DIY Hair Mousse - Two Ways

As promised we are still deconstructing the mystery of how to make our own (decent) replacements for common hair products.  This week we looked into a heat protecting serum and two very different mousse recipes.

Initially one might think 'Ok, heat protection serum - that's a no brainer, I'll just use whatever oil I have on hand.' There is actually more involved than simply coating our hair shaft in oil to protect it from heat.  This article from discusses 'smoke points' of various oils.   The smoke point is something we should all be aware of anytime we are heating oils in our DIY recipes - it's basically the temperature at which the oil will begin to smoke, discolor, and decompose.  We obviously don't want that to happen as it not only renders the oil useless but some suggest that when the oils and fats get to that point they contain large amounts of free radicals.

So if we are using a curling iron, flat iron or hair dryer, we want to make note of the max temperature it gets to and double check that our oil can withstand the heat.

That being said, argan oil has a smoke point of 420ºF which is pretty high so that's great news.  One could use it as is, but adding a lubricant like shea butter (smoke point 450ºF) could be beneficial too.

This brings me to our hair mousse, because most recipes I found include shea butter and an oil.  Mousse can be tricky and many just can't do the DIY mousse because it's quite a bit heavier on the hair versus conventional mousse.  Super curly hair will likely respond better than wavy hair.  This got me thinking though: I can make a shea butter based mousse and include oils that have a high smoke point, if it fails as a mousse it's not a complete waste because it can be repurposed as a heat protectant.  If I STILL don't like that - then it makes a wonderful whipped lotion.

Where there is a will there is a way! Nothing goes to waste.

DIY Hair Mousse #1


  • 1 Tablespoons argan oil
  • 4 Tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot kernel oil
  • 2 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • 10-20 drops essential oils


Shea butter has the consistency of the butter in your fridge.  If its cold, it will be hard - but a nice warm room temperature makes it easy to whip it into a beautiful frosting like masterpiece.  So depending on how soft your shea butter is, either heat it slightly in a double boiler or whip it as is.  Then add your remaining ingredients.  

Well it certainly looks beautiful.

The oils I chose all have a high smoke point so I don't have to worry if I do end up using this as a heat protectant.  They are also great for dry skin if I use this as a lotion. I would just avoid using it on my face as the avocado oil has a comedogenic rating of 3, meaning it could clog my pores and cause acne.

As for how this actually works as a mousse, I will be testing this out on my curly haired sister-in-law.  Look for the results on instagram or facebook this week.

DIY Hair Mousse #2

This recipe comes from Mountain Mama's blog. I was pretty excited to find a mousse recipe that didn't include a heavy ingredient like shea butter.


  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1 3/4 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons castor oil
  • 5 drops ylang ylang
  • 5 drops cedarwood
  • 5 drops sandalwood


Whisk gelatin and cold water. Heat on stove until boiling.  Add the flax seeds and continue to boil 9-11 minutes until gelled and it hangs from the spoon. 

Remove from heat.  Strain flax seeds in a mesh strainer. Add castor oil.  

Once the mixture has cooled, add your essential oils.  Using a hand mixer, whip until fluffy.  

Store in the fridge 3-4 days (the blog notes that it begins to lose it's whip after a few days but can easily be re-whipped and it also freezes well for longer storage)

While the recipe is pretty straightforward, mine didn't turn out light and fluffly like I'd expected.   I whipped it for a long, long time using an old hand mixer.  Maybe it's time to invest in that Kitchen Aid with the huge whisk attachment..

Looking closely at Mountain Mama's blog, she has a picture of a large mason jar filled with her mousse.  It's hard to tell but it looks pretty fluffy with some air pockets.   My final product had a whipped gel-like consistency.  Which I guess is still pretty mousse-y. It's just one of those expectation versus reality situations.

Regardless of texture however, the little bit I put in my hair made me forget all about it. I'd say replace last week's flaxseed gel with this little concoction.  I can already tell it has a stronger holding power and its much less slimy.

Reviews for how well this does or doesn't work will be featured in instagram and facebook stories as well.

And yes, making both of these recipes was as fun as I expected!

So stay tuned for our reviews and we'll be in the store Thursday-Saturday with these ingredients on hand for your next experiment.

12/7/18 Update:  Unfortunately mousse recipe #2 with the flaxseed and gelatin didn't perform like I'd hoped it would.  Once dry it disintegrated into microscopic flakes that looked like a fine layer of dust on my hair. 

Surprisingly the shea butter recipe performed decently on curly hair.  Note from our tester: a little goes a long way! 

Disclaimer:  The recipes & benefits provided are for general reference only and should not be taken as medical advice. Wild Radish Studio does not guarantee the accuracy of information provided on referenced blogs & websites. Products and/or information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Please do your research & make decisions in partnership with your healthcare provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication please consult with your physician.


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