Okay our burning question this time actually involves frequently asked questions – about hair mousse. You know, what it is, what does it do for you and how to use it to get the best results.
Since you’re here I’m guessing you’re contemplating using mousse or need more info on how to use it because you want to do something with your hair that has previously eluded you. By that I mean you want to tap into your hair’s inner volume. Volume that may lie hidden just below the surface of those limp, lifeless locks of yours. Or else you may want better defined curls. Sorry I can’t tell from here.
Either can be done if you use the right product. And for many that right product is mousse. In fact many of us with fine hair aren’t getting the most out of our mane if we aren’t using mousse. Tress success is made even easier anymore since you’ll likely find a mousse for every hair type and intended purpose.
Oh and if you think this styling product is a solution only for those with flat hair, well please think again. It can also give you a great way to tame frizz, add shine, give your hair more shape plus enhance the look of fullness and body. But only if you use the right product for your hair type in the right way.
Which begs the question. What tips should one know to use it properly? To help with that, let’s roll through a brief Q&A session to find out.
First you have to know what you’re working with.
Q: What’s the difference between hairspray, mousse, and gel?
A: Physically mousse is an aerosol foam, while the terms themselves more or less describe the other two.
Q: Okay then when do I use each?
A: Hey, I thought this was about hair mousse. Just kidding. Let’s see if we can clear this up some.
Mousse is used to boost the volume or to help better define your curls. It’s got the consistency of whipped cream and is applied on damp hair. You usually blow dry your hair immediately after working the mousse through your strands with your fingers, comb or sometimes a brush. Or if you’re going after curls you scrunch it into your mane.
Hair spray is most often used to hold a ‘do in place. In other words you use it with hair that’s already styled. Gazing at the shelves of product you’ll notice there are different strengths. These vary from products that will keep hair in place in a tornado to a more flexible lightweight finishing spray.
Gel can be used as a stronger version of either mousse or hairspray. It can be used for lift, hold or scrunched into hair.
Stick to hairspray to keep your hair looking smooth. For some added volume however reach for the mousse.
Q: My hair Fairy Godmother granted me hair that is limp. Flat would be another term you could use. How does one use mousse to add in volume into hair such as mine?
A: Simply shake the can of mousse well, then squirt some out into your palm. Depending on how long your hair is, you want something the size of a golf ball or bigger.
You’ll often see the word “dollop” mentioned when discussing this. That could mean anything from golf ball sized to palms full depending on the product.
Remember too that there is a lot of air in this stuff.
Then you want to blow dry sections of your hair directing it in the opposite way you usually wear it. This by itself helps to create body which when combined with the mousse, especially heat activated mousse, will give you volume to spare.
Tip: Just don’t get carried away. Too much will leave your hair feeling crunchy like uncooked ramen noodles. So it may require a bit of tinkering to find the best amount to use to get the amount of volume you need. But if you’ll willing to learn by a little trial and error you may be amazed with the big and bouncy results.
Q: Is it okay for those of use plagued by dry hair?
A: It can be. But not all products on the shelves will be. Many contain more than a little alcohol. And as you know that can tend to be drying. So if dry hair is your constant companion, you’ll want to scan the label to see how much alcohol there is. And watch for words like “moisturizing” on the label. Unfortunately some have to kiss a lot of frogs before find their mousse prince. And it can be frustrating to go from mousse to mousse in search of one that works best with your hair. For what it’s worth, I’ve heard good things about Joico JoiWhip. Best of all it’s supposed to be completely alcohol free too.
Tip: Bothered by a brush suffering from mousse (or other product) built up? Try this. Fill a large jar with warm water, add two or three tablespoons of baking soda and soak your non wooden brush in this for an hour or more. You may find this degunks your brushes perfectly. Leaving them clean and fresh.
Q: What’s a common mistake too many make with this product?
A: As was hinted at earlier, that would have to be failing to understand where to apply it.
Generally you want to keep this on the hair closest to your scalp. That’s where it is most effective. That’s where it will do you the most good. The thing to remember is, if you deflate it before applying it (like squishing it between your hands, for example), you lose much of its volumizing ability completely before you start.
The nice thing is you’ll get the added oomph you are looking for without any stickiness or the appearance of heaviness. In other words a good mousse will not weigh down your hair. Which is supposed to be it’s selling point.
Repeat Tip: You might see what applying mousse when bent forward at the waist so your hair falls forward does for you.
Q: What else?
A: You also want a product that is non greasy.
Nor do you want anything that when used leaves you with hair that is “crispy” or stiff feeling.
Some claim to enhance the shine factor.
While others may actually condition your hair just a bit. Leaving you with silkier locks than you had before using it.
Ideally you’d like to use something that makes your hair feel softer.
Some do a great job with frizz and flyaway control too. And is it me, or doesn’t it just drive you crazy to look in the mirror at work and see those annoying flyaways buzzing around the crown of your head?
Tip: Like most products try to find the least amount needed to do the job. In other words less may be more here. Still as thickeners and volumizers go, this is an incredibly forgiving product. Working as both a thickener and volumizer it’s hard to overdo.
Distributed throughout your hair mousse gives you light hold. And when applied to the roots, well, this is where it really pumps up volume. (I know. I’m repeating myself.) The thing is, if you deflate it before applying it (like squashing it between your hands for instance), you crush its volumizing power. So don’t do that! Again repeated because too many do this, intentionally or not.
Still nothing like an action movie and this video shows volumizing mousse in action.
How to Use a Volumizing Mousse
Just like we said….
- Apply the product at the roots
- Work into the hair
- Blow dry
That’s all there is to it. This video basically just reinforces what we previously discussed. But sometimes it helps to see someone actually doing it and the voluminous hair they produce.
You don’t have to be a hair care product junky to appreciate what a good mousse can do when it comes to adding volume to your hair. It can truly kick the lift and body up a notch or two.
So stick with your quest for the one that works with your hair because once you find the right one for you, you’ll be thrilled with how it can boost the volume. Because more often than not, the joy of a fab hair day is more likely to involve smoke and mirrors than having great hair naturally. Hair mousse is one item that should make your smoke and mirror list.