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Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in India – 2021



Quick Overview

Dandruff is one of the most common scalp problems faced by both men and women alike. Even children tend to get dandruff. The itchy scaly scalp that produces white flakes like a little snowfall is an annoying condition that can snowball into a bigger more serious chronic condition if left untreated. It might seem like a small problem, but dandruff tends to have a huge impact on your daily activities and mental well-being. For starters, dandruff makes your scalp itch persistently making you look like a chimpanzee. It also hinders your dressing sense with dark colors becoming taboo.

With every third person suffering from dandruff, there are a host of products available in the market that promise to eradicate these little flakes from your scalp and give you a nice clean and healthy scalp. Unfortunately, not every product that claims to rid you of dandruff gives you the promised results. Here you need to choose carefully amidst all these products to get the right shampoo that will help you with the dandruff issue without damaging your hair. This review and buyer’s guide will help you navigate through the maze of confusing shampoos in the market to choose the perfect fit for yourself.

Top Anti-Dandruff Shampoo – Budget Buys



  • Contains Arginine oil that nourishes hair from roots to tips
  • Penetrates hair fiber which strengthens hair to prevent hair fall
  • Has Zinc PT for good dandruff solution


  • Contains harmful SLS and parabens
  • Not suitable for daily use

L’Oreal is a great brand for good hair care products. The L’Oreal Paris Fall Resist 3X Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a good shampoo containing Arginine oil and ZPT. The oil helps in nourishing the hair strands and penetrates the hair fiber deeply to make the hair stronger from roots to tips. The Zinc PT in the shampoo formulation helps in effectively preventing dandruff and removing it from your scalp. This shampoo helps in controlling hair fall as well as providing a solution for dandruff.


  • Triple action hair fall solution
  • Restructures hair fiber to deeply nourish the hair from roots
  • Contains Arginine oil extracts
  • Has Zinc PT effectively fight dandruff
  • Included essential amino acids for better hair moisturization 


  • Contain cooling menthol which gives good soothing scalp relief
  • Can be used daily
  • Suitable for colored and chemically treated hair


  • Contains chemicals like SLS, Sodium Chloride, Glycol Di Stearate, etc

The Head & Shoulders Smooth and Silky Anti Dandruff Shampoo is a very effective dandruff solution. It leaves your hair silky smooth and 100% dandruff-free. It is specially formulated to be used daily and can even be used on colored and chemically treated hair without any worries. The shampoo is formulated with a fresh scent technology that gives a pleasant fragrance and makes you feel refreshed. The cooling menthol effect is great at providing soothing relief to the stressed-out and inflamed scalp.


  • 24 hours frizz control for silkier and smoother hair
  • Cooling menthol for soothing scalp relief
  • Pleasant fragrance
  • Mild pH balanced formulation
  • Suitable for daily use 


  • Formulated with ZPTO for removing dandruff
  • Leaves hair silky smooth and soft
  • Contains micro moisture serum for better hair nourishment


  • Is known to leave product residue on the scalp

If you want an anti-dandruff shampoo that leaves your hair feeling nourished and silky smooth to touch then the Dove Dandruff Care is just the thing for you. The shampoo is formulated with ZPTO as the major ingredient which fights dandruff to give you up to 100% dandruff-free hair. The ZPTO is clinically proven to target dandruff at the source and prevent it from recurring. It also contains micro moisture serum which nourishes your hair strands while cleansing the scalp. The gentle formula is suitable for daily use and gives you beautiful hair while targeting dandruff.


  • ZPTO enriched formula to fight dandruff
  • Contains micro moisture serum for hair nourishment
  • Gives smooth and silky hair from the first wash
  • Removes scalp flakes from the first wash itself
  • Suitable for daily use 

Best Medicate Anti-Dandruff Shampoo


Selsun Suspension Anti Dandruff Shampoo


  • 100% effective against dandruff
  • Removes all itchiness and flakiness from the first wash itself
  • Suitable for all hair types


  • The fragrance of the shampoo is not very pleasant
  • It is a harsh shampoo meant to be used as a topical medicine against dandruff

If you want a shampoo that is guaranteed to remove dandruff with a 100% result then look no further than the Selsun Suspension Anti Dandruff Shampoo from Abbott. This shampoo is a topical medication that includes Selenium Sulfide as its active ingredient. It is not meant to be used as a normal shampoo and should be used after cleansing your hair with a mild shampoo. You need to massage the Selsun Suspension into your scalp after cleansing it and leave it on for 2 to 3 minutes before rinsing. Further, this shampoo is only to be used once or twice a week and that too for a maximum of two weeks.


