Water-based hair styling polymers are delivered to the hair as a film that dries relatively slowly. As the film dries it forms a bond between hair strands, making the desired style easier to achieve and maintain. After the hair is dry, the polymer forms a hard film that bonds the hair into place. Combing or disrupting the hair can break the bond, but even the broken pieces provide some friction, which provides some hold benefits by helping to prevent hair strands from sliding across each other. This result leads to a smooth style that lasts. Water based polymers include:
Hair gels are water-based products that use water based polymers with a variety of thickeners to achieve the desired product consistency and texture. Because of their thickness they are particularly good for creating seam welds that increase apparent hair stiffness and give a texturized look and great root lift.
Hair Mousses & Foams
Hair mousses and foams use a propellant and a surfactant in addition to water-soluble styling polymers to help create a smooth, creamy foam. When you shake the can, liquid propellant is mixed with the water based liquid concentrate. Then, when the can is inverted and product is dispensed, the pressure of the vapor propellant pushes the mixture of liquid propellant and liquid concentrate out of the can. The liquid propellant then quickly evaporates, creating foam. The mousse foam makes it easy to apply the styling polymers to your hair because in the foaming state it can be spread very thinly.
Styling Product Advice
Mousses and foams are great for long hair that would otherwise be weighed down by large clumps of polymer. Another benefit of mousse is that its foamy state is not runny and thus will stay where you put it - making it another good alternative for adding root lift to a straight style.