Humans shed, on average, up to a hundred strands of hair every day. Add to this the hair from your pet, and you have quite a mess to deal with. While vacuuming away the hair may seem to be an instant solution, it’s not always that easy. You would need to use the best vacuum for hair, and one that comes with the necessary tools. Some standard models will struggle to pick up human and pet hair, while some high-end models get overwhelmed by long strands. Getting rid of long hair with such vacuum cleaners may, therefore, not be as simple as you might have thought. You will start to encounter difficulties when hair strands get caught up in the brush roll bristles causing it to be less efficient. The vacuum’s hose could also harbor clumped hair leading to blockage or reduced suction power.
Many homes have the problem of long strands of hair being shed daily, which makes finding the right vacuum to deal with the menace necessary.
If yours is one of them, read on. I will take through the steps and ways to solve the problem as well as provide top models that will help you vacuum the long hair without worry. You will also get to know the features to look for when looking for the best vacuum for hair. Armed with the information, you will be in a better position to select the most appropriate model for your needs.
Here’ the outline of this article:
Top 10 Vacuums Which Work Best with Long Strands of Hair – A Comparison Chart
I’ve put this table here, for all those who don’t have time to read the science behind my top picks. For all others, please continue with this 2 minutes read, it’s worth it.
|Model||Design||Price||Type||Features (against hair)|
|Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean||$516.00||Upright||The wide array of accessories, which includes the tangle-free turbine tool, the brush roll design and the powerful suction are best weapons against long hair.|
|Shark APEX UpLight||Price not available||Corded stick||Zero-M technology is made specifically for the problem of long hair.|
|Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away||$374.99||Upright||Zero-M technology is made specifically for the problem of long hair.|
|Shark Navigator Zero-M
|$239.99||Upright||Zero-M technology is made specifically for the problem of long hair.|
|BISSELL Cleanview Rewind Pet Deluxe||$149.99||Upright||Powerful tangle-free nozzle and specialized hair tools get the job done.|
|Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team||$499.00||Canister||Pack of good accessories and powerful suction mix to for a price-worthy solution.|
|Miele Blizzard CX1 Turbo Team||$648.00||Canister||Awesome turbo brush and powerful suction make this bagless a viable option.|
|Dyson Cyclone V11 Torque Drive||$684.99||Cordless stick||The mini motorized tool and the torque drive nozzle work outstanding with long hair. Has a wide variety of accessories.|
|iRobot Roomba i7+||$799.00||Robot vacuum||Rubber brush rolls and good suction allow this robot vacuum to handle long hair.|
|Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro||$269.99||Hybrid upright||The new and improved brush roll is specifically designed to handle long hair. The tank cleaning mechanism also takes hair into consideration.|
Tackling the Source of Long Hair
Long hair is a nuisance in many homes. Hundreds of strands to pick up- every day. And if you have pets, a lot of fur to clean. You can decide to invest in a vacuum cleaner, of course. But then, few vacuums can clean hair effectively, especially if we are talking about really long strands. Some do not suction all the pieces, while others get their brush rolls tangled by the strands. Still, some vacuums choke on the hair, forcing you to remove stuck debris manually.
The solution? Finding a vacuum that’s designed specifically to tackle the problem. Now, here is where things become daunting. The best vacuum for long hair must combine various technologies. The features may not even be advertised as necessary, and you have to rely on your knowledge to make the right choice. Manufacturers do not often say if their vacuums can clean long strands of hair or even what length the vacs can tackle without tangles. Instead, they market them as pet vacuums.
Because you want a device that can clean both pet and human hair, you need to know what to look for. That’s precisely what I will reveal in this article: the secret to finding the right vacuum for long pet and human hair. But before that, how can you minimize the problem of shed hair?
If too much hair is falling off your scalp, you might want to find out why. Reasons vary from particles one person to another. They include using wrong products, unhealthy eating, or simply neglecting to take care of your hair. You might be surprised that you can actually reduce the number of strands to clean by following a few hair care tips. Avoiding chemical processes that cause hair to break can help reduce hair loss. Also, high heat tools that make your hair brittle. You may also want to consider hair restoration products or diet options that prevent hair from falling off.
