Best Mousse For Curly Hair [Review] in 2021
written by nail expert Jess Rowley
When styling curly hair, most of us will either use a gel or a hair mousse to style our curls. Having a good hair day with curly hair is actually much more difficult than people imagine.
And curly girls, you’re not alone.
Mousse is a brilliant styling product, especially for those with fine hair. It is a lightweight hair-styling product that helps reduce frizz and define curls without weighing them down as a gel would. It works to smooth, hydrate and volumize the hair.
But it’s not as easy as picking up the first mousse you find at the store and calling it a day; you need to find the right mousse for curly hair; you need a moisturizing mousse that works for your hair and helps encourage those bouncy curls.
Now wait, let me tell you something.
To make life easier for you, I have hunted down the best natural curly hair mousse that defines curls, protects hair, and doesn’t leave a hard casting after you scrunch out the crunch. We all want our curly hair bouncy, right?
Well then, stay tuned; you won’t want to miss this!
top picks of the best hair mousse for curly hair
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Frizz Free Curl Mousse
When it comes to quality curly hair products at drugstore prices, Shea Moisture will always be winning. This Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse is blended with shea moisture for bouncy and defined curls.
This volumizing hair mousse helps enhance the natural curl pattern and memory. It is ideal for fine hair as it leaves no residue; it creates shiny curls with high impact volume and a soft finish.
So let’s talk ingredients!
For starters, this wavy and curly hair mousse by Shea Moisture is blended with coconut, hibiscus, shea butter, and neem oil which together are brilliant for controlling frizz, adding shine, and keeping curly hair bouncy and defined.
Sheamoisture’s products are formulated with Fair Trade Shea Butter which has major benefits on curly hair because of its emolliating qualities, making it excellent for locking on moisture without leaving your curls greasy or heavy,
Making this lightweight formula a brilliant moisturizing mousse.
This conditioner is also infused with coconut oil which helps heal protein loss, add moisture and make hair stronger over time; it even helps make curls more manageable and decrease frizz.
Hibiscus is also brilliant for curls; it helps reduce frizz, prevent hair loss, it even promotes hair growth. It coats the curls and infuses them with moisture to boost shine and bounce, helping them retain their natural shape.
The top thing I love about SheaMoisture is that they are free of all the nasty chemicals you’d find in other drugstore brands. You heard me no silicones, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, or petroleum.
Women in Africa handcraft the shea butter; with every purchase, profits are reinvested into local communities. To top it all off, this brand is completely cruelty-free, so not only is it high quality, but it doesn’t test on our furry friends.
All in all, this lightweight formula is ideal for refreshing curly hair for days after; it defines curls and offers light hold, giving your hair more of a natural feel. I don’t think you can beat it!
- Hydrating, moisturizing, and nourishing
- Encourages natural curl shape
- Free of all the harsh chemicals
- Lightweight formula
Latest deal: Shea Moisture Frizz-Free Curl Mousse
Maui Moisture Flexible Hold + Coconut Milk Curl Foam Mousse
best mousse for thick curly hair
Next up is another drugstore curl mousse, but these drugstore curly hair products are really upping their game; for starters, they are very natural ingredients, brilliant for defining curls, and free of all the nasty ingredients that curly girls should avoid.
You’ll no longer need to choose between styled curls and healthy-looking curls– you can have them both! Maui Moisture offers a flexible hold with their coconut milk curl foam, giving you a shiny, flake-free hold without drying out your curls.
I love Maui’s products because they all contain 100% natural aloe vera as the first ingredient. Aloe vera is a brilliant humectant; it has many active ingredients that work to strengthen your strands.
But that’s not all…
The coconut milk and mango butter also help to nourish the hair. Coconut milk has a high-fat content, high protein content and is packed with vitamin C, E, and B vitamins to nourish hair from roots to ends.
Coconut milk is brilliant for restoring thinning hair, split ends, and dry, damaged hair.
While mango works wonders on your hair strands, it moisturizes and nourishes the hair follicle and helps repair brittle hair and define curls. It can also help protect hair from sun damage making it the ideal ingredient for a mousse.
This lightweight formula is a brilliant curling mousse for thick, curly, dry hair. It works to nourish the strands and tame unruly, wild curls without leaving hair feeling dry.
