Silicone Quaternary Microemulsion: A Multifunctional Product for Hair Care

December 18, 2005 | Contact Author | By: Todd Ostergaard, Alvaro Gomes, Kim Quackenbush and Bethany Johnson, Dow Corning Corporation
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Keywords: conditioner | multifunctional | silicone quaternary polymer | microemulsion | heat protection | permanent color retention | body | volume

Abstract: A new multifunctional silicone quaternary polymer microemulsion for hair offers conditioning, as well as protection from heat, improved permanent color retention, enhanced body and volume, and product clarity.

While silicones can impart specific feel characteristics to keratinous fibers, formulators find that supplementary additives or combinations of silicones are usually needed to create a hair care formulation that can deliver multiple attributes beyond conditioning. This article describes a new silicone quaternary polymer that conditions and protects hair from heat. A microemulsion form of this polymer also improves permanent color retention, enhances body and volume, and can be used to create both opaque and clear formulations, as demonstrated in tests described here.

Because of their positive charge, quaternary ammonium functional silicones are useful in treating materials and surfaces that are primarily negatively charged, such as in many textile and personal care applications. The quaternary ammonium functionality of the material makes possible ionic interactions that are the basis of many useful properties.

A proprietary stable microemulsiona containing silicone quaternium-16 allows formulators to more easily incorporate the quaternary polymer into formulations. The microemulsion contains a silicone-based amino-polymer in which the amine-functional groups have been cationized with quaternary groups (Figure 1). The quaternary amine functional polymer exhibits a viscosity in excess of 1 MM cP and thus would be difficult to incorporate into personal care formulations as a neat polymer. Due to its hydrophobic nature, incorporation into water-based systems can be challenging. To overcome this formulating obstacle, a cosmetically acceptable solvent (2-butyl octanol) is combined with the polymer to reduce the overall bulk viscosity. The polymer is then emulsified to further aid the cosmetic formulator by enabling straightforward incorporation into water-based formulations. The nonionic, amine-functional microemulsion is a mechanical microemulsion that contains 23% quaternized siloxane polymer. Because the new material is a microemulsion, it can be used to produce clear formulations.