Best 3 Anti-Dandruff Shampoos: Our Editors’ Best Picks

Dandruff is widespread in women. Here, the anti-dandruff shampoo comes to the rescue of the victims. But not all anti-dandruff shampoos work for all. The below case of Sarah may seem relatable:
“Any black or dark color clothing had been a nightmare for Sarah throughout her high school days. Reason: white flaky powders all over her shoulders, back, and even on the books’ pages she read.
She opted for the most obvious solution– the anti-dandruff shampoo. Did it resolve her problem? NO. Rather, the problem increased and her scalp became itchier and more inflamed with days passed by.
But why?
Sarah missed out on selecting the suitable anti-dandruff shampoo for her hair and scalp types. She knew what ingredients the shampoos contained, but failed to realize which ones were effective in treating her dandruff condition. All she wanted was to see her dandruff off her scalp for good.”

Suitable Anti-Dandruff Shampoo for Your Hair

We’ve done general research on various anti-dandruff shampoos for different hair and scalp types.
The very first thing we’ve determined as the selection criteria for a suitable anti-dandruff shampoo is its ingredients. Let’s talk about that first:

  1. Selenium Sulfide: It helps in reducing dead skin on a scalp.
  2. Zinc Pyrithione: It’s an antibacterial and antifungal agent that treats dandruff seborrheic dermatitis effectively.
  3. Salicyclic Acid: This one’s a keratolytic agent, which is a mild acid as compared to the other ingredients. It softens the scalp and washes away dead skin cells.
  4. Tar Based Shampoo: The coal tar in this shampoo also slows down dead skin on the scalp.
  5. Ketoconazole Shampoo: The thriving ketoconazole works effectively against a wide range of fungi.

Inspect the labels on the shampoo bottles from the display row to determine which anti-dandruff shampoo your hair requires. Simply, check if your scalp has increasing flakes, thinning hair, dead skin areas, etc. to know which ingredient to apply.

Anti-Dandruff Shampoo According to Your Hair and Scalp

You must know your hair type before selecting a suitable anti-dandruff shampoo.
Steps to determine your hair type:

  • Step-1: Wash your hair and keep it free from dust or any products.
  • Step-2: On the second day, take a soft tissue and press it against your scalp.
  • Step-3: Check the tissue closely.
  • Step-4: If you see nothing on the pressed area, your hair is dry.
  • Step-5: If you see a few strands of hair sticking with each other, your hair is oily.
  • Step-6: If there’s an oily stain, you have a normal hair type.

Now that you’ve identified your hair type, it’s time to understand what ingredients you should seek in your anti-dandruff shampoo.

Hair Type Ingredients Treatment and Benefits
Dry Zinc Pyrithione Treats mild to moderate dandruff and prevents hair fall.
Oily Ketoconazole, Selenium Sulfide Treats moderate to severe dandruff and controls excess sebum secretion.
Normal Zinc Pyrithione Treats bacterial and fungal attacks while reduces yeast Malassezia.

The above chart isn’t an absolute solution for any hair type. You can switch between the various anti-dandruff shampoos if any shampoo isn’t working for your hair consistently.

Our Selection: Best 3 Anti-Dandruff Shampoos

We’ve put together 3 of the best rated anti-dandruff shampoos in our list. Our experience with these products is amazing!
These shampoos can benefit your hair and scalp greatly while ensuring a lustrous hair crown.

1.  Nizoral A-D Antidandruff Shampoo


  • Active ingredient: Ketoconazole 1%.
  • Liquid
  • Thick, rich, and nice-smelling lather.
  • Suitable for color-treated and chemically processed hair.

Why Choose Nizoral A-D Anti-dandruff Shampoo

  • Its active ingredient ketoconazole is proven to be effective in treating dandruff.
  • It shows results only after using twice a week between the regular shampoos.
  • It helps control flaking, itching, and scaling of the scalp.
  • It’s salon-tested.
  • It’s gentle on color-treated and gray hair.

2.  Head and Shoulders Shampoo and Conditioner 2 in 1 Green Apple


  • Conditioning shampoo.
  • Long-lasting green apple scented.
  • Liquid
  • Suitable for curly and color-treated hair.

Why Choose Head & Shoulder Shampoo & Conditioner 2 in 1 Green Apple

  • The 2 in 1 shampoo makes your hair and scalp flake-free.
  • It performs better than non-conditioning shampoos.
  • The user can see the positive results after 1 application.
  • It removes the itchiness from the scalp.
  • It’s good for people who’re suffering from dry scalp.
  • The long-lasting green apple fragrance gives your hair a refreshing aura.

3.  Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo Scalp Build-Up Control


  • Unscented and alcohol-free
  • Dermatologists recommended medicated shampoo
  • Recognized by NPF (National Psoriasis Foundation)
  • Therapeutic formula

Why Choose Neutrogena T/Sal Therapeutic Shampoo Scalp Build-Up Control

  • Its active ingredient, salicylic acid, controls flake build-ups.
  • It controls dandruff, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.
  • The formula is mild, so one can use it daily.
  • It contains no preservatives or fragrances.
  • The therapeutic formula of the shampoo works day-long on hair and scalp.
  • Reduces flaky scalp condition by 33% in just 4 weeks.

