Mousse or Gel for Thick Hair? [When to Use Mousse & When to Use Gel]

You would think that keeping your thick curls and edges defined just through a workday would be simple, with the number of hair care products that you spend money on. Especially those products that say they work on thick and coarse hair.

But alas, that is never the case, and most products are disappointing.

Taming and defining thick hair is difficult, even after you take utmost care to keep moisturized and laden with the necessary protein balance.

And your search ends now. In this article we are here with the best hair care products for thick hair, that focus on keeping your curl definition and shine in place.

Mousse or Gel for Thick Hair – Which is better?

For curly-haired women balancing between definition and softness is huge. Growing up, we have all made mistakes on either side of the spectrum. And the balance is hard to come by, without a lot of trial and error.

While gel will give you that perfect definition and can set your hair for a long duration, they can weigh your hair down. On the other hand, mousse can be easy to apply and leave your hair looking natural, they can be disastrous in high humid climates.

We all know how humidity can affect curly and thick hair heads. Remember Monica from Barbados, anyone?

Yes, humidity adds its own volume to the hair, by letting the moisture in the air settle in those large follicles in your hair. This makes your hair frizzy and unruly, and sometimes a real nightmare.

A good mousse or gel should act as a sealant when you apply them over your hair strands, holding the natural moisture in and not letting the humidity add in more.

And this distinction mainly comes from the ingredients and composition of these two hair products.

A gel is usually a sticky wax or paste-like consistency which is due to the heavy and highly moisturizing oils in them. These oils form a coating over the hair strand and help them stay defined and sculpted.

On the other hand, mousse is light-weighted and is foam-based, making it easy to apply and style when your hair is already dried. And it does not give a stronger coating to your thicker hair.

So making a choice between these two products can be tricky.

And does that mean thick-haired beauties are struck with crunchy-looking gels forever? No, there are both mousses and gels that work well with thick hair, and read on to find more about them.

When to use Mousse for Thick Hair?

Many thick curly-haired women have been swearing by their gel products for years now. But after the great come-back of the mousse in the last few years, there are many heart changes.

Yes, mousses do work for thick hair, and they are so versatile that we cannot even ignore them anymore. Mousses do not just pump up the volume, but they make your curls look natural.

Are you going for the easy, beach curl look? Mousse is your friend. They don’t weigh your hair down and they are so easy to apply, even on your roots.

Top 3 Mousse for Thick Hair

Thick-haired women (and men) rarely go for mousse as a styling product, because of all the bad reputations over the years. But here are three mousses that will change your opinion about them.

1. Kenra Perfect Blowout

Why reserve the special blown-out styles for a special day when you can achieve it at the comfort of your home?

This hair control crème from Kenra is perfect if you are looking to blow dry your hair after wash.

With thermal protection up to 450 degrees F, Kenra Perfect Blowout helps to tame your thick hair within minutes.

This lightweight mousse leaves your hair shining and smooth to touch, for hours.

This product holds your hairstyle in place for over 24 hours, even if you have voluminous hair. It is graded as a level 5 hold which means your blow-dry is going to last much longer than usual.

For best results, apply this mousse creme on damp hair and blow-dry to get salon-finish hair that is naturally bouncy and lustrous.

2. SexyHair Big Altitude Bodifying Blow Dry Mousse

As the name suggests, volumizing is enough of the main USP of the product. But that is not all it does.

Big Sexy Hair Big Altitude Bodifying Blow Dry Mousse not only gives body to hair, but it also helps you tame your thick hair and holds your hairstyle in place up to 72 hours, even if you live in a highly humid place.

If you are a fan of regular blow-dry, this product is your godsend, as it acts as a thermal protection spray as well. To add a bit of volume, you can use a round brush pulling away from the hair roots as you blow-dry.

It works great on days you want to air dry as well, especially if you are looking for more natural and tousled looks.

For best results: Shake the can well before use so that the product can be foamy and fluffy. Spray into your palm and apply on your damp hair.

3. Giovanni All-Natural Hair Styling Mousse

This cruelty-free range of products from Giovanni is perfect for natural curlies and blow-dried ladies alike.

