Polyquats. Discuss.

Based on what I read here:
http://www.naturallycurly.com/ingred...nce-ingredient

I get the distinct impression that polyquaterniums can just nearly as problematic as silicones. Some of you have mentioned having difficulties with polyquaternium-4, others with polyquaternium 11, and of course, all the rest. I'm curious to hear more about what people are experiencing and noticing about this ingredient and all its iterations because I think I get a fair amount of build-up from it, no matter what the number. (Even the number 4 in my Biotera is possibly causing me problems....)

Observations? Recommendations? Rants?
3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


Fotki password: chuckle
Blog: http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: nopoojillipoo
Hmm, I haven't noticed any buildup, but I'm kind of a huge failure at buildup-noticing.

I've been thinking I should shampoo once just to check out what it's like afterwards, but I have no idea what I would even want to use. My old shampoo is a 2-in-1 that's full of dimethicone.
I like polyquats in my products. I am not experiencing any buildup with the two you mentioned -- 4 & 11. I use one or the other nearly everyday.
3a/medium texture/normal porosity
I have good luck with 4 and 46 and do not notice any build up. Those are the ones that give me hold. Numbers 11 and 37...never have any problems with those either unless I am completely missing something! I read the other day that they now have poly 69...must be a chemist with a sense of humor.

I use the Biotera too and out of my army of gels, that one gives me the least amount of build up. I poo once a week though so I guess it takes care of whatever is lurking.

I wish there was a complete list somewhere of ALL the polyquats and what each one does! That would be awesome to keep in my wallet beside Sweet Pea's list.
Mod CG since April of 2007.
I don't have any problems with polyquats, but then I do shampoo a couple times a week. I know poly-4 gives me really good hold. Poly-11 - which is in B&A gel, to name one -- is going to be more moisturizing and makes my hair softer, thus giving me a softer hold and also looser and wavier hair. I know polyquats can cause some people problems, just like magnesium sulfate seems to be a problem for some, but not for others, but for me personally, they don't come anywhere close to causing the problems that silicones do.
http://public.fotki.com/msgiblet/ - pw: gibber -- Pics Added 7/10/11
Fine, Thick, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity

Countess Balashi of Divi Beach in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

If I'm Going To Have A Bad Hair Day, It Might As Well Be In Aruba!

I don't seem to have any problems with the polyquats, but I do use a shampoo once (sometimes twice) a week. Although I avoid the sulfates, I will clarify if I start to feel a little gunky. The MGA Scalp Rescue Shampoo & Conditioner have helped me avoid the clarifying for about 5 months now.

After hearing about all the problems some experience with magnesium sulfate, proteins, etc, I consider myself really fortunate. I don't really have problems with any of the ingredients. Although I try to avoid any of the silicones that require a sulfate to remove, that is about all I do.

I do rotate my products every day though. I never use the same thing 2 days in a row. Because I am such a horrible PJ, I don't use the same product more than twice in a week. I'm wondering if that is also helping to avoid the problems that others experience with ingredient sensitivity and buildup??

Have you ever tried the Blended Beauty Soy Creme Shampoo. It is sulfate free and if you wanted to try to shampoo more often, it is a really good one. Next to HCC, it is the most gently shampoo I've tried.
Type: 3a fine & dense,with normal porosity, terrible product junkie
ROUTINE: LI, enhancer, gel, plop with Curlease towel, serum product (either CIAB or Gel-les'c), clip & diffuse.
Too many favourite products to list ... I finally have my routine that works and alot of products to choose from. My product stash is huge, but well loved !!!
My hair only seems to like polyquat based stylers and gels. It's the only ones that I can seem to get to work for me. I like polyquat 4 the best, it gives me the best hold and shine. Polyquat 11 gives me horribly poofy hair and too soft a hold. I don't know if I've ever used a styler with a higher # polyquat. That being said, I also shampoo with sulfate free poo about once every week or two because after a while I feel like I need it. So maybe I do get some buildup.
3b/c fine, thick, porous, protein sensitive
Modified CG, CJ Rehab, JCWDT, KCKT, VO5 Chamomile Tea Therapy, CJDF, HEBE Gel/Mousse, Bioinfusion Rosemary Mint shampoo, occasional protein

Experimenting with BRHG

"If you want the rainbow, you've gotta put up with the rain"
Sometimes I feel like I'm the queen of buildup issues so I'll chime in.

Polyquats work by being ionically charged to the positive and attaching to hair's negative charge.

I learned from our own Curl Chemist that most surfactants are ionic and break those bonds.

However, silicones attach absolutely until forceably removed. Having had to get Soft Scrub (w/o bleach formula) to remove Rain-X from my windshield (that's the only stuff Rain-X said would work), I have a heightened distrust of something that needs something else that's so harsh to allow removal.

I've never had any problems with polyquats, but -siloxanes and some heavily-amodimethicone-laden products have been a buildup nightmare for me in the buildup-removal process.
2b w/ some 3a
product tester geek
Good topic.

I'm pretty sure my hair likes polyquats. Are they the reason why my hair looks shiny after using a silicone-free shampoo (such as Catwalk)?
2a/M-C/ii hair. Super long.
I don't use products that have polyquats. It just doesn't rinse cleanly for me and it can build up. I don't have that problem with pvp or vp.
Western Pennsylvania

3b, medium textured, medium thickness, medium porosity, protein sensitive
CG since 6/22/04

CO Washes: Suave Conditioners, Devacurl No Poo
Conditioners: Trader Joe Nourish, GV Conditioning Balm, JC Too Shea
Styling: Biosilk Rock Hard Gelee, Chi Infra Gel, GF Pure Clean Gel
DT: Devacurl Heaven in Hair, Nature's Therapy Mega Moisture, Hask Henna & Placenta (every 3 mo)

Hair photos
pw: manycurls
At one time I thought I had a problem with polyquats in B&B products. They were a very high number. But then I used other things with polyquats with just as high a number & didn't have problems.

