Best Vacuum for Long Hair

Any homeowner who’s had to do a few vacuuming sessions known how troublesome long hair is. Whether they’re from pets or humans, long strands of hair get caught in the vacuum and can clog the machine.

To save you the hassle and headache, we’ve scoured through the different products available to find the best vacuum for long hair. These devices are designed to handle long strands better than your regular cleaner.

As such, you don’t need to worry about having to untangle hair from the brushes. And, won’t find yourself pulling out hairballs that clogged your machine.


Our Picks: Top Options for Vacuuming Long Hair


The Problem of Vacuuming Long Hair

Long hair, whether from humans or pets, are one of the biggest problems when it comes to vacuuming.

The reason for this is that the average vacuum, in its standard form, isn’t well equipped to handle long strands of hair that can get stuck. The way hair and fur behave make it even more problematic.

They tend to clump up together.

This results in a big ball of hair that not only get tangled up with things. They also tend to cause blockages.

With vacuum cleaners and long hair, there are two main problems.

  • Keeping the hair from getting all tangled up in the vacuum cleaners brush roll.
  • Keeping the hair from clogging or blocking the air flow though the vacuum’s hose.

Hair Tangles

Modern vacuum cleaners come with rolling brushes at the head of the vacuum. These are essential components to your machine because they enable you to clean carpets and rugs thoroughly.

The problem with high spinning brushes is that when they come into contact with long hair the hair gets caught and wraps around the bristles. With short hair this isn’t much of an issue, unless there’s a lot of them.

Long hair is more of a problem. The length allows it to keep wrapping up to the point where it’s wound tightly around the brush.

This makes it a headache to remove.


Solutions to Hair Tangles in Vacuums

Option 1: Dyson Tangle-Free Turbine Tool

Manufacturers have been doing a lot of product testing to fix this issue. The best one we’ve seen so far is Dyson’s Tangle-Free Turbine Tool. It’s a unique device that uses two counter-rotating wheels instead of a spinning brush.

Its design allows it to catch long hair, both human and pet, spin it around and loosen it without getting all tangled up. Unfortunately, it only works with Dyson vacuums.

Here’s a video demonstration of how this attachment works.

Here’s an article that discusses the tool more along with Dyson’s other innovations.

Option 2: Other Solutions

A few other solutions include:

  • Getting a vacuum with self-cleaning brushes. There are a few models out there. But they’re not common and you tend to sacrifice with a vacuum that isn’t as good.
  • Regularly check the brush for tangles. Doing this before or after vacuuming lets you fix the problem before it escalates. When there’s a bit of hair stuck on the brush, immediately get a pair of scissors and cut the hair out. Shorter hair is easier to pull out. And they don’t tangle as much.
  • If you don’t need to clean carpets, they skip the brush roll altogether.


What About Hair Clogging Your Vacuum

Besides getting tangled in the brush, long hair can also cause clogs or blockages in your vacuum. Hair that clumps together into a ball can get stuck somewhere along your machine’s hose.

In addition, hair or fur balls can cause problems in your vacuum’s dirt cup causing it to reduce suction power.

Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to stop yourself and pick up hair balls before they get into the vacuum. We’ve noticed though that vacuum with strong suction tend to deal with long hair and clumped hair better. The stronger airflow allows it to pull the clumped hair through the hose into the dirt cup or bag.

Inspecting & Unclogging Your Vacuum from Hair

Clearing out your vacuum for clogs and blockages takes a bit more work than getting rid of tangles in the brush. It isn’t difficult though, as modern vacuum cleaners are more user friendly in this aspect.

Here’s a quick video that details the steps you can follow. It’s specific for a Bissell vacuum, but the process is similar with upright models. Only the placements of the components are different.

Here’s a quick recap of the steps to unclog your vacuum.

  1. Turn off and unplug the machine.
  2. Discard all the contents of the dirt container.
  3. Check the entry and exit points of going in and out the dirt container to see if there are any clogs.
  4. Check the hose and intake area for blockages.
  5. Detach the hose from the vacuum and look through the hose.
  6. If there’s something inside, use a slim, blunt object to clean out the hose.
  7. Re-attach the hose into the intake area.


