Every 24 hours UK plugholes are clogged with 700kg of hair

It’s a familiar household task for many of us, but nobody likes having to clean out their shower drain. Be it with an old-fashioned plunger or enlisting the help of cleaning solutions, clearing away soap scum and hair is important for both bathroom hygiene and maintenance. However, some people need to do it more regularly than others.

Enlisting the help of a trichologist, Mira Showers conducted an experiment to highlight just how much hair could be lurking in the plugholes of households around the UK. The findings were then used to create a first-of-its-kind online calculator that reveals how much hair could be clogging up your own drain right now.

The drains of eleven households were monitored over two weeks to see what was left in their plugholes after showering. In total, 3.2g of hair was collected from the drains after just 14 days. Taking this group as a sample of the UK, after just 24 hours the nation’s plugholes could be blocked with 697kg of hair – that’s equivalent to nine people, almost three grizzly bears, or 172 cats.

Mira Showers then crunched the data to create a tool that, based on the number of people and hair types in your household, estimates the amount of hair that will clog up your drain over the course of a month, a year, a decade and a lifetime. Depending on the answer you will then be advised on how frequently you should be clearing your drains.

An example household consisting of four people, each with different hair lengths, will find an estimated 1.2g of hair in their drain after a month, 14.3g after a year, 143g after a decade, and 1.2kg after a lifetime. Based on this, they should be clearing their drains every fortnight.

There are several factors that can contribute to how much hair you may lose down the drain. Two study participants, both women aged 18-24 with long, fine, brunette locks, lost rather different amounts of hair throughout the two-week study.

Matt Herbert, senior market analyst at Mira Showers, said: “We were astounded to find out just how much hair could be clogging up the UK’s shower drains, but it’s clear that exactly how much depends on so many individual circumstances. Soap scum can exacerbate blockages too. How often you should clean out your shower drains depends on how frequently you use it – the new calculator on our website can give you a clue as to how regularly you should get the plunger out.”

Click here for full access to the online calculator.