Polyquaternium-74: An Advanced Hair Conditioning Polymer

When using a hair conditioning product such as a shampoo, consumers expect their hair to be cleansed, repaired and nourished. But they also expect their hair to be soft and shiny, with volume and a light feel. In a word, consumers expect hair to look natural.

Shampoo formulations have evolved throughout the past decades, from simple cleansing and foaming bases with poor hair conditioning performance, to fairly sophisticated systems containing a variety of surfactants combined with one or more conditioning polymers and a silicone agent.

While the inclusion of silicones in shampoo has been common since the 1990s, many limitations have prevented a more widespread use of these effective systems. Current challenges are the ability to deposit conditioning actives effectively on different types of hair, such as damaged/oxidized and virgin zones, while enabling desired adjustments to the overall sensorial experience of hair management during and after shampoo. Among the conditioning and delivery polymers introduced recently in the cosmetic industry is polyquaternium-74 (PQ-74), whose physicochemical properties and hair surface modification abilities are described in this article.

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