July 25, 2022

WTF Is Hair Slugging?

And how to do it.

At risk of stating the obvious, K-Beauty trends are everywhere at the moment. From magnetic false lashes to the 17-step skincare routine, Korean beauty has found viral success for a very good reason: it works. One such K-Beauty skincare trend that we got behind earlier this year was slugging (you can listen to us chat about it on Gritty Pretty Radio, here). A technique used to seal in active ingredients and moisture, slugging sees you apply a thick, occlusive substance (think Vaseline) as the final step in your evening skincare routine. The result? Hydrated, glowing skin upon waking up in the morning.

But, of course, our beauty friends couldn’t stop there. And so, we meet hair slugging. Yep, try dropping that name into casual convo. Here, we breakdown exactly what hair slugging is, who should be trying it and the products you need to try.

hair slugging
Photography: Kristina Yenko / Hair: Richard Kavanagh

What Is Hair Slugging?

Combining wisdom from K-Beauty and Ayurvedic traditions (think hair oiling), slugging your strands is an overnight technique designed to lock in hydration and prevent breakage. Basically, it involves coating the lengths and ends of the hair in a hair oil of choice and covering it in a microfibre turban or, in TikTok’s case, a fuzzy sock and securing it with a silk scrunchie. Then simply hit the hay, wake up and wash your hair and relish in your new supple, shiny locks.

Who Should Be Hair Slugging?

Just as certain skin types benefit more from skin slugging than others, hair slugging is also skewed to benefiting drier, curlier hair types more than already silky strands. If you have thick hair, textured hair or hair that tends to be dry and brittle, hair slugging will help to deeply penetrate the hair with lasting hydration and also prevent moisture loss. For low porosity hair types, this is a great technique for sealing the cuticle and reducing dryness. 

But if you’re a fine haired gal or have a low maintenance mane that does what it’s told (firstly, lucky you), slugging may be too rich for your delicate hair. The last thing you want to do is weigh it down. So, if you do find that excess product can leave your hair feeling flat and greasy, it might be a better option to run a lightweight oil through the ends after blow drying instead. This will provide a subtle boost of moisture and nourishment without leaving your hair heavy.

The Best Oils For Hair Slugging

JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp & Hair Treatment Oil

A lightweight, nutrient-dense hair oil designed specifically for pre-wash treatments, the JVN Complete Pre-Wash Scalp & Hair Treatment Oil works to calm the scalp, rejuvenate the hair follicle and protect the strands from environmental damage. In short, it keeps all the good stuff in and all the bad stuff out.

Shop now.

 

Heartwood Royal Oil Body + Hair

Formulated with organic jojoba oil, argan oil and shea oil, the Heartwood Royal Oil Body + Hair is pure decadence (for your hair and the senses). Rich in vitamins A and E, the formula helps to increase shine and reduce frizz. Plus, since it doubles as a body oil, it also keeps your European summer suitcase streamlined.

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Ouai Hair Oil

If there is one person we can all trust when it comes to hair, it’s celebrity hair stylist and Ouai founder, Jen Atkin. Case in point: Ouai’s Hair Oil. Combining the anti-humidity properties of ama oil with the nourishing power of borage oil, the formula is perfect for colour-treated hair and also penetrates the hair with heat protection properties. Talk about a multi-tasker!

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Kérastase Elixir Ultime Beautifying Hair Oil

An OG for a reason, the Kérastase Elixir Ultime Beautifying Hair Oil is pretty close to perfect. Combining marula, argan and camellia oils to add shine, protect against environmental aggressors and make the hair softer and more manageable, the oil is one seriously impressive product. Plus, the scent is the stuff of dreams.

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Chloe Zara Hair & Body Perfume Oil

Another formula that can be applied to the hair and body, the Chloe Zara Hair & Body Perfume Oil is perfect for those of us who have hair on the finer side. A lightweight oil formula infused with cucumber seed oil, cacay oil and watermelon oil, the texture is almost like a serum and it works to smooth frizz, prevent split ends and protect against UV damage. Yep, your hair needs protection too!

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Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil

If you’re looking to add a little luxury into your routine, then the Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil is for you. Infused with a rich blend of jasmine, edelweiss flower, lychee, sandalwood and bergamot, the oil deeply conditions, strengthens and smooths the hair. A true game changer, this oil makes unruly hair behave itself like nothing else. Trust us.

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Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil

Infused with Mirsalehi honey which is rich in amino acids, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, the Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil is unlike any other hair oil. Erring on the thicker side of the spectrum, the formula is perfect for girls with thick or textured hair. Working to seal split ends, tame frizz and flyaways and rebuild damaged strands, the only thing better than the formula is the scent.

Shop now.

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