Mousse is one of those hair products that seems like it’s been around forever, but it is still one of the best ways to add volume, definition and hold for different hair types.
As an oily, fine-haired girl, mousse is my favorite styling product for its ability to give body to my hair without making it crunchy or greasy. But if you’re wondering if you know how to use hair mousse correctly, I’m here to help!
I’ll go over how you can use hair mousse for volume and for definition, and then I’ll recommend some of the best hair mousses I’ve tried over the last year (and I’ve tried a lot!)
What is Hair Mousse?
Hair mousse was first created in France (mousse means “foam” in French”) to help style hair by giving it hold and definition. Mousse was brought to the United States market in the 1980s, just in time to help the rock stars of the 80s get that major volume, but the mousses popular then were often sticky, heavy and could leave hair crunchy or stiff. Thankfully, mousse has come a long way.
Mousse today is super versatile, with the ability to add volume, give hold without crunchiness, tame frizziness, and give definition and bounce to curls. The lightweight foam can make hair dryer as alcohol is often one of the main ingredients, which makes it better for those with fine to medium hair.
How to Use Hair Mousse, the Right Way
1. Start with clean, damp hair
Start with freshly-washed hair and wait until it is 60% damp. If your hair is too dry you’ll end up with some tacky strands, but if your hair is too wet, the mousse won’t stick to your hair enough to have it’s effect.
2. Use a golf-ball sized amount
Give the can a good shake before dispensing a golf-ball or egg-sized amount into the palm of your hand. The key to using many hair products for their best effect is suing the right amount!
3. Apply with your fingers at the roots
Run the mousse through the roots of your hair with your fingers where you want volume and lift. Getting it on your strands will give them extra hold and definition, but try to avoid getting much on the ends of your hair where your hair tends to be driest.
4. Blow dry at the right angle
You can still get some volume with mousse even if you don’t blow dry your hair, and you will definitely get definition of your natural texture, but if a blowout is what you’re after, make sure to blow dry the hair while holding it upwards from the roots towards the sky. This will help your hair get that immense volume that you’re looking for.
How to Use Hair Mousse for Different Hair Types
Hair mousse can still work for you if you have thick hair, especially if you’d like to add some volume, but use a smaller amount as too much can make your strands too dry.
The mousse that’s best for you will depend on your goals. Are you looking to add volume, define your curls, or control frizz? For volume, just be sure to not use too much so you can avoid crunchy, heavy curls. For curl definition, use one specifically for curly hair, and gently scrunch up your hair after raking mousse through your strands.
With curly hair, no matter your goal with mousse, it’s also a good idea to use a leave-in conditioner beforehand to add some moisture to your hair before adding the mousse.
7 Best Hair Mousses
Best Mousse With No Crunch: Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse
If you don’t even want to take a chance on crunchy hair, Oribe is a lightweight formulation that gives your hair incredible life. It gets bonus points for its amazing smell too.
Best Thickening Mousse: Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse
If you don’t just want bigger hair, but also the look of fuller hair, this version from Living Proof makes hair look and feel thicker. This one is in my rotation and I love it for the flexible hold it gives my hair and the thicker feel of my hair.
Best for Light Hold: Amika Plus Size Volume and Body Mousse
Amika’s hair mousse claims to be medium hold and sometimes that’s really all you need. It also protects hair up to 450 degrees so you don’t need to add heat protection to your list if your using hot tools.
Best Mousse for Curly Hair: Shea Moisture Curl Mousse
A great hair mousse for curly hair should be moisturizing and this one from Shea Moisture is formulated with coconut oil and neem oil which will leave your curls defined and frizz-free with drying them out.
Best Budget: John Frieda Volume Lift Air-Whipped Foam
Maximum volume for minimum price! In my experience, it doesn’t leave my hair completely crunch-free as its some of the other options on this list, but you won’t be sacrificing on the volume. And for the price you can’t beat it.
Best Frizz Control Mousse: Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Curl Activation Mousse
This is a light mousse that is best of those looking to add definition to their curls with a minimum of hold. AND it leaves your hair with some shine too.
Best Mousse: Shu Uemura Awa Volume Mousse
Shu Uemura’s Awa Volume Mousse is the best of all worlds: luscious volume, no stickiness, increased softness and great hold. PLUS it will leave your hair shinier. You can’t go wrong with any on these list but this is the one I make sure I’m never out of.
Now that you know how to use hair mousse the right way, let us know which mousses are your favorites!