Mousse or Gel for Wavy Hair: What’s The Best Way To Rock Your Waves?

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Is it lift and volume that you’re after for your wavy hair? Or do you want more definition of your waves and control of frizz? Mousse and gel are different types of styling products that have their own set of advantages, and they are marketed differently.

For instance, if you have wavy hair that becomes frizzy, then hair gel would be a good option. Meanwhile, mousse would be your best bet if you have thin hair that you want to volumize.

Is this all there is to it? Or are there any hidden secrets that will help you to decide which one you should really use — mousse or gel for wavy hair?

Read on to find out!


Should You Use Mousse or Gel for Wavy Hair?

Both mousse and gel are popular styling products that can be used on wavy hair to create volume or provide hold. But they have unique capabilities of their own, and they work differently.

The one you should choose will depend on the type of wave you want to create and the type of hair you have.

The one you should choose will depend on the type of wave you want to create and the type of hair you have.

Do you Have Curly or Wavy Hair?

To start off, consider your hair. Is it fully curly or is it just wavy? Did you know that there are multiple levels of curl and wave? See our article on wavy vs curly hair to see what you’ve got.

This will help guide you on the products that will work best for you, and those that will leave your hair a frizzy mess.

So, now let’s take a closer look at the characteristics and benefits of using both mousse or gel for wavy hair.


Using Gel for Wavy Hair

Sexy Hair Gel

Hair gel is a thick jelly-like chemical formulation that consists of polymer particles suspended in a colloidal liquid. It is usually either transparent or tinted. The polymers help the gel to spread readily over your hair because it doesn’t absorb into your hair shaft.

This hairstyling product has been around for decades in different formulations. However, in more recent times, gels gained popularity in the 1990s in a mass marketing campaign for men to create the bedhead look.

In general, hair gel is used to keep straight hair, waves, or curls in place, because it can make your hair appear coiffed without frizz. It can also be used to create exaggerated punk styles.

In general, hair gel is used to keep straight hair, waves, or curls in place, because it can make your hair appear coiffed without frizz.

There are hair gels marketed for all hair types, including relaxed, textured, curly or wavy.

If you have wavy hair, then you can use hair gel to add more dimension to your waves, or even create well-defined ringlets, especially if your hair tends to become frizzy after drying it.

You can also use it to seal your ends, create curls through finger coiling, or scrunch your locks for softer-looking waves.

This makes hair gel better at holding your hair in place. Gel does a better job of keeping your hair where it’s supposed to be than mousse does. Gell is also anti-static, and can be combined with curl creams or hair oils to provide even more definition and hydration.

If you have wavy hair, then you can use hair gel to add more dimension to your waves, or even create well-defined ringlets, especially if your hair tends to become frizzy after drying it.

Hair Gel Downsides

Hair gels don’t come without their own challenges, though. For instance, using too much hair gel or using hair gel every day can make your hair go stiff.

And when it is brushed out, hair gel can leave behind white dandruff-like flakes that will have your shoulders looking like it’s Christmas.

In addition, if you use hair gel on longer hair, your strands can appear to clump together and feel stiff. This is particularly true if you apply too much gel from your roots all the way to the tips.

So, let’s take a look to see how hair mousse might be the better choice for longer locks.


Using Mousse for Wavy Hair

Amika Hair Mousse

If you simply want to add more definition to your waves, without the heavy feeling that gel can give your hair, then using mousse will be more effective.

This hairstyling product consists of a light foam that can be combed through your hair — from roots to ends — before you scrunch dry it.

Often dispensed as an aerosol foam, hair mousse gained in popularity during the 1980s, and was the perfect styling tool to create both the spiky and big fluffy hairstyles of the era. The whipped cream-style consistency offers great holding power for tousled and wavy hair.

Often dispensed as an aerosol foam, hair mousse gained in popularity during the 1980s, and was the perfect styling tool to create both the spiky and big fluffy hairstyles of the era.

Hair mousse, unlike gels, will give your waves a more bouncy feel that will appear more defined, and shiny, without the added crunch and stiffness. It also won’t weigh your strands down, and keep your waves looking natural and voluminous.

The product will work best on longer hair that’s been towel dried. After applying the mousse, you can use the mousse to scrunch your hair from the mid-length to the ends, with or without a hair dryer.

And if your hair does best with less product, hair mousse should be added to your routine.

Your hair mousse can also be used on dry or damp hair to revive lifeless waves and give them a lift, and it won’t make your scalp greasy by doing so.

Plus, hair mousse generally contains soothing ingredients that will not only help to control frizz, but also provide the hair with adequate hydration.

Keep in mind, though, that many older mousse formulations contain alcohol and other chemicals that will dry your hair out. Look for mousse with active ingredients like argan oil and avocado oils, which will condition your hair, as well as provide added bounce.

Look for mousse with active ingredients like argan oil and avocado oils, which will condition your hair, as well as provide added bounce.

