Foams and Mousses
So, what's the difference between a foam and a mousse, you ask? Although the terms are often used interchangeably, technically, a foam is housed in a pump bottle and a mousse in an aerosol can. Because of this, foams tend to be more lightweight than mousses. But, again, because the terms are used interchangeably, I wouldn't put too much stock in that! Regardless, both basically function the same, creating volume and enhancing curl definition. You'll usually get a bit of a cast (hold) with foams and mousses but typically not as firm as a gel and it is generally quite easy to scrunch out. So, if you're aiming for a more voluminous look and a touch of defining hold, a foam/mousse might fit the bill. You can always layer on lightweight gel like Ecoslay's Orange Marmalade to gain more definition and staying power without compromising volume.
Most of us with textured tresses find ourselves reaching for a gel on wash day and there's a good reason why! First of all, there's is a wiiiiiiide variety of gels, some almost wax-like while others pretty watery, some with a firm hold and others with barely any hold at all! So, regardless of the look you're going for, you can pretty much find a gel that will meet your needs. But, generally speaking, when you reach for a gel, you're going to get decent hold, frizz reduction and smooth locks. Again, painting with a broad stroke, the thicker the gel, the firmer the hold and the more control you'll achieve. Also, if you notice oils towards the top of the ingredients list, the hold of the gel is usually diminished. The gel category can also be broken up into subcategories like custards, which usually have a gooey texture and cream gels which are more lightweight while still providing hold. Our flagship product, Orange Marmalade, is a great example of a cream gel, boasting a light texture while giving a firm hold. Also, our Jello Shot is super thick with an extra firm hold, reminiscent of a more traditional thick gel.
The last type of styler that we'll cover today is a cream. A cream is unique because it usually combines moisture and definition. While not quite as moisturizing as a leave-in conditioner and not quite as defining as a gel, a curl cream is a happy medium between the two. You can typically get a good bit of volume while fighting frizz, but don't look for a super firm hold! Curl creams are great because they can be used solo or layered underneath your gel, mousse or foam for additional moisture and hold. Our newly launched Lemon Buttercream is a fantastic example of a curl cream, providing excellent moisture, slip, curl definition with a touch of hold.
I hope this post was helpful at demystifying the 3 basic curly hair styler types. While there are varying types of creams, gels and foams/mousses, understanding the basic properties of each should help steer you in the right direction when you walk down the hair care aisle.
So, what type of styler do you typically reach for? Do you like to layer different stylers or are is "one-and-done" more your jam?