Maybe it’s your mom’s prom photo wherein she’s rocking tight, moussed-up curls or the fact that you’re scared stiff of reaping mousse’s crunchy consequences. Whatever it is, you’ve been shunning the foamy substance for far too long—and not for good reason. Our advice to you? Conquer your fears and make amends for the way you’ve been treating mousse. Why? Simple. It’s the overlooked pre-styling step to voluminous hair, the key to plumping strands, and necessary for infusing body into any look you’re after. Scroll below for a roundup of celebrity hairstylists’ best hair mousse products, and their favorite ways to use them.
Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse: $32
“I love that it gives lasting height and thickens up the hair. Disperse a golfball-size amount throughout damp hair then blow dry until hair is 80 percent dry. Then, apply another golfball size amount of mousse to the root to get extra volume and finish blow drying.” –Carly Walters
Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Styling Mousse: $8.49
“At a consumer-friendly price, it is incredibly versatile and provides incredible results. It does not flake and actually gives the volume it claims. I either use the product on wet or dry hair. It gives very similar results depending on the situation. I focus the bulk of the product at the scalp area and then lightly apply the rest to the ends. This gives tremendous volume with control, and long-lasting hold in the ends of the hair.” –Michael Dueñas
Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse: $39
“This is hands down the best hair mousse! I love it because it creates touchable grip in the hair. It builds foundation and body on thinner hair and hold and definition on more dense hair. It gives hair some memory. Best part is, it’s never sticky. Super pliable. I saturate my clients hair with it. I take a comb and dip it into a liberal about of mousse that I disperse into my palm and comb through wet hair, roots to ends. Use it all over. Section hair and comb through each section and then rough dry the hair with fingers and over direct the roots in every direction to remove most of the water. Finish with a round brush or paddle brush, depending on the look. Tip: I also put this mousse on dry hair and re-blow dry to reactivate body.” –Christine Symonds
Big Sexy Hair Altitude Bodifying Blow Dry Mousse: $19.95
“I have used Big Altitude for years, it’s my go-to mousse for adding a ton of body without the added heavy product feel. This mousse allows you to infuse the hair with grit and an amount of hold which responds really well to heat styling later. Starting on damp hair, I like to mousse it up all over and finish off with a few drops of serum through the ends. I like a strong hold volumnizing mousse for pre-styling tousled bed head, beach waves, and even a beautiful ’90s blowout. Let’s not be confused on conditioning mousses, these have a place and are wonderful for natural waves and softer air-dried styles.” —Brittany Gharring
Looking for a mousse that won’t leave your hair crunchy? Check out THESE five weightless mousse options!