Choosing a Vacuum for Long Hair: Buying Guide

1. Suction Power

Suction power is one of the first things we all look for with vacuum cleaners. In this case, it becomes more important. Hair often clumps together. And, they stick to surfaces. This makes them difficult to pull away.

A vacuum with low suction power isn’t going to be able to pick up hair or fur balls. It will also struggle with hair in corners as well as those stuck in carpeting.

Strong air flow from good suction also lets you pull in long strands of hair and clumped hair through the vacuum’s air ways. Weaker suction may get them stuck somewhere in your hose’s tube.

2. Get a Vacuum with a Brush

As much as having a brush increases your risk of getting hair all tangled up, it’s also a necessary feature if you plan on vacuuming carpets and rugs.

Suction power alone isn’t going to give you a thorough clean, especially with thicker or higher pile carpets.

Note that if your home doesn’t have carpets or rugs, then you can skip this item.

With long hair, we recommend brush rollers that are motorized. This gives you that extra power to pull out strands of hair. Some vacuums use the fan’s suction to power the brush. This works well for low pile rugs and carpets. It isn’t as effective for thicker or deeper pile.

An important feature that should come with your vacuum’s brush is an on/off switch. This will let you turn the brush off when needed. You’ll want to do this when vacuuming bare floors and delicate floors. High speed brushes can scrape and damage surfaces like wood.

If you’re planning to get a canister vacuum, choose one with a carpet tool. This attachment will have a head that’s fitted with a rolling brush.

3. Tools & Attachments

Cleaning after hair can be made easier with the right tools. Today’s vacuums come with a lot of accessories. These are some worth considering for long hair, human or pet.

  • Pet Hair Tool: If you have pets, this is a must. This will let you pick up hair that’s stuck on surfaces including fabric. The good news is that it also works well for human hair.
  • Upholstery Tool: This helps you clean up on upholstery. They’re great for sofas and curtains. They’re designed to attract link which helps pick up hair as well.

4. Transparent Bins

Transparent dirt bins aren’t aesthetically pleasing. But, they’re very practical. These let you quickly see how much space is left before you need to dump the contents in the trash.

Another benefit of see-though dirt bins is you can immediately see if there are clogs happening. This lets you get ahead of the problem before it stops you vacuum from working.

5. Larger Hose Opening

Because hair tends to stick to the sides of plastic hoses, having a wider hose helps. This, along with strong suction pulls hair through the passages. This reduces your risk of getting hair clogged in the hose.

We recommend choosing vacuums with hose diameters of 1.5 to 2 inches wide. This is the higher end of the range as far as hose sizes go. Slimmer hoses, like those that are 1.25 inches wide stand a better chance of getting clogged by clumped hair and fur balls.

6. Easy to Access Hose

In certain situations, hair will clog your vacuum. When this happens, suction will go down and you’ll need to stop cleaning.

One way to unclog your vacuum cleaner is to check to blockages. This often happens in the dirt bin or in the hose.

Having easy access to the hose, and being able to pull in out of the valve lets you fix this clog.

7. Easy to Access Brush

Besides clogging, the other main problem with long hair is it gets tangled up in the brush. Many modern vacuums come let you easily access the rotating brush at the bottom of the machine.

Often if just means laying the device on the ground. From there, you can use scissors to snip the hair and remove them from the brush.

Certain products make this process even easier. They come with removable brush bar. This lets you take the brush out by pressing a release button.

With the bar out, you can easily wash it and get the strands of hair out.


Best Vacuum for Long Hair Reviews

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

When it comes to hair, whether it’s human or pet, power is essential. Hair and fur can be tricky because they clump together and curl up with other small particles.

As far as suction power and cleaning ability go, the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 is among the best. The unit produces a whopping 245 air watts of suction power. To compare most ordinary upright vacuums range between 100 and 150 air watts.

