POLYQUATERNIUM

Ataman Kimya offers different grades of Polyquaternium products. 
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. INCI has approved at least 40 different polymers under the polyquaternium designation. 
Different polymers are distinguished by the numerical value that follows the word "polyquaternium". Polyquaternium-5, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-47 are three examples, each a chemically different type of polymer. 
The numbers are assigned in the order in which they are registered rather than because of their chemical structure.

Polyquaterniums find particular application in conditioners, shampoo, hair mousse, hair spray, hair dye, personal lubricant, and contact lens solutions. 
Because they are positively charged, they neutralize the negative charges of most shampoos and hair proteins and help hair lie flat. 
Their positive charges also ionically bond them to hair and skin. Some have antimicrobial properties.


What benefits does the polyquat convey to hair?
Different polyquats will have different primary benefits.  
Some of the benefits are listed here:

Ease of wet and dry combing
Smooth, seal and realign damaged areas of the hair shaft
Minimize porosity
Moisturize
Add volume and body
Eliminate static electricity

The drawbacks of polyquats
Because of their substantivity to hair and depending on how well the product was formulated, some of them can create build-ups over time,the good news is that they can be  removed with anionic surfactants fairly easily. 

Not all polyquaterniums can be used in the formulation of conditioning shampoos.  
The reason is that the cationic polyquat will complex (combine through opposite charge interaction) with the anionic polymers of the surfactants easily. 
Some that are commonly used in shampoos are the polyquaternium- 7 and polyquaternium-10. 
Poorly formulated 2-in-1 shampoos can result in complex formation in the product, leaving behind an undesirable film on hair.

Examples of polyquaternium ingredients
Polyquaternium-4:  Provides excellent combability, holding, gloss and antistat properties.

Polyquaternium-7 :  Leaves hair feeling soft.

Polyquaternium-10:   This is a cationic, water-soluble substantive conditioner for hair care. It provides film formation on hair and moisturization. 
It is non-irritating and compatible with a wide range of surfactants.

Polyquaternium-44:  This is a very efficient 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. 
There are no drawbacks with fine hair regarding volume, accumulation and build-up when used at recommended use levels.

A product is considered to be a conditioner if it improves the quality of the surface to which it is applied, particularly if this improvement involves the correction or prevention of certain aspects associated with surface damage. 
Conditioning of the hair and skin must be a continuous process, as both substrates are in a constant cycle of shedding and renewal.
The main difference between hair and skin is that skin is basically a living organ that replaces its outermost layer on a frequent basis. 
Hair, in contrast, is basically dead material awderived from a few live cells deep within the skin surface.

Modern conditioners by Ataman Chemicals : 

Modern conditioners are designed to provide one or more of the following functions:

• provide ease of wet and dry combing
• smooth, seal and realign damaged areas of the hair shaft
• minimize porosity
• impart sheen and a silken feel to the hair
• provide some protection against thermal and mechanical damage
• moisturize
• add volume and body
• eliminate static electricity

So what is a cationic polymer?
A polymer is “Any of numerous natural and synthetic compounds of usually high molecular weight consisting of up to millions of repeated linked units, each a relatively light and 
simple molecule.”

So a cationic polymer is a positively charged or cationic polymer that we use in hair and body care products to increase conditioning and film forming. 
Because it’s cationic, it will be substantive and adsorb to our hair our skin to increase lubricity and moisturizing. 
In hair care products, cationic polymers will help our cuticle scales resist uplift  when stressed, which keeps our hair in better condition.

What is Polyquaternium?
Polyquaternium is the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients designation for several polycationic polymersthat are used in the personal care industry. 
Polyquaternium is a neologism used to emphasize the presence of quaternary ammonium centers in the polymer. 
INCI has approved at least 37 different polymers under the polyquaternium designation. 
Different polymers are distinguished by the numerical value that follows the word “polyquaternium”. 
Polyquaternium-5, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-47 are three examples,  each a chemically different type of polymer. 
The numbers are assigned in the order in which they are registered rather than because of their chemical structure.

Polyquaternium-4:  Provides excellent combability, holding, gloss and antistat properties. 
This cellulosic polymer substantive to skin and hair and exhibits outstanding properties in hair care products. It is a tan powder that is water-soluble. (suggested use: 0.5 to 1%)

Polyquaternium-7 :  Leaves hair feeling soft. It is a thick viscous liquid with low odor. (suggested use: 2 to 5%)

Polyquaternium-10:   This is a cationic, water-soluble substantive conditioner for hair care. 
It provides film formation on hair and moisturization. It is non-irritating and compatible with a wide range of surfactants. It enables the formulation of clear products. (suggested use:0.25-0.5%)

Polyquaternium-44:  This 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. 
It is a viscous clear amber liquid with low odor. (suggested use:0.1-0.5%)

How does it work hair?
Since they are positively charged, they neutralize the negative charges of most shampoos, relaxers, hair proteins etc. helping the hair to lay flat. 
Their positive charge, ionically bond to the hair. 
It is particularly useful to use cationic polymers on hair exposed to high alkalinity relaxers to decrease damage to hair. 
They attach to the hair and provide conditioning benefits such as ease of combing, hair alignment, elasticity and shine. Polyquaternium also helps to reduce flyaways & static.


Ataman Kimya' s Polyquaternium Grades : 
Polyquaternium    Chemical Identity
Polyquaternium-1: Ethanol, 2,2′,2″ -nitrilotris-, polymer with 1,4-dichloro-2-butene and N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-2-butene-1,4-diamine
Polyquaternium-2: Poly[bis(2-chloroethyl) ether-alt-1,3-bis[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]urea]
Polyquaternium-4: Hydroxyethyl cellulose dimethyl diallylammonium chloride copolymer; Diallyldimethylammonium chloride-hydroxyethyl cellulose copolymer
Polyquaternium-5: Copolymer of acrylamide and quaternized dimethylammoniumethyl methacrylate
Polyquaternium-6: Poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride)
Polyquaternium-7: Copolymer of acrylamide and diallyldimethylammonium chloride
Polyquaternium-8: Copolymer of methyl and stearyl dimethylaminoethyl ester of methacrylic acid, quaternized with dimethylsulphate[2]
Polyquaternium-9: Homopolymer of N,N-(dimethylamino)ethyl ester of methacrylic acid, quaternized with bromomethane
Polyquaternium-10: Quaternized hydroxyethyl cellulose
Polyquaternium-11: Copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone and quaternized dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate
Polyquaternium-12: Ethyl methacrylate / abietyl methacrylate / diethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer quaternized with dimethyl sulfate
Polyquaternium-13: Ethyl methacrylate / oleyl methacrylate / diethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer quaternized with dimethyl sulfate
Polyquaternium-14: Trimethylaminoethylmethacrylate homopolymer
Polyquaternium-15: Acrylamide-dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate methyl chloride copolymer
Polyquaternium-16: Copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone and quaternized vinylimidazole
Polyquaternium-17: Adipic acid, dimethylaminopropylamine and dichloroethylether copolymer
Polyquaternium-18: Azelaic acid, dimethylaminopropylamine and dichloroethylether copolymer
Polyquaternium-19: Copolymer of polyvinyl alcohol and 2,3-epoxypropylamine
Polyquaternium-20: Copolymer of polyvinyl octadecyl ether and 2,3-epoxypropylamine
Polyquaternium-22: Copolymer of acrylic acid and diallyldimethylammonium Chloride
Polyquaternium-24: Quaternary ammonium salt of hydroxyethyl cellulose reacted with a lauryl dimethyl ammonium substituted epoxide.
Polyquaternium-27: Block copolymer of Polyquaternium-2 and Polyquaternium-17
Polyquaternium-28: Copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone and methacrylamidopropyl trimethylammonium
Polyquaternium-29: Chitosan modified with propylen oxide and quaternized with epichlorhydrin
Polyquaternium-30: Ethanaminium, N-(carboxymethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-2-[(2-methyl-1-oxo-2-propen-1-yl)oxy]-, inner salt, polymer with methyl 2-methyl-2-propenoate
Polyquaternium-31: N,N- dimethylaminopropyl-N-acrylamidine quatemized with diethylsulfate bound to a block of polyacrylonitrile
Polyquaternium-32: Poly(acrylamide 2-methacryloxyethyltrimethyl ammonium chloride)
Polyquaternium-33: Copolymer of trimethylaminoethylacrylate salt and acrylamide
Polyquaternium-34: Copolymer of 1,3-dibromopropane and N,N-diethyl-N′,N′-dimethyl-1,3-propanediamine
Polyquaternium-35: Methosulphate of the copolymer of methacryloyloxyethyltrimethylammonium and of methacryloyloxyethyldimethylacetylammonium
Polyquaternium-36: Copolymer of N,N-dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate and buthylmethacrylate, quaternized with dimethylsulphate
Polyquaternium-37: Poly(2-methacryloxyethyltrimethylammonium chloride)
Polyquaternium-39: Terpolymer of acrylic acid, acrylamide and diallyldimethylammonium Chloride
Polyquaternium-42: Poly[oxyethylene(dimethylimino)ethylene (dimethylimino)ethylene dichloride]
Polyquaternium-43: Copolymer of acrylamide, acrylamidopropyltrimonium chloride, 2-amidopropylacrylamide sulfonate and dimethylaminopropylamine
Polyquaternium-44: 3-Methyl-1-vinylimidazolium methyl sulfate-N-vinylpyrrolidone copolymer
Polyquaternium-45: Copolymer of (N-methyl-N-ethoxyglycine)methacrylate and N,N-dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate, quaternized with dimethyl sulphate
Polyquaternium-46: Terpolymer of vinylcaprolactam, vinylpyrrolidone, and quaternized vinylimidazole
Polyquaternium-47: Terpolymer of acrylic acid, methacrylamidopropyl trimethylammonium chloride, and methyl acrylate


Conditioning polymers are common in hair care, typically used to provide hair with a well-defined set of benefits including improved deposition of silicone and better feel through a slippery nature that eases combability.

Products are typically considered as “conditioning” when they improve the surface of skin or hair. 
In hair care, “conditioning” is typically understood to denote an improvement in the “condition” or appearance and manageability of hair alongside quality characteristics including combability, flyaway, body, curl retention, slip, and other well-defined facets.

Cationic conditioning polymers
Many conditioning polymers achieve substantivity through a cationic charge that promotes binding to the innate anionic charge of hair and skin under normal physiological pH levels. 
Past studies conducted using neonatal rat stratum corneum membranes have demonstrated that cationic polymer deposition efficacy on skin can parallel results obtained using hair fibres Depending on the nature of the material, substantivity of the polymer onto skin could provide a film or barrier function. 
Other benefits from improved substantitivity could also include enhanced deposition of ingredients and improved feel, both pertinent to skin care & Hair care.
Cationic and amphoteric polymers, such as polyquaternium-6, polyquaternium-7, and polyquaternium-39, added to hair formulations, mitigate this degradation of the hair structure. 
Also, the inclusion of high molecular-weight (>106 g/mole) copolymers of acrylamide and diallyldimethylammonium chloride, acryloyloxytrimethylammoniumchloride, or acryloyloxyethyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride in the Hair care formula results in significant reduction in the hair structural damage caused by alkaline relaxation.

Examples of cationic conditioning polymers

Chitosan
Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Collagen
Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Hair Keratin
Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin
Polyquaternium-4
Polyquaternium-10
Cationic hydroxyethylcellulose
polyquaternium-6,
polyquaternium-7,
polyquaternium-39,
polyquaternium-4,
polyquaternium-10, and
polyquaternium-44,

Silicone Conditioners

Silicone quaternaries have long been known as hair conditioning compounds. 
Leave-on silicone conditioners specifically targeted to nonshampoo applications confer enhanced and relatively durable conditioning. 
These contain emulsified vinyl-terminated silicones applied in combination with a conventional cationic conditioner. 
A preferred product type is a mousse. 
These silicone block copolymers can achieve excellent conditioning at relatively high viscosities (100 Kpa/s-1).

The advantages of silicone in your hair are the shiny look, frizz free hair and the smooth feeling you get when you wash your hair.

Names of silicones

Water Soluble Silicones
Dimethicone Copolyol
Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)
Any Silicone with PEG as a prefix

Oil soluble Silicones

Trimethylsilylamodimetheicone
Dimethicone
Phenyl Trimethicone
Cetearyl Methicone
Dimethiconol
Amodimethicon
Stearyl Dimethicone
Cyclomethicone
Cetyl Dimethicone
Cyclopentasiloxane
Behenoxy Dimethicone
Stearoxy Dimethicone

Polyquaternium or polyquat are cationic conditioning ingredients present in almost every single hair care product we find in the marketplace today. 
The words "polyquat" or "polyquaternium" is the combination of two words, "poly & quat" and "poly & quaternium." In chemistry, poly stands for polymer; it is a chemical compound made up of multiple units bonded together, while quat or quaternium suggests a positively charged species. Thus, all polyquats or polyquaterniums are cationic polymers carrying a net positive charge. They are also known as "quanternized polymers." These polymers are added into hair care formulations to improve hair fiber's overall quality due to their strong affinity for hair. Since their introduction in the early 60s, they are almost an integral part of hair care products. Recent advancements have led to introduce new versions of these polyquats with improved results and substantivity with hairs. Despite the fact of their topmost benefits, they have come under intense scrutiny in recent times because of their synthetic nature and accumulative build-up on the hair's surface.

The most commonly employed cationic polymers are; Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride Polyquaternium 6, 7, 10, 22, 28, 37 

We have around 40 different polyquats registered today. The number mentioned in their INCI name (e.g. 6 for Polyquaternium-6) represents their order or registration sequence. In today's short blog, I'll touch on some basics polyquats, their interaction with hair, as well as the build-up problem associated with them. 

Polyquats in a Hair Care Product: The Performers
Haircare products aim to improve the overall quality of our hairs. Hair damage is a prevalent problem among the vast majority of consumers. 
Everyday grooming, combing, chemical treatments, and excessive exposure to solar radiation indict significant damage to hair fibers. It loses protein content; hair becomes weak, brittle without any shine and life; thus, we need a recovery plan. 
The hair surface is the most exposed and can be fiercely damaged. The outer cuticle layer becomes eroded, and the inner cortex gets exposed. 
Moreover, hair proteins are oxidized and get negative sites all along its hair shaft. This cause frizzes and fly away problem leading to difficulty in everyday manageability and styling. At this point, we need something that can restore the outer surface of the hair shaft, improve detangling, minimize fiber-to-fiber friction, and address frizz. Cationic ingredients are an excellent remedy for this purpose.

The Basic Chemistry of Polyquats
Polyquats or polyquaternium are cationic polymers. 
They are synthetic organic polymers with a large carbon chain backbone attached to positive nitrogen centers. Over the years, polymer chemists have developed a large number of such polymers with different backbone structures and varying degrees of positive nitrogen centers. These polyquates available today differ in their molecular weight, structure, and magnitude of positive charge (nitrogen level); that's why these polyquats have varying binding strength or substantivity to hair fibers. This also gives formulation scientists a diverse range of polymers suitable for different kinds of products.

Nature-modified polyquats are more popular among formulators. 
A typical example is Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride and Polyquaternium 10, both often added in rinse-off formulations (shampoo, other cleansers). Guar gum is synthetically modified to have a quaternized nitrogen to improve its detangling and conditioning benefits compared to its parent natural guar gum. While polyquaternium 10 is cationic cellulose derived from natural cellulose ( a natural polymer extracted from wood). Both these ingredients are available in different grades, having different molecular weights and nitrogen levels. They improve hair surface properties by boosting detangling and providing ease of combing for wet and dry hairs. 

So, how do these quats work in a haircare formulation? 

Polyquat’s in Action
Positive charges love negatives; in other words, they are attracted to each other. 
Polyquat polymers carry a positive charge while hair bears negative charges at its shaft, which brings them in a coulombic interaction (the interaction between electric charges, which is electrostatic in nature), where polymer binds to the negative site at the hair surface. Polymer nitrogen gets attached to hair while long carbon chains point at the surface, offering hydrophobic lubricity. Therefore, "hair conditioning by polyquats" is pure because of their binding to the proteins at the hair's surface. The stronger the binding, the better the hair conditioning. However, a big challenge to this interaction is water wash-off during the rinse-off stages. The polyquats should offer a wash-off resistance to deliver long-lasting conditioning. 

Cationic Build-up Problem & Remedy
A negative perception about polyquat polymers is the build-up potential at the hair shaft. 
This build-up is caused by repeated applications and over usage of hair care formulations containing polyquats. The overuse of products containing cationic polymers leads to weighing down or limp, heavy and greasy hairs. Increased use alters the hair surface, prevents penetration of actives and water molecules into the hair fiber, and makes hair dull. All conditioning ingredients may cause the build-up, while polymers with higher molecular weight and more positive charges have a greater tendency to cause this problem.

Interestingly, not everyone will get this build-up. The deposition of any ingredient depends upon the physical conditions of your hair. The build-up problem is more profound for chemically altered hair due to increased negative sites and depleted hair diameter. 

Common Examples with Higher Build-up Potential 

Polyquaternium 6 (molecular weight 150,000 units) demonstrates a higher deposition at chemically treated hair and is known to cause significant build-up, which is potentially due to higher charges present at its molecule. 

Another polyquat with significant build-up is polyquaternium-7 due to its larger molecular size and higher molecular weight (1,600,000 units). 
That's why it is preferred for deep conditioning treatments for extremely curly, kinky, or coily hairs. 

Polyquaternium 10 has multiple grades with varying molecular weights. 
Its heavier versions may also cause build-up depending upon the version used. Lower molecular versions are preferred for naturally curly wavy hair, while heavier grades are used for deep conditioning products. Guar Hydropropyltrimonium Chloride is another common conditioner used in shampoos, yet it is known for its build-up because of its higher molecular weight and charge density. 

A properly adjusted hair care regimen can avoid any such build-up on your hair. 
Primarily, avoid overuse of cationic formulations such as deep conditioning shampoo or conditioners, masks, or leave-in. Having them once or twice a week might be more than enough. You can easily figure out how much you need by carefully examining your hair with your styling regimen and feel (touch your hair). 

Once in a while, wash your hair with an anti-residue shampoo to remove any build-up. 


Polyquats are fantastic active and functional ingredients offering superior hair conditioning, boosting the overall hair quality. The problem of build-up must not overshadow their overall performance and efficacy. A simple rule is "excess of everything is bad," so try to have a balance in your hair care regimen to avoid any excessive build-up. 
Moreover, a formulation is a combination of several ingredients working together as a team to deliver your hair the desired results. A single product should not be singled out or canceled based on one ingredient. In other words, a single ingredient or only polyquat should not be held responsible for the build-up. Your hair is the result of teamwork by all the components present in the formulation. It's the formulator's job to ensure these ingredients work synergistically to have beautiful, stylish hair. 
So, don't be concerned by polyquats in your product, as they are excellent multifunctional actives for your hair. 


 

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