What is Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride?
This is the second post in our series on conditioning ingredients. Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride is used in Phique shampoo, as well as several other national brands. The reason is its ability to make the hair feel smooth as well as target damaged areas that can make hair frizzy. To see more on what causes frizz, check out our post on it here.
Like PQ-10 in our last post, it’s a quaternized compound that uses electrostatic charge to find damaged areas of the hair. The product is derived from guar. Guar is a common ingredient in food used to thicken generally. It is considered to be a type of galactomannan. Guar gum is produced in a similar manner to other natural seed gums that are created by milling the endosperm (seeds) of legumes or grains. It’s reacted further to give it the cationic character which gives it affinity to hair. It’s mostly natural and many natural product companies don’t have issues with this ingredient.
Is Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride safe?
The safety of guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride has been researched for many years in the cosmetic industry. The CIR released a final assessment in 2012 on the safety of this product, as well as other guar derivatives. If you would like to read the full report for yourself, you can find it here. If you want just the bottom line, they found that this product, as well as other derivatives used in cosmetics are safe as used. Typically these products are used at less than 1% in formulas because they are highly effective even at low concentrations. Because it’s a gum, it tends to thicken the products it is used in, so higher quantities would yield products that are too thick. Consumers wouldn’t want to use a shampoo that they had to scoop out of the bottle with a spoon!