How to Tell If Your Favourite Hair Mousse is Bad for Your Hair?

Megan Dominion

Who would not want to use a lighter alternative to heavy consistency products like gels and creams?

Introducing the wonderful hair mousse which is ideal for days when you want to experiment with wash-and-go styles as it gives flair to your locks without having a professional blowout.

Bad hair days? Hair mousse can do the trick. But what if it’s bad for you?

What is a Hair Mousse?

Mousse is French for foam. However, mousse for hair is not the same as the typical foam found in many cosmetic formulations. Hair mousse is a hair styling product that comes in the form of foam and can be used to protect, stiffen, or style the hair. It is lighter in consistency than hair gels and appears more bouncy than cream and contains soft copolymers that give the hair a light hold for a more natural finish.

It has become a favorite staple for hair stylists because of how convenient it is to use. It adds volume to the hair while also conditioning and holding it in place without forming clumps. This product is typically applied to wet hair before styling and gives the hair up to three times the volume of a regular hair volumizer while making the hair softer and shinier. And probably the best part about using a hair mousse is that it does not leave your hair feeling sticky and keeps waves, curls and frizziness at bay while adding volume to thin or fine hair.


What Does It Do?

It is used to add hold and definition to hair strands, as well as to protect and tame your hair and control unruly curls. Mousse keeps frizz at bay while also making your curls bouncy. The right amount of hair mousse can make a big difference.

How and When to Use it?

In applying a hair mousse to your mane, always apply it while the hair is damp. It is best to use it on damp hair after washing it with shampoo and conditioner since it will deeply nourish your hair and provides a great foundation for experimenting with any hairstyle. This will also prevent the mousse from looking or feeling sticky in your hair.

However, it is sometimes used to lift dry curls. In terms of quantity, it is recommended to start with an ample amount, and depending on your hair length and thickness, of course, you can add more.

Pros of Using Hair Mousse

For most girls, hair mousse is a lifesaver, and here’s why:

  • It protects the hair from humidity and keeps the hairstyle in place regardless of the weather;
  • It keeps the hair even from the unruly curls;
  • Due to its fluffy texture, it makes the hair look fuller, thicker, and bouncier;
  • It does not weigh down the hair or grease the curls, but rather keeps them soft, crunch-free, and defined;
  • For fine or limp hair, mousse can instantly lift and add volume;
  • It has a special coating that serves as protection from damage from heating or styling tools;
  • It defines the hair and works on all hair types and textures.

3A curly hair

How to Know if It’s Bad for You?

Although using more products may feel necessary when trying to achieve the desired hairstyle, if it becomes too frequent, it could be a sign that your products are damaging your hair, and using hair mousse excessively is not an exception.

Depending on the formula and brand, hair mousse contains varying amounts of alcohol. Alcohol is an important component of the formula since it promotes rapid drying. Excessive use of hair mousse can cause split ends, hair breakage, and frizziness by drying out the hair strands, especially at the ends. Overusing mousse can also harm chemically treated (permed and straightened) and colored hair. Keep an eye out for the following chemicals:

  • SLS
  • Isopropyl
  • Propylene

These may cause further drying and breakage of the hair. Choose a formula that does not contain alcohol or any of the potentially harmful ingredients.


Stay away from hair mousse containing SLS! SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) is a chemical found in soaps, shampoos, shower gels, and toothpaste.

It acts as a surfactant, attracting oil-based dirt and allowing it to be rinsed away with water. This sulfate produces a lathering foam that some people enjoy, but when left on the scalp, it can damage follicles and has other toxic effects on the human body. SLS should be avoided by anyone with color-treated or dry hair, as it can fade your color and strip your strands of natural oils.


This ingredient is another thing to look out for in your hair mousse. Isopropyl alcohol is a colorless liquid with a musty, sharp odor that is pure alcohol. Since it has a low pH, when applied to the hair, it can cause damage by removing natural oils and can cause the hair shaft to become dry, brittle, and prone to breaking.


The most common propylene hair side effects are dry, brittle strands. Propylene is primarily used to make polypropylene plastics for injection molding and fibers, as well as cumene (used in phenol production). This can be harmful to hair because this synthetic ingredient is harsh on the scalp and hair, causing intensive dryness.

When it comes to having healthy hair, one of the most important factors to consider is the products you use. From shampoos to hair mousse, everyone’s hair has unique requirements. Though hair mousse can be a one-stop solution for most of your hair problems, from taming curls to protecting your tresses from heating tools, you should always be cautious if it’s doing more harm than good.

Megan Dominion

Megan Dominion is SILKUP's Managing Editor. She's been down both the curly hair and skincare rabbit holes many times and loves that there's always something new to learn; a new science, method, product or personal experience.