Are you fighting limp, frizzy or dehydrated hair? Give your locks a lift with our pick of the best hair mousse from £3.65
We all want to know how to create that salon-worthy blow-dry at home, and the secret may lie in the best hair mousse you can find. In fact, hairstylists often use mousse to create bouncy curls and volume.
If your hair is prone to frizz, loses its style quickly, or is thin and limp, then hair mousse could work magic on your locks. Hair mousse was once popular, but like hairspray, it fell out of favour because people thought it was outdated and didn’t work well. But now, there is an abundance of incredible hair mousse products on the market, many of which offer different benefits — from refreshing oily locks to giving a boost to tired hair and, of course, offering volume.
Read on for our round-up of the best hair mousses available now, along with our tried and tested reviews.
Best hair mousse: At a glance
|Best hair mousse overall
|Sam McKnight Cool Girl Volume Blow-Dry Foam | £32
|Check price at Space NK
|Best hair mousse for volume
|Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer | £19
|Check price at Look Fantastic
|Best hair mousse for refreshing hair
|Batiste Leave in Dry Conditioner | £3
|Check price at Amazon
How to choose the right hair mousse for you
What factors should I consider when choosing a hair mousse?
When selecting a mousse product for your hair, it’s best to consider your hair type and the desired style outcome. For those blessed with curly locks, seek a formula tailored to sculpt your curls and tame unruly frizz. If you have wavy hair, opt for a formula that enhances definition, and if your hair lacks volume or needs a vitality boost, look for volumising mousses to breathe life into your locks. These days, you can even get mousses that will refresh oily or lacklustre hair in between washes.
How do I use hair mousse?
While some mousses should be applied to wet hair, others are for styling dry hair. But in general, the instructions tend to be pretty similar:
- Start by freshly washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner to remove dirt, grease and product build-up.
- Towel dry your hair or lightly dry it with a hairdryer if it’s dripping wet.
- Squeeze a golf ball-sized blob of mousse into your palms and work your fingers through your hair from root to tip. Start with a small amount – you can always add more if you need to.
- After distributing the mousse, it’s time to blow-dry your hair. Use a hairdryer with a blow-drying brush for the best results, especially if you want to style your locks or increase volume.
Will mousse make my hair sticky?
You might not be well-acquainted with using hair mousse or may have reservations due to past experiences with older formulas that left your hair feeling stiff or sticky. Perhaps you used your grandma’s mousse in the 80s, which felt like it could tame a coarse kitchen scourer. Rest assured, modern formulations are much better than they used to be and can work wonders on our hair.
What should I look for in a hair mousse?
Hair mousse is suitable for all hair types, but what kind of mousse you purchase should be based on the properties of your hair and desired benefits. Those with fine, limp hair may be afraid to use mousse and think it might weigh the hair down, but it can do quite the opposite. A good volumising mousse can add plenty of dimension to your hair, so it’s well worth trying.
If your scalp is sensitive, you may want to search for hydrating, low or alcohol-free mousses. You’ll also want to ensure that when you use hair mousse, you don’t wait too long until your next hair wash to prevent product build-up.
How we test hair mousse
At Expert Reviews we know that hands-on testing gives us the best and most complete information about a product. We test hair mousse on clean hair, following the instructions on the bottle to apply it to dry, damp, or wet hair as required. Following mousse application, we blow-dry the hair to see how well the mousse helps to hold style.
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The best hair mousse you can buy in 2023
1. Sam McKnight Cool Girl Volume Blow-Dry Foam: Best hair mousse overall
Price when reviewed: £32 | Check price at Space NK
Weightless hair is the best base for styling and achieving voluminous hairstyles. Because this product by Sam McKnight is a non-aerosol mousse, it’s easy to apply throughout the hair without leaving a sticky residue.
This is our favourite hair mousse overall because it works incredibly well on every hair type – from fine or curly hair, to waves and frizzy locks. When worked through the hair, this light and airy foam leaves locks feeling soft and plumped with body and natural shine without feeling tacky. A small amount will give your hair the perfect building block for styling, whether you want to blow dry your hair poker straight or create big, bouncy curls.
This mousse has some impressive ingredients, including heat-protectant properties with conditioning provitamin B5, hibiscus to nourish and polymers. Better still, Sam’s signature botanical fragrance will leave your hair smelling like you’ve just stepped out of a five-star salon.
2. Color Wow Xtra Large Bombshell Volumizer: Best hair mousse for volume
Price when reviewed: £19 | Check price at Look Fantastic
You may have seen this volumising hair mousse on TikTok, praised by beauty content creators and loved by celebs. A first of its kind with the technology packed into the ingredients, the non-drying properties, no alcohol and salts help to instantly thicken the hair for a volumised mane that will last for days.
This Color Wow product is best suited for those looking to breathe more life into their hair. If your hair is fine, thin or limp, then this is the mousse for you. Better still, it’s an excellent mousse for colour-treated hair that is damaged or fragile, as it gives the hair long-lasting heat protection and doesn’t contain any drying ingredients. The amount of volume that this mousse gives is impressive. Not only does it protect the hair cuticles, it can also boost the root’s volume by inches.