  • Topical formulation containing Selenium Sulfide
  • 100% relief from dandruff
  • Removes all the fungus from the scalp
  • Suitable to be used for Tenia Versicolor condition
  • Can only be used for two weeks at a stretch


    • Contains Climbazole and ZPTO which effectively targets dandruff at the root
    • Strengthens hair structure from within
    • Conditions hair for a soft and smooth result after washing


    • Makes the hair brittle after a few washes

    The Scalpe Pro Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is a great option to tackle dandruff from the roots. It has a special formulation that contains Climbazole and ZPTO as the active ingredients. These are scientifically proven compounds that tackle dandruff from the roots and prevents it from reoccurring. ZPTO prevents the growth of dandruff-causing fungus on the scalp thereby relieving you from the constant itchiness and flakiness. The shampoo also contains a Piroctone Olamine which strengthens the hair structure and makes it less prone to breaking. It also makes the hair fiber thicker with better density. To top it all off the Scalpe Pro Anti-Dandruff Shampoo has a good pH balanced conditioning base that leaves your hair sleek and smooth to touch.


    • Removes dandruff from the roots
    • Contains Climbazole and ZPTO as active anti-dandruff ingredients
    • Has Piroctone Olamine for making hair shafts thicker and stronger
    • Is pH balanced for good hair conditioning 


    • Suitable for treating moderate to severe dandruff
    • Maintains the pH balance of the scalp
    • Dermatologist recommended


    • Dries out hair post washing
    • Harsh for daily use

    The Cipla 8X Shampoo is a dermatologist-approved medicated shampoo that works well on all types of dandruff including severe conditions. It is very effective at reducing itchiness and removes flakiness. It contains Ciclopirox and ZPTO which are highly active anti-dandruff ingredients. The shampoo also maintains the pH balance of the scalp which results in healthier hair growth.


    • Contains Ciclopirox and ZPTO
    • Highly effective in treating dandruff
    • It is pH balanced for better hair growth
    • Soothes the scalp to relieve itching 

    Best Natural Anti-Dandruff Shampoo



    • Free from all chemicals and toxins
    • Contains tea tree oil extract that is soothing to the scalp and relieves itching and inflammation
    • Great conditioner to the hair


    • Makes the hair frizzy
    • Can dry out the scalp and cause a slight burning sensation because of ginger extract

    Natural shampoos as a great alternative to harsh chemically loaded shampoos. These are gentler and more friendly to the hair structure. The Mamaearth Tea Tree Anti Dandruff Shampoo with Tea Tree and Ginger Oil is a very effective remedy for light to moderate dandruff conditions. It is especially effective for those suffering from seasonal dandruff.

    The Tea Tree oil extract in the formulation acts as an antiseptic and anti-bacterial compound that controls the oil production on the scalp and removes the fungal growth. It also soothes the scalp to reduce itching and inflammation. The ginger extract helps in closing the pores and reduces dryness. It is also a great hair growth stimulant. The shampoo is also enriched with essential Vitamin E that nourishes and conditions the hair shafts for better hair health.


    • Includes Tea Tree and Ginger oil extracts
    • Reduces itchiness and dryness of the scalp
    • Vitamin E provides deep nourishment of the hair
    • Improves blood circulation
    • Suitable for all hair types
    • Can be used on chemically treated and colored hair 


    • Contains 100% natural bioactive essential oils like Cedarwood, Tea Tree, and Argan oil
    • Free from Parabens, Sulphates, and Salts
    • Reduces split ends and nourishes hair


    • Has a strong fragrance

    The Wow Anti Dandruff No Parabens & Sulphate Shampoo is a bestselling shampoo in the Indian market because of its mild formulation and excellent results. If you want to treat your hair to the best natural formulation with no chemicals and toxins to harm it then you should try this WOW Anti Dandruff shampoo without hesitation. It is mild enough to be recommended for daily use and contains 100% pure Cedarwood and Tea Tree oil that works on dandruff from the roots.

    Apart from this the shampoo also contains nourishing ingredients like Soya Protein, Almond Protein, Moroccan Argan Oil, and Shea Butter to deeply condition and moisturize your hair. It removes all the flakiness from the scalp and deeply nourishes it to give you dandruff free stronger hair.


