Cetrimonium Chloride Average Cleansing Agent No known benefits Cetrimonium Chloride at a glance Quaternary ammonium salt that serves multiple functions in personal care products Works as surfactant/emulsifier that cleanses skin by mixing water with dirt and oil to be rinsed away Popular in hair care for conditioning, anti-frizz, anti-static, and detangling benefits Contributes preservative benefits and may be used to inhibit unwanted odors Deemed safe up to 10% in rinse-off products (lower amounts recommended for leave-on products) Cetrimonium Chloride description Cetrimonium chloride is a quaternary ammonium salt that serves multiple functions in personal care products, including working as a surfactant/emulsifier that cleanses skin by mixing water with dirt and oil to be rinsed away. This ingredient is most popular in hair care (including hair dyes) where it provides conditioning properties as well as anti-frizz, anti-static, and detangling benefits. It may be plant- or animal-derived or synthetic. Cetrimonium chloride can also be used as part of cosmetic preservative blends and may be used to inhibit unwanted odors from forming within a formula. It is a colorless to pale yellow liquid in raw material form. The 2012 Cosmetic Ingredient Review report deemed cetrimonium chloride safe in amounts up to 10% when used in rinse-off formulas. Studies indicate lower amounts (no greater than 1%) are recommended for leave-on products to avoid irritancy, with some research suggesting 0.25% should be the maximum to avoid sensitization.