Mildred must know...so what is Quaternium-26?
The Right Brain replies:
Ah yes, The quaternium series. What a great example of the wacky world of chemical nomenclature.
How chemicals are named
As anyone who has taken a chemistry class knows, there are specific algorithms used to name chemical compounds. According to that system, known as IUPAC, this ingredient is called 1-Propanaminium, 3-amino-N-(2-hydroxyethyl)-N,N-dimethyl-, N-mink-oil acyl derivs., chlorides. But the cosmetic industry, bless its little heart, uses an entirely different convention. It chose to name chemicals of this nature after one of its defining characteristics which is the presence of a quaternized nitrogen. Hence the “Quaternium–” series. To make things even more confusing, enter the chemical venders. These are the companies who make and sell the chemicals and of course they have their own trade names for each of these ingredients. Case in point: Quaternium-26 is also known as Ceraphyl 65. Got it now? The important thing to remember is that hyphenated chemicals are always 39% more toxic. (Just joking!)
What does Quaternium-26 do?
But enough with the moniker musing- what the heck does this stuff do? It’s an anti-stat and hair conditioning agent that’s used in a variety of products including styling lotions, sprays, leave on conditioners, even perms, and dry shampoos. It prevents static flyway and helps keep hair feeling soft.
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