I've spent a lot of time perfecting my"air-dry-and-go haircare routine—it's certainly one I've come to rely on as my signature style. My hair is fine but super textured, so any product I use on it has to be nourishing and hydrating, but never too heavy it'll give my curls any extra weight. As such, I've always shied away from using mousse. It has consistently yielded greasy, crunchy results, and I certainly don't have time for that. Aside from a textured blowout (Mark Townsend applies Dove Volume Amplifier Mousse, $6, on dry hair post-blowout for the ever-elusive Olsen lived-in look), I've skipped mousse altogether in favor of hair oils.
But when Jen Atkin launched her newest Ouai product, a mousse meant specifically for non-crispy, air-dried hair, I had to bite.
Upon contact, the light-as-air foam bubbles up and feels practically weightless. It emits one of the brand's signature scents (Ouai No.2, a combination of bergamot, Italian lemon, rose de mai, sandalwood, and amber), which got me excited even before I applied it to my hair. The mousse is made from kale extract, which activates a natural wave and texture; panthenol, to condition and protect your hair while adding shine; and carrot protein for humidity resistance. The directions on the bottle say to massage the formula into damp hair, scrunch, and go, which feels easy enough.
I towel-dried my hair a bit so it was damper than soaking wet post-shower and gave it go. Atkin suggests applying the foam from mid-lengths to ends for a more lived-in feel (my favorite), so I did just that. Plus, I like leaving my roots product-free for added lift and volume.
Then I had to wait. My hair takes about an hour to dry, so I decided to throw a face mask on and watch a show on Netflix. I walked back over 59 minutes later and stared at my hair in the mirror. It was perfect. My waves were shiny (which never happens), volumized, and super soft. There was a ton of texture, but my curl pattern was perfectly intact. I ran my fingers through my hair to break up the curls a bit and add even more volume, and that was it. My hair was done, and I hadn't done a thing to it (save for adding this newly minted holy grail product).
For me, it's a no-brainer: I will absolutely use it again (and again and again). Another win for Jen Atkin—but did you really expect anything less?