Alopecia (Hair Loss)

July 27, 2022

Non-Scarring and Scarring Alopecia

Differences between Non-Scarring and Scarring Alopecia

When anyone typically thinks of alopecia, the first thing that comes to mind is hair loss. Although this is true, there are different forms of alopecia that may not lead to permanent hair loss. Today, we will go over the two conditions that occur with hair loss: non-scarring and scarring.

Overview of Non-Scarring Alopecia

“Hair follicles are preserved with potential for hair regrowth” (Bernardez).  Some examples of non-scarring alopecia would include syphilis, alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and androgenetic alopecia (AGA). 

Woman with non-scarring alopecia in the front of her hair
Man with non-scarring alopecia


Although there is not a direct cause to non-scarring alopecia some causes may include transmitted bacteria, tight hairstyles, and an increase in testosterone.  

Typically what happens with non-scarring alopecia is the capillary cycle alters. You may ask yourself what a capillary cycle is and in a simple sense, it is just the schedule in which your hair grows and the reconstruction of hair follicles/strands. In a future blog post, we will go over the benefits of knowing your hair’s capillary cycle and treatments. 


Depending on the type of non-scarring alopecia diagnosed some treatments would include: platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy, topical minoxidil, antifungal medications, oral finasteride,  hair transplantation, or steroids.

Overview of Scarring Alopecia

Scarring alopecia is the complete opposite of non-scarring because it’s an inflammation of the scalp that causes permanent hair loss and scarring. There is a period where with the proper treatment, hair regrows chemically. Scarring alopecia can also occur in both women and men, healthy or not. 

Note: Scarring alopecia is also called cicatricial alopecia. 

Hair follicles are destroyed due to the inflammation causing scarring and permanent hair loss. Gradually, sometimes scarring alopecia becomes unnoticed, but in other cases it will be attached to severe pain, itching, burning, and much more. 


Some causes of scarring alopecia would include destruction of hair follicles from chemotherapy, changes in lipid metabolism, inflammation, genetic factors, and many more. 


Oral anti-inflammatories, topical steroids (e.g Clobetasol ointment), intralesional steroids, antibiotics (e.g. Doxycycline), platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy and low-level light laser therapy.  

Treatment for hair regrowth is possible with scarring alopecia, but only after the burnt-out phase is complete. 

While knowing the differences between non-scarring and scarring alopecia, you will not only be able to have well-knowledgeable conversations but also keep you informed about possible situations with you or a close loved one.  It’s important to note that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule a scalp biopsy as soon as possible with a licensed dermatologist. 

While having non-scarring and scarring alopecia is rare, I can say I am one of the few.  Read  more about my journey at My Alopecia (Hair Loss) Story. If you haven’t heard me say it before, you’ll hear it now.  I can say along with the licensed professionals that have helped me through my journey, Hair & Scalp Revitalizing Serum: Powerful Strength has helped me tremendously through my hair regrowth journey. 

Disclaimer: All information and resources cited are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted.  Also, the information in this article is intended to motivate readers to make their own health-conscious decisions after consulting with their licensed healthcare provider.  Please proceed with caution when trying anything you read here and always do proper research before trying something new.

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