Hair Mousse

Hair mousse
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Q: Hello. I've been told that mousse works really well on wavy, "poofy" hair, to make it look and feel softer, sleeker, and manageable. I have naturally thick, brown wavy hair a little passed my shoulders that always poofs up after I blow-dry it or let it dry on its own. I'm somewhat tired of having to straighten it all the time (it flattens my hair and eliminates the poof) because I'm afraid I will lose a lot of hair in the future.
I use good hair products, and obviously, I use moisturizing products like conditioners, shampoo, and leave-in conditioner because I straighten my hair. I miss my wavy hair although I don't like it to be poofy or frizzy at all. My hair is fairly healthy, so I don't want to risk a chance of using something in my hair that will end up damaging it. Is mousse really the best thing for people with my hair type (or any hair type at all)? What are the risks?

A: As with any styling product, the level of results you get stem from a number of factors. The quality of the product itself, the type of hair you have, and the results you are aiming for as opposed to what the product is capable of.
If your goal is to reduce frizz and poof in your hair and leave your hair feeling softer, sleeker and more manageable, you should be looking to get these benefits from your shampoo and conditioner. Mousse and other styling products are generally designed for controlling and holding a style.
Mousse, like other styling products, is designed to provide hold and control of the hair. It can be used in conjunction with a blow dryer and flat iron to straighten the hair. It could be used with rollers to perform a wet set and give long lasting soft curl. It can also be used on naturally curly hair to help create a look of defined curls and give some added hold and control of poof and frizz in the curls.
Generally, the things to remember to maintain healthy hair are these:
 • Keep away from product formulas that contain alcohol which can dry-out and damage the hair.
 • Minimize the amount of heat styling you expose your hair to on a regular basis, and minimize the amount of heat you use when you do style the hair with thermal appliances.
Mousse is an excellent product for creating soft, long lasting hold. This is in comparison to products like gels which generally produce firmer hold in a style, or pomades and wax-based products which give a firmer hold that is pliable and can be changed somewhat after the style is set.
With some hair types - particularly very coarse, curly hair - a styling mousse just isn't sufficient to give enough hold and control of the hair to get the look of clean, defined curls. In these cases, you need to experiment with different products and see what works best for you. Given what you describe, I recommend first using your mousse on freshly washed and towel-dried hair.
Apply the mousse to the damp hair and use a wide tooth comb to evenly distribute the product. Afterward, use your fingers to take small segments of the hair and wrap the hair around your fingers to create coils. Do this all over the head and allow the hair to airdry. Do not touch the curls once they are dry, since this will break their cohesion and cause them to poof again.
Remember that when you are fighting the poof, the less you handle the hair after styling it, the better your results will be.
See also:
How to tame hair with poof
Causes and treatments for frizzy hair
Problem with dry and frizzy hair after blow-drying