If you know hair has gotten into your septic tank, you may want to consider using a lye-based clog remover. 

Lye-based cleaning products have been proven to alter human hair, though not dissolve it completely.

How Do You Dissolve Hair in a Septic Tank?

If you know you have hair in your septic tank, you can try to dissolve it by using lye or acid-based cleaner. However, be very careful handling these products, as they can deliver major chemical burns if they splash on your exposed skin. 

If possible, it’s best to prevent hair from being flushed down the toilet in the first place.  There is no magic fix for a clogged drain when hair is the culprit. 

You can attempt to extract the hair using a drain snake or dissolve it with lye. 

How Long Does It Take for Hair to Decompose in a Septic System?

It takes years for hair to decompose in a septic system, even with the naturally occurring bacteria in a septic system.  This process can be aided by lye and other acid-based cleaners, but they’re not good for your septic system.

This is why the best thing you can do for your septic system is to avoid flushing hair and other non-flushable objects down the toilet. 

Instead, sweep it up and throw it away once you’ve trimmed your hair.  

Dissolving Hair

Now that we’ve discussed why you shouldn’t flush hair down the toilet, we have one last thing to discuss.

Knowing why it’s a bad idea is one thing, but what do you do if the damage has already been done? Here’s how!

What Can Dissolve Hair?

You can dissolve hair using a lye-based drain cleaner.  While this cleaner may not completely dissolve all the hair, it should soften it enough to prevent a major clog from forming. 

You can obtain drain cleaner from almost anywhere, including Amazon. However, if you are going to use these kinds of products in your toilet, be very cautious. 

Make sure you have a pair of extra-thick, long gloves to protect your hands and arms from any splashback.

Does Hair Dissolve in Water?

Hair does not dissolve in water.  Hair is composed of amino acids, which are not water-soluble, and are not susceptible to dissolving when placed in water. You need something acid or lye-based in order to dissolve hair.

While hair is considered biodegradable, it takes many years for hair to decompose completely, and in that time, it can cause problems in your septic system. 

Hair is one of the major causes of clogs and should not be flushed down the toilet.

How Do You Dissolve Hair in a Toilet Bowl?

You can attempt to dissolve the hair in your toilet bowl using a lye-based clog remover.  Start by carefully pouring the cleaner into the bowl and allowing it to sit for several minutes.  Once you see the hair start disintegrating, you can flush it away. 

However, this may not always work.

Depending on how much hair is in the toilet bowl, you may want to consider manually removing the hair from the bowl and disposing of it in your trash can instead of flushing it.  

How Long Does It Take for Hair to Decompose in a Drain?

It takes years for hair to decompose in a drain unless you help it along.  You can do so by applying a lye-based drain cleaner in hopes of softening the built-up hair.  This can also help to prevent clogs from forming.

We recommend using this lye-based cleaner in order to dissolve some of the hair stuck in your drain. 

Make sure you have proper protective equipment, such as gloves and goggles, before you attempt to use this product! 

What Is the Best Drain Cleaner to Dissolve Hair?

The best drain cleaner to dissolve hair uses lye to break down organic compounds.  Because human hair is made up of amino acids, you need something strong enough to break them down, and lye is the best option.

Using a lye-based cleaner may sound like an extreme solution, but unfortunately, not a lot will help break down hair once it’s reached your septic system. 

Due to the nature of hair makeup, it needs a strong chemical to break it down quickly.

You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put Soap in the Toilet

Is There a Product That Dissolves Hair?

Lye-based products are the best way to dissolve hair.  Lye attacks the protein structure that makes up human hair and breaks it down. While lye will not immediately liquefy hair, it will break it down enough to be manageable.

Once the hair has broken down enough to reach the septic tank, the tank’s natural bacteria will also aid in fully breaking down hair. 

Unlike other forms of human waste, hair needs a long time to decompose naturally.


