Mousse For Hair Styling: Benefits, Risks, And Ways To Use

Jump on this newest beauty-trend bandwagon to get silky, bouncy, and healthy locks.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
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Mousse for hair is perfect for days you want to experiment with wash-and-go styles. A hair mousse adds extra flair to your locks, can make your ringlets pop, and give your blowout a professional touch without any hint of grease or buildup.

A hair mousse is a lighter alternative to hair wax, gels, and creams. Although it may take a little time to master, mousse is your hair’s best friend, especially during bad hair days. If you have never used mousse for your hair, it is time you should try it. This article explains how you can use mousse to style your hair and its benefits. Scroll down.

What Is Hair Mousse?

Woman applying hair mousse
Image: Shutterstock

Mousse in French means foam. However, mousse for hair is not the typical foam that is used in several cosmetic formulations. Hair mousse has a lighter consistency than hair gels and appears bouncier than hair cream, and has a stronger hold on hair than hair pomade. Mousse contains soft copolymers and provides a light hold to the hair to give it a more natural finish. Using mousse has several benefits.

What Does Mousse Do For Hair: Benefits

  • Hair mousse protects the hair from humidity and holds the hairstyle, irrespective of the weather conditions.
  • Mousse can tame even the wildest of curls. It does not weigh the hair down or grease the curls but keeps them soft, crunch-free, and well-defined.
  • Mousse has a fluffy texture that gives your hair a fuller, thicker, and bouncier appearance.

    Woman with healthy-looking hair after mousse application
    Image: Shutterstock
  • If you have fine and limp hair, mousse can lift and volumize it instantly.
  • The right mousse can protect your hair from heating tools as it contains a special coating that prevents heat damage.
  • Hair mousse works on all hair textures and types and can define your hair the way you want.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If you have oily hair, shampoo before applying mousse to your hair. Also, allow the shampoo to sit on your hair for some time before rinsing.

Now that you understand the benefits, let us find out how you can use a hair mousse.

How To Use Hair Mousse

If you have found the best mousse for hair, these steps will help you use it the right way:

  • Clean Your Hair
Woman shampooing hair before mousse application
Image: Shutterstock

Shampoo your hair to clean all the dirt, dust, and grime. Follow up with a conditioner to ensure it is adequately moisturized. Hair mousse works great on clean hair. Do not dry your hair completely, as hair mousse works only on damp hair.

  • A Little Goes A Long Way

Take a small quantity of hair mousse and spread it from the roots to the tips. Use your fingers to distribute the mousse evenly through your hair.

  • Style Your Way
Woman styling hair with blow dryer after applying mousse
Image: Shutterstock

Use a blow dryer to style your hair. If you have curly hair, use the blow dryer with a diffuser hair on the medium heat setting and work in circular motions. If you have straight hair, use a round brush to enhance your hair volume.

Before you pick a hair mousse, always check the ingredients list to ensure your hair is protected.

Can Mousse Damage The Hair? What Are The Risks?

Woman with hair damage due to excessive use of mousse
Image: Shutterstock

Hair mousse contains varying amounts of alcohol, depending on the formula and the brand. Alcohol is a crucial part of the formula as it supports quick drying.

Using hair mousse excessively can dry the hair strands, especially the hair ends, and cause split ends, hair breakage, and frizziness. Overusing mousse may also affect chemically treated (permed and straightened) and colored hair.

Watch out for these chemicals:

  • SLS
  • Isopropyl
  • Propylene

These may further dry out the hair and cause breakage. Choose a formula that does not contain alcohol and any of the damaging ingredients. You can use a hair mousse to style your hair in any way you want.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You will get different types of mousses like thermal hair care mousse, conditioning mousse, scented mousse, and mousse gel. Pick one that meets your hair needs.

Does Mousse Make Hair Curly?

No. A hair mousse does not make the hair curly. However, it can help you style your straight hair in curls. You can apply hair mousse before blow drying and using curling tongs.

If you have naturally curly hair, mousse can only help you define the curls. It has buildable coverage and can be layered with other hair styling products to define your natural curls.

Hair mousse is often confused with hair gel, so let’s understand the difference between the two.

Hair Mousse Vs. Hair Gel

Hair mousse and hair gel are popular styling products, each offering distinct advantages. Hair mousse is a lightweight foam that adds volume and texture to the hair, providing a natural and flexible hold, without the stiffness associated with gels. It is great for creating bouncy curls, waves, or tousled styles and to lift fine or limp hair, lending it a fuller look.

On the other hand, hair gel is thicker, stickier, and offers a stronger hold. It is excellent for styles requiring a structured or sculpted finish, like a slicked-back ponytail or spiky hair. It works especially well for styling short hair.

Ultimately, opting for either mousse or gel depends on your desired hairstyle and the level of hold and flexibility you require.

Isabella Demarko, a YouTuber, talks about her experience of using mousse for the first time and compares it to using gel for her hair. She shares tips about how she applies mousse on her damp hair by sectioning and then scrunching her hair. She states, “It doesn’t feel as though it’s creating as much curl as when I use gel…. It does look a bit stringy, even though I have tried scrunching it out, it hasn’t scrunched out as well as gel has for me. It’s definitely more of a wavy look, I feel like gel holds my curl a bit more….” She also shared updates regarding her hair the following morning, “The cast is gone… It’s actually not too bad…. It doesn’t take as long to dry as gel…. I do think that the mousse, or at least the mousse that I used, has resulted in a slightly messier kind of wave, whereas with the gel I find that it’s a bit more defined, so there is kind of like a layer of frizz. It’s also not as soft as when I use gel (i).” Finally, she declared that she would use mousse again because it is just so much quicker for her to work with.

Infographic: Usage And Benefits Of Mousse

A hair mousse can give your locks more style, help your ringlets stand out, and provide your blowout with a polished appearance without leaving any trace of oil or residue. We have discussed the benefits of mousse and a step-wise guide on how to apply mousse in the infographic below. Please give it a read!

usage and benefits of mousse (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

If you have thin and flat hair and want to add volume to it, you will love using mousse for hair styling. Hair mousse has a light consistency than hair gels and creams and adds texture to your locks. In addition, it protects the hair from humidity and holds the hairstyle for hours without weighing the hair down. If you do not like the hair styling products and hair sprays that make the strands scrunchy and stiff, switch to hair mousse. However, avoid using excessive amounts of hair mousse as it contains alcohol, which may dry out your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we use hair mousse daily?

No. Many hair mousses contain alcohol and drying agents that dry out your hair dry if used excessively. It is best to use hair mousse only when needed.

Does mousse make hair frizzy?

No. On the contrary, a mousse helps to keep the frizziness in your hair in check. However, overusing it can lead to dry hair and damage.

Is mousse bad for the scalp?

Excessive use of hair mousse can lead to product buildup and be unhealthy for your scalp.

Key Takeaways

  • Mousse can be a one-stop solution for most of your hair problems — from taming your curls to protecting your tresses from heating tools.
  • It works greatly on clean hair, so do not forget to shampoo and condition your hair.
  • With alcohol being one of its primary ingredients, it is advised not to use this hair product excessively to prevent your hair from turning dry.
mousse for hair

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Hair mousse offers various hair care benefits. Learn how to use this product to create volume and texture for your hair by clicking on this video.

Personal Experience: Source

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Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee member of CDSI (Cosmetic dermatologist Society of India). She is highly skilled in non-surgical facial skin rejuvenation and face lift by the use of injection treatments and lasers.

Read full bio of Dr. Shruti Chavan