Is Mousse Bad for Your Hair? How Much Is Too Much?

Close-up of hairdresser hairstylist female hand with hair mousse spray.
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Hair mousse can really amp up the volume of your hair, and it can bring out your curls and waves. However, have you noticed your hair feeling really dry after using it? If you can take regular breaks from hair products, then do so!

Styling products can dry your hair out, and too much is bad for your hair.

Is mousse bad for your hair? Avoid hair mousse with harsh products and only use a small amount.

  • Mousse contains alcohol and other drying ingredients
  • Excessive use can cause dryness and damage
  • It is advisable to use a mousse designed for your hair type

Let’s discuss the best way to apply mousse and the risks involved when using it.


Is Mousse Bad For Your Hair?

Deva Hair Mousse

Most mousse products contain alcohol as a primary ingredient.

Of course, there is a variation in the amount of alcohol in hair mousse products, which can heavily differ from brand to brand. However, for the formula to dry quickly, alcohol is a crucial component. 

Excessive use of hair mousse can cause hair to dry out, particularly at the ends. It can contribute to hair breakage, frizz, and split ends. The overuse of mousse can also cause irreversible damage to chemically treated and colored hair.

This is why you can’t use standard mousse with a wig or extensions — it will dry the hair out too much.

Even if you’re hair is 100% natural, you should still pay attention to what’s in your mousse!

Here are some chemicals to avoid: 

  • Propylene
  • SLS
  • Isopropyl Alcohol

Further drying and breakage may result from these ingredients. There are some mousse formulas that do not have alcohol, however these are a mixed bag in how well they work.

Maui Moisture Flexible Hold + Coconut Milk Curl Foam Mousse, for Curly Hair Styling, No Drying Alcohols, Parabens or Silicone, 8.5oz
  • Embrace The Curl: Moisturize and...
  • Soft, Crunch-Free Feel: This...
  • 100 Percent Aloe Vera as the First...
  • Easy Styling: Dispense the foam into...
  • Free of Harsh Additives: Love the...

You can also make your own homemade mousse (it’s easy, but you’ll need to use some elbow grease) and keep all the ingredients pure.

Hair mousse works in various ways to style your hair.

When you apply too much volumizing mousse at once, your hair may feel sticky or crunchy, similar to how hair gel can feel. 

Depending on your hair texture and scalp condition, the styling regimen may need to be adjusted to avoid overburdening your hair.

What Is the Best Way to Use Mousse?

Alcohol-Free Hair Mousse

If you are going to apply styling mousse, make sure your hair is damp before applying. If you do, your hair won’t feel sticky or look greasy after using it.

Typically, using a golf ball size is recommended. You can adjust this as needed if you have long or thick hair.

Once you play around with it, you will find an amount that works for you.

Make sure your hair is damp before applying mousse.

Here Is the Best Way to Apply Mousse:

  1. After showering and detangling the hair, apply a thin coating on the surface.
  2. Flip the surface over and glaze it underneath with a small amount.
  3. Spread the mousse between your palms and gently scrunch it together in your hands, ensuring it does not flatten out.
  4. Next, scrunch the ends of your hair upwards to the top of your head with a flat palm first, then go into a clenched fist at the top. Curls are obtained by turning your head so that you get both sides.

Some like to use mousse in combination with a hair dryer, while others prefer to apply mousse on dry hair directly.

Is Hair Mousse Responsible for Hair Loss?

It is possible to lose hair due to hair appliances and other styling activities. Heat styling and extensive product use can cause the hair shaft to break or the hair pulled out of the scalp with excessive pressure.

In addition, mousses and gels with alcohol can cause the hair to dry out, making it more susceptible to damage.

This type of hair loss usually only lasts for a short period.

Recommended Mousse Products to Try

1. Garnier Fructis Creation Mousse     

Garnier Fructis Style Curl Construct Creation Mousse, 6.8 Oz, 1 Count (Packaging May Vary)
  • Styling mousse for curly hair creates...
  • Curl mousse with shea butter defines and...
  • Powerful holding technologies provide...
  • Create and control your curl style of...

Curly or wavy hair will benefit from this hair mousse by Garnier Fructis. Coconut oil and shea butter control frizz and flyaways during humid weather.

This product only needs a small amount to keep curls intact without overdrying your hair.

If you are looking for a good product to give you weightless curls with no build-up or sticky messes, this is for you.

1. Nioxin 3D Styling Volume ‎ 

Nioxin Density Defend Styling Volumizing + Thickening Mousse, 6.7 oz (Packaging May Vary)
  • Incredible Volume: Nioxin Styling...
  • Long-Lasting Hold: Enjoy a hairstyle...
  • Weightless Feel: Our styling mousse has...
  • Professional ingredients: Formulated...
  • Tames static hair: Controls the static...

Heat or other styling choices can cause your hair to become dry or brittle. If this is the case, you can protect yourself from further damage with this mousse.

It can add volume and body to thinning or brittle hair. The thickening polymers in this professional strength mousse create a strong bond between the hair strands and keep them in place.

Shampoo can easily be used to remove it since it leaves no residue. 

How Does Mousse Compare to Gel?

You don’t have to choose between hair mousse and hair gel. Both can provide additional hold or body to your hair. Hair gel is a great tool for controlling unruly hair, particularly frizzy and oily. 

When it comes to giving your hair an elegant or flattened look, for example, a ponytail or bun, gel is a great choice. Additionally, it makes your hair look wet or beachy when you want a relaxed look. 

If you are concerned about the weight of most hair gels, mousse might be your best choice. Hair is also given additional body and volume when using this product. Mousse can be an excellent choice when taming curly hair or creating a wavy look. Hair mousse can be lighter than some hair gels or without being sticky like hair gels can. 

If you are concerned about the weight of most hair gels, mousse might be your best choice.

Do I Need to Wash Out Mousse?

Hair mousse does not always need to be washed out after every use like other beauty products. It’s fine to leave it in, particularly if you re-apply later.

You can restyle mousse daily by wetting your hair and re-applying when necessary.

Instead, a leave-in conditioner can dissolve the mousse and help break it down. Be sure to brush it out well.

Tips When Using Mousse

  1. Keep the heat at a minimum. Hair mousse is sometimes formulated with heat-protecting ingredients. Make sure you choose one if you want to heat style all the time. Take it easy on the heat! You don’t want to fry your head.
  2. Air drying is also an option but may not give you as firm a hold.
  3. Don’t forget to moisturize. If your mousse contains drying ingredients, replace the moisture lost from your hair.
  4. Try to not sleep with mousse in your hair overnight. Occasionally is okay, but doing this frequently can put pressure on the strands and cause damage and breakage.
  5. Never sleep with wet mousse on your hair. This makes your hair more vulnerable while it is drying. Also, tossing and turning can cause damage to damp hair worse than when it is dry.


Mousse is an excellent choice if you want to style your hair. Those with thin or fine hair use it to bulk up their hair, whereas those with curly hair use it to control waves, smooth out frizz, and add definition to their curls.

Mousse doesn’t have to be bad for your hair, but if you’re not careful, your hair can suffer. Pay attention to the ingredients in the mousse you choose. Avoid alcohol in mousse as much as possible, and if you use it, use it sparingly.

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).