When I interviewed Emmy Rossum a few years ago, her signature curls were blown out and shaped into smooth waves. This had become the actress's go-to style—rarely did we see the full, bouncy curls she'd worn in her Phantom of the Opera days. But that's the trouble with heat-styling naturally curly hair—eventually, they start to lose their vitality, something Rossum took note of and is now adamant to reverse.
Last year, in an effort to find the perfect curl rehab routine, Rossum took to Instagram asking for product recommendations, citing she'd be sharing her (hopeful) successes with the world: "I am the guinea pig for all products so you don't have to buy and try, I'll do it for you will report my findings when I am super duper sure."
Well, friends, it appears that after more than 50 different product trials (seriously), she's essentially perfected her routine (so much that she was even able to garner a few virgin-esque ringlets). Below, take a look at the products she credits for her now-bouncy coils.
For starters, Rossum has found solace in this hydrating Moroccanoil conditioner. She washes her hair twice a week max with the Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo, but conditions every day.
In general, when looking for shampoo and conditioner for curly hair, make sure it is a hydrating product as curly hair has a tendency to be dry. Look for ingredients like shea butter and glycerine, and avoid drying ingredients like alcohol and sulfates.
Next, in "absolutely sopping wet hair," Rossum applies 10 pumps of HydroCurl every day (her hair is quite thick, so you may have to adjust to your hair's thickness) and combs it through. Make sure you distribute the product evenly from root to tip.
Rossum then scrunches out any excess water first using her hands, then with a microfiber towel. (They're gentler and less likely to rip at hair than a traditional terry cloth version.)
She then either lets her hair air-dry or uses a diffuser. (This fun alligator claw–looking diffuser from DevaCurl is her favorite.) When using a diffuser, you need to follow the right technique to achieve frizz-free curls. To start, plan on drying your hair until it is around 80% dry—and then let it air dry the rest of the way. To get perfect curls and volume, place a section of your hair on the claws of the diffuser and gently lift the hair to the scalp and hold for a few seconds. Continue working your way around your head until it is almost dry.
For best results when using a diffuser, section your hair into four or five parts and secure with a clip. You can then work in sections, keeping your diffuser on a low setting with medium heat to prevent frizz.
During her hair experiment, Rossum tried a ton of different methods and found some to be a complete wash: Plopping was a "disaster," sleeping in braids made her look like she'd been "electrocuted," so she documented each product with pictures and notes until she found the above solution. We'd say her current curls are quite impressive.