I have a lot to thank TikTok for: recipes I wouldn’t have otherwise dared to try, the skin tint trick I swear by, and now, my rediscovery of hair mousse. For the past decade I’d written off styling mousse as sticky, crunchy, and too messy to deal with. That is, until I started noticing video after video of people with all hair types swearing by it on my feed.
A recent devotee of the ’90s blowout, I’ve been looking for anything that promises to help my fine hair hold a bouncy curl. So, when I saw a video assuring me that mousse was the answer to my flat-hair problems, I knew I had to try it. After trialling the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Soft Mousse I’m pleased to report that mousse came through with the goods. A fresh convert, I decided to chat with celebrity hairdresser and editorial stylist Anthony Nader about mousse’s big comeback.
“Like many hair products on the shelves now, mousses have changed,” says Nader. “So many mousses in the marketplace today have cut out a lot of the alcohol content, sulphates, and plastics that made your hair feel and look crunchy.”
When it comes to finding the right mousse, Nader recommends looking at the shape of the product when dispensed into your hand. “The secret to telling a fab mousse from a not-so-fab mousse is, if you can try before you buy, squeeze a golfball-amount into your palm then pay attention to its shape,” says Nader. “If it stays the same and looks wonderfully plump, that’s when you know you’ve just made a new bestie. If you see your mousse sizzling down to half its size and appears liquid-y, that’s because it’s packed with bad ingredients.”
So, since hair mousse really is better than ever, it’s worth knowing how to make it work for your hair type.
For thin and flat hair
How to choose the right mousse for your hair type: Nader recommends looking for weightless products that promise texture, volume, and body-building.
How to apply it: “Because you want even plumpness throughout, comb the mousse evenly through freshly washed strands, from roots to ends, then blow-dry,” says Nader.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Soft Mousse, $48. SHOP NOW.
For wavy or frizzy hair
How to choose the right mousse for your hair type: Nader says anti-frizz mousses that promise to shape, hydrate, and add volume to your hair will be a perfect fit. The less chemicals in your styling product the better, as these ingredients can create extra unwanted frizz and dryness.
How to apply it: Avoid rubbing your hair dry if you have frizz or natural waves. Instead, Nader suggests blotting your hair dry, then carefully patting your mousse in to avoid roughing up your hair cuticle. “If you’re blow-drying, attach a diffuser on the end of your hairdryer,” he says.
AVEDA Phomollient Styling Foam, $14. Shop now.
For naturally curly hair
How to choose the right mousse for your hair type: Nader suggests opting for light and airy mousses that promise curl definition, bouncy texture, body, and frizz-free volume. These products will enhance your natural curl pattern without disruption.
How to apply it: “Scrunch it in,” says Nader. “The more mousse you use on your palms, the better effect it will have. Don’t comb the product through—this hair texture is not about strict calculation as your natural curls need freedom.”
Shu Uemura Art of Hair Shu Style Kaze Wave Curl Mousse, $49. SHOP NOW.