TRESSES looking limp and lifeless? What you need is some much-needed volume, and oomph, that's cheap, simple and long-lasting. That's where the best hair mousse comes in.
The best hair mousse will volumise and thicken your crowning glory without leaving it stickier than toffee thanks to hydrating and moisturising new formulas.
But how do you choose what mousse is best for you? If you've got natural curls, boost those waves with a defining foam designed to tame but enhance what God gave you.
Need a lift? Invest in a product that will big up your barnet while leaving it with movement, shine and smoothness.
Whether you're looking for mousse for fine, thin or curly hair or to simply zhoosh up your everyday hair, we've got you sorted.
Read on for our round-up and reviews of the best hair mousse below and give your locks the kiss of life. Your hair will thank us.
We tried: Umberto Giannini Colour Flowerology Foaming Orange + Rosemary
- Umberto Giannini Colour Flowerology Foaming Orange + Rosemary, £7.75 from Amazon – buy here
Coloured hair that needs some attention? Mousse can help with that, too.
Since we have dyed, long and thick curly tresses, we were worried that mousse would dry out our blonde curls – making them appear limp, or damaged. But Umberto Giannini's Flowerology range is here to set the record straight (not your hair).
Its 97% natural formula (which is Curly Girl Method approved!) seeks to repair, plump and enhance the shine and condition of your freshly dyed tresses and add some fun volume.
We thought it smelled gorgeous, chock full of herbaceous rosemary and zingy orange, but we found we needed a lot of it for our long tresses.
Umberto Giannini recommend using this on roots of clean, damp hair, then styling the rest as normal – but we used about a palm full on our long, past-shoulder length hair and found it held nicely for an everyday look.
Our hair felt super soft, and the hold lasted for up to two days, without frizz or flyaways. Since we needed a lot of it, with our frizz-prone hair, it's not for everyday use if you have long hair – but it's a lovely, curl-repairer for coloured hair which is needed every now and then.
We tried: JOICO JOIWHIP Foam
- JOICO JOIWHIP Foam, £11.85 from Feel Unique – buy here
If, like us, you have thick, wavy hair that is in need of some TLC and long-lasting hold then look no further than JOICO.
Its JOIWHIP Firm-Hold foam comes in a 'hold level seven' which is ideal for added volume to long locks that'll last all night.
The formula is alcohol-free, thick and makes your locks look pretty luscious. At first, we were taken aback at how thick the mousse was, and were worried it'd make our hair look greasy and sticky – but it was lightweight and really ramped up the volume.
For best, everyday results, we used this on wet hair and left to airdry, concentrating on our scalp for the most oomph – but, for even bigger results, JOICO recommend applying root-to-tip, then blow drying or diffusing.
It's a little pricier at over a tenner, but it's a good investment if you're looking to spice up your hair game.
We tried: Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Curl Activating Mousse
- Curl Whip Curl Activating Mousse, £7.25 from Umberto Giannini – buy here
If (like us) your curly tresses need non-drying, paraben- and silicone-free products (check out the Curly Girl Method, if you're not sure) then this gorgeous hot-pink product from Umberto Giannini is your gal.
Its curl activating mousse felt lightweight on our thick locks, and banished frizz and flyaways – even when we left our hair to airdry.
The mousse is in a fun squirty cream-style applicator and feels non-sticky in both your hands, and hair.
We applied it to damp, towel-dried hair from tip to root, and found our hair looked bouncy, without the grim crunch you get from other cheap mousses.
Umberto recommend finger twirling the lightweight formula to curls that needed a little extra attention, then diffusing with a hairdryer for that extra pizzazz.
It's also vegan and cruelty-free, too, which makes it even better.
Best hair mousse for curly hair: Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse
- Moroccanoil Curl Control Mousse, £14.85 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Wavy girls know that sometimes curls need a little extra control.
This lightweight mousse from hair giants at Morocannoil gives great definition and bounce without dragging down your tresses or making your curls crunchy (hello, '80s).
Enriched with antioxidant-packed Argan oil, it works to strengthen hair, lock-in moisture and fight the frizz for a smooth finish – even in humidity. What's more, it smells divine, too.
Best hair mousse for thin hair: Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse
- Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse, £10 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Thin hair, don't care. Feel like your hair could do with a little filling out? This mousse is for you thin-hair warriors.
Formulated with the brand's patented PBAE molecule, the light-as-air foam creates a microscopic pattern of thickening dots on hair for plumped-up added volume.
Thin and fine hair gets a thickening boost that provides texture and definition that will hold all day. It also provides heat protection of up to 160C, and has a lovely citrus scent, too. *Adds to basket.*
Best hair mousse for volume: Kevin Murphy Body.Builder Volumising Mousse
- Kevin Murphy Body.Builder Volumising Mousse, £26 from Harrods – buy here
Pump it up! Lifeless locks need a lift? We've got you.