To top it all off, the formula is vegan, silicone-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, mineral oil-free, and free of gluten to keep frizz at bay, coils hydrated, and crunch-free. This gentle, natural formula is winning!
- Contains aloe vera, coconut milk, and mango infusion
- Extremely hydrating and nourishing
- Ideal for coarse, dry, thick hair
- Vegan and free of harsh chemicals
Latest deal: Maui Moisture Flexible Hold Curl Foam Mousse
Design Essentials Almond and Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse
Coming in at number three is another brilliant mousse for curly hair by Design Essentials. Their Almond + Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse helps nourish curls while enhancing curl definition and repeating curls.
What I love about this curling mousse is that it dries quickly, doesn’t flake, and offers luminous shine. It provides a soft, pliable hold along with helping fight frizz.
It can be used on 2a-4c hair, making it the most versatile styling product on my list. Whether you have wavy, curly hair, or coily hair, this mousse can help with protection, moisture, curl definition, curl control, and tackling frizz.
This curl mousse for curly hair is infused with natural ingredients such as olive oil and the vitamin B complex and avocado and sweet almond ingredients.
Let’s talk about this in more detail, shall we?
For starters, avocados are brilliant as they contain naturals and lots of good fatty acids, which help strengthen and protect your curly ends, leaving them looking healthy and hydrated.
Olive oil is also brilliant for strengthening our hair strands and protecting the hair cuticle. It also has some serious benefits for reducing damage and breakage and sealing the appearance of split ends.
Almond oil then enhances the shine, luster, and moisture of dry and weak hair. All this paired with a Vitamin B complex which helps increase your hair’s strength and elasticity– biotin is a key b vitamin that is responsible for the strength of your hair.
But wait, I’m not finished…
Did I already mention that this weightless mousse is also free of alcohol? No? Well, unlike other formulas, Design Essentials is free of alcohol (known to dry out your crown). It is guaranteed to keep your hair soft, and it won’t dry out your hair.
It is even free of parabens, paraffin, petrolatum, mineral oil, making it the ideal mousse for curly hair. It offers insane levels of frizz control, and whether you have wavy hair or tight curls, this mousse will work for you.
- Contains olive oil, avocado, almond oil, and vitamin B
- Leaves hair soft defines curls without flaking
- Alcohol-free formula and free of harsh chemicals
- Fights frizz
- Some found the smell was odd
Latest deal: Design Essentials Curl Enhancing Mousse
Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse
Up next is another brilliant volumizing mousse by Moroccanoil; it is an airy, body-building mousse that offers all-over volume and flexible hold for medium to fine hair. This weightless mousse helps create a long-lasting lift without the sticky finish.
Moroccaoil lightweight mousse has a memory factor that helps prevent flaking when hair is reshaped; it helps curls look more defined without the frizz and without weighing your hair down.
But the volumizing hold isn’t the only cool feature about this thickening mousse…
The formula contains argan oil rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids, which has been used for centuries to nourish all hair types and skin.
I love how versatile this volumizing mousse is for your hair; not only is it brilliant for natural curls, but it can also be used to add a bit of lift and volume to straight hair.
If you have very curly but quite fine hair, then this product will be best for you. It is a full thickening mousse with volumizing foam that offers a good level of hold with non-crunchy curls.
This weightless formula is winning for fine, natural hair!
- Volumizing foam
- Lightweight foam
- Reduces frizz without weighing hair down
- Can be used on straight hair and curly hair
- May not be enough hold for thick hair
Latest deal: Moroccanoil Volumizing Mousse
OGX Locking + Coconut Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse
best mousse for curly hair not crunchy
Coming up next is a brilliant frizz-free mousse by OGX; this foam and part cream mousse have a lovely creamy formula that offers the hold of a mousse and the hydration of a cream.
It has the perfect blend of shea butter and coconut oil to help enhance curls and control frizz.
Coconut oil has deep moisturizing ingredients. It also helps seal split ends and strengthens hair to prevent breakage. The high vitamins and essential fatty acids penetrate deep into the hair strands to moisturize the hair.
While shea butter offers incredible emolliating qualities, it softens and smoothes the cuticle to lock in moisture and deeply nourish curls. This ingredient is what gives this mousse a creamy texture, which helps hydrate and nourish curls.
Now, wait, let me tell you something…
OGX Coconut Decadent Creamy Mousse is ideal for thick, curly hair. The hydrating coconut oil doesn’t just strengthen the hair, but it also helps in reducing frizz, maintain moisture and help define curls with a soft hold.