    • Contains natural Cedarwood and Tea Tree oil to fight dandruff
    • Has Shea Butter, Moroccan Argan oil, Almond protein, and Soya protein
    • Makes hair stronger
    • Gives a great shine and smooth texture to the hair shafts
    • Free from all harmful chemicals 


    • pH balanced formulation
    • Contains Neem to fight dandruff naturally
    • Includes Bhringraj which stimulates hair growth and makes it less prone to breakage


    • Carries an unpleasant fragrance
    • Hair feels rough after washing

    Boitique is known to provide great Ayurvedic solutions to all skin and hair problems. Its products are not cosmetic but Ayurvedic therapeutical products with high medicinal properties. The Biotique Neem Margosa Anti Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner is an excellent 2 in 1 cleanser and conditioner that tackles dandruff from the source with natural elements like Neem. It also contains Bhringraj and Ritha which are natural hair growth stimulants and improve blood circulation on the scalp. It also nourishes and conditions the scalp to remove irritation and itchiness associated with dandruff.


    • Contains Neem to fight dandruff
    • Bhringraj and Ritha nourishes hair and improves blood circulation
    • Makes hair stronger and increases hair growth
    • Acts as both cleanser and conditioner 

    Best Premium Anti-Dandruff Shampoo



    • Comes with Piroctone Olamine to nourish the scalp and relieve scalp irritation
    • Special pH balanced formula to maintain optimal scalp health
    • Appropriate for daily use


    • Not suitable for chemically treated and colored hair

    The Sebamed Anti Dandruff Shampoo is a mild shampoo that is gentle enough to be used every day. It contains Piroctone Olamine that conditions and soothes the scalp to relieve all dandruff-related itchiness, inflammation, and flakiness. It is specially formulated to provide a well-balanced Ph 5.5 level to your scalp that in turn provides a great base for better hair health and an active blood stimulation for improved hair growth.

    The shampoo is 100% free from soap and alkali to give you gentle cleansing. It instead uses mild cleansing ingredients that gently clean the scalp and removes dandruff. This gentle care is very useful in balancing oil production and preventing dandruff from occurring.


    • Free from soap and alkali and uses only mild cleansing ingredients
    • Has a special Ph 5.5 level formula
    • Contains Piroctone Olamine that nourishes and conditions the scalp while removing dandruff
    • Protects the acid mantle of the scalp
    • Adds volume to the hair 


    • Effective long-lasting relief from dandruff
    • Contains 7 botanical extracts for hair nourishment
    • Conditions the scalp and prevents it from drying by regulating sebum production


    • Takes time to show results

    The Re’equil Dandruff Control Shampoo is sulphate, silicone, and paraben free formulation that gives long-lasting results for dandruff control. It contains Piroctone Olamine for dandruff control and 7 botanical extracts that provide deep conditioning to the hair. This also regulates the sebum production on the scalp and prevents the scalp from drying out to maintain optimal scalp health. It is dermatologically tested for dandruff control and uses only non-comedogenic ingredients.


    • Contains Piroctone Olamine for dandruff removal
    • Made with 7 botanical extracts including lemon and watercress extract
    • Regulates sebum production
    • Does not strip the scalp of its natural oils
    • Makes hair soft and silky smooth
    • Suitable for low to moderate dandruff 


    • Reduces itchiness and appearance of flakes
    • Restores the natural scalp health
    • Includes Glycolic Acid for better results


    • Has harmful Sulphates and Parabens
    • Not suitable for dry, damaged, and chemically treated hair

    The L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Instant Clear Shampoo for Anti Dandruff Action with ZNPT and Citric Acid is a purifying anti-dandruff shampoo that not only reduces dandruff but also restores and rebalances the scalp health for better healthier hair growth. It contains ZNPT to effectively fight dandruff and Glycolic Acid that reduces the appearance of flakes on the scalp. It also reduces the itchiness associated with dandruff and soothes the scalp.


    • Professional formula with ZNPT and Glycolic Acid
    • Contains Piroctone Olamine for conditioning and gentle dandruff removal
    • Rebalances the scalp health
    • Reduces itchiness and flakiness from the scalp
    • Shows results in 14 days
    • Suitable for oily to normal hair 

    What is Dandruff – An Easy Explanation

    Before you dive into the whole which shampoo is best and which shampoo works most effectively brigade it will be helpful to understand the science behind dandruff. Dandruff is a common condition that develops on the scalp which causes the scalp skin to flake off. The condition is generally not serious, and it is also not a contagious condition. Dandruff is influenced by genetics and therefore if your parents had dandruff then you have more chances of developing it as well.

    Weak to mild dandruff conditions are easily controlled and treated using a good anti-dandruff shampoo. However, severe cases or people with a strong dandruff issue need to use specialized medicated shampoos and get professional help. However, remember that dandruff is different from dry scalp and the two should not be confused. Using an anti-dandruff shampoo on a dry scalp will further worsen the condition so you need to be extra careful that the flakiness is not due to dry scalp but is dandruff.