This is made possible by the high end motor and Dyson’s high tech Radial Root Cyclone technology. The latter allows for optimal air flow within the unit’s system. This eliminates clogs or blockages that can interfere with suction power. As a result, it is able to pick up more dust and particles.

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 also comes with an extension hose and long-reach want. This lets you clean stairs and go deep under furniture when needed.

We love the strong suction power. The ball system also makes turning and maneuvering the cleaner very easy. Together with its self-adjusting head height mechanism, it does a great job on flat surfaces as well as carpets.

Overall, this is a great investment. It offers high end suction power that lets you get all the dirt and hair not only from floors but also deep into your carpets. Its main weakness though, is it’s expensive.

Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum

For something more budget friendly, we have Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser. As its name says, it is designed for pet owners. The good news is, it does a good job on dog, cat and human hair.

We like that it works well in picking up long hair and fur. This is something not all pet vacuums are capable of doing. Long hair or fur poses additional problems because they can clog your vacuum’s brush and airflow.

Here’s where the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser’s tangle-free brush roll comes in. This brush is designed differently compared to regular vacuum brushes. It divided bristles allow it to spin and pick up longer strands of hair without getting tangled together.

In addition, there are 3 specialized pet tools included that let you get pet fur. These work on human hair as well. Together, you can clean your home’s floor and furniture from wayward or shedding hair.

Do note that as with most Bissell vacuum cleaners, you aren’t going to get superior suction power. At least not when compared to the Dysons or Shark vacuums. The thing is, suction power isn’t the only factor that’s important.

The 1650A runs on an 8.5 amp motor. And, it packs good suction, probably around 150 air watts or so. Maybe a bit more. It’s tangle-free brush and cyclonic system complements this by helping pick up the hair and allowing suction to stay consistently good throughout various sections of the machine.

Finally, like the Dyson above, it comes with a 5 year warranty.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away TruePet NV752

This is another high end pet vacuum. We like these kinds of devices because they’re more effective in picking up both human hair and pet fur, especially the long strands.

This is Shark’s answer to Dyson’s high end upright vacuums like the Multi Floor 2 above. As with the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2, the Shark TruPet is designed for multiple home floors. These include bare floors like hardwood and tile. It also excels in carpets.

Similarly, you get high end suction power and the ability to pick up pet fur and long hair. Its 2 biggest advantages over the Dyson is it has a Lift-Away canister module, and its lower price.

The canister module lets you go up stairs and clean furniture easily. Because you’re more mobile, it wins out slightly over the Dyson’s extension hose feature.

Then there’s it powered lift away mode. This is something the more expensive Shark models have. This lets you pull out the canister module. Then use the upright part as a lightweight stick vacuum. This lets it go under furniture and cut down the weight.

Overall, its versatility and power are impressive. This lets it perform exceptionally on carpets. It can pull out hair and debris that stuck within carpet fibers. The bare floor attachment meanwhile, lets it get hair and small particles on wood and flat surfaces.

Finally, its price is also lower than other higher end models, giving it an edge.

Bissell 9595A Vacuum

If you’re looking for a more affordable vacuum that’s great with long hair and pet fur, this is a good choice. It costs half to a third of some of the other products in our reviews. But, it does the job well.

This is an average weight unit at around 15 lbs. It offers all-around home cleaning with the ability to vacuum different floor types, stairs and pet hair. We like that it lets you clean both bare floors and carpets well.

The additional extension hose runs 6 feet long. This lets you clean stairs better. And, you can use it with attachments for furniture.

We like that the unit is equipped with height settings. There are 5 in total. This allows you to raise the vacuum’s head depending on the height of the carpet.

The Bissell 9595A performs well with long hair, human or pet, thanks to its brush roller. Do note that there’s no on/off switch for the brush. So, you’ll want to raise the height when cleaning delicate floors like wood, laminate or tiles in order not to damage them.

The rest of the vacuum is quite standard. You get a 12 amp motor, with an average sized 0.6 gallon removable dirt cup.

Overall, this is an affordable vacuum that picks up long hair. Its good suction power combined with the spinning brush roll let it pick up long strands of hair and clumped up pet hair.