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Hair Tip - Hair Mousse


"I feel old when I see mousse in my opponent's hair" Andre Agassi as quoted on The Biography Channel.

Hair styling products can be both a blessing and a curse. When used correctly, they can fix a myriad of hair traumas, providing instant cures for bad hair days. Applied incorrectly, they can be a hair's worst nightmare.

(Image of Rene Furterer Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Strong Hold - all rights reserved -

The key to having a great experience with any hair styling product is to first understand your hair's type, texture and current condition. It's also important to research what products work best to address all your tress issues.

Although mousse traditionally has been closely tied to styling naturally curly hair, it can work extremely well to create body and movement with just about any hair length, type or texture.

(Image of Rene Furterer Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Soft Hold - all rights reserved -

Hair mousse can be used to define waves or add beautiful fullness and build in volume to thin or fine strands. It works equally well for women and men.

Note: If you are allergic to wheat beware of any mousse hair styling products that might contain hydrolyzed wheat proteins in their formulas.

Paul Brown Hawaii - Mousse Gel - 7.5 ozMousse products were really popular during the big hair movement of the 80s when mousse was applied to already teased tresses to stick it up higher. In the late 1980s mousse was available with add-on glitter to help hair be noticed in nightclubs.

(Image of Paul Brown Hawaii Mousse Gel - all rights reserved -

Does hair mousse ever go out of style? Not really.

While there may be periods when hairstyles require a more pronounced or stiff look that would call for gel instead of mousse, the foamy styling products will always be popular with certain hair styles, types and textures that require a softer or more natural look and hold.

Tips For Hair Mousse Use

As Mel Gibson discovered in the movie, What Women Want, mousse can be used on either damp, newly washed tresses or it can be used on bone dry hair.

(Image of got2B Full Of Yourself Volume Mousse - all rights reserved - When used on damp hair, it can block formation of frizz and provide a soft yet sleek style that has natural movement. On dry hair it can help to reshape or remold a style without stickiness.

Check out some of the basic tips for successfully deploying hair mousse:

  1. Not all mousses are created equal. Some hair mousse products are designed for styling hair in conjunction with hot tools such as blow dryers or curling irons while others are designed for use with finger or air drying. Mousse is available in all price ranges but keep in mind that you do get what you pay for. Some mousse products have more hold than others.
  2. Less is more. Avoid using too much. When it comes to mousse, most hair experts recommend that you start with a golf ball size dispensed from the canister. Since mousse can be easily dispersed, a golf ball size should work well for just about any length or style of hair. Mousse allows you to re-style your hair throughout the day without creating a sticky feel.
  3. When in doubt, start with less mousse and experiment until you find the right amount of mousse that works with your individual hair type and styling needs.
  4. To get the best results from your mousse product always read the directions on the product before using. Some mousse formulas require shaking well before use. Others do not.
  5. If your goal is to achieve volume, be sure to liberally apply mousse to the root area of damp, not wet hair, to add fullness and lift. To get even more root lift, bend over at the waist to flip head upside down and distribute mousse through the hair concentrating on the roots. Keep in mind that most mousse products contain resins which are designed to form a thin coating on the strands adding more fullness. Mousse also lifts hair off the scalp which also helps to camouflage thinning.
  6. Combine styling mousse with a long or short finger diffuser to get superb curl definition. The combination of the mousse volumizing action and the lifting and air flow direction of a diffuser will generally produce excellent results for defining natural curls and waves.
  7. Avoid applying mousse to dripping wet strands. Blot hair with an absorbent towel first before applying product. Mousse works best on hair that is 50-60% dry.
  8. For best results make sure that the mousse is distributed well through tresses. Soften the mousse by rubbing the palms of your hands together. Work mousse completely through strands from the roots to the ends using either your fingers or a wide toothed comb.

What To Look For In A Hair Mousse

In general mousse products are a great option for most hair types including naturally curly or wavy hair and thinning hair.

(Image of got2B Kinky Curl Defining Mousse - all rights reserved -

If your hair is fine and wavy, use a mousse made for curly hair. Mousses formulated specifically for waves and curls include smoothing ingredients like natural oils, to keep hair silky, not fuzzy. Hair mousse, like all hair styling products, may at times have some drawbacks. If too much is applied or the product is not distributed well throughout the hair, it can dry with a sticky or crunchy feeling.

Mousse is available in a wide range of formulas from very light to extra firm hold and easily crafts a natural and soft style. Non-sticky, mousse allows for easy re-styling from day to evening looks.

  1. How easy is the mousse product to use? Does it come with a user friendly dispenser?
  2. What is the texture like? Is it fluffy and mousse-like or is it soft, sticky or more liquid?
  3. Is it scented? Does the scent compliment your other hair care products or overpower them?
  4. Does the mousse product leave hair light and soft or does it dry sticky and crunchy?
  5. Does it defrizz curls, straighten hair or do both?

It is very important to always read the product instructions. Some mousse products warn against using around fire, excessive heat or cigarettes. Read any warnings with care.

Hair Mousse Products To Try

Listed below are several mousse styling product options from a variety of manufacturers with a wide range of pricing.

