mhn news & blog

November 06, 2012

Omega- 3 Your Dandruff

Dastardly Dandruff

There are several causal factors for dandruff. Overactive oil glands and yeast infections are two culprits. It is also important to avoid hot water when washing your hair and to keep hot blow dryers as far from the scalp as possible. If you have a voracious sweet tooth, high blood sugar may strip your body of B vitamins and trigger dandruff.

There is also a yeast-like fungus (malassezia) that lives naturally on all our heads. If triggered, it can overpopulate the scalp and feed on oil secreted by hair follicles, irritating the skin. Other trouble makers are seborrhea dermatitis, not shampooing enough, psoriasis, eczema, or sensitivity to certain hair products such as hair dyes and styling creams or gels.

Getting Omega-3s


While there are medicated hair care products to help eliminate dandruff, you can also fight it from the inside by getting plenty of omega-3s in your diet. Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that our body cannot manufacture so we must eat omega-3 laden foods. If you have dandruff, increasing your omega-3 intake may reduce or eliminate any unwelcome fairy dust.

Omega-3s are necessary not only for healthy skin but for memory, clear thinking, regulating mood, and behavior. Experts estimate that over 95% of the U.S. population has an omega-3 deficiency, a risk factor for heart disease. Even if your scalp isn’t flaking you may want to eat more omega-3 foods or use supplements.

Omega-3 Shopping List

  • salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, lake trout, herring, halibut
  • walnuts
  • soybeans
  • flax seed, pumpkin seeds
  • fish or krill oil supplements (shop wisely for supplements; buy from reputable companies that have listed omega-3 on the product label)
  • flax and pumpkin seed oils
  • walnut and soybean oils
  • cook with high grade olive oil
  • blackberries and blueberries


Along with increasing the omega-3 intake, make sure you are getting enough B vitamins by eating plenty of dark green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, whole grains, lentils, nuts, poultry, fish, yogurt, eggs, and maybe take a B vitamin supplement.

Other recommended treatments for dandruff are deep breathing exercises, yoga, Tai chi, meditation, or other relaxation activities. It is also essential to get adequate sleep.

*Baked Salmon (salmon is a top source of omega-3s)

Ingredients (serves two)

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 tablespoons light olive oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon


  1. In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

*Baked Salmon Recipe is from