Do Your Hair And Finger Nails Grow After You Die?


3 Answers

Nicci nono Profile
Nicci nono answered
It is not true that fingernails, toenails, or hair continue to grow
after death. Nails and hair may appear to be longer because of the
desiccation of the surrounding flesh, but actual growth has not

"We dehydrate after dying. Our flesh dries and, in so doing, pulls
away from nails and hair. Thus, though the nail on our big toe, for
example, remains the same length as before, the toe it is seated upon
shrinks. Because we are accustomed to nails and hair growing, not
hands, feet, and heads shrinking, we perceive this change as an
increase in one rather than a decline in the other.

To quote the respected forensic anthropologist William R. Maples:
It is a myth that fingernails and hair continue to grow after death.
What really happens is that the skin may retract around them, making
the hair and nails prickle up and jut out more prominently. Erich
Maria Remarque, in his novel All Quiet on the Western Front, imagines
a dead friend's nails growing in weird, subterranean corkscrews after
his burial. It is a powerful, disturbing image, but it is pure
moonshine. No such thing occurs."

Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages: Coffin Nails

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
No, When you die, your body dehydrates and the skin shrinks. This gives that appearance that your hair and fingernails is actually growing (it looks longer).
Robyn Rothman Profile
Robyn Rothman answered
No, they don't.  The body begins to dehydrate after death so the skin dries out and retracts giving the impression that the hair and nails are still growing.

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