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Ho-ho-how do Holiday Foods Impact Your Scalp and Hair?

Written by Robbie Salter
Ho-ho-how do Holiday Foods Impact Your Scalp and Hair?

'Tis the season to be jolly - but for those of us looking to maintain those perfect locks OR prone to scalp issues like breakouts, eczema or flakes, this time of year can be a moment of unwanted stress.  And that’s without having to deal with awkward family photos or your weird Uncle Sal. 

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’re ready to spill the cocoa beans on those sneaky foods that might be plotting against your scalp and locks. Let's dive into the festive feast with a sprinkle of wit and a dash of wisdom, shall we? 

Foods That Sleigh 

Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

For many, it’s traditional to serve fish for the holiday meal. Eating fish has a lot of health benefits beyond the obvious source of protein. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining healthy skin and hair growth. To get the most benefit from fish, you should choose options that are high in these fats like salmon, trout, anchovies, and halibut. You can also indulge in some shrimp cocktails at that  swanky office shindig.

But there’s a big BUT. This isn’t to say that all fish are equal when it comes to their nutritional value. You should avoid fish that are high in mercury, as a high concentration of mercury in your diet can be linked to dandruff. Consider avoiding mackerel, marlin, and swordfish.

Nuts & Seeds

Speaking of Omega-3 fatty acids and the adjacent Omega-6 fatty acids - you can also find them in certain varieties of nuts and seeds commonly found in holiday dishes and snacks (pecan-pie anyone?!). High-protein nuts like pecans, Brazil nuts, and walnuts are a great source of Omega-3 and Omega-6, as are pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flaxseeds.

Roast Winter Vegetables

Winter vegetables are the perfect addition to your diet for a healthy scalp, and are commonly found on the holiday dinner table.  They are a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, which play important roles in the production of hair follicles, dandruff prevention, and overall health. Vitamin C makes your hair stronger by increasing your blood circulation, thus stimulating blood flow to your hair  follicles. It can also help the follicles produce healthy natural oils (sebum) that protect your skin and keep your hair healthy and conditioned.

While you can take supplements for these vitamins, research has shown that it's better to add them to your diet naturally, as too much Vitamin A especially can contribute to hair loss. Winter vegetables include:

• Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale

• Broccoli

• Brussel Sprouts

• Winter squash

• Carrots

• Pumpkin

• Sweet Potatoes

You can serve them roasted with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper. You may also want to grab a serving of sweet potato casserole while it’s available!


Another food high in Omega-3 fatty acids is eggs! Overall, eggs are a delicious – and healthy – food to add to your diet for many reasons, including the fact that they are a wonderful source of protein. So don't feel as bad about indulging in a few deviled eggs when they show up on the holiday buffet table - it’s the holidays after all.

Dark Chocolate

If you crave something sweet over the holidays, try reaching for dark chocolate instead of other sweets.

Unlike milk chocolate, chocolate with more cacao content (and less sugar) has high levels of zinc and biotin (vitamin B7), which play a role in reducing dandruff (find them in our Balancing Shampoo, Purifying Mask and Daily Scalp Essential). Zinc is a component of tissue repair and growth in the human body, which helps maintain healthy skin - including the skin on your scalp. Research also indicates that, while it doesn't promote hair growth, biotin reduces hair loss and balding. 

Winter vegetables are the perfect addition to your diet for a healthy scalp, and are commonly found on the holiday dinner table.

Avoid These Like Old Eggnog


We all know that eating too many sweets is bad for your health  for a myriad of reasons. Traditional holiday sweets like candy canes are high in carbohydrates, low in protein, and can affect your blood sugar levels. Moreover, they can also be bad for your hair and skin. Sugar aids in the production of androgen, a hormone that can shrink your hair follicles. Without the production of natural oils on your scalp, you’ll be more prone to developing seborrheic dermatitis and psoriasis.

Baked Goods

While your favorite holiday cookies likely come with a high sugar content, they also contain another component that might contribute to an itchy, flaky scalp – yeast! While the studies are not conclusive, there's been evidence that links yeast overgrowth with dry skin. IIf you're trying to avoid a dandruff  flare-up, you might want to avoid going heavy on the holiday pastries, cookies, pies, and other baked goods that tend to adorn our holiday tables.


Specialty cocktails and traditional spirits are ever present at holiday celebrations. Besides the obvious issues with dehydration related to alcohol consumption (which can lead to dry, flaky skin), alcohol can also reduce your zinc levels. Low zinc levels have been linked to hair loss. So while having a drink or two occasionally won't have much of an effect, heavy consumption may hinder healthy hair growth.

Many cocktails are high in sugar as well, which can lead to further complications with your scalp. Yeast-heavy drinks like beer can negatively affect your scalp health - and as we mentioned above, there's some evidence that suggests yeast overgrowth may be linked to scalp discomfort like itching and irritation. 

Spicy Foods

If you experience scalp irritation, or suffer from skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, you may want to skip spicy dishes this time of year. Spicy food can cause flare ups of many common skin conditions and may cause inflammation in your stomach and intestine that can trigger a reaction elsewhere in your body. Be sure to look for the tamales with the mild savory filling and avoid going overboard on spices to ensure your scalp remains in tip top shape. 


The food you eat can play a huge role in the health of your scalp and hair, and our indulgent diets throughout the holiday season are often the culprits of flakes, itching, and irritation on our scalps.  While it’s ok to take part in culinary holiday traditions, If you want to reduce dandruff and boost the overall health of your scalp and hair, try focusing on foods high in Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, Zinc, biotin, and protein throughout the holidays like fish, nuts and seeds, and winter vegetables. It's equally important to reduce your intake of alcohol, yeast, and sugar to maintain a balanced scalp microbiome. 

And while a healthy diet is an important part of your overall scalp health, the key to controlling and maintaining a flake-free scalp is using the right set of medicated, scalp care products scientifically formulated to treat dandruff and promote healthy, gorgeous hair.

If all this seems too much to handle, go straight for our Daily Scalp Essential - a dietary supplement entirely dedicated to ensuring your body is getting the best vitamins, minerals and nutrients to support your healthiest hair yet.

Jupiter's Balancing Shampoo and Restoring Serum are also formulated with Zinc Pyrithione - a proven dandruff-fighting active ingredient. Both are included in our Advanced Oil Control Trio to help cleanse your scalp and eliminate flakes this holiday season - along with our Nourishing Conditioner to soothe scalp irritation and leave behind shiny, tangle-free locks. Unfortunately, we can’t help with Uncle Sal.

Learn more about Jupiter.

The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have about the information contained herein, as well as the risks or benefits of any treatment.