Hair
Death and Dying

Does hair grow after death?

Answer

User Avatar
Wiki User
05/07/2015

Yes and No.

Many bodily functions continue for a few minutes after death. Hair growth (as well as finger and toe nails) is one of them. This is because these things are controlled by chemicals in the body, not signals from the brain, and although the heart may have stopped beating, there is still a small amount of growth chemical in each cell. These cells continue to do their jobs until they run of of chemicals to work with.

But in the space of 2 or 3 minutes it will grow by such a small amount as to be unmeasureable!

An interesting side consequence however is what happens several weeks later. Hair and finger/toe nails are embedded deep within the bodily tissues and so as the skin dries out and shrinks, it exposes the roots of the hair and nails and so they appear to have grown longer by up to half a centimeter.

In more superstitious times and places, this was regarded as proof of a vampire.
No they don't. But it is a medical fact that the scalp and other flesh loses water when the body dies, giving hair an appearance that it's grown because of the shrinking of the flesh.
no, the hair dosent grow, but the skin recedes so it appears that the hair and fingernails grow when its water evaporating from the skin making it shrink and pull back.

Pretty much no important amount of time at all.

To make hair, the hair sacs need nutrition and a working blood flow. Dead bodies don't do any of that, so the cells die fairly soon, and with that there's no more growth.

(now, to be picky, skin cells remain "alive" quite a while(say about one hour) after someone has been declared legally dead. And in that time there might just be a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of growth happening)

The current explanation to this idea is that when somebody dies, the skin begins to thin and dry out, changing the features and forcing a little bit more of the hair out in the open, giving the appearence of a little growth.

Pretty much no important amount of time at all.

To make hair, the hair sacs need nutrition and a working blood flow. Dead bodies don't do any of that, so the cells die fairly soon, and with that there's no more growth.

(now, to be picky, skin cells remain "alive" quite a while(say about one hour) after someone has been declared legally dead. And in that time there might just be a tiny, tiny, tiny amount of growth happening)

The current explanation to this idea is that when somebody dies, the skin begins to thin and dry out, changing the features and forcing a little bit more of the hair out in the open, giving the appearence of a little growth.