The 16 Best Volumizing Mousses of 2022

Our best overall pick is Joico Firm Hold Design Foam

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Best Volumizing Mousses

Byrdie / Chloe Jeong

Volumizing hair mousse really doesn’t get enough credit. Sure, the formulas of the ‘80s were crunchy and stiff, but nowadays, it’s possible to get a mousse that adds unmatched body, shine, and hold.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

With a blend of nourishing oil and strand-coating polymers, Joico Firm Hold Design Foam is our best overall pick. For a budget-friendly option that's ideal for fine hair, consider John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam.

“Mousse is actually one of my favorite ways to create volume and hold within a hairstyle,” says John Pulitano of Headcase Hair in Sydney, Australia. “Given it’s a quality formula and the product is distributed evenly, I think it’s one of the most effective and versatile styling products out there.” 

We rounded up several suggestions from stylists and tried a handful of these products ourselves, our testers rating each product’s texture and feel, ingredient list, and overall performance, to give you the gravity-defying volume you’ve been dreaming of.

Ahead, find the best volumizing mousses for every hair type.

Best Overall

Joico Firm Hold Design Foam

3.5
Joico Firm Hold Design Foam
What We Like
  • Holds up in humidity

  • Suits most hair types

  • Boosts shine

What We Don't Like
  • Not overly thickening

Who else recommends it? StyleCraze also picked the Joico Firm Hold Design Foam.

What do buyers say? 83% of 2,300+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

This universally-appealing mousse delivers body, hold, and shine—all while caring for dry, dehydrated hair. The alcohol-free formula is boosted with kukui nut oil to nourish and smooth, while polymers coat each strand to build volume. Reviewers also seem to love the fact it’s never sticky or stiff. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Key Ingredients: VP/VA copolymer, kukui nut oil | Hair Type: Fine, thin | Size: 10.2 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Budget

John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam

John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great price

  • Lightweight feel

What We Don't Like
  • May not be ideal for thicker hair

Ideal for fine hair, this wallet-friendly buy creates volume and fullness via polymer technology. There’s also caffeine to help invigorate the scalp, while panthenol (vitamin B5) hydrates and soothes.

Price at time of publish: $10

Key Ingredients: Vp/methacrylamide/vinyl imidazole copolymer, panthenol | Hair Type: Balanced to fine | Dosage: Palm-full | Size: 7.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore

Dove Style + Care Curls Defining Mousse

Dove Style + Care Curls Defining Mousse

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Great price

  • Lightweight feel

What We Don't Like
  • Contains hydrofluorocarbons

If you want to add lift and definition to your curls without breaking the bank, this Dove mousse is pretty hard to beat. It contains dimethicone to smooth and shape, while the lightweight texture doesn’t feel tacky, heavy, or stiff. While it does outline that it’s for curls, we also think this formula would be great for heavy, thick, or coarse hair types.

Price at time of publish: $7

Key Ingredients: Dimethicone, DMDM hydantoin | Hair Type: Curly, thick | Size: 7 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Curls

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Lightweight feel

  • Soft finish

  • Natural scent

What We Don't Like
  • Contains alcohol

This clean formula, infused with silk protein and keratin, delivers curl-enhancing volume, with botanical extracts designed to activate your curl's natural curl memory and wave pattern. We love the high-shine, soft finish that leaves curls bouncy, without any sticky residue or crunching.

Price at time of publish: $11

Key Ingredients: Deionized water, silk protein, keratin | Hair Type: Curly, wavy, coils, thick | Size: 7.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Curls, Runner-Up

TGIN Rose Water Curl Defining Mousse

TGIN Rose Water Curl Defining Mousse

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Alcohol-free

  • Natural floral scent

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more volumizing

This nourishing mousse is packed with moisture-rich rose water, plus botanicals including lavender, ginger, acai, and marula to care for curls while creating soft, subtle volume. There’s also polymer technology to shape and define curls and waves.

Price at time of publish: $12

Key Ingredients: Rose water, acai extract, ginger root, lavender, maltodextrin/VA-copolymer | Hair Type: Balanced to curly or coiled | Size: 8 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Fine Hair

Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse

Living Proof Full Thickening Mousse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Lightweight feel

  • Has heat protection

  • Thickens

What We Don't Like
  • Not overly volumizing

Those with fine hair will know that creating volume is a difficult balance—if you add too much product, you’ll simply end up with hair that is limp and greasy. Thankfully, this mousse from Living Proof gets it right. The secret is a patented thickening molecule that builds on existing hair, giving the illusion of serious volume. It’s also quite light, so there’s no tack or stiffness.