Some pets are naturally heavy shedders. However, animal experts recommend proper nutrition to prevent excessive shedding. Skin conditions and health complications can also cause your pet’s hair to fall off. If that’s the case, taking the cat or dog to a vet can help reduce the amount of hair that you have to clean. Some people use a broom or sticky roller mop to pick hair before using the vacuum. That way, they avoid the problems caused by long hair strands, such as tangles and clogging.
Selecting the right vacuum for long human or pet hair
When you look at it, it’s a more complex problem, one which might be solved directly at the source. One good start would be to make sure you’re keeping up with your hair hygiene. You should not use any overly harsh styling products which could damage your scalp, as this will cause your hair to fall out faster. Yes, those styling products can make your hair look good in the short-term, but remember you’re the one who is going to be cleaning up those shed strands. Besides, look at me, I lost a quarter of my hair, so I know what I’m talking about. Your lost hair fibers are made out of dead cells that got shoved out of your hair follicles and their source of nourishment, so despite what the marketing for these products might tell you, your hair does not have any self-repair mechanism. That means any damage to your hair will cause it to shed faster. Anyway, taking care of your hair is not the subject of this blog, so let’s move on.
I have, over the years, noted one major difficulty that people face when buying a vacuum for long pet or human hair. They are usually unable to tell which model fits their need, so they end up purchasing a product that does little to tackle their problem or one that cannot cope with longer strands. Manufacturers don’t help in their product descriptions either. Most of them rarely market their vacuums as being able to pick up long hair efficiently. They often talk about pet hair cleaning capabilities, making finding a model that’s efficient for the long strands of human hair in your home a challenge.
Most of the vacuums you will come across will get their brush roll tangled with hair or their hose clogged as a result of trapped hair clumps. They require you to keep removing the strands that get stuck after every vacuuming session, which can be tiresome and time-consuming. As an alternative, you could invest in a model that features self-cleaning brushes. It would help you vacuum long strands without having to worry about the hair getting caught in the bristles.
One such technology is used in the self-cleaning tool of Dyson vacuums. A tangle-free Turbine Tool prevents hair from getting stuck, allowing for unhindered vacuuming. The feature comes at a price, though, but it is worth it if the problem of long hair in your home is too much for standard vacuums to handle. The tool is unique to Dyson vacuums since the technology involved is patented, so it may not be possible to use it on other models. Here is a video showing the Dyson Turbine Tool at work:
Another great technology is the Zero-M from Shark. Almost all newer vacuum cleaners from these guys come with this system. Basically, in the first phase, a comb-like design acts as a strand splitter. In the second phase, the strands are cut into smaller pieces and get sucked into the bin together with the rest of the debris:
Tackling the problem of long hair strands
Other than purchasing a vacuum with a self-cleaning mechanism to prevent tangles, you could try the manual removal. It involves using a pair of scissors to cut hair that has wrapped around the bristles. If the strands are not too long, you simply pull them out. Removing tangled hair from your vacuum’s brushes every once in a while helps to maintain its efficiency.
Don’t also forget to check the vacuum’s hose for stuck hair. To do this, you only need to detach it, then shine a light into it to check for trapped clumps of hair. Should you find some, use a blunt, thin object to clean the hose. Ensure you don’t damage the inside by doing so gently.
Having looked at the ways to deal with the problem created by long pet and human hair, I think it’s also good to discuss the ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. That means tackling the problem at the source. A good approach would be to observe proper hair care. Most of the hair falling off your scalp is a result of using styling products that are too harsh. Such products may be producing excellent results now but, unknown to you, they are gradually damaging your scalp and will cause your hair to come out later. And then, you will have to put up with tangled vacuum brush bristles in the future. I lost a lot of hair myself, so I know how much of a problem hair loss can be. Doing away with the harsh products would go a long way to protect you from losing hair as well as relieve you of having to vacuum lots of hair.
