Is Mousse or Gel Better for Curly Hair? We Finally Got the Answers!

If you’re born with curly or wavy hair, you’ve probably tried out tons of hair products to manage your tresses. 

From creams to sprays, and oils to essences, we curly folks typically rely on an abundance of hair formulas to tame our curls, reduce frizz, and nourish our locks; but the question is, are you doing the right thing? 

In this article, we’re going to discuss mousse and gels—their pros and cons, and which one works better for you. 

is mousse or gel better for curly hair

Mousse for Curly Hair

What are the Pros?

Mousse is fairly lightweight and airy, making it a great choice for volumizing your hair without weighing it down. If you have fine, low-density hair that can’t tolerate too much product, look no further than a good mousse. 

Other than that, mousse can be used while your hair is wet, in order to provide that boost to limp curls without greasing your roots like other products would. 

Mousse is also great for scrunching your hair. 

If you want to amp up your loose waves and curls, mousse can deliver an extra bounce without leaving behind any residue or crisping up your waves and curls.

Most importantly, it’s easy to apply and the result will look completely natural.

How About the Cons of Mousse for Curly Hair, Though?

Mousse may be the knight in shining armor for volume, but it surely isn’t one for definition. It won’t help your curls form tightly, or to last long, but rather, simply provide an extra ‘oomph’.

Being lightweight also means that it lacks moisture. While it works like a charm on fine curls, it’s less helpful on dryness- or frizz-prone locks.

Mousse is especially not the most ideal for those residing in humid climates as it’s not frizz-proof.

Is Mousse Suitable for Curls?

Mousse is ideal if you have fine hair, curls or waves within the 2a/2b/2c/3a range. Girls with thick hair nonetheless, may find that it doesn’t make much of a difference, so mousse very much boils down to the product you use, and the type of hair you naturally have.

Mousse is best applied on towel-dried hair, and you can apply it to your roots for a lightweight volume and then use it to scrunch the mid-lengths and ends to enhance your curls. 

Finally, it’s perfect for adding volume to your hair without weighing it down, but you may find that it lacks hold and definition, that’s when you may need to rely on gel. 

Hair Rules’ Wavy Mousse is a lightweight, airy foam that sets curls textures without leaving behind any sticky residue. Free of chemicals and vegan, we also love that it protects the hair against humidity while retaining its moisture.

is mousse or gel better for curly hair

Gel for Curly Hair

What are the Pros?

So, how does gel compare? Well, it’s extremely versatile—it can be used for scrunching, finger coils and will add definition to looser curls. 

Gel can seal flyaways and fight frizz, making it suitable for fine curls which often appear “fluffy” without the help of a product. It’s especially heavy enough to tame thick, dense hair, too!

Better yet, it layers well, which seems about great for trapping moisture from your leave-in conditioner or hair oil, allowing your curls to look good for longer.

What are the Cons of Gel, Then?

Gel can be really thick and heavy—which isn’t as ideal for those with fine curls and waves as mousse are, and it gets oily very quickly. However, you may opt for some great lightweight options that are available on the market, which are not as gooey and wet-looking.

Be sure to check out the ingredients of the gel before you buy it. Some are packed with alcohol or synthetic, petroleum-based ingredients which may strip and weaken the hair despite being great in prolonging curls. If possible, stick to clean, natural ingredients.

The most prominent downside to gel is that it can make your curls feel sticky or crunchy. Cheap gels you often find in drugstores can potentially dry your hair out and make them feel  rock-solid. You will want to avoid this at all costs!

How Great is Gel on Curly Hair?

You either love it or hate it, but the right gel can surely bring your curls to another level. 

That said, it can be a little heavy for certain hair types, especially finer ones. In that case, opt for a lightweight formula such as our favourite Bumble and Bumble Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil. This product gives a great definition boost and holds on to your curls while fighting frizz caused by humidity. Simply apply it onto your hair and through when it’s wet before leaving it for air dry or blow dry

Let’s Settle This Once And For All, Does Mousse or Gel Work Better on Curly Hair?

Curly haired girls often need to experiment with not only products but with different methods of application. It’s a matter of trial and error, really.

The majority however, will agree it’s best to apply mousse first, and gel second. 

The ‘Mousse/Gel/Mousse’ is a popular method used by many, as you can apply mousse, then gel for definition, then more mousse on top for the volume.

Celine So

Celine So

Be mindful of your words as they are impactful, which also explains why I am fond of writing.

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