Best Anti-Dandruff Shampoos for All Types of Hair

Some anti-dandruff shampoos are manufactured keeping all hair types in mind. These shampoos not only treat dandruff but nourish your hair efficiently.
We recommend the following 3 anti-dandruff shampoos for all types of hair:

1.  Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo (The Anti-bacterial & Anti-fungal)

The central ingredient in the shampoo, the tea tree oil, is known for its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that treat the hair and scalp effectively for their dandruff, itchiness, and flakes. This shampoo can invigorate your hair health.

2.  Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo (Scalp Exfoliating and Stimulating)

Oribe anti-dandruff shampoo comes in a skincare product type bottle, containing salicylic acid as its active ingredient. This acid helps in flake exfoliation from the scalp. What more? The vitamin C and caffeine in the formula keep the scalp stimulating for better hair growth.

3.  Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo (Moisturizing & Soothing)

Maybe not that popular, yet Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo is much known for its moisturizing quality. Unlike other anti-dandruff shampoos that mostly turn your hair and scalp dry, Sachajuan keeps your scalp moist and fertile.
Apart from consisting of salicylic and lactic acid, the shampoo contains a mix of a few therapeutic oils, ensuring a soothing scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Like Sarah, there’re thousands of young and older women who’re trying to put up with dandruff and fungal problems on their hair and scalp. We’ve put together a fraction of myriad questions from them and tried to answer them below:

1.     Can beer shampoo worsen my dandruff condition?
˃ Check if your shampoo contains the real beer in it. If yes, then you’re good to go with it. Since beer contains all of Vitamin B, biotin, phosphorus, copper, and magnesium, which are responsible for healthy scalp and hair, it’s not only safe but beneficial to use beer shampoo to treat your dandruff condition.
2.     How many times can you apply anti-dandruff shampoo in a week or a month?
˃ Usually, it’s okay to apply anti-dandruff shampoo on hair about 2-3 times a week. But there’s no harm in applying it daily if your anti-dandruff shampoo is prescribed by experts and it comes with an appropriate conditioner. Check if your shampoo has a pH balance, which is vital for nourishing hair treatment. According to Head & Shoulders clinical studies, 3 times exclusive shampooing can prove effective in treating moderate to severe dandruff.
3.     Can anti-dandruff shampoo get you rid of dandruff forever?
˃ NO. There’s no anti-dandruff shampoo that can rid the white flaky residues in your hair and scalp for good. Anti-dandruff shampoos are for controlling the worsening of dandruff condition. Depending on your hair and scalp type, different anti-dandruff ingredients can prove to be suitable for your dandruff condition. Zinc pyrithione, selenium sulfide, etc. are specialized in controlling dandruff.  
4.     How many types of anti-dandruff shampoos are there?
˃ Types of anti-dandruff shampoo can be determined by the active ingredients they contain. Different ingredients are effective in treating dandruff differently. Common ingredients in an anti-dandruff shampoo could be ketoconazole, salicylic acid, lactic acid, selenium sulfide, coal tar, pyrithione zinc, etc. These ingredients may exist in an anti-dandruff shampoo singly or in a mix. So, decide what type of dandruff condition you want to treat and check ingredients on the labels to select yours.
5.     Should I oil my hair before applying anti-dandruff shampoo?
˃ If your scalp has become too dry and you’re aiming at reducing the irritation of the scalp after shampooing, it’s fine to apply an oil massage on your scalp at least half an hour before shampooing. Besides, anti-dandruff shampoos have many chemical ingredients that strip the nutrients from hair. An oil massage can help control that problem while shampooing. But if you have a misconception of reducing flaky skin by an oil massage, then know this, excessive oil/sebum secretion in the scalp leads to flaky skin and dandruff.
6.     Are herbal shampoos more effective than chemical-based shampoos in removing dandruff?
˃ As per various studies, herbal shampoos may be effective in treating dandruff and many people use them regularly due to cheaper rates and functional efficiencies. But synthetic or chemical-based shampoos are more effective than herbal ones in treating the dandruff condition.
7.     Can anti-dandruff shampoo thin my hair?
˃ It can if your hair is already thinning by this time or you’re genetically suffering from a light hair condition. But anti-dandruff shampoos hardly contribute to hair loss as they contain scalp-friendly chemicals such as zinc pyrinthione, salicylic acid, selenium sulfide, etc. These chemicals act on the scalp mildly and nourish the hair for removing dandruff and better hair growth. So, be at ease and apply the anti-dandruff shampoo without a frown.
8.      Can anti-dandruff shampoo develop an itchy and scaly scalp?
˃ It’s dandruff that develops itchy and scaly scalp if you don’t apply any treatment such as an anti-dandruff shampoo with active ingredients. Dandruff may develop in your scalp at any age and you must treat it with an effective anti-dandruff shampoo based on its active ingredients, your hair type, and consultation with a hair specialist or a dermatologist. However, if your scalp is sensitive to certain chemical ingredients that exist in anti-dandruff shampoos, you may experience an itchy rash, red bumps, etc. in your scalp.