(Image of Rene Furterer Anti-Dryness Protective Sun Mousse - 3.3 oz - all rights reserved -

Keep in mind that it is often the case that high quality mousse products are more expensive than the lower quality versions. Depending on your hair needs you may be able to use the less expensive versions with great success. And yes it is definitely true in most cases that you get what you pay for with hair care products.

PhytoPro - Intense Volume Mousse #12

This intense volume mousse product provides intense body & volume by swelling the hair shaft. It makes styling simpler & lengths the hold. Hydrates & softens while enhancing brilliance & sheen.

The bodifying actions of this mousse restores vitality to fine or lifeless hair. With Myrrh extract and a hold of "12". Contains a sun protective UV filter.

Rene Furterer Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Strong Hold

This mousse gives stronger support to blow-drying and brings a long-lasting volume and hold to your hair.

Rene Furterer Anti-Dehydrating Structuring Mousse - Soft Hold

This mousse is a volumizing product that holds your style as it feeds your hair and scalp.

Rene Furterer Anti-Dryness Protective Sun Mousse

This sun mousse protects hair with a Keratin Protector Factor (KPF) of 30. It provides a natural effect, light texture and high protection.

Citre Shine - Big Volume Styling Foam

Pump up the volume and add strength and definition to your lifeless locks.

The ultimate mousselike style booster, formulated to maximize every hair strand, with a special blend of citrus extracts for maximum volume, thickening and conditioning.

Citre Shine - Wound Up Curling Mousse

Tame the frizzes and gives your hair an added boost of curl power. This mousse was specially formulated to add bounce and control. Adds brilliant shine for healthier looking spirals and curls.

Giovanni - Natural Mousse - Air Turbo Charged

This is an unusual product because it lays claim to the fact that it provides a breakthrough in a natural mousse product. This natural product is designed to provide volume & lift with a special pump.

More importantly, this mousse product contains no chemicals or VOC. The product is certified organic. Easy to use, washes out easily, concentrated. Hot, styling aide.

got2b - Full Of Yourself Volumizing Gel 2 Mousse

got2b - Kinky Curl Defining Curling Mousse - 8 oz (227g)For hair that needs a kick!. This magical gel transforms instantly into a rich mousse right before your eyes providing lasting styling control with maximum volume and long-lasting hold. With hair this pumped up, it's okay to be full of yourself.

Since this product is a gel that magically changes into a foamy mousse no shaking of the can is required. Just point the nozzle and squirt the desired amount into the palms of your hands and apply to hair.

got2b - Kinky Curl Defining Mousse

Boost your bounce and kick those curls into shape! This curl defining, shine enhancing mousse adds soft weightless control. Create curls without frizz. Add style with maximum impact, manageability, body and bounce.

Jason All Natural Mousse (High performance nutrients for your hair).

Unique formula w/ foaming mousse. Natural French Seaweed base. Shapes, molds & holds style in place. Nourishes & protects w/ natural extracts of Yucca, Yarrow & Quince Seed. Fortified w/ Plant Proteins of Oat, Soy & Wheat. UV protect. No PVP or alcohol.

A luxurious, unique foaming mousse in a natural French Seaweed base. It shapes, molds and holds hair style in place. It nourishes and protects with natural extracts of Yucca, Yarrow and Quince Seed. Fortified with Plant Proteins of Oat, Soy and Wheat. Contains exclusive Planthenol-4A Complex and Hi-Vitamins A, B, C & E to revitalize and restore hair's natural condition. Provides natural sunscreens for UV protection. No PVP, alcohol or unnecessary chemicals. Instructions:

Shake well. Dispense a small amount onto the palms of your hands. Rub hands together and then apply to towel-dried hair. Style as usual.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Corrective Styling Mousse

Spring white foam that is slippery. Important to comb this well through the hair to avoid it clumping. Use with blow dryer or diffuser for best results. Designed to leave hair feeling feel light but perfectly styled. Leaves a silky smooth, shiny finish. The frizz master has created this mousse to work well with controlling frizz. Very good for curls. This helps to hold curl shapes but with bounce and spring. Contains sun screen. Available in both a small 2 ounce size and a full 6 ounce size.

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Color-Correcting Mousse

For natural, color-treated or highlighted blondes. Corrects & volumizes. Brightens blonde. Pale violet tint helps eliminate unwanted brassy tones; blonde looks vibrantly fresh, bright & shining. Instantly builds body.

Brand New Blonde revitalizing styling mousse for dry, damaged, distressed blonde hair.

Mine - Mango Colada Gel Mousse

This product has the stronger control of a gel, but in a conditioning mousse formula that still provides a soft hold.

This product is alcohol-free, non-aerosol, conditioner. Extracts of aloe vera, awapuhi, kiwi, mango & passionfruit.

Paves Professional - FLAWless Red Carpet Firm Hold Repairing Styling Mousse For Dry, Damaged Hair

Hit the red carpet with full, picture perfect smooth locks that bounce back into place at the turn of a dime.

