Difference between Mousse and Gel

In styling one’s hair, various hair products are available for achieving different results. Two of the most common hair products are the mousse and the gel. Read on to understand the difference between them and how they are used.


Mousse vs Gel
Hair mousse on a palm

Mousse or styling foam is a hair product stored inside aerosol spray cans that come out as cream or foam. It is used to add volume and extra shine as well as conditioning to the hair and is often applied to wet hair prior to styling, then holds well upon drying, without any visible build-up. It works to assist the hair in taking a particular form or shape and is good for both long and short hairstyles. When used on curly hair, it minimizes the frizz while defining the curls.

hair gel
Hair gel on a palm

Hair gel is a hair product packaged in plastic containers of sorts. It has a more solid and sticky composition that allows hair to harden into a particular style a few minutes after application. Different types of gel are available to provide specific outcomes, from soft to a more stiff hold. It is great for styling short hair, thus, it is more suitable for men’s use. Applying it on long hair will hardly achieve anything.

Mousse vs Gel

So what is the difference between mousse and gel? While both products are used to style and hold hair in a certain way, each one is uniquely composed to achieve different results. Mousse comes in the form of foam and is applied to wet hair to add extra shine, conditioning, and volume on both long and short hairstyles; later on this achieves a particular shape upon drying while maintaining a soft appearance. Gel, on the other hand, is of a more solid and sticky composition, frequently used and more suitable on short hair to harden into the user’s desired hairstyle shortly after it is applied, leaving a stiff appearance.

Comparison Chart

Mousse Gel
packaged in cans and comes in the form of foam packaged in plastic containers and is more solid and sticky in composition
adds shine, conditioning, and volume to hair hardens hair into a particular style
leaves a soft appearance leaves a stiff appearance
great for long and short hairstyles great for short hairstyles (specifically men’s hairstyles)