Today May 19, 2022



Want to add body and hold to your hair? You might be missing this product


Everyone's favorite '90s hair product is making a comeback.

When was the last time you used mousse? For most of us, it was probably the '90s or early 2000s when the wet look was all the rage and people were still straightening their side bangs and scrunching their hair with pounds of the foamy (and sticky) product.

Since then, hair mousse isn’t as relied on as it used to be. But if you’re looking to add volume, body and a little hold to your hair, it might be the key to perfecting your latest style.

Shop TODAY spoke to three hairstylists about who should — and shouldn’t — use mousse, how to apply it like a pro and their picks of the best ones available on the market right now.

Who should use hair mousse?

Mousse refers to the foamy texture in which a product comes out, so there are plenty of products that can be called mousse. But when most people think of mousse, a typically volumizing product comes to mind.

For these types of mousses, Maxine Salon stylist Leigh Hardges and Michelle Cleveland, owner of New Jersey-based Hair Addict Salon, agree that it best serves people with fine to medium-thickness hair. “Volumizing mousse is best for fine-haired girls since it creates the illusion of having more hair,” said Cleveland.

Hardges also likes to use mousse on fine hair because it’s light and keeps the hair from being weighed down. She also mentioned using the foamy product on roller sets on relaxed natural hair, saying “they definitely have their place.”

When to avoid hair mousse

If you have dry or dehydrated hair, you’re probably better off avoiding mousse, Cleveland and Hardges told us.

“I would avoid these types of products as they can strip the hair of essential oils,” added Cleveland.

What are the benefits of using hair mousse?

Hardges, Cleveland and Matthew JeanPierre, owner of Slayed by Matthew, listed light hold, volume and fuller-looking hair as some of the benefits of using mousse.

“Volumizing mousse is a product that, when applied to the root or scalp area, will cause the base of the hair strand to stay erect resulting in a fuller look,” Cleveland explained.

Similar to the way most of us used to use it, he also mentioned using mousse as a way to achieve the wet look without actually leaving your hair wet.

“A lot of girls like to put mousse in [their hair] because it’ll keep it looking wet and scrunched, but it won’t poof up when it dries,” he told us.

JeanPierre, who specializes in wigs, also likes to use mousse to style baby hairs and keep the hair laying flat. “Sometimes a wig can get clumpy, so you would use a hot comb and some mousse. It’ll get your hair laying flat and looking natural,” he explained.

How to apply hair mousse

Hardges and Cleveland recommend applying mousse at the hair root and then working it through to the ends. The latter emphasized applying the product to your hands first instead of applying it directly from the bottle to your hand.

When applying mousse, Hardges suggests making sure your hair is at least 60 percent dry before applying product section by section. She does this as she blow dries because mousse can get tacky quickly, which can cause your hair to get stuck to your blow dryer and — in the worst case scenario — potentially burn your hair. “Keep it at the root and keep softer styling products at the ends like a styling oil or a gloss or something like that,” she said.

JeanPierre has two tips for applying mousse: Know which one works best for your hair, and less is always more. “Sometimes you don’t have to overuse a product; I think you just have to use the right amount that works for your hair,” he said.

How much mousse you need will depend on your hair type, he noted. For tighter textures, you’ll probably need more mousse (around six to seven pumps) to cover your entire hair. But for looser textures, you might only need around four to get the job done, he mused. “It’s just about how tight your hair is and how much hair you have on your scalp,” he said.

Best hair mousses to use, according to stylists


Sebastian Whipped Crème

Hardges called this one of her favorite mousses. According to the brand, it's perfect for use as a light curl cream.

Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

Classic curl care brand Shea Moisture is behind JeanPierre's mousse pick for natural hair. It's sulfate-, silicone- and paraben-free and the brand says it enhances your natural curl memory without leaving any residue behind.

Oribe Tres Set Structure Spray

Hardges raved about this mousse from Oribe. Instead of the typical spout you see from other mousses, this one comes out as a spray.

"You can direct it a little bit better and move a little more quickly. It is awesome," she said.

Bronner Brothers Moisturizing Wrapping Lotion

JeanPierre likes using this moisturizing lotion when working with wigs. It's alcohol-free, so you won't have to worry about your natural hair or wig looking or feeling dry after using it.

Kérastase Mousse Bouffant

Another recommendation from Hardges, this Kérastase mousse features key ingredients of marula oil, camellia oil and argan oil to keep your hair feeling soft and supple.

Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion

Another JeanPierre pick when working with wigs, this foaming lotion touts benefits like being non-flaking, adding body, conditioning the hair and being fast-drying.

Sebastian Mousse Forte

"I love Mousse Forte from Sebastian for this job!" raved Cleveland. "[It] smells great, too!"

According to the brand's description, this mousse touts benefits like defining waves and curls, all-day frizz control and strong, manageable hold.

Lottabody Wrap Me Foaming Mousse

"Lottabody is a really popular one within the wig community," JeanPierre told us.

It's made with nourishing coconut and shea oils to define curls and defeat frizz. It's also highly rated on Amazon with a verified five-star rating from over 11,200 shoppers. For less than $4, it's a product you can't pass up.

ORS Olive Oil Hold & Shine Wrap/Set Mousse

JeanPierre's final recommendation for natural hair comes in the form of this wrap/set that claims to do everything from reducing frizz to providing longer-lasting results from roller sets.