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jazmina88's avatar

Does hair grow after you die?

Asked by jazmina88 (11647points) January 17th, 2012

I’m reading a novel in which the prologue states human hair grows a centimeter a month after you die. Truth or fiction?

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11 Answers

jazmina88's avatar

btw, i’m reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez. and now my nephew says nails grow as well.

Berserker's avatar

Hair and nails will continue to grow a bit after death, yeah. Gums also recede, giving the corpse the appearance of having longer than usual teeth. It’s some freaky truth.

Jeruba's avatar

I seem to remember reading that they don’t actually grow but that the skin shrinks a little (water loss?), so they appear to. Not sure what the source was of this, but it sounded plausible to me.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’ve heard the same as @Jeruba.

filmfann's avatar

It is better for me to believe @Jeruba than consider that Anna Nicole Smith needs a bikini wax.

TexasDude's avatar

Jeruba nailed it.

Sunny2's avatar

Skin and skin tissues retract as they dry and hair, which doesn’t move or dry out, appears to grow.

Moegitto's avatar

Like everyone is saying, your hair doesn’t start at the top of the skin. It’s actually a little inside your skin. When your skin loses water, it recedes (like already said) and that hidden hair is exposed. This is also the reason why back in the olden days they used to believe in vampires. They would check the bodies after death to see that the teeth and nails seemed longer.

And knowing is half the battle!


Mariah's avatar

Yep, I’ve heard the same as Jeruba.

Incidentally, if you ever get to experience the “fun” of getting pumped full of massive amounts of saline, you’ll experience the opposite effect. Limps inflate…leg/arm hair disappears. It’s weird as heck.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m nearly certain that @Jeruba has nailed the answer, and I think one of the sources that I know that from is probably one (or several) Patricia Cornwell novels. Her character Kay Scarpetta is an excellent Medical Examiner and informs readers of all sorts of facts about dying, dead and decaying bodies.

I also trust Snopes on the topic.

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