Will hair dissolve in your throat? (+3 tips)

In this article, we will discuss whether hair may dissolve in your throat. We will also discuss some techniques to remove hair from your throat and when to consult your doctor or hospital emergency.

Will hair dissolve in your throat?

No, hair will not dissolve in your throat. Hair is composed of tough, fibrous protein known as keratin. Keratin contains a high level of cysteine (amino acid) which forms strong disulfide bonds between the keratin molecules.

The strong disulfide bonds present in keratin are difficult to break by the human digestive system enzymes or the enzymes present in saliva (1). Therefore, it is nearly impossible that hair will dissolve in your throat.

However, hair stuck in your throat is usually harmless and can be removed easily by drinking water to slide it down the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) or gaging to propel hair out of the mouth. In rare cases, you may need professional assistance.

What are the symptoms of hair stuck in the throat?

Although you may only experience discomfort if a hair gets stuck in your throat, in rare cases it may lead to other complications. It may intensify the severity of the condition. You should consult your doctor if you experience pain or difficulty in swallowing or breathing.

Symptoms Occurrence
Discomfort Persistent
Irritation Persistent
Itchiness Persistent
Pain Rare
Trouble swallowing Rare
Difficulty in breathing Rare
Vomiting Rare

How to remove hair from the throat?

Removing hair from the throat can sometimes be difficult, especially if it is a long strand. However, you may adopt the following techniques to dislodge hair from your throat:

Pull it out

If you feel a hair strand is stuck in your throat or near the base of your tongue, you may pull it out easily with your fingers. Make sure your fingers are clean and dry. Locate the hair and gently pull or brush it out. You may cough a little to help dislodge hair from the throat.

Have a drink

One of the simplest methods of dislodging hair from your throat involves drinking liquids, especially water. You may take lukewarm water or a warm drink to slide down the trapped hair in your throat. This will also relieve irritation.

Dry swallowing

Position your head in a neutral position and take a few deep breaths to calm down the tense throat muscles. Next, build some saliva in your mouth (to enhance oral moisture) and swallow it to dislodge the hair in the throat without water or other liquid (3). 

Breath and relax throat muscles

Take deep breaths and try to swallow the hair slowly. You should also relax your throat muscles by staying relaxed and calm. Stress can tighten your throat muscles, making it difficult for hair to move down.


You should gargle with lukewarm water or saltwater solution to loosen the hair from the throat (3). However, if the hair strand is long and thick it may cause more irritation. You can gently use a cotton swab to pull out the hair if it is visible at the back of your throat.

When to seek professional help?

If you have difficulty breathing, feel like choking, or home remedies are not working for you, consult your doctor immediately. You should also consult your doctor if the hair does not come out even after many days.

Your doctor may numb your throat with a local anaesthetic, such as Orajel or Anbesol. They both contain benzocaine and help to minimize the pain when a doctor inserts a tweezer to pull out the hair strand from your throat (4).

I always tie my hair while cooking to prevent hair from falling into the food. You should also brush and trim the hair of your pets to prevent shedding. Try to maintain a clean environment at your home.

Also, dust your pillow after waking up or before going to sleep to remove hair and dust from your bedding. Always take a bath after having a haircut. Having hair stuck in the throat is harmless and rarely needs medical attention.

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Horvath AL. Solubility of structurally complicated materials: 3. Hair. The Scientific world journal. 2009 Jan 1;9:255-71. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2009/692092/


Mizuhashi F, Takahashi M, Mizuhashi R, Toya S, Morita O, Koide K. Influence of swallowing saliva repeatedly on oral moisture. Journal of Prosthodontic Research. 2010 Jul 1;54(3):128-32. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1883195809001480


Yüksel S, Zorlu DG, Özhan B. Bad breath and painful swallowing in a boy. Archives of Disease in Childhood-Education and Practice. 2018 Jul 30:edpract-2018. https://ep.bmj.com/content/104/6/304


Bargas OM, Khalaf QJ, Ajaj OA. Prevalence of Foreign Bodies in the Ear, Nose and Throat in Alramadi City. Prof.(Dr) RK Sharma. 2020 Oct;20(4):4801. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rana-Abdullah/publication/343988944_Bacteriological_and_Molecular_study_of_Klebsiella_pneumoniae_isolated_from_patients_with_urinary_tract_infections_from_several_hospitals_in_Baghdad/links/5faa833192851cc286a50345/Bacteriological-and-Molecular-study-of-Klebsiella-pneumoniae-isolated-from-patients-with-urinary-tract-infections-from-several-hospitals-in-Baghdad.pdf#page=803