Polyquaternium is a group of chemical compounds. Representatives of this group are named according to INCI, inter alia, because of their film-forming and anti-static properties in many personal care products contain, eg in shampoos.


Suitable quaternary ammonium compounds have Polyquaternium derivatives quaternary nitrogen atoms, that is, all four hydrogen atoms of the ammonium ion are replaced by organic radicals. Thus the compounds are cationic, ie, have a positive charge. Most of them are polymeric molecules.


Polyquaternium and Quaternium are, according to the INCI nomenclature, Rule 23, designations for complex quaternary ammonium compounds. The various members of this group are distinguished by numbers. For example, polyquaternium-1, polyquaternium -42, etc. The hyphen may be absent.


  • Film formers: Many Polyquaternium- representative form on surfaces, such as hair or fingernails, a continuous film. The film should have a protective and stabilizing et al.
  • Antistatic agents: They reduce the electrostatic charge by friction effects, eg by combing hair.
  • Detangler.

Some representatives of the Polyquaternium- group have additional functions. Be such as Polyquaternium -2 make the skin supple, Polyquaternium -45, -46 and -47 facilitate as a hair fixative the shaping of hairstyles.


  • Discoloration of laundry that has come into contact with polyquaternium. Polyquaternium is deposited not only on the skin and hair but also on linen fibers. Due to the cationic property of Polyquaternium the surface of laundry is positively charged. This results in the wash - which is negatively charged - to the fact that dissolved in the wash water color pigments or dirt are attracted to the clothes and deposit on these fixed.
  • Polyquaternium -7 contains - even if only small amounts - acrylamide.