The part-foam, part-cream hair mousse enhances and tightens curls when applied to damp hair. Just gently scrunch into the hair to define curls and leave the hair to air dry– it’s that simple!
It can help tame frizzy hair, define curls on all curly hair types, and deeply moisturize and nourish your hair.
- Coconut oil
- Part cream, part foaming mousse
- Adds natural shine
- Hydrates dry hair
- Flakes on some hair types
Latest deal: OGX Locking Curls Decadent Creamy Mousse
Best Mousses For Naturally Curly Hair- A Buyer’s Guide:
When it comes to styling curly hair, the products we use are super important; they can make or break your curls. Using the wrong products can be very damaging to your curls, especially if they’re filled with harsh chemicals.
First things first, you want to work out your natural hair type and hair porosity. This will massively help when choosing all your styling and hair care products– you can narrow your search to products that work for that curl type and that hair porosity.
But let’s talk mousses for curly hair; they are an ideal option over the gel, especially if you have fine curly hair. While a gel is perfect for thick hair, it can be quite heavy for finer hair, so this is where mousses come in.
You’ll want to narrow down what you’d like to get out of the mousse, such as if you want volume, I will go for a volumizing mousse, or if you need frizz control, then go for a frizz-free mousse. The same goes for if you want one that protects hair from UV and heat damage.
But don’t worry, I’m here to break down everything you need to know when styling your curls using a mousse in this in-depth guide and how to find the right mousses for curly hair.
What Does Mousse Do To Curly Hair?
Hair Mousses are brilliant for keeping frizz at bay, defining curls, and adding volume to your hair– win, win, win!
Since curly hair is most prone to frizz because of the naturally curved structure of the strands, it makes it much harder for moisture to travel from the root to the tip of your hair. Dry hair is the top culprit for frizz; it is like a frizz magnet, so mousses help retain moisture as you blow-dry your hair.
Mousse can act as a frizz barrier, but I would recommend going for one that is deeply moisturizing along with maintaining a hydrating cleansing routine to retain and maintain moisture and deeply hydrate curls.
You can apply frizz-prone curls a little bit of leave-in conditioner before applying your mousse; this will give your curls a more natural feel, leave strands feeling soft and hydrated while still offering the hold of the mousse.
If your hair is on the finer side and you find that using a gel to style your curls is too heavy and weighs down the natural curl shape, then using mousse is one of the best alternatives; it is the star curl styler.
It enhances the bounce and shape of fine or thin curls and has some serious volumizing benefits. It is a body-boosting formula that can add a bit of shape to curly or wavy hair.
How To Use Mousse For Curly Hair
Right so now, you know what mousse does for curly hair; now on to how you use it in your styling routine to achieve the best results for your hair. Getting a volumizing mousse will change your curly hair game.
Step One: Wash Hair:
For the best results when using a mousse for curly hair, you’ll want to first start on a blank slate with a fresh and clean foundation, so you should wash and condition your hair before styling.
The first thing you need to do is fast forward to wash day and wash your curls like usual. Remember to use a sulfate-free shampoo or co-wash to care for your curls.
If it’s a shampoo wash day, grab your sulfate-free shampoo, drench your hair under the shower, rub the shampoo in your hands for like 10 seconds and then massage it into your scalp– this helps evenly distribute the product.
Since most curly hair girls only wash their hair with shampoo once a week, it’s important to massage your scalp for a good minute or two to break down all the excess oils. Also, remember always to do two shampoos.
For co-washing, massage your roots for a minute or two under the running water and then apply your cleansing conditioner; if your curls are quite fine and you’re prone to grease, then only apply the co-wash to the ends of your hair.
Please don’t be shy with how much you apply, be very generous as co-washes are designed to cleanse your hair and a condition; they won’t leave a greasy residue. Once you’ve rinsed off your conditioner, apply your leave-in conditioner straight away and detangle.
It is important to have a bit of slip when detangling your hair; this will prevent your hair from snagging or pulling when detangling. Use a wide-tooth comb or detangling brush for this step; this will help ease tangles without causing breakage.
Hair is most fragile while wet, so be patient and gentle.
