19 Best Curly Girl Approved Mousses (Buying Guide)

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our full disclosure policy here.

Mousse is a great styling product for curly hair and can provide volume and soft bouncy curls. If you’re not too keen on rock-hard gel casts, then mousse may just be the thing for you.

In this article, I’ll outline 19 of the best mousses for curly hair and yes, they are all Curly Girl approved.

Best Mousses For Curly Hair

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn if you click on them (at no extra cost to you). Please read our full disclosure policy here.

Why Use Mousse Instead Of Gel For Curly Hair?

Whether you’re just naturally curly or you have been following the Curly Girl Method for quite some time, you will be no stranger to the gel cast.

There is no doubt that scrunching out the crunch is one of the more satisfying elements of the Curly Girl routine, however, sometimes the crunch simply doesn’t go away.

Gel works great for providing extreme hold and this is amazing if you’re looking for tight, defined curls. But gel can also weigh down your hair and it’s not really that great for fine or thin hair.

Mousse is not only brilliant when it comes to adding volume to your roots but it can also give you a medium hold cast – perfect for casual days or when you want a more relaxed look.

If you have very curly hair, you may not want super tight curls and mousse can help keep your curls defined but elongated.

If you have wavy hair, mousse can give you a softer beach look rather than gel which can sometimes make hair look greasy.

So take my word for it, try one of the Curly Girl approved mousses below and you won’t regret it.

19 Best Mousses For Curly Hair (Curly Girl Approved)

1. BEST OVERALL – Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse

Herbal Essences Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse

What I like

A fantastic inexpensive mousse that tames it all. It dries a little crunchy, but scrunch out to reveal soft, well-defined ringlets and waves.

What I Don’t like

The plastic nozzle can easily break so be careful.

This mousse from Herbal Essences offers an incredibly light hold and an easily breakable cast that delivers soft, bouncy waves and curls that will last all day. Great for frizz-control and flyaways and helps to boost and define your curls. Can be used daily and is color-safe and pH-balanced.


2. BEST VALUE – Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Wave Whip Curling Mousse

Cantu Shea Butter for Natural Hair Wave Whip Curling Mousse

What I like

Super affordable product that leaves my curls feeling soft and beautiful with no flakes.

What I Don’t like

Texture is quite light so may not be the best for fine, thin hair.

A light-textured mousse that controls frizzy and has a fantastic scent. This mousse from Cantu contains pure Shea butter which helps to moisturize your locks while simultaneously creating soft, bouncy curls. It has a medium hold and won’t create a cast but if you’re looking for softer curls or waves without the crunch, this is for you.


3. BEST FOR DRY HAIR – Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam

Innersense I Create Lift Volumizing Foam

What I like

Perfect for creating volume in fine, thin, or limp hair without making it feel sticky.

What I Don’t like

The bottle is not the best so can leak if you’re not careful.

This volumizing foam mousse from Innersense will bring your dry, frizzy curls to life. it has a lightweight consistency which helps to create volume while ingredients such as honey and aloe vera offer maximum hydration. Continued use will definitely make a difference for both your hair texture as well as reduce frizz. Use alongside The Innersense I Create Hold gel for a harder cast.


4. bEST ANTI-FRIZZ – Aunt Jackie’s – Frizz Patrol Anti Poof Setting Mousse

Aunt Jackie’s – Frizz Patrol Anti Poof Setting Mousse

What I like

This mousse leaves curls soft, frizz-free, and with lots of definition.

What I Don’t like

Best used on its own and not with other leave-in products.

This curl setting mousse from Aunt Jackie’s is a lightweight mousse that leaves waves and curls smooth, shiny, and defined. The formula contains grapeseed oil and jojoba oil which offers penetrating hydration. The mousse doesn’t leave any build-up or residue and can be used daily alongside other styling products if needed.


5. BEST FOR FINE HAIR – Giovanni Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam

Giovanni Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam

What I like

Curls feel super soft and hold all day! It is also cruelty-free and eco-friendly.

What I Don’t like

The scent doesn’t last long.

This lightweight foam from Giovanni is a game-changer. It gives curls a natural weightless look and adds volume to roots. Can be used in conjunction with gel on wash days or even on refresh days when your curls need an extra boost. A great addition to your routine if you’ve been wanting to try a lighter alternative to gel.


6. Pantene Pro-V Maximum Hold Mousse

Pantene Pro-V Maximum Hold Mousse

What I like

Super affordable volumizing mousse that holds in curls of all lengths. 

What I Don’t like

The nozzle can be a bit tricky to handle.

This mousse from Pantene is a firm favorite amongst CG followers. The formula is non-sticky and lightweight which allows for maximum volume and soft curls. The mousse has a strong hold which ensures that your curls stay in place throughout the day. It also allows for curl flexibility and elasticity and helps to prevent frizz and flyaways. A great affordable mousse for a healthy-looking finish.


7. Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse

Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Mousse

What I like

Really great in humid weather and holds curls all day. Has a great smell!

What I Don’t like

The product can feel a little sticky.

This is a medium hold mousse from Herbal Essences and helps to condition, smooth, and define your wavy and curly locks. Tame flyaways and nourish your hair with this lightweight product that won’t leave a flaky residue. This mousse also has a fantastic scent and works great for both wash days and refresh days. Use before diffusing to get a stronger cast and scrunch out the crunch to reveal soft, shiny curls.


8. Aussie Miracle Curls Mousse

Aussie Miracle Curls Mousse

What I like

Has an excellent hold on day one curls and you only need a tiny bit for a second-day refresh.

What I Don’t like

Can leave a bit of a crunch like a cast. Scrunch out for maximum effect.

This mousse from Aussie is great for those who don’t fancy a hard cast. It provides curls with softness and bounce without feeling sticky or heavy. If you’re looking for an everyday mousse to help define your curls, this is it.


9. John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse*

John Frieda Frizz Ease Curl Reviver Mousse

What I like

Defines and shapes curls, leaving them bouncy and without any frizz.

What I Don’t like

The scent could be nicer.

This mousse from John Frieda is a great product if you’re looking for soft, loose curls. It contains a thermal protectant as well as UV filter which helps to prevent damage from heat styling and environmental factors. The consistency of this mousse is lightweight and non-sticky which allows for a voluminous look without the crunch or stiffness. Use alongside a gel for a stronger cast.

* Mulitple versions exist of this product, some which are not CG friendly. Always check the ingredients list


10. Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Curl Activating Mousse

Not Your Mother's Curl Talk Curl Activating Mousse

What I like

A little goes a long way and curls feel healthier and softer.

What I Don’t like

Can be a bit drying for highly porous hair.

This mousse will give you long-lasting hold and humidity control. It helps to activate your natural curl pattern and offers amazing frizz control. You only need a small amount to see instant results. The mousse also protects against environmental stressors so that you can have bouncy, shiny and voluminous curls.


11. SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

What I like

A soft hold so it’s perfect for tight curls and coils.

What I Don’t like

May not provide enough gold for waves and fine hair.

This hair mousse from SheaMoisture helps you keep your curls defined and free from frizz. The mousse is rich in moisture and enhances your natural waves or curl pattern. The mousse is not sticky, crunchy, or flaky and the result is voluminous curls with a soft shine. Perfect for managing fizz in humid conditions and coconut oil has been added to help moisturize and protect dry, brittle hair from breakage.


12. Wella EIMI Extra Volume Mousse Strong Hold Volumizing Mousse

Wella EIMI Extra Volume Mousse Strong Hold Volumizing Mousse

What I like

Provides curls with lots of body and volume without the sticky, heavy feeling.

What I Don’t like

It’s quite pricey.

This lightweight mousse offers volume and moisture for visibly defined curls. It has a strong hold and is humidity resistant. With its weightless texture, curls stay flexible and touchable throughout the day. Can also be used alongside a gel or other smoothing styling products.


13. Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Curl Activating Mousse

Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Curl Activating Mousse

What I like

Provides a light cast and has a great smell.

What I Don’t like

May be too light for heavy curls.

This vegan curl mousse from Umberto Giannini is perfect for those who aren’t necessarily looking for a cast but for softer, bouncier waves or curls. The mousse offers a voluminous boost and helps transform dull hair into shapely and bouncy curls. Use by scrunching into damp hair and leave to dry or diffuse. Can be used alongside other styling products for a stronger hold.


14. Cake The Curl Whip Whipped Curl Mousse

Cake The Curl Whip Whipped Curl Mousse

What I like

Really plumps up curls and hair looks fuller with volume.

What I Don’t like

Doesn’t have the best of slips.

The Curl Whip Whipped Curl mousse from Cake offers great curl control and definition without a heavy feel. This lightweight product gives your locks a natural, soft hold with zero crunch. Protects against frizz and gives your hair great volume. Use before diffusing or air drying.


15. L’Oreal Paris Elnett Crème De Mousse Strong Hold

L'Oreal Paris Elnett Crème De Mousse Strong Hold

What I like

Great for humidity protection and frizz-free curls.

What I Don’t like

Often not in stock.

This mousse from L’Oreal is super lightweight and brings out incredible volume and fullness to hair. It has a satin-soft creme consistency which nourishes curls and gives them a strong hold. The mousse is non-greasy and works well in conjunction with other styling products without being sticky or crunchy


16. AG Hair Curl Mousse Gel

AG Hair Curl Mousse Gel

What I like

Excellent for humid conditions.

What I Don’t like

Can be a bit drying.

This is a lightweight mousse gel that promises a firm hold while adding long-lasting shine. The gel is infused with silk protein for additional moisture, strength, and elasticity. For best use, apply to wet hair and wait until a cast sets. Scrunch out the cast and style.