Feel free to brush out and reapply without excess weight or flaking. Rich foam formula contains significant concentrations of treatment ingredients. Honey and Natural Oats hold style firmly in place while resisting against humidity. A strengthening complex of proteins and polymers to add elasticity and shine, protecting fragile hair from over-styling and over-processing. A revitalizing complex of Burdock and Ginseng Root extracts to help stimulate hair growth. Roman chamomile and Rose oil to sooth dry, irritated scalp. Scented with nourishing essential oils, no damaging synthetic fragrances. Cruelty-free. Allergy tested.

Favorite product of Jessica Simpson, CaCee Cobb and used by Oprah.

Paul Brown Hawaii - Mousse Gel - 7.5 ozPaul Brown Hawaii - Mousse Gel

Mousse Gel offers strong holding power yet remains gentle on the hair. Designed to work well for fine hair. Gives loads of volume and control. Formulated with naturally derived ingredients, Hawaiian Protein Flora Complex & alcohol free!

Smooth 'N Shine Polishing - Curling Mousse Strong Hold

Smooth 'N Shine Polishing - Curling Mousse Strong Hold - 9 oz (255g)Curl activating ingredients are blended into lightweight strong hold foam. This formula will not dry out hair or irritate skin. Ideal for wrapping, setting and defining naturally curly hair.

Tames frizz and eliminates dry, brittle-looking ends.

Smooth 'N Shine Therapy - Thermal Care Styling Mousse

Smooth 'N Shine Therapy™ - Repair Xtreme - Thermal Care Styling Mousse - 8.5 oz (241g)Vitamin and mineral reparative therapy. This styling mousse is designed to protect and strengthen while you style. Provides shine, smoothes and tames out-of-control frizz and curls. This product requires that you always shape well before using. Hold can upright and dispense the desired amount into the palms of your hand. Work well through towel-dried hair.

Thicker Fuller Hair - Full Of Volume Thickening Mousse

Thicker Fuller Hair - Full of Volume Thickening Mousse - 6 oz (170g)Volumizes lifeless hair turning it into lots of volume. This is designed to be a thickening mousse.

Developed to add thickness and texture while providing long lasting hold. This essential formula adds lift at the roots to boost and energize tired hair without drying.

Zero Frizz Smoothing & Styling Mousse

Whether you want to style curly or style straight, this air-light foam gives hair volume, control and corrective smoothing benefits for frizz-free styling. Formulated with lightweight, protective conditioners to control frizz while providing definition, shape and elasticity.

More expensive products provide higher quality products as a rule. You get what you pay for.

Tousle Hair With Mousse

In general mousse products are a great option for most hair types, textures and lengths. Mousse can also be used on hair extensions or add-on hair pieces.

Celebrity hairdresser Ken Paves, who works with Jessica Simpson and Paulina Rubio, to name just a few of his many celebrity clients, confessed that he used his Paves Professional Mousse products to tousle Jessica and Paulina at the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards.

(Image of Jessica Simpson at the 5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards - September 1, 2004 - Image by - David Edwards - all rights reserved)

To steal their fabulous tousled style whether you want to be casual or more formal, follow the steps below based on your specific hair type and texture:

For fine to medium texture hair that is straight to loosely wavy:

(Image of Paulina Rubio at the 5th Annual Latin Grammy Awards - September 1, 2004 - Image by - David Edwards - all rights reserved)

  • Shampoo, condition and towel blot hair right before bedtime.
  • Use a conditioning mousse with hold.
  • Distribute completely through all of your strands using fingers or wide tooth comb
  • Use fingers to scrunch hair from side to side
  • Dream beautiful hair dreams. In the morning you'll have lots of texture and volume.
  • Use a curling iron to fine tune the natural waves and/or curls. Begin at the nape or your neck, twisting and curling your tresses around a medium sized curling iron from the midshaft to the ends. Once you reach the crown area, twist and curl your hair from the roots to the ends.
  • Allow hair to completely cool and then soften your waves by finger styling your hair with a greaseless lightweight shine serum.
  • Finish by tousling lightly with your fingers
  • Spray with a good hairspray

For thick, curly or coarse textured hair:

  • Shampoo, condition and towel blot hair right before bedtime.
  • Apply a relaxing balm to hair in individual sections to smooth curls and frizz.
  • Distribute completely through all of your strands with a wide tooth comb.
  • Use fingers to scrunch hair from side to side.
  • Dream beautiful hair dreams. In the morning you'll have lots of texture and volume.
  • Use a curling iron to fine tune the natural waves and/or curls. Begin at the nape or your neck, twisting and curling your tresses around a medium sized curling iron from the midshaft to the ends. Once you reach the crown area, twist and curl your hair from the roots to the ends.
  • Allow hair to completely cool and then soften your waves by finger styling your hair with a greaseless lightweight shine serum.
  • Finish by tousling lightly with your fingers.
  • Spray with a good hairspray.

Making Your Own Mousse

To experiment with your own home recipe try beating 1 egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Use your fingers to rub the whipped egg white into your hair and then style.


Hair mousse is an extremely versatile hair styling product. If you are unsure about the best product for you, ask your stylist for suggestions. Even better, request that mousse be used the next time that you are in the salon so you can watch how your stylist applies it to your tresses for optimal styling success.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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