A Guide to Hair Slugging, as Seen on TikTok

Written by Ashley Locke

The K-Beauty skincare trend known as slugging went viral by way of Reddit and TikTok last year. Now, hair slugging is starting to take off. Don’t coat your strands in Vaseline just yet, because that’s not how hair slugging works. Though the two are similar in that they have you apply an occlusive agent to your complexion or strands to seal in moisture while you sleep, there are some differences.

TikTok user Monique Rapier is credited with bringing attention to this trend in a video that details how she was able to make her hair stronger and shinier. In the video, she shares that she applies a lightweight oil to her ends, wraps it in a fuzzy suck, then secures it with a silk scrunchie.

This isn’t necessarily a new hack for healthy hair, as hair oiling has been around for centuries. But, it is a new version compared to the ancient practice. I wanted to learn if there was any merit to this hair hack for better strands, so I reached out to Bay Area dermatologist Dr. Kaveri Karhade to get all the details. Scroll below to learn about hair slugging in its entirety and see how my experience with it went!

What Is Hair Slugging?

As mentioned above, hair slugging requires one to apply lightweight hair oil to their ends, wrap it in a fuzzy sock, and secure it with a silk scrunchie. There is another version of hair slugging where one would apply a heavier oil from root to ends, apply a hair mask on top of that, secure it with a fuzzy sock and scrunchie, then rinse it out in the morning.

Does It Actually Work?

Both of these overnight treatments sound dreamy for your strands, but do they actually work? Turns out, they sure do.

“Slugging is a fabulous trend for deep hydration of the hair,” shares Dr. Karhade. “I’ve been doing a version of it myself since childhood, with coconut oil nightlong. The general concept is applying a hydrating cream or oil to the hair, and then occluding it to help keep the moisture in and help it absorb.” She notes that “the fuzzy sock and silk scrunchie help with that part.”

For the version with the hair mask, Dr. Karhade mentions “this is the same general concept” and that a “heavier oil can provide deeper hydration.”

Which Hair Types Does It Work Best For?

Not all hair types are created equal, so not all hair types will benefit from this method. “Curly hair is by nature drier, and thus, deep hydration methods such as slugging provide more benefits,” says Dr. Karhade. She then notes that those with “thick, brittle, curly, or dry hair may benefit from the heavier oils with hair masks and slugging even more frequently.” Those with fine or thin strands can apply a lightweight oil to their ends once a week.

How to Do Hair Slugging

Slugging your hair is pretty easy, but sometimes having a step-by-step guide is all the more helpful. We broke down how to do the hair hack for the two types of slugging below.

For the lightweight oil method:

  1. Apply a lightweight oil to the ends of your hair.
  1. Toss your hair in a clean, fuzzy sock.
  1. Secure the sock with a silk scrunchie.
  1. Go to sleep and let the oil work its magic.

For the heavier oil method:

  1. Apply a heavy moisturizing oil from roots to ends.
  1. Apply a hair mask on top of the oil.
  1. Place your hair in a clean, fuzzy sock.
  1. Secure it with a silk scrunchie.
  1. Wake up and rinse out the mask and hair oil.

My Hair Slugging Experience

I decided to try this hack out for myself to see if it made a difference for my strands. Full disclosure, I did just get a smoothing treatment done not too long ago, so my locks are already fairly soft. Still, I figured slugging would make them even softer.

I washed my hair, let it air dry, then applied Hairstory Hair Oil to my ends. Before I tried it myself, I had read Renee Rodriguez’s review of the hair hack for Popsugar, so I copied her idea of trying it on one half of my hair to better see a difference.

The process of slugging was fairly simple, especially for someone like me who doesn’t have the patience for a 10-step haircare routine. And, thankfully, I have plenty of fuzzy socks to put to use. Thanks, mom!

Anyway, I applied Hairstory’s lightweight oil to the ends of my hair on one side, put it in a fuzzy sock, and secured it with a silk scrunchie. I put the other side in a pigtail with a silk scrunchie. Normally, I either put my hair in a braid or low ponytail.

Sleeping on it didn’t feel weird at all, which was what I was the most worried about. If anything or anyone disrupts my beauty sleep, beware.

When I woke up, I took my hair out of the sock and scrunchies, but didn’t notice too much of a difference. The ends that had oil on them did appear a bit healthier than the ones that didn’t, but the disparity wasn’t as stark as I was hoping. Again, that’s most definitely because of the smoothing treatment I received almost a month ago.

hair slugging experience | Mane Addicts
(My ends have never looked healthier)

There’s a very good chance I’ll stick to the hair slugging trend at least once a week, especially as my smoothing treatment starts to wear off. The hack is incredibly easy to do and does leave my ends healthier. Even throughout the day, the side that I did the slugging on was noticeably smoother.

An expert recommends it and so do I. Hair slugging might very well be your best bet to achieving softer strands overnight.

TikTok also turned me on to using rosemary water for hair growth. I asked the experts what they thought of the trend and HERE is what they had to say!