Hair Mousse Alternatives: What Else Is Out There?

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Some people use mousse for hold. Others for volume. Others for curls. Mousse is very useful… but what else is out there?

In this article, we’ll look at several of the best hair mousse alternatives, and we’ll give you some ideas for how you can use these products to amp up your hairstyle.

But some find that too much mousse is bad for their hair. If you are on the hunt for another way to style your hair or just want to give it some hold without having to use drying hair mousse, then you’re at the right place.

We’re going to take a look at some of the best alternatives for hair mousse out there. Read on for more.


Hair Mousse Alternatives

1. Hair Paste

Hair Paste

Hair paste is a great alternative to hair mousse that you may not have heard of before. It can be used to add a bit of texture to pretty much any hair type and can help add more volume to your hair without adding any additional weight.

Hair paste works best on clean, slightly damp hair so as best to avoid a feeling of stickiness. 

Hair paste also has the added advantage of letting your hair move and fall naturally while still providing plenty of hold for all-day wear. If you want to be able to get rid of that pesky frizz, hair paste works well. 

It’s generally been marketed toward men, but there are now many hair pastes targeting women as well.

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2. Hair Gel

Paul Mitchell Hair Gel

Hair gel is probably the most common hair product on the market, and for good reason – it’s one of the best products you can use to keep your hair in place. It generally provides a much more long-lasting hold than hairspray and is good for smooth and flattened looks, like quiffs or ponytails. 

Hair gel is probably the most common hair product.

If you want a product that offers slightly more control than the average hair mousse, then hair gel will be your best friend. For the best results, take a nickel-sized amount of gel, rub it around in your hands, and gently run it through your hair for an all-day hold. 

Some gels, however, might leave behind a sticky residue, especially on your hands.

Be sure to check the label to ensure that it is sulfate and residue-free hair gel. 

Paul Mitchell Super Clean Sculpting Gel, Firm Hold, High Shine Finish Hair Gel, For All Hair Types, 6.8 fl. oz.
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  • Apply a small amount to clean, damp hair

3. Hair Putty

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Hair putty is quite similar to hair wax (or pomade, see below) and is really useful if you’re styling and holding shorter hair.

If you’re a fan of the tousled or piecey look, then hair putty will help you achieve that while keeping your hair in place throughout the day.

Most hair putty formulae are soluble in water and offer a strong, day-long hold that won’t leave your hair feeling dry or crusty.

However, it is best to rinse the putty out of your hair at the end of the day, as it does tend to make the hair feel slightly heavier than usual. 

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4. Hair Spritz and Hair Spray

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One of the best products to keep your hair in place all day while still giving it some good flexible movement is a hair spritz and hair spray. While some of these sprays will have more holding abilities than others, generally speaking, a hair spritz is gentle enough to allow you to brush your hair without worry after applying it.

If your hair is curly or more susceptible to getting dry throughout the day, then a light hair spritz can be an invaluable addition to your purse. 

5. Shaping Spray

Shaping Spray

Shaping spray is often confused with holding spray, though shaping spray can work just as well as the average hair mousse. It can give you good control over your hair without having too much hold and without having to put up with a messy mousse. 

These sprays also help mold and shape the hair as you apply it while still giving it the freedom it needs to move freely throughout the day.

Many shaping sprays also come with UV protection to keep your scalp and hair as healthy as possible throughout the day. 

6. Hair Pomade


Pomade is another excellent hair mousse alternative. It can provide the tousled, piecy look, and it’s great for those with short hair. We’ve done a head to head pomade vs mousse comparison here.

A good-quality pomade will work well to ensure that your hair stays in place. If you are on the hunt for a styling product that allows you to create slick looks – side parts, ponytails, etc. – then look no further than hair pomade. 

It can help you create hairstyles that can last a full day while also leaving your hair with a natural, healthy shine. It’s important to remember that pomades can be pretty difficult to wash out, so make sure that you’ve got some shampoo on hand before you go out and purchase a pomade. 

Like hair paste, pomade is primarily marketed toward men as a way to make their hair shine, and keep the style in place. But more and more pomades are being made for women, and there are lots of great new options out there.

OUAI Matte Hair Pomade - Styling Paste for Moldable Hold, Texture, Separation & Frizz Control - Leaves Matte Finish for Cool Yet Casual Hair - Paraben Free Hair Styling Products (1.7 Oz)
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What Hair Mousse is Used For

closeup white hair mousse on blue background

There is a range of benefits that hair mousse can provide, depending on the kind you buy and the type of hair you have.

Here’s a quick rundown:

1. Holds styles

Hair mousse works great for keeping your hairstyle in place. Many people prefer mousse over gels for its lightweight texture and superior holding power.

It provides a lightweight hold while taming that annoying frizz that pops up throughout the day.

2. Defines textured hair

Hair mousse can be applied to all hair types and textures, whether your hair is curly, straight, thick, or thin. However, they are particularly good at giving curly hair some added definition, making your curls feel more bouncy and lightweight.

With that being said, they can also provide straighter hair with slight curled patterns or waves that work well to create unique styles.

3. Volumizing

Volumizing mousse

Perhaps the greatest benefit of using hair mousse is that it adds mega volume to your hair. This comes in handy when you’re trying to create different styles and designs that require a bigger, voluminous appearance. 

The greatest benefit of using hair mousse is that it adds volume to your hair.

If you prefer voluminous hair, but don’t want to deal with the annoying flakiness that comes with using certain hair products, then hair mousse is definitely the way to go. It foams up and spreads easily into the hair, getting right down to the root to add volume to the hair and make it appear fuller when styling. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).