17. Schwarzkopf Mad about Curls Light Whipped Foam

Schwarzkopf Mad about Curls Light Whipped Foam

What I like

Provides a soft cast that leaves curls bouncy and healthy-looking.

What I Don’t like

A bit expensive.

This is a lightweight styling foam from Schwarzkopf. It contains glycerine which can help with frizz control and the moisturizing formula softens and enhances the natural definition of your curls. A great mousse for tight curls or coils that provides optimum hydration.


18. ORS Curls Unleashed Green Tea and Mango Shine and Define Mousse

ORS Curls Unleashed Green Tea and Mango Shine and Define Mousse

What I like

Great for thin, fine hair. The formula is lightweight and has a lovely smell.

What I Don’t like

Not the best for short hair.

This Shine & Define Mousse from ORS is guaranteed to give you bouncy and soft curls without frizz or crunch. The foamy texture is lightweight and provides lots of moisture and shine. This mousse helps to increase volume and curl definition and leaves hair so soft and touchable it feels like you didn’t use a product at all. Works very well with other styling products for an even stronger hold and additional frizz-control.


19. The Mane Choice Pink Lemonade & Coconut Beautifier Mousse

The Mane Choice Pink Lemonade & Coconut Beautifier Mousse

What I like

I found that you get amazing curl definition with this gel as well as keeping the volume on the top of your hair.

What I Don’t like

If you use a lot of the product it can give you that ‘wet curl’ look. But a little goes a long way.

This mousse is formulated to help provide definition and hydration to your curls. The texture is lightweight and is therefore suitable for tight curls as well as wavy hair. The formula is enriched with Biotin for hair growth as well as vitamin D for healthier and thicker hair. Finally, the anti-frizz formula which is enriched with vitamins and oils helps to produce soft, bouncy curls.


Benefits Of Using Mousse On Curly Hair

Benefits Of Using Mousse On Curly Hair

If you have only used gel so far on curly hair, it’s time to give mousse a try.

Mousse is lightweight compared to gel and even though it may not have the same strength hold, it can still give you incredibly bouncy curls.

Here are some of the top benefits of using mousse on curly hair:

1. It Doesn’t Weigh Hair Down

One of the downfalls of using a lot of product like gel in curly hair is that it tends to weigh down your locks. Mousse is much lighter and therefore doesn’t give you that heavy feeling.

2. Adds Volume

Mousse is great for volume. One of the hardest things about managing curly hair is to not only get bouncy soft curls but retain height and volume at the same time.

When breaking the gel cast, often your curls may look amazing but you’re lacking volume at the roots.

Mousse can be used to counteract this by lifting up your hair at the crown.

3. Is Great For Thin Or Fine Hair

Mousse is a friend to thin and fine hair. The lightweight texture helps to add volume and height to fine hair in a much better way than gel ever will.

4. Can Give A Cast That Doesn’t Crunch

Although it is super satisfying to ‘scrunch out the crunch’ when breaking a gel cast, often enough the cast will leave behind a crunchy feeling.

Your hair may not be as soft as you were expecting and this is where mousse comes in.

Mousse can also give you a cast but it will never be as hard and as crunchy as gel.

So if you have very tight curls or wavy hair, try using mousse instead of gel.

For tight curls, the mousse may help elongate your locks and for a wavy tousled look, mousse gives more volume than gel will.

5. Leaves Hair Feeling Light And Soft

As mousse has a very different texture to gloopy, sticky gel, it is guaranteed to leave your hair feeling soft, shiny, and light.

However, do note that if you suffer from dry hair or have highly porous hair, mousse may dry out your curls.

It’s always best to experiment to see which styling product works best for you.

6. Gives A More Subtle Look

A gel cast can give you a super-defined look, perfect curls without a stray hair in sight.

But this look can also be very rigid and sometimes you just want softer curls. This is where mousse really shines.

Although it doesn’t have the same strength hold as gel, it is still super effective in managing curls and their shape.

For a day at the beach or a night out with friends, try using mousse instead of gel to enjoy a more relaxed curly look. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Layer Mousse With Gel Or Other Products?

Yes, you can layer mousse with gel, leave-in conditioners, and other products. Mousse can be drying so it may be a good idea to add oil or conditioner to your curls before proceeding with styling.

Does Mousse Leave Flaky White Residue?

Generally, mousse does not leave flaky white residue in hair like gel does. This is because mousse does not contain the same jelly-like substances or ingredients as gel.

How Long Can Mousse Hold Curly Hair?

Depending on the level of hold, mousse should be able to hold curly hair for at least 6 hours. If you are out in adverse weather conditioners like rain then mousse will not hold for very long. Pick a mousse with extra strong hold if you’re worried about its durability.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

Photo of author

Dee

Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.