If you’ve been paying attention to TikTok recently, you’ll probably know all about hair slugging. It’s been one of the big trends of 2022. Users have been posting videos of themselves wearing socks or turbans on their head at night as part of the process. Many have spoken about how slugging has transformed their tresses.
If you don’t have a TikTok account, you might be reading this with a slightly puzzled expression on your face. That bit about socks and turbans, in particular, may have got you scratching your head.
Fear not. All will become clear!
What Exactly is Hair Slugging?
Remember skin slugging? That was all the rage two or three years ago. It involved covering one’s face in oil or ointment (often it was petroleum jelly) last thing at night. The aim was to rehydrate the skin by locking in moisture. The practice fired up social media for a time before fading into the background. Well, it’s back, only this time the oil is being applied to the hair rather than our skin.
300 Million Views
Hair slugging videos have been viewed more than 300 million times on TikTok. It differs from skin slugging only in that oil or hair masks are more commonly used than petroleum jelly; the latter would be just too messy. The oil is worked into the hair and left on overnight. It is held in place by a scarf, a sock, a scrunchie or a turban – basically, any kind of DIY headgear that will stop the oil or mask from running off the hair onto the pillow.
There is no single, recommended hair oil or hair mask. Some people prefer to use a pre-shampoo hair and scalp oil. Others go for oils renowned for their moisturising properties; argan oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, avocado or coconut oil. Shea butter is also good.
If you decide to use a hair mask, make sure that the one you choose is safe to be left in overnight. Some masks are designed to be used on the hair for short periods only.
You don’t need to apply hair oil every night. Depending on your hair type, once or twice per week might be enough.
What are the Benefits?
Hair oiling is nothing new. It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to stimulate hair growth and promote wellness. The oil augments or replaces the oil our scalp produces naturally but which can start to dry up for different reasons. The ageing process accounts for some of that reduction, but other factors also play a part; some haircare products and colour treatments can strip the hair of its natural oils.
Replacing the natural oil in your hair is only one benefit of slugging. Using the oils we namechecked above is also a great way to feed your hair the nutrients it needs for strong, healthy growth. Treating the hair with natural oils can also give it a layer of protection. While it’s suitable for all hair types, slugging works best on dry, brittle hair. It can eliminate frizz, soften your strands, help with split ends, and add shine. By improving the health of your scalp, it could help promote hair growth.
While slugging achieves good results, it works even better when combined with a head massage. Ayurvedic medicine made this a central part of the hair oiling process. Massaging the head allows the oils to travel deeper into the skin. Additionally, the massage stimulates the blood flow to the scalp, allowing the passage of vital nutrients to the hair follicles.
Some people posting TikTok videos are less than enthusiastic about slugging. They report that the overnight routine can be hard to maintain. Some tell of waking up to find that the sock/scrunchie/turban holder had shifted during the night. Others report that their makeshift headgear left strange lines and creases on their hair, and that their hair felt heavy and greasy from the oil.
In summary, some users were left disappointed by the experience. While they noticed an improvement at the tips of their hair, they felt that there was no overall quantum-leap improvement, certainly not enough to justify the extra hassle of the process. They resolved to use oil more often, particularly on the tips of their hair, but to skip the full-fat slugging experience.
Hopefully, this article has shone a light on hair slugging for you. There’s no doubt that it has some benefits for your hair. Some disadvantages too, as we’ve seen. Is it here to stay or is it just another social media craze, all the rage today, gone with the wind tomorrow? Time will tell.
If you have any concerns about the condition of your hair, Vinci Hair Clinic stands ready to help. We are one of the world’s leading hair restoration companies, with an unrivalled range of treatments, procedures and products. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to all our new clients. Get in touch and book your appointment today!