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Polyquaternium is the international nomenclature for cosmetic ingredients designation for several polycationic polymers that are used in the personal care industry. Polyquaternium is a neologism used to emphasize the presence of quaternary ammonium centers in the polymer. Polyquaternium is widely used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Application in personal care industryFig 1. Application in personal care industry

Common Polyquaterniums

  • Polyquaternium-4

Polyquaternium-4 is a cellulosic (derived from natural cellulose) polymer modified to have positive charges along the backbone. The positively charged groups in this polymer are pendant to the backbone (are suspended down from the backbone), giving it an appearance similar to that of a hair comb. It provides excellent combability, holding, gloss and antistat properties. This cellulosic polymer substantive to skin and hair and exhibits outstanding properties in hair care products.

Structure of Polyquaternium-4Fig 2. Structure of Polyquaternium-4

  • Polyquaternium-7

Polyquaternium-7 is an organic compound in the polyquaternium class of chemicals. In cosmetics and personal care products, it is used in a wide variety of products including shampoos, hair conditioners and other hair products, bath soaps and cleansing products. It is the copolymer of acrylamide and the quaternary ammonium salt diallyldimethylammonium chloride.

Structure of Polyquaternium-7Fig 3. Structure of Polyquaternium-7

  • Polyquaternium-10

Polyquaternium-10 is also known as Quaternium-19. It adsorbs well to proteinaceous surfaces, such as the proteins in hair. Polyquaternium-10 can reduce static electricity. It enhances the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment.

Structure of Polyquaternium-10Fig 4. Structure of Polyquaternium-10

  • Polyquaternium-44

Polyquaternium-44 is a very efficient, multinational polymer for use in a variety of cleansing products to improve the wet combability of the hair and prevent electrostatic charging when the hair is dry. It also protects the hair by forming a shield around each hair so that its surface is less readily attacked. It conditions and provides a smooth silky feel to the hair. The lather creaminess is significantly improved. There are no drawbacks with fine hair regarding volume, accumulation and build-up when used at recommended use levels.

Structure of Polyquaternium-44Fig 5. Structure of Polyquaternium-44

Alfa Chemistry offers various of polyquaternium. You can search the CAS No. or chemical name on our website. If you cannot find them, please feel free to contact us for custom synthesis.