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This brief review of polymer-surfactant interaction opens by describing how polymers behave in solution. Then we survey the literature on the interaction of nonionic polymers with surfactants, and the interaction of polyelectrolytes with ionic surfactants of opposite charge. After a brief discussion of polymer adsorption at interfaces, we consider the implications of these interactions on the design of shampoo products.
Polymer-surfactant interaction in personal care compositions usually occurs in aqueous media. In order to understand the concepts of this type of polymer-surfactant interaction, it is first necessary to grasp how typical polymers behave in solution. The condition for a polymer molecule to dissolve is that the polymer-solvent interaction is greater than both polymer-polymer and solvent-solvent interactions. If this condition is achieved the polymer will dissolve and, depending upon the concentration,
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