You would think that it’s only in homes where long hair is a nuisance. However, the problem presents everywhere where humans are found, even at NASA. So they had to find a way to ensure their space station did not suffer the menace of loose hair. The result? They developed a tool to vacuum hair while cutting it. With most of the technologies in use today having come from NASA, you would expect the tool to be available on the market. And it is, only that it didn’t turn out to be a success. Most people do not seem to like the idea of cutting their hair while vacuuming it at the same time. I bet they would prefer using a regular vacuum cleaner later after the mess has already been created. There are models out there that would do an excellent job to clean hair strands, both long and short, so the idea might not be a bad one after all.
Even when you don’t want to cut and vacuum your hair at the same time, you aren’t entirely out of luck. You may have seen that video of a dad who got a perfect ponytail for his daughter’s hair using a vacuum cleaner. It looks pretty easy when you want a ponytail in a hurry. You wrap a rubber band around the vacuum hose, turn it on, make sure all the hair is sucked up into the hose, and then transfer the rubber band from the hose to the hair. Instant ponytail in less than a minute. Other than the obvious problem that it can lead to a clogged vacuum pretty fast if her hair sheds a lot, it’s pretty convenient when you don’t have time for anything more complicated:
As you see, people can get pretty inventive when it comes to using a vacuum cleaner for dealing with long hair. However, none of the common sense thoughts shared with you above compare with owning and using proper tools. While vacuuming with the brushroll turned off may work, it’s not the best choice. A good start would be the following feature selection:
Buying the best vacuum for hair – feature selection
To take care of the hair that gets shed in your home daily, you’ll inevitably require a vacuum cleaner. A lot of what the model you choose can do will depend on its features. It’s, therefore, essential that you to know what to look for when shopping for the vacuum. Some functionalities allow for the sucking up of hair without it sticking in the hose, while others serve to prevent hair from getting wrapped around the bristles. You aim to ensure efficient vacuuming without causing the airflow path or brush roll function to be affected. The features to consider include for the best vacuum for hair include:
The type of vacuum
Vacuums usually come as uprights, sticks, canister, or robots. Canister vacs can be both quiet and powerful. However, you may find them cumbersome to use. You have to bend most of the time and juggling between two pieces when cleaning isn’t the best experience. Still, manufacturers haven’t been spending a lot to develop canister vacuums for long hair, so most options on the market might not be of help. Still, you can get hold of a good canister vacuum that cleans long hair impressively, especially if it comes with the right attachment.
Uprights are powerful and effective on all types of debris, including pet and human hair. However, they are usually corded, heavy, and big-sized. Despite their high suction, many people find them cumbersome to use. The vacuums limit you to the length of the power cord, and you cannot clean just any place you want to. Like canister vacuums, most uprights today are general cleaning devices with fewer specialized models.
Stick vacuums are the most preferred for long hair. They are lightweight and versatile, which makes them up suitable for cleaning after pets. Manufacturers also seem to focus their research efforts on developing stick vacuums for specialized cleaning tasks. Most modern sticks are cordless yet powerful, highly portable due to low weight, and designed to clean a variety of surfaces. It’s not uncommon today to find a stick vacuum that offers cleaning power similar to that of an upright.
Most vacuums for pet hair are cordless sticks. Because of the research that goes into improving these vacuums, modern sticks feature technologies to clean hair, such as self-cleaning brushes, anti-tangle construction, and other features. These are often sold under the name of pet vacuums, but which means the devices can clean hair both pet and human strands.
But are all pet vacuums suited to clean long hair strands? I would say not necessarily. Some can only suction up short strands. It depends on the technology used on the brush roll, the suction strength, and other factors. When choosing the best stick vacuum for long hair, combine all the features that make picking up strands and preventing tangles possible.
Robot vacuums are capable of cleaning hair and can be relied upon to pick small amounts of long or short strands. These vacuums do not have long tubes for hair to travel, which makes them efficient for light cleaning tasks. Robots also use anti-hair tangle brushes such as those with rubber bristles. One of the drawbacks of using a robot to clean hair is the small dustbin and low power. Otherwise, they can make good vacuums for the job. But that’s only if you have a few strands to remove from surfaces.