    Dandruff and Dry Scalp – What’s The Difference?

    It is difficult to tell the difference between dry scalp and dandruff. They both have the same symptoms of flaky skin and itchiness. However, the reason behind these symptoms differs in the two conditions. With a dry scalp, the skin is devoid of moisture which causes itchiness and hence the flakiness. With dandruff, the problem is too much oil on the scalp. This oiliness causes excess dead cell build-up on the scalp which in turn leads to itching and the consequent flakiness. Some common differences are:


    One way of telling the difference is by looking at the flakes. With dandruff, the flakes tend to be bigger and oilier than with a dry scalp.

    Butter Paper Test

    Another way is through the butter paper test. Just rub the butter paper on your scalp. With dandruff, you will get oily blots on the butter paper but with a dry scalp, the paper will be clean.


    Dandruff causes skin inflammation. It tends to make the scalp itchy, red, and swollen. A dry scalp on the other hand will only cause itchiness.

    Body Dryness

    A dry scalp tends to be accompanied by dry skin in other body areas as well like your arms, knees, elbows, legs, etc. So, if you have dryness on the body then chances are you have a dry scalp rather than dandruff.

    Types of Dandruff

    The main cause of dandruff is the oily scalp. Now, the oiliness in the scalp can be triggered by two main reasons. Hence there are generally two types of dandruff:

    Seborrheic Dermatitis

    This is the most common type of dandruff. Seborrheic dermatitis tends to form anywhere you have oil glands including your eyebrows, armpits, and groin region. This condition makes the skin with the oil glands red, itchy, inflamed, and scaly. The scales can be yellow or white and flake off which creates dandruff.

    Fungal Infection

    Dandruff can also be the result of a fungal infection called Malassezia. This fungus lives on the scalp and is found in most adults and sometimes even children’s scalps. The problem arises when you have too much of this fungus on your scalp that causes the skin cells on the scalp to multiply excessively giving rise to dandruff.

    Causes of Dandruff

    Dandruff can be the result of several factors. These differ from person to person. However, the most common causes of dandruff are as follows:

    • Dandruff can be a result of a fungal infection
    • Due to excessively oily scalp
    • Not washing your hair enough so that there is dirt, grime, and oily residue on the scalp
    • Allergic reaction to hair products or other substances can trigger dandruff
    • Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema
    • Using an anti-dandruff shampoo on the dry scalp can cause dandruff
    • Hormonal problems can also lead to dandruff
    • Stress is known to worsen an already existing dandruff condition from mild to severe
    • Lack of sleep and bad diet
    • Age is another factor that causes dandruff. Young people are more prone to dandruff than older people

    Tips to Get Rid of Dandruff

    Certain lifestyle changes and good shampoo practices can easily arrest dandruff conditions. Some pro tips to help you get over dandruff are as follows:

    • Washing your hair at least 2 to 3 times a week or more if your hair demands it
    • Using a good anti-dandruff shampoo that suits your hair and scalp type
    • Regular brushing or hair with a good wide-toothed comb preferably a wooden comb
    • Avoiding chemical treatments and heat application on the hair
    • Good shampoo practice with gentle massage and thorough rinse so that there is no product residue on the scalp
    • Do not use harsh products on the hair including harsh shampoos. There tends to adversely affect the natural pH balance of the scalp that triggers dandruff
    • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep and low-stress levels

    Ingredients to Look for In a Good Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    The shampoo is only as good as the ingredients it carries in its formulation. The effectiveness of the shampoo depends on these ingredients. Hence, you should always look for the ingredients in the shampoo before making a choice. Some effective dandruff fighting ingredients that you want your anti-dandruff shampoo to have are:

    Selenium Sulfide

    This compound reduces fungal life on your scalp. It also prevents the skin cells from dying thereby reducing the dead skin cell layer on your scalp. However, it also tends to lighten your hair color so be careful about the concentration in the shampoo.

    Pyrithione Zinc

    It is an anti-fungal compound that kills the fungus on the scalp. This is a gentle compound that can be used daily if required.

    Salicylic Acid

    Salicylic acid is used to control oil production. It removes the scale from the scalp before it flakes off thereby reducing dandruff. However, salicylic acid can also overly dry out your scalp which can worsen the dandruff condition.

    Coal Tar

    Coal tar is another very popular anti-dandruff ingredient. It prevents and slows down the growth of skin cells on the scalp which in turn arrests the flaking off that causes dandruff. Coal tar is a thick dark substance that is extracted from coal. This creates a sort of thin film on the scalp. Coal tar is not recommended for daily or continued use.

