Why Hair And Fingernails Appear To Grow After Death

Fingernails and hair continuing an unruly spiral and tangle while six feet under could be the fate of some poor soul in a gruesomely awesome horror movie spectacle. But is there any truth to this myth?

Hair and nails do not grow like plants in soil, and since the host body is dead, it stands to reason the cell division required for growth will cease. The reason this tenacious fiction continues to live on is likely to disappoint your inner Freddy Krueger. It’s not that hair and nails continue to grow after death, it’s that the surrounding flesh shrinks. What appears to be hair and nail growth is actually an illusion caused by dehydration of soft tissue.

Sorry to burst your ghastly bubble.


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