I’ve been using the Pantene Defined Curls No. 5 Mousse for almost 24 years! When people ask me if I could only use one styling product for the rest of my life, what would it be?
I don’t have to think about it, because for almost 20 years it was Pantene Defined Curls Mousse. That was it, that’s the only styling product I used for my curly hair! But has Pantene Defined Curls Mousse been discontinued?!
For years, I used the Pantene Perfect Curls Shampoo and Conditioner and the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse (No. 5) my curls always looked consistently amazing! It wasn’t until Pantene discontinued the Perfect Curls Shampoo and Conditioner that I had to put more thought into what hair care products I used.
Which I guess in a way is a blessing. Because if Pantene hadn’t discontinued that range, Curl Maven and my method wouldn’t exist today! So although I’ve definitely put someone’s kid through college with the amount I’ve purchased over the years, I owe a lot to and have a lot of love for, Pantene.
Has Pantene Defined Curls Mousse been Discontinued?!
A few years ago the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse formula changed, ever so slightly. I didn’t notice much difference in the consistency of the formula, or the results. So I carried on using, loving and regularly recommending it on my blog, social media and in Curl Clinics.
Then a couple of years ago rumours started circulating that Pantene Defined Curls Mousse was being discontinued. And I, along with so many other wavy and curlies, panicked – and stocked up!
But from what I could tell at the time, it was just a change in distribution. Pantene Defined Curls Mousse was still readily and easily available in supermarkets across the UK, Ireland and EU with no stock issues.
Until the end of 2022, when I started getting an overwhelming number of emails, comments and DM’s from people. Asking if I knew what was going on with Pantene Defined Curls Mousse because they could no longer find it. At the time, I thought this was just a repeat of what happened a few years ago, and no need to panic.
It’s only been since March 2023 that I’ve found it difficult to source Pantene Defined Curls Mousse. A few years ago when rumours first started circulating, and again in more recent months, I had been stocking up on my holy grail, cult and forever favourite hair styling mousse – of all time. Because I just can’t imagine ever not having a few cans of my beloved Pantene Defined Curls Mousse.
But I reached out to Pantene directly and finally got confirmation that yes, all our fears are true. And Pantene Defined Curls Mousse has been discontinued! I don’t know what to say, other than in all the ways, it’s literally an end of an era! Here’s what they said:
“I’m afraid that it’s true that our Defined Curl Mousse has now been discontinued. It’s never easy for us to make a decision like this, but when it’s time for a product to be discontinued, this comes after an assessment of consumer demand, consumer research, and purchasing patterns.”– direct correspondence from Pantene UK
Testing + Comparing Other Mousses
I know so many of you have been asking me what to use instead. One of the reasons I loved Pantene Defined Curls Mousse so much, was because it gave consistent results every washday. There was nothing in the formula that would weigh the hair down, or dry it out. And it played really well with so many other styling products and was incredibly affordable!
Over the last couple of months I’ve been trying out countless other mousses to compare and try to find a like-for-like replacement. But there’s only so many times a week I can wash my hair, and I’ve got almost 20 different mousses to try, so it’s taking some time.
But I thought it would be helpful to share with you the criteria I’m looking at when testing and comparing these new mousses to the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse. Because it’s not all about the ingredients or results.
- Ingredients – are they similar, do they contain some if not most of the same ingredients?
- Formula – the ingredients might be the same, but are they formulated in a similar way? Eg: the order of ingredients. The higher up the list, the more of that ingredient there is.
- Consistency – is the texture and consistency of the mousse the same? The biggest thing here is people (and brands) often call a foam a mousse. But they are two completely different products, formulas and consistencies!
- Results – are my results the same as they are when I use Pantene Defined Curls Mousse? Are they as defining and long-lasting? Does it give the same hold? Some images in this post are from Pantene Defined Curls Mousse, other images are from the new mousse I’ve discovered that is the best like-for-like replacement. Can you tell the difference?
- Compatibility – does it play well with other styling products?
- Longevity – if I use it consistently, washday after washday, will it dry my hair out, weigh it down, cause any scalp issues etc? Does it still look good on day 2 and 3, as it did on washday?
- Price – Pantene Defined Curls Mousse was incredibly affordable! Ideally I want to find a replacement that is around the same price point.
Ingredients: Aqua, Propane, Polyquaternium-4, Butane, Isobutane, Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, DMDM Hydantoin, Parfum, Disodium EDTA, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Panthenol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Citric AcidPantene defined curls mousse
What to use instead of Pantene Defined Curls Mousse?
Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Mousse
Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Curl Boosting Mousse has long been the best like-for-like replacement for the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse. It’s not available everywhere though, I think mostly/just in the USA and Canada.
But it meets all the criteria of my testing and comparison. The ingredients, formula, consistency and results are almost identical. It plays really well with other styling products and can be used consistently in the long-term without any issues, and it’s affordable.
So if it’s available where you are, I recommend switching to that. However, in conversations I’ve had with some of you recently. I’ve heard that the ingredients and formula of the Herbal Essence Totally Twisted Mousse has changed as well!
And many of you are saying you’re not getting the same results. Please comment on the post and let me (and other readers) know if it’s still available where you are, or if you’ve noticed a change in formula.
Ingredients: Water, Isobutane, Propane, Polyquaternium-4, Fragrance, Crassula Angustifolia Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract (Lavender), Propylene Glycol, C9-11 Pareth-8, DMDM Hydantoin, Disodium EDTA, Citric AcidHerbal Essence totally twisted curl boosting mousse
Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Mousse
The Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Mousse is the most like-for-like replacement for the discontinued Pantene Defined Curls Mousse that I’ve found (so far). In terms of consistency, results, compatibility, longevity and price! So it’s an absolute winner for me, and hopefully it will be for so many others too. Click here to see my results and read the full article with application tips + techniques.
Let’s Test Together!
I’ve had so many conversations with lots of you in the last few weeks. All devastated (and panicking!) that the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse has been discontinued. We’re running out, on our last can and are frantically trying to find a replacement.
So I thought, let’s test together! If you’ve tried mousses that have or haven’t worked for you, share your results and recommendations in the comments on this post, so we can all figure this out together.
Let me know if I should do a post on the mousses I’ve tried that haven’t worked for my hair. Or given me the results I was looking for, when compared to the Pantene Defined Curls Mousse, or even the Umberto Giannini Curl Whip Mousse! – don’t forget to use code CURLMAVEN for 20% off at LOOKFANTASTIC!
I’ve already tried quite a few and have my thoughts. If you think it would be helpful, then I’ll happily write a post. But let me know x
I’m sorry it took me so long to get this post out amidst all the panic. Testing takes time, and I didn’t want to publish anything until I had an alternative mousse to recommend for you. I’m absolutely delighted that the one I found is affordable AND my 20% discount code CURLMAVEN works on it at LOOKFANTASTIC!
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