Cicatricial alopecia is hair loss due to scarring of the scalp. A common cause of scarring alopecia is the persistent tight braiding of scalp hair. Over time, this prolonged pulling on the hair follicles can cause hair loss and leave so-called scars. These scars can destroy the hair follicles in the long term and lead to permanent hair loss. More severe scarring alopecia can be caused by physical injury from tearing of the scalp or burns.