Attention: the new Hershesons Zhoosh Foam is not a mousse. I repeat, it is not a mousse. I feel the need to relay that information because for many people with straight, wavy, or kind-of-wavy hair like me (I’m in the ever-frustrating “kind of” category), mousse is one of those products you’ve probably always owned, but have never really known how to use properly. So even though Hershesons’s new foam might look like a mousse, feel like a mousse, and smell like a mousse, it’s actually an innovative new styling product that is a bit like a root lifter, a texturising spray, and a dry shampoo all in one bottle. I think it’s important you know the distinction so that you don’t potentially miss out on a product that will not only improve your hair routine, but may also streamline it in the process.
If your hair is somewhere on the straight-to-wavy spectrum, my own experience tells me that you probably own a bunch of products to give your hair the fullness and movement it naturally lacks. You may have a volumising spray or mousse to use before a blow-dry, a beach spray or texturiser to add subtle bends, a dry shampoo or root lifter to add height at the crown, and perhaps a hairspray to lock it all in. The Hershesons Zhoosh Foam (£12), however, does the job of all those products, and it does it on wet or dry hair.
When developing this product, Luke Hersheson — hairstylist and CEO of the brand — wasn’t looking to reinvent mousse. “We came at it not so much as whether the product should be a mousse, but rather how do we get oomph and volume into the hair and what does that product look like,” he told POPSUGAR. He started to think about what he does as a professional stylist when he’s on photo shoots, as well as the slow cultural shift away from the laborious blow-dries that were all the rage over the last two decades (a shift that could either be a result of the pandemic or Gen Z’s influence on the beauty space, or some mix of the two . . . but that’s a discussion for another time).
“We thought that maybe it’s better to create a product that works on dry hair, because when we style hair on shoots, we’re very much scrunching and pushing the products into dry hair, versus the old-school method of styling where you prep and set the hair with this product and that product and that product.” According to Hersheson, these days — on set as in everyday life — you shouldn’t need loads of products to style your hair anymore.
Image Source: Hershesons
To get a product that adds volume and texture, and makes hair look lived-in rather than freshly blow-dried, Hersheson and his team settled on a dry foam, which can be applied to the hair when it’s wet, like a traditional mousse, or on dry hair, which is the unique aspect of this styling product. “Hairdressers are able to manage traditional mousses because they can do old-school blowouts and use techniques that help them get past the sticky, crunchy point. But if you give that same mousse to someone who isn’t a hairdresser, they probably will be like, ‘That’s sticky and crunchy and it goes into the drawer,'” Hersheson explained. “[This foam] is meant to be used primarily on dry hair — it dries as you put it in.”
To ensure the Zhoosh Foam wouldn’t be either sticky or crunchy, they decided not to use the same ingredients that are found in traditional mousse. The Hershesons foam contains starch, an ingredient usually found in dry shampoos, which means this product absorbs excess oil in the hair. However, thanks to the alcohol, water, and thickeners in the formula, and a ball bearing that sits at the bottom of the tube to mix all of them together, the foam also adds a lot of volume and “oomph” to the hair without leaving strands feeling sticky or crunchy.
For the foam to work on dry hair, it also needed to dry very quickly. To do that, they made the propellent system super powerful, which means there’s a lot of air in the foam when it comes out of the nozzle. This helps it dry quickly, and means you get a big palmful of foam every time you press down.
To use the foam on dry hair, Hersheson recommends rubbing and scrunching the foam all throughout your hair, adding more until you get the level of volume or texture you want. “As you work with it and push it into the hair it just gets to that point of almost like day-two hair,” he explained. “When you wash your hair you get that fluffy, soft texture that doesn’t ever do what you want it to do. The Zhoosh Foam takes away that fluffiness and softness so you get texture and hold. You don’t get as much hold as old-school mousses, but you get the hold you need . . . and in a way, that kind of hold isn’t necessary anymore because that was almost like ’80 and ’90s blowouts, and not many people do blowouts anymore.”
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sophia Panych
In the side-by-side image above, you can see what Hersheson means. In the photo on the left, my hair has been prepped with a volumising spray, blow-dried with a round brush, and tonged to add some subtle waves. In the photo on the right, my hair has been blow-dried using a paddle brush. Then, Hersheson added in several layers of the Zhoosh Foam, starting at the roots and then working it through the midlengths and ends. You can see how it doesn’t have that fluffy, soft feel, but rather a lived-in and rumpled texture, with some bend throughout. There’s also a huge difference in overall volume. Because my hair is long and fine, I have a hard time adding height at the roots, crown, and top half of my hair. It’s a catch-22; to do so takes a lot of products, but the more products I add in, the more weighed-down my hair gets. That’s what is so genius about the Zhoosh Foam. It’s one product that adds volume and texture, all whilst sopping up oily roots so that my hair has more of a fighting chance to stay looking voluminous throughout the day.
Now, this review focuses on my individual experience with the product. The brand says the foam works on all hair types — whether it’s long or short, fine or thick, Afro, straight, or curly (for the latter, you would use the foam like a regular mousse to add definition) — but I can’t personally vouch for that claim. What I will note is that the formula contains alcohol denat, an ingredient that people with coily, kinky, and Afro hair often try to avoid as continued use can cause over-drying.
If your hair texture is similar to mine, however, and you prefer a more laid-back vibe, the Hershesons Zhoosh Foam is just what the hairstylist ordered . . . or created, in this case. I didn’t know I needed a product like this in my life, but now that it exists, it’s likely I won’t be using anything else for a while.
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