    Ketocanazole or Nizoral

    This is another anti-fungal drug that kills the fungus which causes dandruff. It is highly effective, but its use should be limited.

    Normal Anti-Dandruff Shampoo Vs Medicated Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    Both normal anti-dandruff shampoo and medicated anti-dandruff shampoo help in cleansing out your scalp and treating the dandruff condition. They both contain ingredients that help tackle the itchy scaly scalp to provide relief and stop dandruff from happening. The main difference arises in the intensity of the ingredient concentration.

    A medicated anti-dandruff shampoo will have a stronger concentration of the anti-fungal drug than a normal shampoo. For this reason, medicated shampoo is only used for severe dandruff or dandruff arising from a medical condition. You should only opt for a medicated shampoo under a dermatologist’s recommendation. For normal dandruff, regular anti-dandruff shampoo is recommended.

    Choosing The Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

    It is easy to get confused about which shampoo to pick especially when you have a host of shampoos each claiming to be the best and most effective. When it comes to finding the right choice of anti-dandruff shampoo you might have to experiment a bit to understand which ingredient suits you the most. Apart from that, there are other factors you should keep in mind:


    Keep an eye out for the anti-dandruff ingredient that is used in the shampoo formulation. Some compounds like coal tar are not recommended for daily use and should only be used sparingly so keep that in mind.

    Know Your Scalp and Hair Type

    If you have dry hair or damaged hair then it is best to stay away from shampoos that have a high concentration of chemicals. Each anti-dandruff shampoo is meant for a specific hair type; hence you should choose one that is meant for your particular hair type. As for frizzy hair, ZPT is more suitable than ketoconazole.

    Chemically Treated and Colored Hair

    It is best to stay away from Coal tar and Pyrithione Zinc if you have chemically treated and colored hair. These substances tend to react with artificial colors and other chemicals used on hair.

    Men Vs Women

    Men dandruff tends to require stronger substances than women dandruff. Some anti-dandruff shampoos are unisex, and some are gender-specific. Be careful to choose an appropriate shampoo that is specific to your gender. It is a bad idea to mix them.

    Shampoo Practice

    You should always gently massage the shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips. This allows the shampoo to reach your scalp and not get lost in the hair strands. You should also let the shampoo rest on the scalp for 5 minutes to allow the ingredients to do their job more effectively before rinsing off.


    An anti-dandruff shampoo needs to be paired with an anti-dandruff conditioner. Using a normal conditioner post an anti-dandruff shampoo can neutralise the effect of the anti-dandruff shampoo. So, make sure you use an anti-dandruff conditioner along with your shampoo.

    Washing Frequency

    Some shampoos are recommended for daily wash whereas some shampoos are only meant to be used two or three times a week. There is a difference between daily wash shampoos and other shampoos. If you use a normal shampoo for a daily wash then you run the risk of exacerbating the dandruff condition by making your scalp too dry.

    Anti-Dandruff Shampoo FAQs


    Does Dirty Hair Give Rise to Dandruff?

    Contrary to popular belief dirty hair does not cause dandruff. When you do not wash your hair often enough you let the dust and grime build up on the scalp. This in turn makes the scalp oily giving rise to dandruff. Hence, it is not washing your dirty hair that causes dandruff over time and not the dirty hair by itself.

    Is Dandruff a Seasonal Condition?

    Your scalp is more prone to dandruff during monsoon seasons or under high humidity conditions since humidity induces more oil production by the oil glands. It also causes more oil build-up on the scalp which in turn causes dandruff. So, if you are generally not prone to dandruff you can expect your condition to resolve itself with the change in season. Still, it is better to use a good anti-dandruff shampoo during the dandruff onslaught rather than just waiting for it to go away.

    Is It Possible to Get Rid of Dandruff Permanently?

    Dandruff is a scalp condition that has a lot of triggers. Fortunately, dandruff does not have to be a chronic disease and most dandruff problems are easily resolved with a good anti-dandruff shampoo and healthy lifestyle choices.

    Can Shampoo Cause Dandruff in A Person?

    Certain popular ingredients are used in regular shampoos that are known to cause dandruff. These include Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Chloride, Parabens, Formaldehyde, and Polyethylene glycols (PEG). It is hence best to avoid such shampoos.

    Bottom Line

    Dandruff is a common problem that generally has an easy solution. It however carries the potential to wreak up your life if left untreated. The first line of defense for dandruff is a good anti-dandruff shampoo. With this guide and review, you can now easily choose a good anti-dandruff to keep that pestering itchiness and persistent flakiness at bay.

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