May 22, 2022


Only The Finest Women

Hair Slugging Isn’t New, South Asian Women Have Been Doing It For Centuries

Placing oil on your hair does feel fantastic. (Image: Deepak Sethi via Getty Images)

Placing oil on your hair does sense fantastic. (Photo: Deepak Sethi by way of Getty Illustrations or photos)

Hair and beauty aficionados or watchers of Bridgerton could have observed one thing in the way of a ‘hack’ – that of applying oil on the scalp to stimulate wholesome hair progress.

The trick has been garnering awareness on social media, with the moniker ‘hair slugging’ and ‘hair oiling’ using keep on TikTok.

This describes the artwork of rubbing a penetrative oil (as opposed to a hair glow or non-greasing oil) and massaging it around the head.

And now it is gone mainstream – amassing additional than 35.8 million views and counting, with lots of touting it as a new and innovative approach established to adjust your hair recreation.

But truly, it’s not new at all. South Asians have been practicing ‘hair slugging,’ or a thel maalish as we know, it for generations.

We even noticed it on Bridgerton as Edwina had her hair lovingly massaged by her sister on the strike Netflix demonstrate, an ode to a 5,000-12 months-old tradition, began via the Indian science of Ayurveda.

Lots of South Asians continue to adhere to the ritual, which includes me, and it is most likely what contributes to our lush, extensive tresses in the neighborhood – in actuality, India is the best worldwide supplier of human hair to be designed into wigs, so plainly we’re obtaining balanced hair suitable.

For many, a thel malish holds quite a few significances, which include nostalgia, special moments with a loved just one, or even difficult reminiscences that ended up triumph over.

For me, the scent of one distinct manufacturer (Amla thel, for those people who are familiar), evokes the strongest reminiscences of my late grandmother, whose hair was normally sleeked back again with the thel, the fragrance adorning her saree. When I capture a whiff of it, I’m acquired again to amazing reminiscences of her.

So, looking at solutions like Amla thel lined up in Superdrug and the like less than ‘deep conditioning treatments’ experience somewhat uncanny.

I’m happy we have much more choices to invest in merchandise like this in the mainstream, and that the practice is getting recognition for all its advantages. But it’s not a new point begun by beauty influencers and mammoth manufacturers.

For numerous, the effortless acceptance of this trend when it is boosted by Western written content creators and brands, but was shunned when we went to school with greasy hair, sparks complicated inner thoughts.

Quite a few had been bullied for greasy hair and internalised shame and humiliation for adhering to a cultural observe. Other folks, as young children, hated acquiring to sit nonetheless as their mother or yet another matriarch (it is ordinarily practiced by girls) completely (and painfully if you have curly hair) rubbed the oil from their fingertips to the scalp in round movement.

Now, we’d be glad to get a thel maalish from a cherished one. And it is awesome that we can simply just pop down to a nearby drug store to decide a person up.

We only would like it was typical to mask your hair in oil back again in the day too, and that it is now supplied credit in which credit history is due.

Since South Asians really do have enviable hair.

This write-up at first appeared on HuffPost British isles and has been updated.