When you don’t like the crunchy looks on your hair and you need a mousse that can hold your hair down without frizz, Giovanni All-Natural Hair Styling Mousse Air-Turbo Charged is your choice.

Not all our hair is alike. Some of us have thicker ends with lots of curls and flat at the top of the head without curls. And this makes it hard for us to choose a product that will hold the curls but should not weigh down the crown.

Giovanni Styling Mousse offers the perfect solution to this dilemma. This paraben-free and color-safe formula provide a strong hold without weighing down the hair.

No more sticky and caked-up look for your thick hair, but enjoy the shiny and naturally lustrous hair with no harmful ingredients.

When to use Gel for Thick Hair?

There is a reason for gels being the indispensable product in a thick hair beauty’s hair care routine and for a good reason.

Gels are so easy to use, they can be used in layers. Gels are so versatile and can be used for various hairstyles from tighter curls to finger coil to just sealing the edges.

Having doubts if you have applied enough product on your hair when it is half dried? No worries, just wet your hair a bit and put on more gel.

Want to refresh your hair after a couple of days of wash? Just spritz some water on your hair length and your curls are reactivated and you are good to go.

Top 3 Gels for Thick Hair

1. Moroccanoil Styling Gel

Moroccanoil brand is well known for its argan-infused products and has a crème, gel, and mousse on the same line.

Moroccanoil Styling Gel is a holy grail product for many thick hair curlies for many years now.

Argan oil is one of the light oils that penetrates into hair follicles easily and keeps them hydrated.

The hair doesn’t feel heavy or oversaturated, which in turn weighs the curls into limp stringy hair, – again thanks to the lightweight argan oil.

Hydration is the number one need for thirsty curly hair and it helps the hair stay shiny and tamed. And Moroccanoil Styling Gel helps to do that easily.

The gel is quick to get absorbed, so no more sticky and crunchy curls. Instead, it provides an extra bounce to your thick curls, which is another sign of healthy hair.

2. Cantu Shea Butter Maximum Hold Moisture Retention Styling Gel

Another fan favorite product on the list that has been getting raving reviews from fellow curly-haired women and men is Cantu Shea Butter Maximum Hold Moisture Retention Styling Gel.

As the name suggests, the products hydrate the hair from within and hold moisture well, thanks to the heavy oil-based formula like shea butter and olive oil.

It is also infused with antioxidant-rich flaxseed that aids faster hair growth. Shea butter and olive oil help with moisture retention and intense hydration for thick and voluminous hair.

The gel helps to define and sculpt your curls with its maximum strength hold. This silicone-free and paraben-free product ensures you are not using any harmful ingredients, and keeps your hair naturally healthy and shining.

For best results, use on sections of wet hair. And do not touch your hair while it is drying to avoid frizz. You can also spray some water section-wise to do a quick refresh between hair washes.

3. SheaMoisture Smoothie Curl Enhancing Cream for Thick, Curly Hair

Very thick and voluminous-haired curlies who have not tried SheaMoisture brand products should try ASAP because we are yet to hear a negative review.

This Smoothie Curl Enhancing Cream from SheaMoisture is specially made for thick curls that are always looking for more moisture and would dry out quickly.

It is also enriched with Silk Protein that helps you define your curls and make them last stronger. It also has heavy oils like Neem & Coconut Oils that help to hydrate that thirsty hair and avoid frizz.

The oils add a coating over the hair strands so that they can retain moisture for a longer time. They can weigh down thinner hair but they work so well for thicker curlies.

The brand is also Sulfate-free and Paraben free by principle. And this gel specifically has no silicone, no sulfates, no parabens, no phthalates, no mineral oil or petrolatum, which makes it a curly girl method approved product.

Final Words:

Whether you have thick or thin hair, not all days are the same. The same product may not work for you every day. So do not be afraid to try other products and experiment with the amount too.

If you want a firmer hold but easy beach hair? Try coating your damp hair with a very little gel, after you apply a lighter mousse first.

On the other hand, if you find mousse is drying, apply a conditioning mousse foam after you add a thin layer of gel to coat your hair and lock in the natural oils.