Price at time of publish: $30

Key Ingredients: Vp/methacrylamide/vinyl imidazole copolymer, panthenol, acacia senegal gum | Hair Type: Fine, thin, or balanced | Dosage: Egg-sized amount | Size: 2 fluid ounces, 5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Thick Hair

TIGI Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse

TIGI Catwalk Strong Hold Mousse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Strong hold

  • Smooths hair

  • Great scent

What We Don't Like
  • Not a good choice for softer styles

With a strong hold and thicker consistency, this mousse from TIGI is great for thick, coarse hair. It contains dimethicone to coat the hair, providing smoothness, definition, and hold—making it a useful pick for those with a natural curl, too. Because it’s heavier texture-wise, it provides long-lasting hold, too.

Key Ingredients: PVP, PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone | Hair Type: Curly, thick, and coarse | Size: 6.7 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Wavy Hair

Amika Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse

Amika Plus Size Volume & Body Mousse

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Holds up in humidity

  • Boosts shine

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

This airy, whipped option is amazing when it comes to creating soft, beachy waves. It's got a flexible hold, shaping polymers, and sea buckthorn for nourishment, leaving your hair soft, tousled, and defined. Pair it with a sea salt spray for a more undone finish.

Price at time of publish: $28

Key Ingredients: AMP-acrylates/allyl methacrylate copolymer, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, sea buckthorn extract | Hair Type: All | Dosage: Golf-ball-sized amount | Size: 8.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Dry Hair

R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse

R+Co Aircraft Pomade Mousse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Great scent

  • Hydrating and strengthening formula

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Pulitano loves this mousse for clients with fine, brittle, or dry hair, thanks to the inclusion of papaya, protein, and neem oil. “Mousse can be drying due to the alcohol content, but Aircraft is surprisingly soft and nourishing. I love smoothing it through the hair before a bouncy blow dry for long-lasting results.” The addition of corn starch prevents grease around the roots, too.

Price at time of publish: $36

Key Ingredients: Corn starch, synthetic beeswax, papaya fruit extract, neem oil | Hair Type: Balanced, dry, and colored | Size: 5.6 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge

Leonor Greyl Au Lotus Volumizing Mousse

Leonor Greyl Au Lotus Volumizing Mousse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Alcohol-free

  • Adds volume and softness

  • Boosts shine

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Formulated without alcohol, this lush French buy is all of our luxury beauty dreams realized. It’s airy and light, so it works on thin, frizzy, or mature hair (there’s no stiffness whatsoever). The addition of castor seed and jojoba oils recondition the hair, too. While it’s got a hefty price tag, we promise you it’s a great formula.

Price at time of publish: $48

Key Ingredients: Polyquaternium 4/Hydroxypropyl Starch Copolymer, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, buxus chinensis seed oil | Hair Type: Thin, mature, dry or colored | Size: 5.1 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Colored Hair

Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse

Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Great scent

  • Works well for all hair types

  • Has heat protection

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

“This mousse is hard to beat,” says Pulitano. “It coats each hair fiber, leaving it shiny, full, and manageable—not to mention beautifully bouncy.” 

This soft, velvety, and color-safe formula is amazing for building structure within the hair, ensuring excellent hold and a long-lasting finish. Also, it’s got that signature expensive Oribe scent (need we say more).

Price at time of publish: $39

Key Ingredients: VP/VA Copolymer, panthenol, amber resin extract | Hair Type: All | Size: 5.7 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Normal Hair

Original & Mineral Rootalicious Root Lift Mousse

Original & Mineral Rootalicious Root Lift Mousse

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Vitamin-rich formula

  • Alcohol-free

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more volumizing

Enriched with native Australian quandong and lilly pilly extracts, this mousse is volumizing but supremely nourishing, as well. It works to create a barrier around the roots, lifting the hair up and out. “This is one of my favorite mousses for all hair types, but especially fine and flat,” adds Pulitano. “It coats the hair, lifting from the roots and creating movement that’s natural but long-lasting.” 

Price at time of publish: $50

Key Ingredients: PVP/VA copolymer, quaternium-23, quandong, lilly pilly | Hair Type: All | Size: 10.14 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Frizz

Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse

Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Smooths frizz

  • Non-drying formula

  • Great hold

What We Don't Like
  • May weigh down thin or fine hair

Sick of rain and humidity ruining your blow-dries? Redken’s Full Frame 07 All-Over Mousse is the answer. It contains polymer technology plus castor oil to smooth flyaways, while an anti-frizz shield prevents water from swelling up the hair cuticle. It also manages to add amazing volume without feeling tacky or heavy—in fact, it brushes out easily (no need to shampoo).