It’s the brush that picks up hair, but the power of suction is what makes it travel to the bin. A good vacuum to clean long hair needs to be adequately powerful. That’s because strands and fur blobs tend to get stuck in the vacuum’s tube if the suction is too weak. When that happens, the speed of airflow reduces, causing the vacuum to lose more of its cleaning power. It results in debris pilling behind the stuck hair and the cleaning efficiency dropping tremendously. It then becomes necessary to take the components of the vacuum apart, peer into the tube or wand and remove the stuck debris manually.
With a powerful vacuum, there’s no possibility of hair blocking the airways of the vacuum, which means effective cleaning. On that note, one would want to go for the corded uprights. These usually use powerful motors since the outlet power source can sustain the required wattage. If you prefer the corded type, consider how strong the airflow is. It ensures the vacuum doesn’t fail at any one time, and that no hair remains uncleaned in your home.
Brush roll Design
There has been a lot of research to improve brush roll design over the years. A lot has changed, I should say. Most pet hair vacuums today come with brushes that resist tangles, minimizing the time spent removing hair wraps. In that regard, it’s advisable to choose a model that offers this advantage, especially if you intend to be cleaning long strands. Designs vary from one manufacturer to another. The vacuum’s year of manufacturer, too. Newer models will have better brushes than older ones, and you need to be careful when selecting the type to buy.
Most brushes feature a comb-like part atop the brush roll. Its function is to remove long strands of hair that could cause tangles. Modern brushes such as those used by recent Shark vacuums do not use bristles. They’re made of blades that do not allow hair to remain stuck on the brush. The design makes these vacuums one of the most effective on long hair, especially if the suction is high enough.
Brush Roll Control
A rotating brush works great on carpets by removing dirt and debris from the depths of the fibers. But long strands can get caught in the spinning bristles. When so many of them have wrapped around the brush, it can cause problems. The brush may not agitate dirt anymore resulting in a vacuum that’s less effective. In some cases, the hair tangles may affect the spinning action of the brush roll.
To prevent the problem of hair tangles, you may want to use a rotating brush only when there are no hairs to pick up, such as when vacuuming certain parts of your home. This can only be possible if the vacuum comes with an on/off button. It allows you to control the brush roll, switching it on only when necessary or convenient. Most vacuums on the market today offer the brush on/off option.
A transparent bin
In case you pick a bagless vacuum, it’s good that you choose one that features a transparent bin. It allows you to check for anything that poses a clogging danger and act immediately. You can tell when there’s no more space left and move to empty the contents before the vacuum’s working condition is affected. The bin should also have straight edges that will not harbor hair and cause a quick buildup that could cause clogging of the air path. Also, choose a model that features an easy-to-open bin that allows for immediate inspection and emptying.
Wide hose diameter
Your vacuum’s hose is prone to becoming clogged with hair that could cause blockage and affect the unit’s overall suction. For efficient vacuuming of long hair, choose a model that comes with a hose made out of slippery plastic. It will allow for the free movement of vacuumed strands of long hair, whether pet or human. A large diameter would also be essential to allow for easy inspection. I would recommend a hose that measures 1 1/2″ or 2″ in width. Such a diameter would be enough to ensure sucked up hair passes through without hindrance. On the same vein, avoid a hose that allows for sharp bends that would cause hair and other debris to get trapped. The hose’s shape is an essential consideration. Bends encourage clogs and cause you problems with cleaning the hair in your home. Apart from preventing the free movement of debris, bent tubes are not easy to inspect for stuck hair. It makes detecting blockage difficult and removing stuck debris even more challenging.
Easy to Disassemble
Every once in a while, you will need to take apart the parts of your vacuum to remove stuck hair and tangles. The components include the brush roll, the bin, and the hose. Most of the vacuums made today come with these parts being easy to access, but it would be better if you confirmed before buying yours. It would save yourself the trouble of struggling to access your vacuum’s inside when checking it for stuck hair.
Modern vacuums come with a variety of tools and attachments. Some of them will do a good job of cleaning long strands of hair without causing tangles. The best of them is Dyson’s self-cleaning tool but which is, unfortunately, only compatible with vacuums from this company. Other accessories that would help the model you pick to clear long hair more efficiently include:
- Pet hair removing tool: it’s made to remove stuck pet hair, but also works well on human hair. It will help you vacuum hair-prone areas in your home with ease.
