Behentrimonium chloride is derived from rapeseed flower

Behentrimonium chloride

Learn all about behentrimonium chloride, including how it's made, and why Puracy uses behentrimonium chloride in our products.
  • Derived from: rapeseed flower
  • Pronunciation: (Be-HEN-trimoinum \ˈklȯr-ˌīd\)
  • Type: Naturally-derived

What Is Behentrimonium chloride?

Behentrimonium chloride is a waxy solid derived from the seeds of Brassica rapa olifera, also called canola or rapeseed, which is part of the mustard plant family.[1,2] The plant has signature yellow flowers.[3] Behentrimonium chloride is quaternary ammonium salt and a straight chain alkyl trimonium.[4,5]

What Does Behentrimonium chloride Do in Our products?

Behentrimonium chloride is an antistatic and hair conditioning agent; it is also an emulsifying agent.[6] It is a type of trimonium that makes cationic chains attract to anionic charges in the protein structure of skin and hair, which creates a conditioning effect.[7] It tends not to dissolve in water, which means it remains on the hair, making it popular in rinse-off hair conditioners.[8] Behentrimonium chloride is present in hundreds of personal care products, including conditioner, hair coloring, moisturizers, bath soaps, mousse and other items.[9]

Why Puracy Uses Behentrimonium chloride

We use behentrimonium chloride in several of our products as a hair detangler, and it is a much more natural alternative to harsh silicones. The Cosmetics Ingredient Review has deemed the ingredient safe for use in cosmetics.[12] Whole Foods has deemed the ingredient acceptable in its body care quality standards.[13,14] In addition, behentrimonium chloride (25% in cetearyl alcohol) was reported to be an ocular irritant, though several studies show the ingredient is not a strong skin irritant.[15,16,17,18,19,20,21]

How Behentrimonium chloride Is Made

Making behentrimonium chloride begins by making canola oil. Canola seeds are heated then pressed via screw presses or expellers. Solvents are usually added to the remaining “presscake” to extract the remaining oil. The solvent is later removed from the oil via a steam and heat process.[10] Behentrimonium chloride is then made by quaternizing behenyl dimethylamine with methyl chloride in 30% dipropylene glycol.[11]



[1] Cosmetics Ingredient Review
[2] SpecialChem
[3] Encyclopedia Brittanica
[4] Personal Care Council
[5] Environmental Working Group
[6] Personal Care Council
[7] Personal Care Council
[8] Iwata, H., Shimada, K. Formulas, Ingredients and Production of Cosmetics: Technology of Skin- and Hair-Care Products in Japan. (2012) Springer Science & Business Media.
[9]Environmental Working Group
[10] Canola Council of Canada
[11] Cosmetics Ingredient Review
[12] Personal Care Council
[13] Whole Foods Market
[14] Whole Foods Market
[15] Croda Inc. Material safety data sheet; Behentrimonium chloride (in cetearyl alcohol). 2009. pp.1-4. MSDS.
[16] Bartnik, F. G., Wingen, F., “Percutaneous absorption of dodecyltrimethylammonium bromide, a cationic surfactant, in the rat. Food and Cosmetics Toxicology. 1979;17(6):633-637.
[17] International Research and Development Corporation. “Subchronic percutaneous toxicity study (twenty-eight days) in rabbits. Adogen 444 (54.5% cetrimonium chloride).” 1979:1-44.
[18] Croda Inc. “Material safety data sheet; Behentrimonium chloride (in isopropanol). 2004:1-4.
[19]Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products (SCCP). “Opinion on alkyl (C16, C18, C22) trimethylammonium chloride for uses other than as a preservative” 3-17-2006:1-45.
[20] Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. “Opinion on clarification of Annex II, entry 168 of the cosmetic directive: Choline salts and their esters e.g. choline chloride (INN).” Brussels, European Commission. 2009.
[21] Cameron, D.M., et al., “Confirmation of in vitro and clinical safety assessment of behentrimonium chloride-containing leave-on body lotions using post-marketing adverse event data,” Toxicology in Vitro 2013 Dec;27(8):2203-12.