Foods contribute to dandruff and what foods prevent it?

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Sugar, dairy, greasy and alcoholic foods contribute to dandruff. Probiotics, omega fatt<h2
  y acids, protein foods prevent dandruff. Diet and dandruff link
credit: google

Food on your plate can cause dandruff in your hair. However, it is not only a cause of dandruff. Dandruff is mainly caused by an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called Malassezia, which feeds on the oils produced by your scalp. This overgrowth of yeast can be triggered by a variety of factors, including certain foods, stress, humidity, and sweating. 

Jessica Krant, (assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York) says: "A well-managed 'dandruff diet' might help." 1

What foods contribute to dandruff? 

hair-restoration doctor in Boca Raton, Fla, says: "Sweets and yeast-containing foods like beer, bread, and wine encourage fungal growth. 1


Sugar is one of the foods that might worsen dandruff symptoms. Eating a lot of sugar can raise insulin levels, which in turn triggers the creation of more oil on your scalp by activating oil-producing glands. This extra oil may give Malassezia the ideal conditions to thrive, which might result in increased dandruff. If you are prone to dandruff, cut back on your sugar consumption. Steer clear of packaged and processed meals, sodas, and other high-sugar drinks.              

Spicy and greasy foods:

Spicy and greasy foods can also be a trigger for dandruff. Spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, and chili powder can cause the scalp to become inflamed, which can lead to flaking and itching. Fried and greasy foods can make your skin excessively oily by stimulating oil glands on your scalp. If you're prone to dandruff, it's best to avoid or limit greasy foods. 

Alcoholic drinks: 

Drinks that contain alcohol can make you dandruff-prone.  Alcohol can make your body dehydrated, by excessive water loss from the body in the form of sweating and urination. Furthermore, consuming alcohol in the long term can cause nutritional deficiencies in your body, revealed by 2018 studies. It makes your scalp dehydrated and malnutrition, thus leading to dry scalp dandruff. 2

Dairy foods:

Another food that can worsen dandruff symptoms is dairy foods. However, the exact reason behind this phenomenon is still not clear. High levels of fats in dairy products stimulate testosterone levels.  This excessive level of testosterone transforms into a hormone (called DHT) that may trigger scalp and hair issues.

If you're struggling with dandruff, consider reducing your intake of dairy or you can go for non-dairy products like almond milk or soy milk.

 What foods prevent dandruff?  

On the other hand, several foods can help to prevent dandruff. 

Probiotic foods:

One of the foods that can help in removing dandruff from hair is probiotics. In the 20th century, there is a concept that fermented milk products can make your gut healthy. A healthy gut means less severity of dandruff symptoms. 3

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. They help to balance the bacteria in your gut and improve your overall immune system, which can help reduce inflammation on the scalp and prevent dandruff. 4

Sugar, dairy, greasy and alcoholic foods contribute to dandruff. Probiotics, omega fatty acids, protein foods prevent dandruff. Diet and dandruff link
credit: google

Omega-3 fatty acids:

Consuming a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may improve dandruff symptoms. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory foods, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed. 5

Anti-inflammatory foods contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support overall health and reduce inflammation in the body. Other anti-inflammatory foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Nutrient-rich foods

In addition to consuming anti-inflammatory foods, certain nutrients are particularly beneficial for scalp health. These include: 

B vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and hair. In particular, vitamin B6 is effective in reducing dandruff symptoms. Foods that are high in B vitamins include leafy greens, beans, nuts, and whole grains, which can help to nourish the scalp and reduce the risk of dandruff.

Another mineral that could help in eliminating dandruff from hair is vitamin D. Egg yolks, non-dairy products, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon are foods high in vitamin D. You may also obtain vitamin D by being outside, but it's important to use sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. 

Zinc is a nutrient that inhibits the formation of fungus, which helps prevent dandruff in hair. By causing your scalp to create sebum, which is natural oil it produces, zinc helps to repair your scalp. Beef, eggs, oysters, and breakfast cereals are among the foods high in zinc. In the case that your diet is deficient in zinc, you may also consider taking a supplement.

Protein-rich foods:

The vital nutrients that maintain hair and scalp health are found in proteins. Maintaining a strong scalp barrier is essential to avoiding dryness and holding onto moisture. Sufficient protein intake is essential since dandruff can be caused by both excessive grease and dryness. A scalp in good health is less prone to dandruff-causing factors.

The best sources of protein include fish, eggs, poultry, beans, quinoa, tofu, seitan, legumes, and nuts. Cheese also contains protein but it is not a good source of protein for people with dandruff.

Are eggs bad for dandruff?

No, eggs are not bad for dandruff, as eggs contain a complete form of protein which is absorbed easily in our body. Every food is unhealthy if you consume it in a larger amount than normal. It is good to eat up to 2 eggs a day, either for breakfast or lunch.

Sugar, dairy, greasy and alcoholic foods contribute to dandruff. Probiotics, omega fatty acids, protein foods prevent dandruff. Diet and dandruff link

Are diet and dandruff related?

Some meals might cause the body to become more inflamed, which can lead to dandruff. The body naturally reacts to injury or illness with inflammation, but persistent inflammation can be linked to several health issues, including dandruff.

A study of 187 children with an infant version of dandruff showed that once allergenic foods had been removed from their diets. After one week, the majority of them got rid of this condition completely. 6

Is dandruff related to the stomach?

Dandruff is connected to gut health, and several studies and expert opinions suggest that issues within the digestive system can influence the condition of your scalp and skin. 

If your gut health is poor, it can certainly affect nutrient absorption in your body. Proper absorption of nutrients is crucial for maintaining healthy skin and scalp. If absorption of nutrients is disturbed, it can lead to deficiencies that may affect the skin's health and potentially contribute to dandruff.


Final thoughts: 

While dandruff can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as stress and heredity, diet just may not be the only contributor. However, diet can have a major effect on the development and severity of dandruff. Try to stay away from meals heavy in sugar, dairy, and spices to reduce your chance of developing dandruff. Instead, concentrate on eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B. You may lessen your risk of dandruff and support a healthy scalp by implementing these easy adjustments. 


  1. Food and Dandruff: What's the Link? Uploaded on WebMD. (February 14, 2013).
  2. Alcohol-Mediated Organ Damages: Heart and Brain. Uploaded on Frontiers in Pharmacology. (2 February 2018).
  3. Efficacy of probiotics in hair growth and dandruff control: Asystematic review and meta-analysis. National Library of Medicine. Published online (2024 Apr 16).
  4. 10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dandruff Naturally. Healthline. (Jan 29, 2024).
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. National Library of Medicine. (2017 Sep 12).
  6. Seborrhea capitis in infants: a clinical experience in allergy therapy. National Library of Medicine. (1971 June. 29). 

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