Hair Mousse Downsides

For all the benefits of using hair mousse on wavy hair, are there any cons to consider?

Well, if you have short hair that needs more control, then using gel will be a better option. Of course, mousse will give you more life and volume, to begin with. But you may find that it becomes sticky and makes your hair feel weighed down.

Also, if you have very fine hair, hair mousse can also tend to make your hair even more frizzy, especially if you live in a climate with humidity that reaches 60% or more.

Hair mousse is just not designed to work in more humid conditions.


Luxe Luminous Mousse and Gel Recommendations

Now we’ll take a look at our recommended hair mousses and gels that will keep your wavy locks looking their best.

However, before we start, one thing to watch out for, if you choose to go the mousse route, is that you should steer clear of formulations that include alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and prolyene.

One thing to watch out for, if you choose to go the mousse route, is that you should steer clear of formulations that include alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and prolyene.

These ingredients will dry out your locks and can cause severe damage if you use the mousse on your hair more than once a week. A healthier product will contain both moisturizing oils and protein, which will help your waves maintain their optimum health.

1. Shea Moisture All Day Frizz Control Milk Gel 

SheaMoisture Milk Gel for Wavy Curly Hair Papaya and Neroli Parabenfree Curl Gel Oz, 8 Ounce
  • SheaMoisture Papaya and neroli milk gel...
  • Block OUT humidity with this...
  • Sheamoistureʼs anti frizz Hair...
  • Infused with straight-from-paradise...
  • Apply gel to damp or use as a dry hair...

This gel is a natural styling gel that’s been specially formulated for wavy and curly hair. It will give your waves a dose of moisture from shea butter, combined with shine and frizz control.

Shea’s Frizz Control Gel comes in a paraben, phthalate, mineral oil and petrolatum-free formula, which will give your hair defined tousled waves that will last all day. It will also provide your locks with a delicious papaya and neroli (orange blossom) scent that will remind you of relaxing in a beach paradise.

2. Wet-n-Wavy Wet Gel Liquid Sculpting Gel 

Wet-n-wavy Wet Gel Liquid Sculpting Gel Salon Proven Formula, 12 Oz
  • Gentle emollients with holding...
  • With naturally wavy hair, the hair is...
  • Hair is left soft to the touch with a...

This is a sculpting gel that has been created from a salon-proven formula. It’s a gel-like liquid that will sculpt your waves to give them definition while adding fullness and leaving your hair soft to the touch.

The gentle emollients that are contained in this liquid sculpting gel will leave your hair with a great shine, help your waves rebound to their original shape, and hold your defined tresses firmly in place. 

3. OUAI’s Air Dry Foam 

OUAI Air Dry Foam. Wash and Wear Mousse for Perfect Air-Dried Waves. Packed with Kale and Carrot Extract to Condition, Protect and Detangle Hair. Free from Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates. (4 oz)
  • OUAI AIR DRY FOAM. Get perfect air-dried...
  • YOUR NEW GO-TO. Getting beachy waves has...
  • OUAI (or “way”) means yes in that...
  • INGREDIENTS THAT GET THE JOB DONE. All...
  • FOR REAL LIFE, FOR REAL PEOPLE....

OUAI’s foam is a wash and wear styling mousse that is perfect for air drying your tousled waves. The lightweight foam contains protein extracts that help condition and protect your hair, including kale and carrot extracts that also work for detangling.

Free from chemical nasties like parabens, sulfates and phthalates, Air Dry Foam will keep your hair frizz free, while providing it with a floral fragrance that contains notes of bergamot, Italian lemon, magnolia, and sandalwood.

4. Xmondo’s Wavetech Wave Foam 

XMONDO Hair Wavetech Wave Foam | Vegan Formula with Pro-Vitamin B5 and Anti-Frizz Nutrients to Fight Static, Control Frizz, and Enhance Your Wavy Hair, 6.7 Fl Oz 1-Pack
  • BE BOLD AND MAKE WAVES: Wavetech Wave...
  • DEFINED WAVES ZERO CRUNCH: Formulated to...
  • HOW TO USE: Distribute product to evenly...
  • CRUELTY-FREE ALL VEGAN INGREDIENTS:...
  • EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED: Perfect for wavy,...

Wavetech Wave foam is a certified vegan, paraben and sulfate free hair mousse that has been designed to enhance your existing wave formation, as well as control potential frizz.

Created especially for this new age of the more defined wave, Wavetech Wave Foam can be used whether you’re using a hair dryer or would rather air dry, and works great for even fine wavy hair.


Conclusion

When you make the decision to use a new product on your hair, do consider that it may take a bit of trial and error before you find the right one that will work perfectly to define your waves. So, will it be mousse or gel for wavy hair?

Well, as you now know, that will depend on whether or not you have long or short waves, and if you’re trying to create more definition or keep your bounce in place.

Written by Kayla Young

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