Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep loose hair from clogging shower drains, no matter how much you may try. You may have extra-long or extra-thick hair that sheds more than others. That means you need to proactively prevent hair clogs before they happen. Here are five ways to do just that:

Brush Your Hair Before Showering

Right before getting in the shower, brush briskly through your hair for at least one minute, removing any loose hairs in the process. Gather those that aren’t trapped in the brush and throw them away. This will minimize the number of strands that fall out when you shampoo.

Install a Drain Screen

An over-the-top drain screen is basically made from metal mesh and it allows water to drain while catching hairs. These can be found at any local hardware store and are an expensive, but smart, investment, since they also catch soap scum and other debris, as well. Simply fit it directly over the top of your drain and secure it with plumber’s putty.

You could also try a hang-down drain screen. These drain screens are made from similar material as the over-the-top screens, but they are designed to hang down inside the drain and form a bowl-shape towards the middle of your pipe. This type of screen is not visible from above.

To install it, simply apply plumber’s putty on its outer rim and place it snugly inside the pipe with the open end facing up.

Make a DIY Drain Rinse

This is so easy, but effective. Simply pour two tablespoons of table salt down the drain and chase it with a quarter of a cup of white vinegar. Then, let the drain sit for 60 minutes undisturbed.

Afterward, run the faucet as hot as it will go for 10 full minutes. Doing this once a week should clear any residual hairs from the drain. Of course, if this doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to bring in an expert plumber, like ABC Drain and Plumbing.

Cover the Drain With Fabric Softener Sheets

This is a great hack to use in a pinch. Place the fabric softener sheet over the drain opening and then shower as usual. These sheets are porous, so water will flow right through them while hair and dirt will be trapped on their surfaces. Then, when you’re done, just throw them away.

In conclusion, these are some of the things that you can do to keep hair from clogging your drain and becoming a plumbing nightmare. No one wants to see their drain back up, so try these tips to keep your shower water flowing freely down your pipes.