Reviewed: The Best Hair Mousse for Every Hair Type

Mousse: It defines, smoothes, volumizes, and hydrates—all in under 30 seconds.

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Mousse is the unsung hero of hair products. It has the ability to tighten and define curls, smooth poufy waves, moisturize kinky coils, and even add major volume to limp, deflated hair—as long as you know which formula to pick. To ensure you reach for the right one, we've selected the best of the best mousse formulas for virtually every type, texture, and concern, so you can live your best hair life, 365 days of the year. Check them out, ahead.

1. For Puffy Hair That Needs Definition

Rusk Smooth Foam

(Image credit: Rusk)

Rusk Smooth Foam, $18


The shorter your hair is, the more it tends to poof, which isn’t ideal if you’re going for this year’s sleek lob or bob. To cut the volume and give your hair a workable texture, rake a golf ball–sized dollop of a smoothing mousse, like this lightweight formula from Rusk, through towel-dried hair before blow-drying. For an ultra-sleek finish, follow with a flat-iron. The mousse works to lock-in sleekness for up to five days.

2. For Fine, Straight Hair That Falls Limp

Kristin Ess Instant Lift Volumizing Mousse

(Image credit: Kristin Ess)

Kristin Ess Instant Lift Volumizing Mousse, $14


If your hair lives in a constant state of flat, look for a volumizing mousse that gives your hair a ton of hold and lift, like this cult-favorite formula from Kristin Ess. Run a golf ball–sized puff of mousse through your damp roots, comb through them, then flip your head over and blast them with a blow-dryer for mega, all-day volume.

3. For Kinky Coils That Need Moisture

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Styling Foam

(Image credit: Carol’s Daughter)

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Styling Foam, $9


Okay, so technically all curls—especially tight coils—need moisture. But if you’re in between washes and need some hydration, try a flexible conditioning foam with a little bit of hold, like this favorite from Carol’s Daughter, which moisturizes and defines curls without flakes. Just massage 2–3 pumps of foam through your hair (damp or dry) from root to tip, then either let air-dry or style as usual.

4. For Curly Hair That Falls Flat

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Take Chare Curl-Boosting Mousse

(Image credit: John Frieda)

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Take Chare Curl-Boosting Mousse, $9


Though the obvious choice for limp hair would be a volumizing mousse, women with limp curls should opt for a lightweight curl-enhancing mousse, which will bring out the natural volume of your curls, while keeping them from going limp or falling out. Just rake a baseball–sized puff of mousse through your damp hair, from root to tip, and air-dry.

5. For Wavy Hair That Frizzes Out

Ogx Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse

(Image credit: Ogx)

Ogx Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse, $9


Rather than using products that try to “smooth” frizz—which will often leave waves looking lank—opt for a product that enhances them, like this curl-defining mousse, which helps lock your waves together for frizz-less definition. Comb a baseball–sized puff through your sopping-wet hair, root to tip, with a wide-tooth comb, then let air-dry. As your hair dries, twist small sections of hair around your finger to encourage even tighter waves.

Chloe Metzger
Beauty Editor

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.