Best polyquaternium in Shampoo

Which one is better and easier to use in Shampoo for conditioning

Polyquaternium 7
Polyquaternium 10
Polyquaternium 11


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
  • I've used both PQ-7 and PQ-10. PQ-10 also helps to increase viscosity a little.
  • I like Polyquaternium-10 but you need to keep in mind that those are like carbomers. Same INCI but the material might vary significantly! I used to have one that I used at 1% without any issues, and then I bought from another supplier and it behaves like xanthan gum (0.3% is a lot). Agree, there is additional benefit in using PQ 10 in products with hard to thicken surfactants.
    I discovered Quaternium 80 recently. It's pretty strong and it's a silicone! 
  • Of polyquaternium 10 and 7, do both thicken the product? 

    Which one thickens the most?

    If the same INCI PQ 10 vary significantly, is there any other specification that we should check with supplier or just buy from different suppliers and check which one works better? 
  • Only PQ-10 thickens.

    I think it depends on the concentration of PQ-10. I've used 100% PQ-10, which thickens at 0.3%. There is also diluted version, which is easier to work with, but it is 10% concentration, so 3% of this version is needed to achieve the same effect as the 100% one.
  • No, there are different varieties. Some are more conditioning than others and some are more thickening than others. You would need to speak with the suppliers. Having said that, it's a nice feature but I wouldn't rely on thickening from PQ 10, because it's derived from HEC which is a gum. So the thickening effect would be similar to what you get from gums, which I personally find not very pleasant. It's a nice addition when you use hard to thicken surfactants, but I wouldn't rely on it alone.
  • Thanks a lot
Sign In or Register to comment.