Do Hair And Nails Grow After A Person's Death?

Have you ever wondered about the growth of hair and nails after the death of a person? There are divided opinions over this. Som...

11 months ago
Do Hair And Nails Grow After A Person's Death?

Have you ever wondered about the growth of hair and nails after the death of a person? There are divided opinions over this. Some say that hair and nail growth continues even after the person’s death while others say that once your body stops functioning, no growth takes place. Let’s find out what science says for this.

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The answer to this is actually no. The reason behind people saying that growth continues after death is mere a casual observation. Human body dehydrates after death. The skin thus, begins to shrink. This exposes all those parts of nail and hair that had always been covered under skin. This causes the hair and nails to appear longer than before. 

Fingernails grow about 0.1 millimeters i.e. 0.004 inches in a day. Glucose promotes the growth of nails. It is a form of sugar that helps to power the body. 

Dr. Doris Day, a leading dermatologist in New York City says,

"Once your body dies, there's no more glucose. So skin cells, hair cells and nail cells no longer turn over and produce new cells." 

According to another study published in The BMJ journal 2007, there is also a complex hormone regulation which is responsible for the growth of hair and nails. This process is not possible to occur if the person dies.

Popular culture also gets this fact wrong very often. In the book “All Quiet on the Western Front,” the lead imagines his dead friend’s nails growing in corkscrews. The researchers also noted that Johnny Carson also got his facts wrong. He once joked about it saying-

"For three days after death, hair and fingernails continue to grow, but phone calls taper off."

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