Price at time of publish: $24

Key Ingredients: Allyl methacrylate copolymer, lauryl methacrylate copolymer, castor oil | Hair Type: Thick, frizzy hair | Size: 8.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Shine

Virtue Volumizing Mousse

Virtue Volumizing Mousse

Courtesy of Dermstore

What We Like
  • Strengthening formula

  • Boosts shine

  • Adds volume

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Virtue always exceeds our expectations, and this volumizing mousse is no different. It’s packed with keratin, proteins, panthenol, and polymers and will help nourish, strengthen, and build body, all while imparting a healthy-looking shine. The keratin component is actually designed to replenish keratin bonds within the hair, repairing damage and preventing breakage.

Price at time of publish: $38

Key Ingredients: VP/VA copolymer, acrylates copolymer, keratin, hydrolyzed soy protein, wheat amino acids, panthenol | Hair Type: All | Size: 5.1 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Definition

The Doux Mousse Def Texture Foam

The Doux Mousse

Amazon

What We Like
  • Excellent hold and lift

  • Defines curls

  • Lightweight foam

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers note it can dry out your ends

You've definitely seen this product in your feed. This lightweight foam mousse contains natural moisturizers and silk proteins to tamp frizz, lock in moisture and strengthen hair, leaving hair soft and shiny. Reviewers note the formula sculpts and creates definition nicely, without leaving any flakes behind. Reviewers also note that the product can be drying, especially on the ends, so you might need to condition a bit deeper.

Price at time of publish: $15

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, silk amino acids, | Hair Type: All | Size: 7 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Bounce

Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Curl Defining Mousse

Mielle Organics Pomegranate and Honey Curl Defining Mousse

Target

What We Like
  • Reduces frizz

  • Adds shine

What We Don't Like
  • Some reviewers note a sticky feel

This lightweight lifting mousse adds spring to curls. Reviewers note how well it works to make coils pop and that it has amazing holding power. A botanical blend of fruit extracts helps provide humectant hydration while keeping frizz at bay, although some reviewers note it gave the mousse a sticky feeling.

Price at time of publish: $11

Key Ingredients: PVP, silk amino acids, panthenol | Hair Type: All | Size: 7.5 fluid ounces | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

With a blend of nourishing oil and strand-coating polymers, Joico Firm Hold Design Foam is our best overall pick. For a budget-friendly option that's ideal for fine hair, consider John Frieda Volume Lift Air Whipped Foam.

Meet the Expert

  • John Pulitano is a professional hairstylist and the co-owner and creative director of Headcase Hair, a salon in Sydney, Australia.
  • Shelly Aguirre is a hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. She specializes in cutting, blowouts, extensions, and keratin treatments.

What to Look For

Bodifying Ingredients

When it comes to hair that lacks body, look for products that contain ingredients to thicken and plump up the hair shaft. “Polymers, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and even bamboo will lift and fatten fine hair,” says Pulitano. Additionally, look for silk amino acids and panthenol help to strengthen hair, add body, and protect from some of the drying effects of some mousse formulas.

Texture

The texture of your volumizing mousse is also important, explains Pulitano: “I favor products with an airy, silky texture as they’re easier to work with and don’t leave a tacky residue.”

Pulitano adds that while it does differ between brands and formulations, a thicker mousse often dictates a stronger hold, whereas a thinner formula will likely provide a light hold.

FAQ
  • Does volumizing mousse work?

    According to hairstylist Shelly Aguirre of Maxine Salon, yes, volumizing mousses are an effective way to add volume to fine, limp hair textures.

  • How do you apply mousse for volume?

    When applying a volumizing mousse, Aguirre recommends beginning with a golf ball size of the product, emulsifying it in your hands before applying it to damp (not too wet) hair. “Use your fingers to spread the product all over the hair strands,” she says. “You can always add more, but too much is not good, so always err on the side of caution.” From there, you can either let your hair air dry or brush the hair upwards while blow-drying to add extra lift at the roots.

Why Trust Byrdie

For the purpose of this roundup, we’ve tested and tried some of the leading volumizing mousse formulas on the market. We also spoke with trusted hairstylists for expert tips and recommendations. Finally, Byrdie contributor Emily Algar (the writer) is the owner of very fine, soft hair, so she knows a quality volume-boosting product when she sees it.

Updated by Jill Di Donato
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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