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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.