So, we’ve discussed prevention and the best ways to dissolve that pesky hair in your drain, but we all know the internet has all the best ideas for quickly solving problems.

So, let’s talk about which hacks work and which will just cause a headache. 

How Do You Get Hair Out of a Toilet Yourself?

If you are all by yourself and facing down the idea of a toilet clogged with hair, you can start by using a plunger to try and force the clog into the septic system.  You can also carefully apply a lye-based cleaner to soften the hair. 

Of course, if you can, the best way to get the hair out of your toilet is to stop it from ever entering. But, if it’s too late for that, you can try and manually remove the hair if it’s still in sight. 

Otherwise, a drain snake may be just what you need!

Can Hair Clog a Sewer Line?

Hair can absolutely clog a sewer line if enough of it enters the sewer system.  Because hair does not decompose quickly, even in a sewer, it is a prime candidate for catching on debris and forming a blockage. 

While it’s unlikely that you will ever flush enough hair at once to cause your sewer to back up, it can happen.  If you flush lots of hair with time, the build-up will come back to haunt you. 

This is just one reason to throw hair away instead of flushing it. 

Can I Dump Hydrogen Peroxide Down the Toilet?

You can dump hydrogen peroxide down the toilet.  It probably won’t do much to soften your clogs if you have them, but it won’t hurt your septic system.  As always, make sure you have the proper safety equipment before attempting such a task.

Hydrogen peroxide can help you lighten your hair naturally. Still, it won’t do much to dissolve hair in your toilet, especially when the water is diluting it in your toilet. 

If you need to dissolve hair, consider using a clog remover instead.

Do Vinegar and Baking Soda Dissolve Hair in a Toilet?

Vinegar and baking soda on their own are not strong enough to dissolve the hair that’s forming a clog in your toilet.  While they may be able to remove some of the build-up surrounding the hair, you’ll need something stronger to blast the clog away. 

Consider starting with your vinegar and baking soda solution, then use a plunger to firmly push out the rest of the clog. 

This way, you don’t risk using harsh chemicals, and you still get rid of that pesky clog!

Related Questions

What Is the Superstition About Flushing Hair Down the Toilet?

There is a superstition that throwing your hair away is bad luck.  Instead, one is counseled to flush your hair down the toilet, as your hair will grow faster and look better. We’re skeptical that this hack will work, but we do know that it will cause clogs! 

If you’re worried that flushing your hair will cause clogs but that throwing it away will cause bad luck and hair loss, consider other options. 

You’ll probably get strange looks if you bury your hair in the backyard, but it’s an option. 

Is It Okay for Hair to Go Down the Drain?

You should avoid letting hair go down the drain.  Whether it’s your toilet, your sink, or your tub or shower, having hair go down the drain is a recipe for a major clog.  When possible, avoid rinsing hair down a drain. 

For your tub or shower, make sure to get a hair stopper, such as this TubShroom, in order to keep hair out of your pipes. 

You can also grab yourself a suction cup drain cover for your bathroom or sinks!

How Do You Remove Hair From a Bathtub?

If you can still see the hair in your bathtub, you can use a paper towel or your gloved hands to scoop up and remove grabbable hair.  If the hair has already gone down the bathtub drain, you’ll need a clog remover or a snake. 

Using a snake in your bathtub drain is a preferable option, as it does not require the use of chemicals. 

You can simply place the snake in the drain and pump it until it pushes the clog out. If the snake isn’t strong enough on its own, you may have to use a lye-based cleaner to soften up the hair first. 

Final Thoughts

While it’s very tempting to end your haircut by tossing the dead hair in the toilet and flushing it away, doing so will cause you more headaches in the long run. 

Flushing hair down the toilet can cause major clogs.

Instead of flushing hair down the toilet, just sweep it up and throw it away next time.  It is the best way to avoid having to do extra plumbing repairs down the road. 

We hope these tips and ideas will help you next time you’re deciding what to do with your freshly cut hair! 

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