According to a consumer trends report from Spate, “While hair slugging may sound like a buzzy new hair technique, it’s essentially hair oiling repackaged for the TikTok audience.” As proven with “slugging,” “I’m cold makeup,” and even the “Olaplex bun” from a few months back, even the simplest of skin care practices or makeup looks can receive a special name—and “hair slugging” is no different.
Hair oiling, at its root, is an ancient Ayurvedic technique used to encourage hair growth and tend to the scalp while simultaneously providing a few mindful moments. “There is an element of it that is so familial,” explains Lisa Mattam, founder and CEO of the Ayurvedic beauty brand Sahajan, who has been oiling her hair since she was a child. “Most people have stories of their moms and dads sitting around and oiling their hair on a weekly basis.”
So why are these two terms seemingly interchangeable in common slang? Well, slugging essentially involves incorporating another occlusive layer of moisture in order to rehydrate the skin—and hair oiling entails a similar process.