My packaging comment refers to the new pump package. The old tube-style package was the worst. Overall rating is for the current version. I think Potion 9 used to be a better product. Details below.
Potion 9 used to be my HG hair product. I've been using it since the early 90s! I used to buy the huge tub of it. However, starting about two years ago it didn't seem to work as well for me. Back in the early 2000s and earlier, I would wash my hair, towel dry, put a little Potion 9 in, twirl my curls, then shake my head, and air dry. Perfect curls every time. Then about two years ago this procedure stopped working. I added defrizzers -- Rusk Str8 + Rusk Calm Leave-In. That helped. I experimented with other curl tamers and nothing worked any better. So, I stuck with my cocktail of Potion 9, St8, and Calm. Now, however, (now being since the change to the new pump style packaging) this cocktail doesn't work either. Potion 9 used to keep my hair soft. (As for the crunchiness: once my hair dried, all I had to do was run my fingers through it once and the crunch was gone.) Now, Potion 9 dries my hair out. The curls still look good if I put lots of time into the twirling part of the process. But that irritates me because with the old version of Potion 9 I could do a quick and dirty twirl job and get the same results.
I've found that if I use just a little (about a dime-sized amount) my hair will feel soft and conditioned. But such a small amount does not tame my frizzies. The curls look awful.
So, I won't be purchasing Potion 9 again. I don't want to have to choose between dried out hair with nice curls or soft and frizzy hair. (And besides, I think if I keep letting Potion 9 dry out my hair I won't be able to get nice curls no matter how much time I spend twirling.) I haven't found a replacement, unfortunately. I guess I'll be flat ironing my hair more often since I no longer have a product that will tame my curls. :-(
I had such high hopes for this product, because I have heard so much good stuff about it. But when I put it on you couldnt even tell that I had anything in my hair. My hair was still really frizzy and big, but it did make it kind of soft. But other products can tame frizz and soften for a lot less. I think it is true that this product doesnt do anything for people with frizzy curly hair.
One of my favorite hair products. It makes it so much softer and smoother- I can really see a difference when I use it. I'll buy this again and again, and would recommend it to anyone :)
This product has to be one of the most overrated-overhyped products online. I have 3c curls and this product dried my hair to the follicle. I have tried to use it multiple times - after the shower, after deep conditioning, when hair is damp, when hair is dry, and the results are conclusive: Potion 9 does not live up to its promise. Will not repurchase.
This dried my hair out! I have fine but thick straight, healthy hair and was so excited to try this but it doesn't work for me. It also has a smell that did not agree with me and my allergies.
This stuff makes my hair so soft. The texture is thin enough for easy distribution to the hair. It has a pretty good hold too for my permed curls; it's better than any curl lotions I have tried. It seems like it's able to make the softness last longer too until my next hair wash. LOVE this stuff!
Update addition: I just purchase the NEW Potion 9 in a spray/pump bottle. I thought it maybe a spray formula, but actually, it's the exact same gel orange stuff with different packaging.
Potion 9 is one of those products that I keep coming back to. I try others looking for less crunch and cost, but always come back. I have naturally curly hair that can get very unruly. I prefer the Julia Roberts or Debra Messing look, but often end up with concert Diana Ross. It's been over 10 years that I've used Potion 9 off and on. My latest application effort is one I found on Jessicurl. I keep Potion 9 in the shower, wring out my hair, then apply a a few glob to my wet hair as I'm flipped over and scrunching. Then I wrap my hair loosely in an old t-shirt. By the time I'm done with my makeup, but hair is ready for the diffuser, or I can wash and wear for more defined curls. The diffuser takes care of the crunch, but I sometimes follow with a styling cream. I once got caught in the rain and was soaked from my Potion 9 head to toe. I got home to find that my curls had bounced right back beautifully. I have lately found that the Generic Potion 9 at Sally is just as good, but they're almost always sold out. While Potion 9 is not exactly my HG, I've never found anything I like better, especially on humid or windy days. I think I really just want different hair.
I have ( used to have) very curly thick long ethnic hair. Its still long, still ethnic, still thick, lol, but its straight now. I have had it Japanese Straightened about 5 times over the past 5 years. For any of you who hva had the procedure, its wash and go for the first two months, then the roots grow in of course and I need to blow dry when wet or I wait till it dries and iron. This product works two fold for me. When my hairs still stick straight, it works as a good leave in for me, isnt sticky and provides smoothness and management. Dont use too much though!!When Its time for me to blow dry or iron, it also works very well at managing my hair. Its not so much a leave in conditioner though, but works it just makes my hair feel very good after I use it, whether I leave it as is or blow dry/iron straight.
Would def repurachse. Two friends with similar hair, tryed mine once and also bought it.
I am commenting on the old Potion 9 in the plastic tube. That packaging was terrible, but it now comes in a pump bottle.
I detest the incredible crunch this product gives my hair. (I had to laugh at the potato chip comment by another poster--so true!) Other products might leave a bit of crunchiness that can be improved by scrunching with my fingers, but Potion 9-induced crunch will not die until my hair is shampooed again. It also leaves my hair looking and feeling drier and frizzier than before I shampooed, That's quite an accomplishment. Not many products make my hair look worse than it did before I stepped into the shower.
The other undesirable quality of this product is that it makes my hair three times its normal size. It might actually be a good product for someone who needs more volume, but that's the last thing my hair needs.
I was suckered into buying this product by the fact that a stylist used it (mixed with something else) and somehow managed to make my hair look good. I have absolutely no skill at blow drying my own hair, but somehow I thought this product would work some kind of magic. I realize now that the magic was a professional stylist who was able to blow dry my hair straight. Luckily, I was able to sell this back to the salon that sold it to me.
This was a terrible product for me, but it might be good for someone who wants more volume/body and is good with a blow dryer. For curlies who want a product to smooth and reduce volume, I'd recommend Matrix Sleek Look styling creme.
Adds light conditioning to my hair, reduces static, and makes it shiny and manageable. It won't add moisture to really dry ends, but is a good everyday product. Comes in a larger size for sitting on the bathroom shelf as well as a TSA-compliant 1.7-oz. tube.