At Who What Wear, we're always asking top hairdressers the golden question that we all want to know the answer to: How can we make our hair look thicker? You see, you just can't beat that look and feeling of stepping out of the salon with a voluminous blow-dry, but it can be tricky to recreate at home, especially if you have hair that's on the finer side or that tends to fall a little flat after styling. There are ways to boost your hair's volume—whether it be with a volumising styling spray or a new hair colour to feign thicker hair—but it can be tricky to find a way to boost your hair's volume without it feeling weighed down or falling flat an hour after you've styled it.
Jennifer Lopez is one of our top picks for hair inspiration, and we love these volumised, bouncy curls created by celebrity hairdresser Chris Appleton.
However, there's a product we've totally been sleeping on, and it is currently being used by just about every top celebrity hairdresser right now to create full, voluminous hair on the red carpet. The product in question? Hair mousse. While it once garnered a reputation for being a little old-fashioned, we can assure you that hair mousse is firmly back on our dressing tables.
"Hair mousse was first created around the '60s with the idea to create maximum volume to hair. Initially, it had a very sticky texture," says expert hairstylist Larry King.
How to Use Hair Mousse
"The best way to use a hair mousse is to really pump out a golf ball–size amount into the palm of your hands and then use your fingers to take small amounts and slowly rake it through the hair, starting at the ends and using the remaining amount of mousse to be scrunched into the roots," says King. "If you have curly hair, I would do the same thing, but always scrunch into the hair. Do not rake through the hair because this can create frizz. So always scrunch into the hair, starting at the mid-lengths to ends and then ending the last amount scrunching at the roots."
The great thing about mousse is that it can work for all hair types and textures. "Mousse is really good because it encourages really defined curls or coils in type 3 and type 4 hair," he says. "If you have type 1 or type 2 (think poker-straight hair or hair with a wave)—where you're looking for the maximum amount of volume, maybe looking to hold in any waves or shapes you're creating with your blow-dry—then hair mousse is the ideal product to give you that hold but also give you volume."
We put several hair mousses to the test, and these 16 below are the best mousses that are deserving of your hard-earned money.
16 of the Best Hair Mousses
Larry King's mousse is a nod to his nanna's penchant for glamorous, bouncy blow-dries. This formula helps to thicken the hair and leaves a soft hold, so your hair won't feel weighed down or crunchy. "The foam is encouraged to really create the maximum amount of volume whilst also maintaining a really nice shine and also giving you the movement and the naturalness. When you run your fingers through your hair, it's as if there's no product in your hair," says King.
This mousse costs less than a coffee and will help boost flat roots without being heavy due to its lightweight formula. It also has so many five-star reviews.
If you find that your roots get oily quickly, then this dry shampoo–mousse hybrid will solve your qualms. It works like a dry shampoo by absorbing excess oil (without a powdery residue) and is a great way to refresh your hair between washes if you're switching up your style.
This lightweight, aerated formula helps to add body and definition to curls, and the shea-enriched formula helps to moisturise lengths for a shiny, frizz-free finish.
If you have blonde hair, you might already use a toning product (which are often tinted purple to counteract yellow tones) to keep your colour looking fresh. This is a two-in-one mousse and toning product, so you can protect your hair colour and achieve volume.