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To Foam With Love

Light as air and packing a powerful punch, mousse is whipping up a comeback.

After a long winter of tamping down your hair under oppressive (but undoubtedly warm) hats every time you set foot outdoors, it’s time to rejuvenate. Here’s what you need to know about the coming months. They’re about one thing: volume. “Hair is now being swept up, punked and pompadoured,” David Wolfe, trend forecaster with The Doneger Group in New York, says. “We’ve gone from the victimized waif to the 1980s power looks that speak to a growth in confidence.”

To get the look just right, forget the Johnny-come-lately gels and sprays you’ve become accustomed to running through your hair. Keeping it current is going to require revisiting a product you might have all but forgotten, that foamy grooming goop of yesteryear: mousse.

“Mousse used to be about stick-straight bangs and high hair,” Antonio Corral Calero, artistic director for Moroccanoil, says. “Now it’s about body without crunchiness. You can get tons of volume, but your hair will be soft, shiny and manageable.” To wit, he recently sent models down the runways with tresses that looked like you could actually run your fingers through them.

At Alexandre Herchcovitch’s spring/summer show, Calero fashioned what he terms a “broken wave,” hair that was parted down the center and worn loose with only a subtle curve midway down. It was the perfect counterpoint to the Culture Club hits playing to a catwalk full of bright, boldly patterned jumpsuits, boxy Ts and shirtdresses. Even when Calero went for the theatrical—rockabilly French twists at Catherine Malandrino and wispy, swooshy, undone buns adorned with flower petals at Badgley Mischka—he kept strands looking silky and smooth. “We want it to be wearable, not costumey or gimmicky,” he explains. “People want hair that looks healthy, luxurious and fresh.”

There’s an explanation for the product’s more natural look. Chalk it up to mousse’s new formulation. “It’s now whipped, so it’s as light as air,” Calero says. “You can apply it directly onto the hair and pat it down, and it penetrates evenly.” The Moroccanoil volumizing mousse contains Argan oil, which conditions and prevents frizz as it lifts and plumps. It can revive day-old blowouts, absorb oil from bangs and at the crown and restore waves and bounce. Tight curls can also be tamed, thankfully offsetting another 1980s hair trend: the pyramid effect.

Whatever your hair’s texture, the magic froth may be just the thing to whip your hair out of your face and mold it into a new, modern style. So, when you’re reaching for that can of mousse, keep in mind the immortal words of one icon with a most impressive ‘do, Pat Benatar: “Hit me with your best shot.”

Masters of Mousse: