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 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.
Polyquaterniums find particular application in conditioners, shampoo, mousse, hair spray, hair dye, and contact lens solutions. Because they are positively charged, they neutralize the negative charges of most shampoos and hair proteins and help hair lay flat. Their positive charges also ionically bond them to hair and skin.
|Polyquaternium-5||Copolymer of acrylamide and quaternized dimethylammoniumethyl methacrylate|
|Polyquaternium-7||Copolymer of acrylamide and diallyldimethylammonium chloride|
|Polyquaternium-11||Copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone and quaternized dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate|
|Polyquaternium-16||Copolymer of vinylpyrrolidone and quaternized vinylimidazole|
|Polyquaternium-46||Terpolymer of vinylcaprolactam, vinylpyrrolidone, and quaternized vinylimidazole|
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