Polyquaterniums-7, – Polyquaternium-22, Polyquaternium-37 – Properties and Uses


Polyquaternium is a common name for cosmetic ingredients used in the beauty and personal care industry.  The compound ascertains the existence of the quaternary ammonium believed to be in the polymer. The International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient has approved about 37 polymers in the polyquaternium label.

Some of them include Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-22, Polyquaternium-5, Polyquaternium-37, etc. However, the numbers given are based on their registration and not their structure. Given that polyquaterniums are positively charged, they counterbalance the negative charges of conditioners, shampoos, hair sprays, this enhancing the hair ability to remain intact.

These positive charges are what enables the Polyquaternium to blend in the hair and skin. Here are some of the polyquaterniums, their properties and their uses.

Polyquaternium 22

Also known as polyquat 22 or quaternium 22, polyquaternium 22 is a chemical compound with a high charge density, pH ranging between 1-14, amphoteric, and contains moisture. It enhances dry and wet components present in hair products and improves the feel of skincare products. Polyquaternium 22 is found in hair products such as dyes, shampoos, conditioners, dyes, and relaxers. The reason behind the use of polyquaternium 22 in these hair products include:

  • Aids in maintaining hair curls.
  • Gives shampoos their soft texture and creamy foam.
  • Keeps the hair soft.
  • Enhances product lubricity for easier application.

Polyquaternium 22 is also found in skincare products such as lotions, soaps, deodorants, moisturizers, and shaving products. It is used to:

  • Keep skin smooth.
  • Has lubricity that makes it easy to apply skincare products.
  • Gives cleansers a better foam.
  • Enhances skin moisture.

Polyquaternium 37

Polyquaternium 37 is classified as a quaternary ammonium salt. It is commonly found in hair care and skincare products mainly because it is a fixative, prevents static electricity build-up, and forms a protective film. You will commonly find the component in conditioners, shampoos, styling gels, lotions, facial cleansers, baby products, creams, and sunscreen products. Here are some of the reasons why it is found in these beauty and personal care products.

  • Acts as a conditioning agent, thus keeping your skin and hair soft.
  • It is an emulsifier.
  • It is a film former that allows the skin and hair to retains their moisture.
  • It also enhances the soft feel of the products, making it easy to use the products conveniently.

Polyquaternium 7

Polyquaternium 7 is a quaternary ammonium compound, a good cationic, and a soluble conditioner that works well for your skin and hair. The compound has a hydrophilic property that absorbs and retains moisture for the skin. This making your dry hair remain soft and easy to manage. Polyquaternium 7 is found on products that need surfactants such as shampoos, hair dyes, mousses, serums, and hair sprays. You will also find it in lotions, shaving creams, and moisturizers. Here are the common reasons why it is widely used in those hair and skin products.

  • Prevents hair frizz.
  • Creates a protective shield that helps retain hair and skin moisture.
  • Improves skin texture without making your skin oily.
  • Act as a stabilizer and a thickener, thus increasing the products’ viscosity.


Polyquaternium safety is guaranteed for your skin and hair use. The only requirement is the moderate use of the product to get the desired results. Polyquaterniums are commonly used in beauty and personal care products such as shampoos, hair gels, mousses, hair serums, sunscreen products, etc. The outcome is smooth, soft, moisturized, and healthy skin and hair. But remember, everyone has different skin. Thus, every Tom, Dick, and Harry is bound to get different results. Do the best research you can to ascertain whether your skin and hair are safe for polyquaternium use.

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