What is Hair Slugging and How Does it Work?

By: Liz Kline 

We see hair trends come and go, and lately I have been seeing the trend of hair slugging all over TikTok. So naturally, as it piques my interest, I had to check it out! Does it really work? And what are the benefits? Here are my findings. 

First, let’s understand what hair slugging is. If you’ve ever heard of skin slugging, hair slugging is the same concept—but with hair. It is an easy process that seals in moisture. To freshly washed hair, apply a hair mask or oils. Then, wrap the hair in a scarf, tube sock or bonnet and let it sit overnight while you get your beauty rest. In the morning, thoroughly cleanse and rinse the hair out. This process claims to leave you with beautiful, shiny, luscious locks with reduced frizz. Does hair slugging have its positives? Yes. Are there negatives? Also yes. If you have a client who comes to see you with overly processed, dried-out locks, this can be a great recommendation for them to have an at-home hair treatment that helps them achieve their hair goals. But as with any hair treatment, there can be side effects too.  

A great retail add-on to your service ticket.

If your client has damaged, coarse, or dried-out hair, a deeply penetrating hair mask or hair slugging oil is a great recommendation for this. I call this a twofer. They get beautiful shiny strands, and you get a little extra money on your ticket.  

Hair slugging can benefit all hair types.

While all hair types can enjoy slugging, you’ll want to change what type of hair oils or conditioners you recommend to your client. If their hair is very fine, a heavier oil may not be the best fit. Grapeseed oil may be better suited. On the other hand, if they have coarse or thick hair, then castor oil may be better suited. The best oil for hair slugging will be different from client to client.

Some downsides to hair slugging.

Throwing a bit of caution to the wind here, but any saturation of hair oils or a hair mask left on for an extended period can cause product buildup. Not to mention, it can clog the scalp's skin pores and can cause scalp folliculitis. It can also cause breakouts along the hair line. It's best to properly cleanse or rinse the hair the following morning to avoid breakouts and scalp folliculitis. 

How often should hair slugging be done?

This depends on the condition of the hair. Hair slugging can be done 2–3 times per week. If you or your client already have healthy or not overly processed hair, hair slugging once a week can be beneficial to your hair care journey.  

Although this has come through as a new “trend,” this isn’t a new revolution to the hair movement. This technique has been around for centuries, and many cultures and countries use this method as a routine in their hair maintenance. As long as you can ensure you or your client are using the right oils or deep conditioners on those locks, this “trend” is a keeper!  


Like articles like this or want to learn more about something else? Let us know at lkline@associatedhairprofessionals.com  

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