According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs per day. Most of that hair can be shed in the shower, which may lead to problems if your drain isn’t protected. A clogged shower drain is more than merely frustrating; if drain cleaners and snakes don’t work, a professional might be required to fix the problem—often for a hefty fee.
Luckily, a drain hair catch, also known as a drain protector, is a simple, inexpensive, and effective solution. A well-made model allows water to drain as usual while catching hair before it can make its way into your pipes. Read on to learn how to choose the right product for your bathroom and why the following are considered among the best drain hair catches you can buy.
- BEST OVERALL: TubShroom The Revolutionary Tub Drain Protector
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Danco 10306, Tub/Drain Protector
- BEST SCREEN: OXO Good Grips Shower Stall Drain Protector
- BEST FOR POP-UP DRAINS: OXO Good Grips Silicone Drain Protector
- BEST LARGE: SHURIN Square Drain Cover for Shower
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Drain Hair Catch
Keep the following factors and features in mind when shopping for the best drain hair catch.
Drain hair catches are typically made from plastic, silicone, or metal.
- Plastic drain catches are inexpensive, but they tend to show dirt quickly and don’t clean up easily. They also don’t last very long, requiring frequent replacement.
- Silicone catches are flexible and designed to stay in place. They’re easy to clean and durable.
- Metal drain catches are typically made from stainless steel, which is suited to the shower because it won’t rust or corrode when exposed to water. The downside is that they’re prone to sliding out of place unless they have nonslip silicone rims or weights to keep them in place.
Screen vs. In-Drain
There are two primary types of drain hair catches: screen-style and in-drain. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Screen-style drain protectors are designed to cover the shower drain and prevent hair from passing through. They’re inexpensive and don’t require any installation, as they simply rest on top of the drain. The simplest models, however, may slide out of place and need frequent readjustment. Some upgraded versions are designed with weights or suction cups to keep them in place. Because they’re visible, they can be somewhat unsightly, especially when full of hair.
- In-drain hair catches are easily installed on the inside of the drain and, since they’re out of sight, they work well for aesthetic purposes. Concealment, however, makes it harder to tell when they need to be cleaned, so it’s good to get in the habit of removing hair after every shower—or at least after every shampoo. In-drain models aren’t ideal for households with a shower-tub combination if the bathtub is used frequently for soaking, because the hair catch would need to be removed to put a drain stopper into place.
The size of a drain hair catch is a crucial consideration, as it must fit securely without impeding normal water flow. The standard diameter of a bathtub drain is 1.5 inches, and most in-drain hair catches are designed with that specification in mind. Stand-alone shower stalls, especially those with modern designs, occasionally have larger drains. Screen-style hair catches that are 5 inches in width and larger are available for wider drain openings.
Ease of Use
Silicone screen-style catches are a good choice when it comes to ease of use. Because of the naturally nonslip construction, a silicone model will stay in place without requiring readjustment. Silicone models also clean easily: simply scoop out the hair with a finger, tissue, or paper towel. Stainless steel models with weights or suction cups are similarly designed to stay firmly in the drain. While in-drain models are slightly trickier to install and detach, they are also easy to clean with a tissue or paper towel.
In-drain hair catches are barely visible and they keep hair out of sight as well, so this makes them a strong choice for aesthetic appeal. Stainless steel is a good option for a screen-style drain protector, as it’s likely to match other bathroom fixtures. Colorful silicone models are available in both styles and can be a cheery choice for children’s bathrooms.
Our Top Picks
The following products were chosen according to the criteria above, including type, material, size, and ease of use. You’re likely to find a top-notch drain hair catch to suit your needs and budget here.
The TubShroom has gained something of a cult following due to its unique design and impressive performance. It’s a silicone in-drain hair catch with a mushroom shape that makes it easy to install and remove. Hair curls around the central, cylindrical part of the device while water drains normally. The manufacturer claims that weeks can go by before the TubShroom requires cleaning, though frequency will vary from user to user.
With just the top of the catch remaining visible, this drain protector stays out of sight. It’s designed to fit a standard 1.5-inch tub drain and can also be used in sink drains of the same size. It comes in white and numerous colors.
Danco’s affordable drain protector has a unique shape, with tiny pegs catching hair and preventing it from going down the drain. This model does protrude out of the drain, making it visible while bathing or showering, but its flower shape isn’t unsightly and it might even make a fun choice for a child’s bathroom. There’s a basket-style handle that makes it easy to remove the device for cleaning.
The screen-style protector is designed to fit drains of up to 4.5 inches in diameter. It’s made from a mix of flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and silicone.
OXO’s screen-style drain protector is designed to work in shower stall drains and is crafted with a hole pattern that catches hair without restricting water drainage. Made from rust-resistant stainless steel, it’s likely to match with other finishes in the bathroom.
This model stands out from other metal options because of the soft, nonslip silicone rim that keeps the device in place without the hassle of frequent readjustments. It measures 4.75 inches by 4.75 inches by 0.1 inches, and its slim design ensures that it won’t protrude and get in the way.
While less popular in modern construction, pop-up drains were the norm in older showers and tubs. Fortunately, OXO makes a drain hair catch specifically designed for old-fashioned drains. This silicone drain protector has a domed shape that fits over most pop-up style drain covers. It sits perfectly flush with a flat surface, which prevents smaller bits of debris from going down the drain, and it’s weighted to stay in place without frequent readjustments.
It’s made from silicone and stainless steel, so it’s completely rust-proof. While it is created to work with pop-up drains, it works just as well on standard drains.
Those with large or unconventionally shaped shower drains should consider this square-shaped screen-style cover. It measures 5.7 inches by 5.7 inches and is made from flexible silicone. Each corner features a tiny suction cup that holds the device in place. Installation is easy: Simply put the drain cover in place and press down on the corners to secure.
While it’s designed to be used for shower drains, it’s versatile enough to work in kitchen sinks as well. Note that this style works best on flat surfaces and doesn’t pair well with small tiles or curved tubs.
FAQs About Drain Hair Catches
For additional info on using drain catches and avoiding hair clogs, check out the answers to these commonly asked questions.
Q. Does shaving in the shower clog the drain?
While longer hair gets much of the blame for clogging shower drains, shorter hairs can cause problems as well. A high-quality drain hair catch should be able to stop even the shortest hairs from making their way into the pipes below.
Q. How do I clean a drain hair catch in the shower?
Don’t clean the hair catch while still in the shower, as that could allow hair to escape and go down the drain. Remove the catch and take it to the bathroom wastebasket to clean with a tissue or paper towel.
Q. Is there a drain cleaner that dissolves hair?
Yes, there are a number of drain cleaners that are specifically designed to dissolve hair.