Though it might have a bad rap, mousse is actually one of the most versatile products a curly-haired person could own. But unlike the styling products we used in middle school, best mousses for curly hair won't make your hair feel crunchy or sticky; Instead, they'll help define and moisturize curls using a blend of nourishing ingredients. And here's a not-so-fun fact: Most mousses packaged in traditional aerosol bottles contain butane or propane to help propel them out of the bottle (in beauty, these are literally referred to as propellents). Assuming you don't want to be spraying these potentially irritating, headache-inducing gasses all over your head and face, all of the mousses listed below are packaged in non-aerosol, pump-top bottles, and are therefore butane- and propane-free.
Scroll on to shop three of the best mousses you can buy for curly hair, all for $15 or less on Amazon, nonetheless.
Editor's note: Looking to give your hair a boost? Then you might be better served by one of the best mousses for volume.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. The Drugstore Favorite
This coconut-scented mousse from OGX helps create bouncy, defined curls using a formula rich in coconut oil (other key ingredients you'll find here include honey and citrus oils). It also works to tame flyaways, boost shine, and impart moisture — all for less than $10.
Fans report that this rich mousse has especially good hold, and that it's a great product for turning wavy hair into bouncy, defined curls. At 10 ounces, it's the biggest bottle on this list, too.
2. The One That Smells Like A Tropical Island
All the mousses featured in this article smell pretty good, but there are few hair products in general that compare to the ones from SheaMoisture's cult-favorite coconut and hibiscus line. But besides just smelling delicious (think sitting-on-a-tropical-island-sipping-a-fresh-fruit-smoothie), this mousse also does its job beautifully. Using nourishing ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, neem oil, and silk proteins, it helps restore hydration, tame frizz, increase shine, and enhance your natural curl pattern. It might even replace your favorite perfume.
3. The Milky One
This "Hair Milk" mousse from Carol's Daughter has a fluffy, milky consistency (kind of like cappuccino foam) and a formula that sounds delicious enough to eat (ingredients like honey, agave nectar, cocoa butter, and macadamia oil are all included here). Similarly to the other mousses on this list, it works to create defined waves and curls, impart shine, and reduce frizz. You might find this mousse to be a little less moisturizing than the OGX and SheaMoisture products, but that's because it's so wonderfully lightweight, which makes it a good choice for any hair type.
"This is the best curly hair product I've ever found. It makes my curls spring up and it doesn't dry crunchy," wrote one Amazon reviewer. Another person commented, "It keeps my curls frizz-free without any greasy feeling. It's incredibly light - like the fluffiest mousse you can imagine. One pump and my curls look great and stand up to humidity."
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Another way to create bouncy, defined curls is to use a curl-defining cream, like this one from Moroccanoil. Though all the mousses featured above promise not to be crunchy or sticky, you're guaranteed not to experience any of that with a cream. Creams are inherently more moisturizing than foams, too, so this is probably the better choice if your hair is on the dry side. In addition to enhancing your natural curl pattern, this cream works to soften and smooth hair, reduce flyaways and frizz, and add shine. It also features Moroccanoil's signature spicy-sweet fragrance, so this is another great option if a product's scent is a selling factor for you.