One bottle lasts for a long time, as you only need around two pumps of product per section of the hair. It’s best to section before applying to help evenly distribute the mousse from root to tip. Finally, comb through and get ready for your style of choice. A great thing about this mousse is that it can be left to air dry if you wish – something that you don’t find in many mousses, as it can make the hair sticky.
3. Batiste Leave-in Dry Conditioner: Best hair mousse for refreshing hair
Price when reviewed: £3 | Check price at Amazon
This mousse is slightly different to the other products in our round-up because its primary purpose is to refresh the hair. It works as a dry conditioner that helps to revitalise tired hair in between washes, giving it a little volume boost in the meantime.
If you’re fed up with dry, dull and tangled hair, you’ll find love in this can of no-rinse conditioning mousse. It leaves lengths and ends irresistibly soft, sleek, and gorgeously shiny on non-wash days. Furthermore, its lightweight formula ensures rapid absorption without any mess or visible residue.
The product works on curly, straight, or wavy hair and is suitable for all hair types, so you’ll probably find it a permanent fixture on your dressing table. Best applied to dry hair with the head tipped upside down, the mousse adds freshness and a beautiful, floral scent.
4. OUAI Air Dry Foam: Best hair mousse for frizz-prone hair
Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at Look Fantastic
All hair types can be prone to frizz, whether that’s because of damage, the weather, or natural hair texture. Perfectly designed for those with frizz-prone hair that is dry and dull, and even more so for those who want to enhance their curls, this OUAI air dry foam style mousse has been developed as a wash-and-go solution to the problem of time-consuming styling.
With active natural ingredients that work with the natural patterns of the hair to generate lasting results, a few pumps of this mousse will help to tame frizz and protect against dryness throughout the day. The formula incorporates the potent ingredient of keratin to rejuvenate and restore damaged hair sections to beauty. Additionally, it contains kale extract, which effectively combats humidity and extends the longevity of your curls.
To style your hair with this product, apply to damp and towel-dried hair and scrunch between your fingers before letting your hair dry naturally. You’ll be left with beautiful, beachy waves.
5. Volumising Mousse: Best hair mousse for keeping locks hydrated
Price when reviewed: £21 | Check price at Look Fantastic
Best suited for fine to medium hair, this product from Moroccanoil is one of the best on the market for those looking to better style their hair without dehydrating it. With a weightless texture, this mousse helps to lift the root and build volume without making the hair sticky. The formula has a memory factor built in that means your hair will remain firmly styled all day without looking stiff.
This product is enriched with antioxidant-packed argan oil and an anti-static agent to transform your hair and keep it manageable and silky – something that many users of mousse fear will be impossible when using the product.
To get tameable, silky soft hair, squeeze a palm-sized amount of the mousse onto towel-dried hair before running your fingers through to distribute evenly. To achieve maximum body, texture, and lift, you can flip your hair upside down and use a hair dryer with a diffuser. Once the mousse is distributed throughout the hair, blow dry your locks with a round brush, starting at the roots.
6. Davines Volume Boosting Mousse: Best hair mousse for all hair types
Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at Liberty
This product from Davines is perfect if you want to try hair mousse but don’t know your exact hair type or desired hair goals. Long gone are the stiff styling mousse disasters of the past, with this luxuriously creamy, feather-light texture mousse on the market.
If you want to keep your hair natural looking whilst giving it that extra boost, you can’t go far wrong with this mousse. The active ingredients within each bottle help to increase your hair’s styling abilities if you plan on following up with a drier or tool.
With just a few pumps of this volume-boosting mousse on towel-dried hair, you will see a noticeable difference in the lift within your roots. It leaves hair feeling fresh and lightweight, without any residue, and doesn’t result in a head full of flakiness that you get with some styling products.
7. Amika Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse: Best hair mousse for all weather conditions
Price when reviewed: £26 | Check price at Cult Beauty
Experience well-tamed hair and an enviable volume with Amika’s Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse. This medium-hold mousse delivers body, bounce, and fullness, all without the unwanted crispy or heavy feeling that none of us like when using hair styling products.
Powered by an innovative blend of styling polymers that provide long-lasting, flexible hold and volume, all while avoiding buildup, residue, or stiffness, this can of mousse is also designed to shield your hair from the effects of humidity. So if you find yourself braving all sorts of weather conditions on the morning commute to the office or need something to take on your next sunny vacation with you, you’ll want to invest in a bottle.
Proudly vegan, cruelty-free, with Amika’s signature scent and packed with vitamins A and C, omega fatty acids and vital antioxidant protection, you’ll find that you soon can’t live without a bottle of Amika’s Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse.
8. L’Oréal Paris Elvive Styliste Mousse Non-Stop Volume: Best affordable hair mousse
Price when reviewed: £3.65 | Check price at Sephora
Not every hair styling product needs to come with a hefty price tag. Many better hair mousse products come from slightly more expensive brands than trusty and affordable L’Oréal. But just because this mousse is cheaper, it doesn’t sacrifice anything in terms of capabilities.
Achieve impressive hair elevation with this high-performance, extra-firm control mousse. Packed with the power of Expansyl-A, it not only boosts but also lifts your hair from the roots, ensuring enduring support and volume that stands out.
This high-quality, affordable mousse is easy to apply and provides excellent hold. Begin by thickening the hair at the roots on damp, freshly-washed hair. You’ll be left with an epic do that holds its new, volumised shape for up to 48 hours, which is pretty impressive.