Step Two: Apply To Wet Hair:
This step is super important; you should only apply your styling products to soaking wet hair to get defined curls that are frizz-free. You can either apply in the shower or work in sections using a water spray for even coverage.
I use this method when using the gel as I have quite thick, porous hair, but this will work for fine hair using mousse– it will even help add volume to your hair.
So for this method, you’ll want to hop out of the shower, wrap yourself up in your robe, and sit in front of your chosen mirror with a towel underneath you. Section your hair and soak each section with water spray and then a small amount of hair mousse.
For each section, I then brush and style using my Denman Brush; I will create tension as I brush down the section and gently twirl the brush as it goes down. This evenly distributes the product and defines each curl.
After each section, I will scrunch that curl until I am happy with the shape and then move on to the next section. I will repeat every section of curls, tip my head upside down, and do a final scrunch with my microfiber towel to remove excess water.
If you prefer, you can use a cotton t-shirt if you prefer to, don’t use a regular cotton towel as this can be quite damaging to your hair, especially curls.
Step Three: Plop, Air Dry, Or Diffuse:
You can dry your curls using three different methods after applying your mousse, but I tend to prefer to diffuse after applying mousse– it will help lock in volume to your natural hair. Don’t forget to use a heat protectant along with your volumizing mousse, especially when using a blow dryer.
Gently diffuse your curls on a low speed and low heat, lifting the curls at the root. Start by cradling the curl using the bowl shape diffuser and leaving the ends out when drying the root.
You only want to dry your curls 70-80% using the diffuser and leave the ends still slightly damp; this will help retain moisture and keep the ends hydrated– this will also help when taming frizz.
Step Four: Scrunch The Crunch:
Fast forward to your hair being COMPLETELY dry, you’ll notice a cast has formed around your curls, and don’t worry; this isn’t the finished result; all you need to do is break that cast and scrunch out the crunch.
Mousses and gels tend to leave a hard cast on the outside, and don’t panic when you see this– it’s completely normal! Just scrunch your hair using a cotton t-shirt to break down the hard cast and release the curls.
If you need a little extra volume, tip your head upside down and give your roots a little shake, this should help give your roots that little extra lift.
Check out my full guide of how to use mousse for curly hair here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you get curly hair with mousse?
So using a mousse on straight hair can give it a little curl, or even when using it with your curling iron will help hold curls for much longer. Just applying to damp hair with your heat protectant before you blow-dry.
Hairstyling mousse will help keep frizz at bay while giving the appearance of more defined curls, so if you have loose wavy hair or even straight hair, it will give your hair a little wave.
How do you refresh curls?
Curls need a little refresher, and wondering how to refresh curls? Well, you can use a mousse on second, third, or even fourth-day hair to give curls a little refresher; you just need to wet down your hair.
You can either mist dry curls using a water spray bottle until they are saturated but not soaking wet or hop in the shower and give your hair a little rinse– you can even give it a few minute massages under the running water to remove excess oils.
Apply conditioner to the ends if you run your hair under the shower to help with detangling.
Work in sections and spray each section using the water spray and then apply a generous amount of mousse when working in sections– combing them through as you go through, smoothing through smaller curls to make larger curl clumps.
Gel or mousse for curly hair?
This really depends on your hair porosity and curl type; if you have quite fine hair, then volumizing mousses for curly hair is probably best for you, but for thicker hair, you may need a gel to keep frizz at bay.
Some gels can be quite heavy on curls, especially finer curls, so that a mousse will be better for fine hair, but there are some lightweight gels on the market if you prefer the hold of a gel. It is all down to personal preference, really.
Can you make your own DIY hair mousse?
Absolutely, it’s super easy too, all you need is a couple of ingredients and a whisk. Most of the ingredients you probably have lying around the house anyway. Check out my full guide here.
So there you have it, the best hair mousses for curly hair. The best way to style your hair is by understanding what your hair needs and learning how to care for your curls beforehand. Knowing your curls is key to achieving the best curl shape.
Choose any of the hair mousses I have selected for you today; I have completed in-depth research and found my top picks for curly hair without the harsh ingredients and all at an affordable price.
A volumizing mousse can really upgrade your curly hair game.
Cheif Editor & Nail Technician Expert
Jess Rowley, a veteran nail tech, has been studying beauty over the last 11 years and has completed the nail technology program in California. Watching the latest trends in beauty, Jess searches for the highest quality products that make your nails feel loved.