Food and Dandruff: What's the Link?
Include Healthy Fats
Essential fatty acids, including foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, have not been studied for dandruff, but they help support healthy hair and skin in general.
"They play a critical role in normal skin function and appearance [and] have anti-inflammatory properties," says nutrition counselor Rebecca Bitzer, RD. "Salmon, tuna fish, peanut butter, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, avocado, walnuts, and fortified eggs are great options."
Some people think adding coconut oil to your diet can improve dandruff, since it's often applied to the scalp as a dandruff home remedy. But check with your doctor before taking coconut oil regularly, since it's rich in saturated fat.
Choose Biotin and Zinc
Zinc, an essential mineral, and biotin, a B vitamin, may also improve dandruff.
"Soaps and shampoos made for dandruff contain zinc pyrithione, and there have been reports of oral zinc supplementation helping to decrease flares," Krant says. "One thing that has been shown in research is that babies low in biotin tend to have more baby seborrheic dermatitis [dandruff or cradle cap]."
Food sources of biotin include eggs, yogurt, tomatoes, and carrots. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, crab, and pumpkin seeds. Peanuts and dark chocolate are high in both nutrients.