Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Hair Mousse and Hair Spray

Hair mouse is a foam that is used to add bounce to your hair. Hair spray is a product that allows you to fix your hair style into place.

What is Hair Mousse?


Hair mousse is a type of foamy hair product that is used to style hair.

Uses and ingredients:

People use hair mousse to add volume to their hair. It is also useful for people who have curly or wavy hair. Hair mousse contains a polymer that helps to form a film on the hair strands, and it also contains alcohol.

How to apply the mousse:

Make sure your hair is clean before adding any product. Your hair should be wet, then add about a golf-ball sized amount of mousse into your hair. Work it through your hair with your fingers. You can either air dry or blow dry your hair afterward. Using the blow dryer will make your hair look bigger but you can experiment and see which method you prefer.


Mousse has the benefit of making hair more flexible with added bounce to the hair. It adds volume and can also help enhance curly hair. 


Overuse of hair mousse can result in hair breaking and split ends forming. This can happen because the mousse tends to dry out the hair strands making them susceptible to breakage. Like with all hair care products, there is a possibility of an allergic response in some people. The product can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive people.

What is Hair Spray?


Hair spray is a sticky liquid sprayed onto hair that fixes it in place.

Uses and ingredients:

People apply hair spray when they want their hair to stay in a particular style. Hair spray contains plasticizers and ethanol. Polyglycol and silicone substances also form part of the spray but most of the spray can is made up of the ethanol solvent.

How to apply the hair spray:

You should use hair spray on clean hair that is dry. Hold the spray can about 25 to 30 cm away and spray evenly over your hair. If you are trying to straighten your hair, only use the spray after you have used a straightener. You can maintain your curls by adding hair spray to these, which will keep the style you want.


A benefit of hair spray is it allows the hair style to stay in place for the entire day. This stops hair from looking messy and it maintains the look that you want.


Hair spray has some disadvantages. It can cause a respiratory reaction when applied as a spray. It also removes hair oils and can cause hair to look dull. Hair may also become friable with strands easily breaking. These disadvantages are more common if you overuse the hair spray. Similarly, hair spray can irritate the lung but this is a rare condition where excessive use of hair spray can damage lung tissue.

Difference between Hair Mousse and Hair Spray?


Hair mousse is a foam substance that is used to make hair bouncier. Hair spray is a type of fixative than is used to keep a hair style fixed in place.


Hair mouse comes in a foam or gel. Hair spray is available as a liquid or spray.


If you want your hair to have added bounce and volume, then hair mousse is what you should use. If you want your hair style to stay in position and not be as flexible as usual then your best bet is to use hair spray after you have styled your hair how you want.

Wet or dry hair

Hair mousse should be used on wet hair. Hair spray should be used on dry hair.

Before or after styling

In general, hair mousse is best if used before or even during your hair styling efforts. In general, hair spray should be used once your hair style has been decided on since the spray is a fixative.

Flexibility of hair

Hair remains flexible if you use mousse. Hair tends to stiffen with the use of hair spray although there are now other hair sprays that only have a light hold.

Table comparing Hair Mousse and Hair Spray

Summary of Hair Mousse Vs. Hair Spray

  • Hair mousse and hair spray are both products commonly used on hair.
  • Hair spray is a substance that can be sprayed onto hair so as to keep a style in place.
  • There are benefits and disadvantages to both hair mousse and hair spray.


Is hair mousse the same as hair spray?

No, hair mousse is not the same as hair spray and it is used for a different reason. 

What are the cons of using hair mousse?

If you use hair mousse too frequently then there is a chance that you will dry out your hair which can lead to split ends and breaking of the hair strands.

How do you use mousse instead of hairspray?

You can use mousse to style hair rather than using hairspray but how well it works may depend on the look you are trying to achieve. Mousse will not hold the hair in one place as well when compared with hair spray.

When should I use hair mousse?

It is best to use hair mousse when your hair is still wet so you can properly create the look you want. It is also wise to use it before curling your hair if you are someone who has straight hair and desires curled hair.

Is mousse or hairspray better for volume?

Mousse is the best choice if you want your hair to have volume. Hair spray can hold the hair in position but does not make it look fuller or give it any added volume.

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References :

[0]Andavolgi, Reese. “How to Use Hair Mousse for Your Hair Type”. L’Oreal, 2023, https://www.lorealparisusa.com/beauty-magazine/hair-care/all-hair-types/how-to-use-mousse

[1]Gebbers, J. O., et al. "" Hair-spray lung". Clinical and morphological findings." Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift 110.16 (1980): 610-615.

[2]Warshaw, Erin M., et al. "Contact dermatitis associated with hair care products: a retrospective analysis of the North American Contact Dermatitis Group Data, 2001–2016." Dermatitis 33.1 (2022): 91-102.

[3]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAD9cFnHaQA-hair-sprays-with-hairdresser-supplies-on-color-background/

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAE2fI_G5GQ-applying-styling-mousse-to-curly-hair/

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