Mousse is one of those hair products that often doesn't get its due. While there are plenty of products for styling your hair, hair mousse is one of the most versatile options. From defining curls to boosting volume to locking your style in place, mousse can do it all, which is why it's always a good idea to have a bottle on your bathroom vanity. Finding the perfect hair mousse for your styling routine comes down to figuring out the best formula for your hair type and the features that will help you achieve perfect hair every time. Confused? Our convenient buying guide can help you find the best hair mousse for your styling routine. We've also included our favorite mousses on the market. Our top pick is a Rossano Ferretti Parma mousse with a naturally derived formula that provides all of the styling benefits without any of the harsh chemicals or stickiness.
Considerations when choosing hair mousse
When you're choosing a hair mousse, your hair type should be your first consideration. Every formula can help lock your style in place, but some may be a better fit based on how you want to style your hair.
Fine or thin hair: Choose a volumizing or thickening mousse that helps your hair look fuller by providing lift and body.
Wavy or textured hair: Opt for a texturizing mousse to add bounce and movement to your hair.
Curly hair: Choose a curl-defining mousse that helps to minimize frizz and give bounce to your curls.
Frizzy or damaged hair: Opt for a smoothing mousse that cuts down on frizz and adds some moisture to your hair.
Straight or normal hair: Choose an all-purpose mousse to keep your hairstyle in place while adding some body and movement, too.
While mousse is generally safe to use on color-treated hair, it's best to opt for a formula that's specifically designed to be color-safe if you dye or highlight your hair. These formulas are usually gentler on your hair, so you don't have to worry about the mousse drying it out any further or leeching the color from your locks.
While hair mousse is a lightweight styling product that usually doesn't weigh down your hair, some formulas have a slightly sticky texture that makes it uncomfortable to run your fingers through your hair. Opt for a non-sticky formula that dries down quickly without leaving a thick residue on your hair. A good mousse will leave a soft, smooth feel so that you don't feel any product in your hair at all.
While we all know we should wear sunscreen to protect our skin from the harsh rays of the sun, we often overlook the damage that UV rays can do to our hair, including drying out our tresses. If you have color-treated hair, the sun can fade the color, too. Some mousse formulas contain UV protection to help prevent any sun-related damage to your hair, which is a good option if you spend plenty of time outdoors.
Like many hair products, some mousse formulas contain alcohol, which can dry out your hair and leave it feeling crunchy. If you have fine, thin, curly, coarse, or damaged hair, opt for an alcohol-free formula to make sure that your hair isn't damaged when you style it with mousse.
Hair mousse varies in price based on the ingredients and formula, ranging from $3 to $45. Affordable drugstore formulas often contain harsh ingredients like alcohol. They usually cost between $3 and $8. Mousse formulas with above-average ingredients usually range from $8 to $15. High-end hair brands offer luxury mousse formulas with high-quality ingredients that typically cost between $15 and $45.
Q. Should I apply mousse to wet or dry hair?
A. Mousse is usually applied to towel-dried hair after you've washed it, so your hair should be mostly damp. However, you can use mousse on dry hair if you want to help lock your style in place or smooth down frizzy sections. Just be careful not to apply too much to dry hair or it can become stiff and crunchy.
Q. How much mousse should I apply to my hair?
A. It depends on how long your hair is. For medium-length hair, a golf ball-size amount is usually enough for your entire head. If your hair is shorter or longer, adjust the amount accordingly. Keep in mind that it's best to start with a small amount because using too much mousse can leave your hair stiff and dry.
Hair mousse we recommend
Best of the best: Rossano Ferretti Parma Favoloso 18 Natural Defining Mousse
Our take: A luxurious, natural mousse formula that pumps up volume and provides light control without any harsh ingredients.
What we like: Lightweight formula that doesn't weigh down your hair and leaves no sticky residue behind. Contains high-quality natural ingredients like ginseng, aloe, and linseed. Boasts a pleasant, natural scent, too.
What we dislike: Much pricier than other mousse options on the market.
Best bang for your buck: Giovanni Natural Mousse
Our take: All-natural hair mousse that still manages to provide hold and body without any chemicals.
What we like: Formula is free of parabens, dyes, and sulfates. Boosts both volume and shine. Helps keep bounce in curls for hours.
What we dislike: Some users find it leaves a sticky residue behind.
Choice 3: Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam
Our take: An extremely effective mousse for fine and thin hair because the lightweight formula doesn't weigh down hair.
What we like: Helps improve hair's volume, which is ideal for fine hair. Doesn't leave behind any noticeable residue and helps control frizz. Adds plenty of movement to hair, too.
What we dislike: Not as effective if you don't have curly or wavy hair.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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