Polyquaterniums are cationic polymers and part of a family of conditioners called the trimoniums, which include the waxy ones we use a lot as emulsifiers – behentrimonium methosulfate, behentrimonium chloride, and cetrimonium bromide – and those we use as detanglers, like cetrimonium chloride. They’re positively charged or cationic, and they are all surfactants, meaning they are polar molecules that have a water loving or hydrophilic head and an oil loving or hydrophobic tail, which can bring things like oil and water together, which is why the waxy ones are great emulsifiers. Our polyquats aren’t great emulsifiers, but this feature allows them to be more water soluble so they can mix easily with water.

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