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How to Use Hair Mousse for Your Hair Type

An easy, no-heat way to amp up the volume.
February 10, 2023

If you haven’t used hair mousse — or only remember what it was like many moons ago — it’s time to get reacquainted with it. With new formulas that add texture and volume without stiff or sticky residues, today’s hair mousse isn’t the old school product you might picture in your head. 

Using a hair mousse for curls can help to add definition and shape to curly hair, boost volume in any hair type, provide hold to your hairstyle and add texture to your strands. Keep reading to learn how to use hair mousse correctly, including tips for using hair mousse on various hair types.
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What Is Hair Mousse?

Mousse is a hair styling product with a lightweight foam consistency that can add volume, bounce, hold and definition to your hairstyle. Because of this, mousse can be a great option for all hair type. It works well for those with flat hair that like to boost volume, but it can also suit those with loose waves that are looking to define their curls.

What Are the Benefits of Hair Mousse?

Hair mousse has many different benefits. Some of those include adding volume and definition to hair, as we previously mentioned, along with protecting your hair from humidity, taming frizz and offering hold. There are different types of mousse for different hair types so depending on what you use it may also offer benefits like shaping curls, boosting hair thickness and even heat protection.

Is Hair Mousse Bad for Your Hair?

Mousse can be detrimental to the hair if it has a high alcohol content as this can lead to dryness, dead ends and brittle hair. Because most hair mousse formulas contain alcohol, it’s best to not use them in excess. Aim for once a week or on days when you’re looking to sport a voluminous style.

How to Choose the Right Hair Mousse

The right mousse is one that can flatter your unique hair type. If you have curly hair, it would be a formula that could help to shape your curls and banish frizz. If you have wavy hair, go for a formula that adds definition and hold sans weigh down. If you have thin hair, pick a formula that can boost volume and thicken the appearance of your hair without weighing it down. 

Some types of mousse suit all hair types, like the L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse. The formula provides body for up to 24 hours with the help of thickening agents, while also shielding hair from heat and offering an extra strong hold.

How to Use Hair Mousse 

When it comes to styling your hair without using heat, applying mousse can be a great option as it adds definition to your style. Use it correctly and you’ll be on your way to sporting a bouncy head of hair that is full of texture. Check out these five simple tips for applying mousse. 

1. Begin With Clean Hair 

One of the most common reasons to use hair mousse is to add volume to your hair. To give your strands an added boost, start the styling process with a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, like  L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Hydrating Shampoo, Paraben-Free and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. This duo contains hyaluronic acid to replump dehydrated hair with noticeable body, bounce and shine.

2. Wring Out Your Hair 

After washing your hair, flip your head over and squeeze out the dripping water. Use a cotton T-shirt or a microfiber towel to gently plop your hair to remove all the excess moisture. A T-shirt is much softer than a regular towel, which helps to minimize the friction that can lead to hair breakage when you use a regular towel to dry wet hair. If you apply mousse on sopping wet hair, it’s not doing to be as effective and it may leave you with sticky strands.

3. Apply Hair Mousse With Your Fingers 

When it comes to hair mousse, err on the side of caution when applying the product and add more as needed. Work a golf ball-sized amount of product through your damp hair using your fingers and concentrating the product on your roots. If you have longer hair, go for an egg-sized dollop. 

If you want a natural, lived-in style that accentuates your hair texture, you can let the mousse work its magic and simply air dry. If you prefer a voluminous blowout, grab your blow dryer and a round brush and get to work. 

4. Ensure You’re Using the Correct Blow Dryer 

If you have curls or loose waves and want to keep them defined, use a diffuser which spreads air over a large section of hair to prevent straightening your strands. If straight hair is the look you’re going for, pop on a concentrator nozzle, the thin attachment that creates a concentrated airflow and grab a brush to style your hair. 

5. Concentrate Your Blowout Upwards 

Just like stylists do at the salon, grab a round brush and gently pull hair upwards while blow drying it. This upward motion can add a bit of extra lift at your roots, helping to increase volume. 

Depending on the look you’re going for, you can either tug outward, back and away from your face with a straight concentrator for a classic blowout, or you can position the diffuser underneath your curls and blow upwards to add definition and shape to your natural texture.

What Hair Types Can Use Hair Mousse?

All hair types can use mousse but it’s especially beneficial for those looking to add hold to their style or give their hair more volume. Because all hair types can use mousse, it’s best to find one that suits your unique hair type and needs. A mousse for curly hair with extra strong hold and frizz control is not going to be the best option for someone with fine or thin hair.

How to Use Hair Mousse Based On Your Hair Type

Not all hair types — or hair mousses, for that matter — are created equal. Here’s what to keep in mind when using hair mousse on different hair types.

For Curly Hair 

Those that have curly hair can use hair mousse to add lift and definition to their curls. Add an egg-sized dollop of mousse to damp hair, work it in with your fingers and grab your diffuser, or keep things simple and let your hair air dry. Be sure to apply some of the product at your roots in order to increase volume at your crown.

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For Fine Hair 

If you have a fine or thin hair type you likely know a thing or two about wanting to add volume to your hair. Use the aforementioned L’Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse before styling to help add the appearance of volume to your ‘do. It also works wonders when creating an updo on fine hair, as the added texture helps to keep your hair up and in place. 

For Straight Hair 

For naturally straight hair, the goal might not be so much about adding volume to the hair as it is about adding body and movement 一 especially when it comes to creating a blowout. Use a dollop of mousse to add some texture and help provide structure to your hairstyle. 

For Thick Hair 

If you have thick or coarse hair, don’t be fooled 一 too much styling product can still weigh down your hair. Instead of piling on the product, simply apply a few pumps of hair mousse to wet hair to add hold without making the hair heavy.

For Wavy Hair

When it comes to wavy hair, using mousse is a great way to define your loose ringlets. Depending on how long your hair is, start with a golf ball-sized helping of mousse and add more as needed. The last thing you want is for your waves to look weighed down and crunchy.

When Should Hair Mousse Be Applied?

Mousse should be applied when the hair is damp — not sopping wet and not dry. It’s supposed to add hold, volume and definition to your hair as it dries which is why applying it on damp hair works best. 

Can You Put Mousse On Dry Hair?

You can use mousse on dry hair but you’re better off leaving it for damp hair. Because it helps to add definition and volume, it’s best when your hair is still a little wet, before your style is locked into place. If your hair is dry, the mousse won’t absorb as well and it may look crunchy, weighing your hair down. 

Can Hair Mousse Be Used Daily?

Because hair mousse typically contains alcohol that can dry out the hair, it’s best not to use it daily. Instead, aim for once a week or on certain occasions when you’re looking to give your style some extra oomph. 

Is Hair Mousse or Hair Gel Better?

Mousse and hair gel offer different things. Mousse adds volume while also offering benefits like definition, hold, frizz control and heat protection. It’s also applied on damp hair to set your style as it naturally dries or as you blow dry it.

Hair gel keeps the hair in place which means it is heavier than mousse and can weigh down the hair down. It also tends to give the hair a wet look whereas mousse does not. Where mousse is better for adding volume, hold and shaping your style, gel is better for perfecting sleek updos, styling edges and smoothing down flyaways.

Can You Put Hair Mousse on Synthetic Hair?

You can put mousse on synthetic hair but it should be a mousse that is formulated for wigs and synthetic hair. 


Next: The Best Products to Help You Embrace Your Natural Hair Texture

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Erik Dalzen, Photo Assistant: Sam Kang, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Mirna Jose, Hair Assistant: Keila Rivera, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Zlata Semenko

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