Background: Dandruff is a common scalp condition affecting half of the population of the
Objective: The current study aimed at developing anti-dandruff shampoos containing tea tree oil, which
is believed to be effective against Malassezia furfur, a fungus involved in dandruff production.
Methodology: Various shampoos containing tea tree oil in 0.5 to 3% concentration were prepared after
careful selection of various shampoo ingredients. The formulated shampoos were subjected to various
quality tests such as pH, viscosity, foam production, dirt dispersion, wetting time, surface tension, solid
contents, and antimicrobial activity against a model fungal strain, namely Candida albicans. The formulated
shampoos were also compared with the marketed shampoos for quality attributes.
Results: The results revealed that tea tree oil shampoos had pH values in the range of 5 – 6, which is
close to the slightly acidic skin’s pH and considered as good for hair. All other quality attributes were
comparable to the marketed products. The marketed shampoos had superior antifungal activity due to the
presence of zinc pyrithione or a higher concentration of salicylic acid or selenium sulfide. Notwithstanding,
the tea tree oil shampoos demonstrated an appreciable antifungal activity due to synergistic effects
of tea tree oil, sodium lauryl sulphate, and salicylic acid. Furthermore, the tea tree oil shampoos were
stable during two months-long stability testing.
Conclusion: Thus, tea tree oil anti-dandruff shampoos have the potential to address the dandruff problem.