In a series of 18 patients with folliculitis decalvans attending the Oxford hair clinic, eight were found to have areas of tufted folliculitis either at presentation or follow-up. There was no difference between these two groups in their presentation, clinical course, growth of causative organism (Staphylococcus aureus) or investigations including histology. We suggest that these two entities form part of a spectrum of a single disease. We performed lymphocyte staining on affected scalp biopsies, including CD4: CD8 and T-cell/B-cell ratios, but found no evidence of local immune suppression or failure which would explain the abnormal host response to a common pathogen in this rare condition. We introduced a new treatment regimen for these patients, oral rifampicin and oral clindamycin together for 10 weeks. Ten of the 18 patients have responded well with no evidence of recurrence 2–22 months after one course of treatment, and 15 of the 18 responded after two or three courses.