Can you put mousse in dry hair, or do you always put it in wet hair?

wavy and curly hair

  • Applying mousse in dry hair helps to define curls or waves naturally.
  • You should use a level 1 or 2 mousse, because each type of mousse has a different result. I’ll tell you more about that in a few seconds.
  • Just use a small quantity at a time, because otherwise you run the risk that your curls become hard and motionless.
  • The only time you should apply mousse to wet hair is when you want to keep a style for a long time, or your hair is very fine and you want to see defined curls.


 Many of my clients are surprised when I tell them that not all mousses are the same. And I’m not just talking about the quality, price, or brands. I’m referring to the different levels of mousses have according to the style you want. 

And that will determine if you should put it in dry or wet hair.

Let’s look at two examples from my salon.


Maria has barely defined curls. When she visits me at the salon, I use a level one mousse in her dry hair because I want to define her curls more so their movement is natural and fun.


Now, things are different in Julieta’s case.

She works as a salesperson at events and fairs. Yes, she’s one of the girls who are always smiling, offering free samples, or giving out flyers.


The last event she participated in was the presentation of a new brand of mousse. Of course, the company requested her to style her hair with marked and well-defined curls.

This is why I used a level 3 mousse, and I applied it to her wet hair to form her curls with a hairdryer.

I used this level of mousse in this way because Julieta needed for her curls to stay firm and defined for a long time as the event lasted all day.


 We use mousse in dry hair to define waves or curls naturally, but if you’re looking for a stronger definition with volume, you should apply it to wet hair. 

Hair mousse has two basic objectives:

  • Create volume and structure in fine hair.
  • Define waves or curls


Do you want to style your hair according to the latest fashion simply without having to go to the salon? Do you have fine hair with a few waves or curls?


Then stay with me, because I’ll tell you:

  • In which cases you apply mousse to dry hair
  • How to use mousse correctly
  • When it’s better to apply mousse to wet hair


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When is mousse applied to dry hair

freshly washed and dry hair

Mousses are ranked on a scale of 1 to 4 according to their intensity. Number 1 sets your hair naturally and softly that is ideal for light waves.

The levels go up from 2 to 4, and each is used to achieve defined and structured styles, such as bridal updos.


Now, as I mentioned before, mousse is applied to dry hair when you’re looking to define waves or curls naturally, and for this, you should use level 1 or 2.

Because if you use this level of mousse, your waves or curls won’t look heavy, nor will they get crushed. The important thing is that you apply just the right and necessary amount.


 If you put too much mousse in your hair or if you apply a mousse with a higher level of hold in dry hair, your waves or curls will become as hard as cables and you’ll lose your natural style. 

And this will happen because mousses with higher levels of hold are for structured styles or updos where you need firmness.

This is why you must remember that in dry hair, you should use a level 1 or 2 hold and a small amount.


Aren’t sure about how to apply it? In a few seconds, I’ll show you how.


How to correctly apply mousse

how to use it

Applying mousse is very simple, but I need you to know you should never apply it to your hair directly with your hand.

 What I mean is that you shouldn’t put your move the mousse through your hair with your hand, because that way you won’t distribute it evenly. 

To do it correctly, you need a comb with medium-sized teeth – not fine like a pointed comb, nor one with thick teeth.


How to apply:

  • With well-brushed and dry hair, put styling mousse with a hold level of 1 or 2 in the palm of your hand.
  • You should use an amount that is the size of a walnut or a small apple, depending on how much hair you have.
  • Collect the mousse from your hand with the comb and comb your hair.
  • Apply it throughout your head.
  • When all of your hair has been combed through with mousse, use your hands to shape your waves or curls, and you’ll see how in a few seconds your hair takes on the style you were looking for.


 Mousse dries quickly, even more so when you apply it on dry hair. It won’t make your hair heavy and will leave it shinier. 


What happens if you apply mousse to wet hair? Well, the world will continue to turn, but in reality, you should only use it in wet hair for specific cases.


When you should apply mousse to wet hair and how to apply it

Mousse is used in wet hair in certain cases:


For structured styles, it’s an excellent tool since it lasts for a long time in your hair.

 But in this case, you should always use mousses with higher levels of hold, such as 3 or 4, to make sure the style lasts longer. 

Do you have very fine hair and no way to define your curls?


It’s a normal problem for those of us with fine hair.

Even if you curl your hair as much as possible, it loses its shape in no time. But if you use a mousse with a high level of hold in your wet hair, you’ll be able to have defined curls that last for longer.


The way you apply it to wet hair is the same as for dry hair; don’t apply it directly with your hand, rather use a medium-toothed comb so you distribute it evenly.

Since your hair is wet in this case, distributing it will be much easier.


But there’s something you need to pay extra attention to: once you finish applying it, you should dry your hair in a specific way.

  • With your hairdryer set to medium heat, dry your hair after applying the mousse.
  • The mousse will affect your fine hair, and you’ll find it’s not obedient nor volatile, rather it will feel heavier.
  • On top of all this, you’ll achieve more volume, which is exactly what your curls need to maintain perfect definition and more texture.


Now you know. If we’re talking about wet hair, you should apply mousse with a high level of hold and for special occasions, like when you need a style with maximum duration, above all if you have fine hair.



Mousse is an excellent tool to set and define curls, which you can apply to dry or wet hair. It won’t leave any residue, damage your hair, or remove dye.

You must remember the ideal level of hold to use according to the style you’re looking for.

  • To define curls, you should use mousse in dry hair and with a low level of hold.
  • If what you want is a style that lasts, use mousse in wet hair with a high level of hold, 3 or 4.


How will you use mousse the next time you style your hair? In dry or wet hair?

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