Hair mousse: A quick guide

Jeanette | 26 May 2016

Say hello to volume to and curl definition! 

Mention hair mousse to most people and it’ll no doubt bring to mind ’80s-style manes and halos of crisp, stiff curls and waves. Dispensed from an aerosol can, the styling foam was first developed in the 1980s and quickly rose to popularity thanks to the height-defying volume it gave hair and the definition it provided curls – all of which were very fashionable during that era.

Similar to hair gel, traditional forms of mousse would give hair that classic crunchy feel, however, more modern formulations also give you the option to comb it out for a softer effect without much residue.

So why should you give hair mousse a go? Well, before you write it off as a retro styling product that’s no longer relevant to today’s hair trends, hear us out. Like we said, recent innovations mean that new and improved hair mousse formulations have developed quite a bit since its advent. So no longer is it defined to creating just a few retro-inspired looks, but a plethora of cool, current styles often seen on the runways and in the pages of high fashion magazines, too. So, with the right products and a few clever know-hows, you can style your tresses like a pro, using (yep, you guessed it) this wonder product that is hair mousse. Want to find out more? Keep reading ahead to get lowdown on the basics you need to know now.

Hair mousse: The basics

hair mousse uses
Hair mousse has numerous uses!

1. It can be easy to over apply

As tempting as it might be, try not to overload your hair with too much product. We know it’s easier said than done – because mousses just seem to “disappear” into thin air as soon as you apply them! –  but if you use excessive amounts of it, there’s a danger you’ll end up with very crunchy hair and a less-than-desirable finish. Aim for about a tennis ball-sized amount (maybe a little bit more if you have longer, thicker hair, and a little bit less if you have a shorter crop). But remember: if in doubt, use less; you can always add more if needed.

2. It can help define natural curls and waves

If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, hair mousse can help tame frizz and add definition to your curl pattern, as well. The best part? It’s super lightweight and won’t leave a residue! Simply apply a mousse designed for curls (like the VO5 Smoothly Does It Curl Defining Mousse, £3.99*) to damp hair and let it air dry, et voila: less frizzy, defined coils!

hair mousse can be applied onto a comb
Hair mousse can be applied onto a comb.

3. It can be used to give your hair volume

Mousse is a great volumiser. It has a heat-activated polymer content that when dried, swells and holds together, so gives great volume and hold – Unilever creative director and head stylist Dan Lynes.

If you have fine or thin tresses, did you know you can use hair mousse to add volume and give your hair the appearance of being fuller-bodied, too? “Mousse is a great volumiser,” says Dan Lynes. “But you must use heat. Try a good tennis ball-sized amount of mousse and apply on towel-dried hair before blow-drying into your desired style. Another – less messy – way of applying is to squirt the hair mousse onto a brush or comb and brush through your hair.”

Try: TRESemmé Beauty-Full Volume Mousse (£5.50*), which helps to create visibly full styles!

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.