This 'body building' mousse adds flexible fullness without stiffness or crunch, and ensures your hair holds from day-to-night.
Shine-boosting tangerine peel combines with moisturising vitamin B5 to create hydrated height.
It's certainly not cheap, at over £25 for 375ml but this baby is an investment that secures you a silky, must-touch finish; with larger than life volume – perfect for parties.
Who says your hair doesn't deserve a taste of luxury, too? Go large, or go home.
Best fan favourite: OUAI Air Dry Foam
- OUAI Air Dry Foam, £24 from Look Fantastic – buy here
Maximum volume, minimum effort! Get some star-worthy style with a mousse from Jen Atkin, stylist to stars like Gigi Hadid and the Kardashians.
This non-sticky foam is suitable for all hair types, adding volume, body, lift and lustre to your locks.
Infused with keratin and amino acids, it protects and strengthens while also taming frizz and flyaways for a smooth finish that's full of life.
It's free from parabens, for that more natural feel that helps to repair your hair from years of nasty chemicals – and isn't tested on animals, either.
Don't have time to blowdry every day? Us too. This mousse is ideal for those air-dry situations, ramping up your everyday hair game with next to no effort.
Best drugstore hair mousse: Boots curly hair mousse
Boots curly hair mousse, £1.50 from Boots – buy here
For a natural burst of body and bounce, this is your new go-to mousse.
For under £2 from Boots, this curl-friendly hair-lovin' mousse is a total drugstore bargain.
An easy way to build volume without stickiness, its lightweight and barely-there consistency makes it great for everyday use.
Boots claim it brushes out easily, too, with no stickiness or flaky texture. Just add to damp hair before your blow-dry for extra oomph. Time to define.
Best for strong hold: L'Oréal Paris Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse
- L'Oréal Paris Elnett Strong Hold Volume Crème De Mousse, £4.50 from Amazon – buy here
L'Oréal's strong hold volume mousse is perfect if you're after a budget-friendly product that will help you achieve voluptuous curls.
At under a fiver, it might not have all the hydrating properties than some of the other products on our list but it's great for those who don't want to spend too much on their hair care.
We love its satin-soft touch formula (not sticky on your hands), which delicately melts on the hair's surface to build volume directly from root to tip.
Is mousse good for hair?
This depends on which mousse you use and how often you use it.
If you use mousse after each shampoo and heat style it every day it could eventually dry out your hair.
That said some formulas can have a positive effect on your locks.
Many products on the market are nourishing and aim to provide fullness and shine to your hair.
Instead of greasing your hair, mousses can also lift your curls and make them soft to touch.
Those with damage hair should avoid heat styling when possible.
Instead they can apply a hair mousse to damp hair and let their locks dry naturally for added definition and volume.
Why do people put mousse in their hair?
Mousses can do everything from adding volume and definition to your curls and hold to your hairstyle.
You can use mousses to create that perfectly undone beach wave or voluminous curls.
Do you put hair mousse in wet or dry hair?
To achieve the best results it is advised to use mousse on damp hair that has been towel dried, ideally after having cleaned it.
Using hair mousse on dry hair will often dull its appearance, although you can still do it if you want to redefine the curl pattern.
You could use a small amount of mousse the day after washing and styling to add some definition to tousled curls that are getting frizzy – but it's temporary, meaning it's great for that easy, quick style.
How to use hair mousse
It's super simple, and you get thick, fast results.
First, it's best to use on clean, damp hair – and less is more when it comes to hair mousse as it can be sticky, giving you that much-hated crispy feel.
Squirt out a ping pong ball-sized amount into your hands (depending on the length of your hair), then, working by section, scrunch into the lengths of your hair with your fingers.
Add more if needed, being sure to get the back and underneath (you might want to tilt your head upside down for this) then add a little more to the scalp and roots – with extra definition to your fringe, if needed.
Then, leave to air dry or blowdry for best results.
How to use hair mousse for curls
Curly hair needs a little extra love and attention, which products that are natural and free from toxins (no parabens, silicones, chemicals, etc).
Using the wrong kind of hair mousse for curls can damage and dry out your hair, which isn't what you want for your best feature.
We recommend checking out our guide to the best Curly Girl Method products, first, but otherwise: wash your hair, then lightly towel dry with a microfibre towel; comb with a wide comb then tip head upside down, and scrunch in a palmful of hair mousse from the tip, to your root.
We leave ours to air dry, but you can use a hairdryer with a diffuser attachment for better results.
For extra volume, add more to your roots, but this may make it appear greasier, faster.
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We’re all about helping you find the best products at the best prices, so follow the link if you want to check out more of Sun Selects’ recommendations.
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