- Upholstery vacuuming tool: this tool is great for removing hair from sofas and other places that are likely to harbor long strands of pet or human hair. Combined with adequate suction power, the upholstery tool is an essential accessory for a hair-free home.
A vacuum with strong suction will pick up hair without much of a hassle while turning off the brush roll would prevent tangles. But then, that’s not enough if looking for efficient cleaning that gives the best of results. For improved performance and to protect the hose and the brush roll when cleaning hair-prone areas, consider using pre-vacuuming tools. A hair tool such as a rubber broom works to remove long strands of hair before running the vacuum over the affected surface. It’s an efficient pre-vacuuming piece of equipment and one that can protect the bristles in the roll. Another great tool is the sticky mop roller. This helps to glue up hair and other debris. Using it on the surface that has a lot of long hair helps to make vacuuming efficient. It also helps your vacuum’s hose, suction path, and the brush roll to be safe from becoming clogged or wrapped with hair.
A hair vacuum needs to be able to pick up both pet and human hair. But that’s not all there is to it. You will be using the device for other cleaning tasks, which means different features will be required. These are mechanisms and constructions that will make the device more usable and effective, among other benefits. The factors to consider include:
Size – small-sized vacuums are presentable, easy to use, store, and various other benefits. But small often means less suction and narrower cleaning paths. When selecting the best vacuum for long hair, choose a model that’s not too large but not too small either as to affect cleaning power. Some cordless sticks provide the best of both sides: compact construction and adequate suction.
Weight – heavy vacuums can be challenging to clean with. They require extra effort to push, pull, or carry up and down a stairway. In most cases, only a few family members can use a heavy vacuum. Many manufacturers have found ways to reduce weight without affecting a vacuum’s cleaning power. You only need to find the right model, which usually means choosing vacuums in the stick category.
Filtration – when looking for a long hair vac your family’s health be should one of your main considerations. You don’t want to eliminate one problem only to create another. Therefore, consider how efficiently the device can filter allergens. Look out for systems that use HEPA filters. These remove as much as 99.97 % of particles measuring 0.3 microns. Also, look for vacuums that are fully sealed. Such models do not have openings that would allow particles to escape.
Bagged/Bagless – while the choice between a bagged or bagless vacuum is often a matter of choice, knowing the pros and cons of each type can help you make the best decision. Bagged vacuums are the most efficient when it comes to keeping allergens away. You do not come into contact with vacuumed dust at any time since the bags remain sealed off all through. The capacity of bags is also usually large, with some allowing you to clean for days before they need replacing.
But bagged vacuums have their downsides. You need to change the bags from time to time, which increases maintenance costs. You also cannot get a view of the debris as it piles up. Bagless vacuums are easy to maintain. You do not have to replace anything. Most of the time, you only need a soft piece of cloth or water to clean the dust cup. However, some dir compartments expose you to dust during emptying. To prevent health problems, it’s advisable to choose bagless vacuums whose bins open from a bottom lid.
Cordless/Corded – this is another important consideration when looking for a long hair vacuum. Most corded models are powerful and suitable for most demanding tasks such as cleaning hair from carpets. However, they limit you to an outlet. If the cord is short, that can mean a shorter cleaning radius. That can be a problem when hair prone areas are a distance away.
Cordless vacuums offer more advantages. They can be used anywhere since they don’t rely on an outlet to work. Some come with powerful motors and innovative technologies to produce immense suction, which is just what you need for long hair strands. By choosing a powerful cordless vacuum, you get the suction of most corded models, but without the portability limitations. Most cordless vacs are 2-in-1 cleaning devices. They carry a detachable part that can be used anywhere in your home. A handled, the removable unit is also often lightweight and easy to use.
Here are ten vacuum cleaners/cleaning tools which do an outstanding job at handling long hair:
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean
- Expensive, but with occasional discounts
- Strongest suction of a Dyson
- The nozzle doesn’t tangle and is self-adjusting
- Most complete set of accessories for various types of chores
- It’s certified to be asthma and allergy-friendly
- Has a wide cleaning reach (35 feet)
- Comes with a 5-year warranty
- Read the full review of the Dyson Ball Animal 2
Shark APEX UpLight
- On sale at the moment
- HEPA filtration
- A powerful brush roll spins vigorously to grab all hair from your carpets. Zero-M technology handles the long hair strands.