At one time I also thought I had a problem with the stronger silicones (cyclo...xanes, etc.). But then I too used other things containing such & didn't have problems.

There had to have been other ingredients, or a combo of ingredients, or maybe it was hard water mineral buildup, or anything else giving me a hard time.

Maybe you're experiencing similar problems as I was?
At one time I thought I had a problem with polyquats in B&B products. They were a very high number. But then I used other things with polyquats with just as high a number & didn't have problems.

At one time I also thought I had a problem with the stronger silicones (cyclo...xanes, etc.). But then I too used other things containing such & didn't have problems.

There had to have been other ingredients, or a combo of ingredients, or maybe it was hard water mineral buildup, or anything else giving me a hard time.

Maybe you're experiencing similar problems as I was?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
I just don't know what the problem is, really. This haircut (trim, really) I got last week isn't helping -- there are days when I cannot coax curls from my hair. It just hangs and yet it doesn't have the feeling of being overconditioned. So, having just started using Biotera, which has polyquat 4, I thought I'd ask around and see if other people had a problem with this ingredient.

I recently tried Mop-C curling creme and found it just awful for me. Made me stringy and blah. It had polyquat-11 in it. Today I used Aveda Flax Seed and Aloe gel (also polyquat-11) and my curls still won't make an appearance. (I had to add Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control after drying to get my hair to come to life, and that, naturally, set off a stunning halo of frizz.)

So, I may be looking to blame polyquats for my uncooperative, stubbornly uncurly hair when really they are not to blame at all.

From the sound of it, most of you don't have a problem with polyquats. I will have to point my accusatory finger in another direction...
3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


Fotki password: chuckle
Blog: http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: nopoojillipoo
Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
Yes, I suppose that is the next logical question, but it makes my head spin to think about it answering it!

Lately, when I get lots of curls, I also get frizz. When I get smooth curls, they only tend to bounce if I've recently done an ACV rinse. If I get shine and definition, I don't get many curls.

But the investigation continues. I will figure this out, I think, right around the time my hair goes completely gray and bald spots appear.
3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


Fotki password: chuckle
Blog: http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: nopoojillipoo
Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
Yes, I suppose that is the next logical question, but it makes my head spin to think about it answering it!
Originally Posted by jillipoo
I have a confession. I had the same dilemma & gave up even before I started.
Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
Yes, I suppose that is the next logical question, but it makes my head spin to think about it answering it!
Originally Posted by jillipoo
I have a confession. I had the same dilemma & gave up even before I started.
Originally Posted by lazy loops
LOL! Good to know I'm not alone.
3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


Fotki password: chuckle
Blog: http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: nopoojillipoo
Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
Yes, I suppose that is the next logical question, but it makes my head spin to think about it answering it!

Lately, when I get lots of curls, I also get frizz. When I get smooth curls, they only tend to bounce if I've recently done an ACV rinse. If I get shine and definition, I don't get many curls.

But the investigation continues. I will figure this out, I think, right around the time my hair goes completely gray and bald spots appear.
Originally Posted by jillipoo
Since you say you're only getting good curls when you've recently done an ACV rinse, it sounds like it could be either overconditioning or some kind of buildup. I know you don't want to use shampoo, but what about a baking soda rinse? Maybe you could eliminate everything with polyquats long enough just to see if maybe they are causing you a problem. I wouldn't know if they cause a buildup problem for me or not since I still shampoo.
http://public.fotki.com/msgiblet/ - pw: gibber -- Pics Added 7/10/11
Fine, Thick, Normal Porosity, Normal Elasticity

Countess Balashi of Divi Beach in the Order of the Curly Crusaders

If I'm Going To Have A Bad Hair Day, It Might As Well Be In Aruba!

Is there possibly an ingredient in the offending products that you don't recognize as being in non-offending products?
Originally Posted by lazy loops
Yes, I suppose that is the next logical question, but it makes my head spin to think about it answering it!

Lately, when I get lots of curls, I also get frizz. When I get smooth curls, they only tend to bounce if I've recently done an ACV rinse. If I get shine and definition, I don't get many curls.

But the investigation continues. I will figure this out, I think, right around the time my hair goes completely gray and bald spots appear.
Originally Posted by jillipoo
Since you say you're only getting good curls when you've recently done an ACV rinse, it sounds like it could be either overconditioning or some kind of buildup. I know you don't want to use shampoo, but what about a baking soda rinse? Maybe you could eliminate everything with polyquats long enough just to see if maybe they are causing you a problem. I wouldn't know if they cause a buildup problem for me or not since I still shampoo.
Originally Posted by msgiblet
Great minds must think alike (!) because last week, I did use my Jessicurl HCC one day. But it only seemed to make my hair weaker or something.

My next brainstorm is to do a deep protein treatment. I can't think of anything else to try!
3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


Fotki password: chuckle
Blog: http://jillipoo.blogspot.com/
Twitter: nopoojillipoo
Here's another thought. Since last Sunday, I stopped conditioning every day. I had been water washing daily and conditioning, but I stopped conditioning daily, only using a leave in, and I've had great hair days every day since then, up until yesterday when it was probably time for a shampoo or cowash. Six good hair days in a row is a record for me.
3a/medium texture/normal porosity
The weather is changing, too. What works for winter may not work for Spring/Summer.

I love a polyquat gel, it provides good curl formation, but it builds up on me. I'll use a styler that has them a day or two before I shampoo. Jane Carter's C&S has one way down at the bottom.
2b/3a.

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