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Back in the ‘80s, mousse was known not just for pumping up the volume on hair but for giving it a crispy, crunchy look. These days, volumizing mousses are way more sophisticated—you get shine, hold, and va-va-voom but none of that stiff feeling. In fact, the volumizing mousses of today are great for a variety of hair types, concerns, and purposes.
“Mousse is a very versatile styling product,” says Michelle Dixon, a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. “It’s not heavy and provides bounce and height, enhances curls and waves, and has frizz-fighting capabilities as well.” The best volumizing mousses hydrate, fight frizz, and protect the integrity of your hair, says Dixon. “Hydration is the key for healthy, bouncy hair so definitely use one that has hydrating oils and butters,” she explains, adding that she loves avocado. And if you have straight hair, you’ll want to choose a humidity-resistant mousse so your volume doesn’t fall flat.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best volumizing mousses for every hair type and concern.
Best Overall: Joico JoiWhip Firm Hold Designing Foam
This volumizing mousse delivers superior hold, body, and shine—all while conditioning hair. The alcohol-free formula is loaded with nourishing, body-building, shine-enhancing kukui nut oil. Users rave about its ability to keep hair looking full for days without making hair feel sticky or weighing it down.
Best Budget: John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse
Get fuller-looking hair for less with this budget-friendly volumizing mousse. Ideal for fine hair, this mousse seriously boosts volume by lifting hair at the roots. Caffeine in the formula creates fullness without the crunch, while polymer technology works to thicken strands.
Best for Fine Hair: Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse
If you have fine hair, then you know that mastering volume is a tricky thing. Enter this thickening mousse, which works wonders on fine hair. The formula contains a patented thickening molecule that actually makes you feel like you have thicker hair. And, that feeling of fullness really lasts. The light hold means this volumizing mousse is anything but stiff. Users rave that it gives their fine, flat hair the body they always craved.
Best for Thick Hair: TIGI Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse
When it comes to using volumizing mousse on thick hair, it’s important to choose one with a strong hold so your hair can maintain its volume throughout the day. This volumizing mousse with a strong hold is awesome for thick hair. In addition to long-lasting volume, it also provides a seriously smooth finish and great curl definition.
Best for Curly Hair: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse
Volumizing mousse is a key product for making sure curls look their absolute best—and this particular one is a great option for curly hair. The rich formula, infused with coconut oil, neem oil, and silk protein, moisturizes dry curls, tames frizz, and delivers a silky finish with major bounce. You’ll love how smooth, bouncy, and defined your curls look when you use this mousse.
Best for Wavy Hair: Amika Plus Size Volume & Body Mousse
Get the voluminous beachy waves of your dreams with this long-lasting volumizing mousse that’s perfect for wavy hair. The whipped formula features shaping polymers for long-lasting hold with none of the crunch. With a flexible hold, you won’t be able to stop running your hands through your summer-inspired waves.
Best for Dry Hair: R+CO Aircraft Pomade Mousse
Think you can’t use volumizing mousse if you have dry hair? Think again. Say hello to softer, bouncier hair when you use this volumizing mousse. Papaya extract creates volume and adds shine, vegetable protein strengthens hair, and neem oil balances moisture. This volumizing mousse also offers heat protection so you can blow-dry or curl without worrying about your hair feeling drier.
Best for Damaged Hair: Alterna Haircare Clinical Densifying Styling Mousse
Hair feeling weak? Turn your attention to this volumizing mousse, which not only thickens hair but strengthens it. The powerful formula ensures long-lasting body and makes hair look thicker, thanks to non-sticky polymers. It also minimizes hair fallout caused by breakage.
Best for Natural Hair: TGIN Honey Whip Hydrating Mousse
“This is my favorite for natural hair,” says Dixon. The blend of coconut oil and argan oil adds definition, shine, and body to natural hair—and it smooths frizz to boot. While this volumizing mousse is effective defining and adding body, it still has a lightweight finish without any residue. Try it with roller sets, flexi-rod sets, or a wash-and-go hairstyle.
Runner-Up, Best for Natural Hair: Jane Carter Solution Wrap & Roll Mousse
Dixon is a fan of this volumizing mousse. “It’s great for rod sets and wrapping the hair—it will give great bounce,” she says. Users love how it leaves hair curly without the frizz, stating that it makes hair much more manageable. Users also note that moisturizing formula—which includes natural glycerides, rosemary essential oil, and nettle extract, doesn’t cause buildup or leave any residue.
Best for Straight Hair: Shu Uemura Ample Angora Volumizing Light Foam
This volumizing mousse “gives a lot of body for a blowout on straight hair,” says Dixon. “It’s my favorite for a sexy blowout and gives a silky finish.” The lightweight formula, featuring cedar bud, pumps up the volume without weighing down fine, straight hair or leaving behind residue. Expect soft, smooth volume that really lasts. Beyond blowouts, you can also apply it to hair and let it air dry for added body on straight hair.
Best Splurge: Leonor Greyl Au Lotus Volumizing Mousse
French women swear by this chic beauty brand—and the volumizing mousse, ideal for thin or frizzy hair, is one of its best products. The alcohol-free formula smooths frizz, adds body, and increases shine sans crispiness. If you’re willing to splurge on a volumizing mousse, then this is definitely a worthy purchase.
Best Drugstore: Dove Style + Care Mousse Volume & Thickness
We all know there are plenty of beauty gems to be found at the drugstore—and that’s certainly the case for this volumizing mousse, a favorite of Holly Rhue, Byrdie's associate editor. The formula is super-lightweight and keeps frizz, static, and flyaways at bay while it volumizes. You’ll be impressed by how soft your hair feels all day long.
Best With UV Protection: Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse
Rhue loves this volumizing mousse, which has an oh-so-hydrating formula that plumps the hair shaft for volume and thickness. The mousse also protects hair against heat and even strengthens strands. Plus, it offers UV protection and is safe for use on color- and keratin-treated hair.
As for how to use any volumizing mousse? “Emulsify the mousse in your hands first and then apply on wet hair from root to tip, working it into the hair with either your fingers or a comb,” suggests Dixon. “Make sure it really gets into the root for the best volumizing effect.”