- Powerful suction at 66 CFM
- Can be used for above-the-floor cleaning
- Comes with two great accessories: a duster crevice tool and a pet multi-tool
- 5 years of warranty
- Read the full review of this corded stick
Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away
- See what other people are saying
- Very versatile cleaner, with strong suction power, mixed with the DuoClean technology
- Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology and a HEPA filters the air which comes out of the vacuum
- Zero-M handles long hair strands and prevents them from wrapping onto the brushroll
- Just a few attachments, but enough for most cleaning needs
- It’s quieter than previous models
- LED lights, swivel neck, digital controls
- 7 years of warranty
- Read all there is to know about this unit
- Make sure you take a look at this discount
- Zero-M cleaner head is designed to prevent hair tangling
- It’s light and easy to steer
- Comes with the Lift-Away mode
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA
- A decent set of attachments
- Swivel steering
BISSELL Cleanview Rewind Pet Deluxe
- Get a very good price
- Powerful long hair suction
- Smart seal allergen system with Febreze filter
- The brushroll sucks long stands easily. Once in a while though, you may need to clean the bristles by hand
- High bin capacity
- Cord rewind
- Edge-to-edge cleaning
- Comes with a complete set of accessories: the Pet TurboEraser tool, the Pet Hair Corner tool, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an extension wand
Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team
- Get a nice deal
- Very powerful suction thanks to the Vortex motor and strong brushroll. The hair gets in and never gets out. Almost impossible to clog.
- Certified HEPA filtration
- High dirt capacity
- A good set of attachments.
- A 7-year warranty.
- Check out my complete assessment
Miele Blizzard CX1 Turbo Team
- Has a good price/quality ratio
- First bagless canister from Miele
- Lifetime HEPA filter
- Best accessories set
- Powered by a 1,200-W Vortex motor
- Lightweight and compact
- Suction Control on 4 settings
- Check out my review of the CX1 line
Dyson Cyclone V11 Torque Drive
- Buy the cheapest from here
- A good set of accessories
- Cordless model
- Batteries can run up to 60 min
- Powerful motor spinning at 125,000 RPM
- 3 suction modes
- HEPA grade filtration
- Bin can store 0.2 gallons
- Check out my review
iRobot Roomba i7+
- Automatic bin emptying
- The good battery that allows continuous cleaning for 2 hours
- Selective room cleaning
- Smartphone app
- Low noise
- HEPA filtration
- Here’s my review of this robot
Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro
- Has an awesome price
- Lightweight at 11 lbs
- Brush roll especially created to tackle long hair
- Brush roll spins at 3000 RPM
- High suction power
- Ergonomic on-handle buttons with LED lights
- 3-years warranty
- Check out my new CrossWave review
Finding the best vacuum for long hair can be difficult. Some models you come across may not be powerful enough, while others get their brushes tangled by long strands. When looking for a vacuum to tackle the hair menace in your home, it’s essential to know what to look for. That’s because most are not meant to clean large amounts of pet or human hair strands. Some models may even be advertised as pet vacuums but fail to deliver the expected results. The tips discussed here should help you to identify the right cleaning device.
Should you find yourself still overwhelmed, use the list of best hair vacuums that I have provided. These are devices with adequate auction, anti-hair tangle brush designs, and active brush roll cleaning mechanisms, among other features. Your choice depends on the cleaning requirements, of course, which can range from the size of your home, type of floors to personal preferences such as look and price. Long hair can be a challenge to clean, but only if you lack the right appliance for the job. With the best vacuum, long hair won’t be a problem anymore.
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I’m Jason Moe Roberts, an appliances expert and blogger. I’ve worked at Walmart for more than 15 years, in the house appliance department. I love to use home equipment and I spend a lot of time testing the best products and reviewing them. My family and friends also recommend me as a caring person, a great dad and a loving husband.