Do your hair and nails grow after you die? Ask Smithsonian (Smithsonian.com)
Do your hair and nails grow after you die?
Lexile

Uh, no. Your hair and nails do not grow after you die. It'a a 100-percent myth promoted by horror movies. Almost. Because there is a bit of truth to it.

Your hair and nails stop growing pretty much as soon as you die. Both nails and hair grow from the base up when new cells develop and push old ones out. And the growth of new cells requires things like oxygen and sugar things that are no longer available after someone dies.

But and this is a creepy but when someone dies, their skin dries out and pulls away from nails and hair. So, although they dont actually get longer from base to tip, hair and nails appear to grow after you die.

Watch the video, below, or use this link to learn the truth behind this myth.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is there some truth to this myth?

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COMMENTS (237)
  • Kourtney E
    5/07/2014 - 02:34 p.m.

    Umm whoa that si very weird,I have never seen a movie that showed the dead people with long nail but it is weird that you skin pulls back O-O

  • leighanna13
    5/07/2014 - 03:22 p.m.

    That would be pretty weird. What if you open someones coffin after they have been underground for a while. And you see their nails grown really long. Also their hair was really short but it grew. There is actually a person that has incredibly long nails.

  • ChaseR-ZDE
    5/07/2014 - 03:30 p.m.

    I found that weird because your hair and nails need oxygen but I found it creepy when your skin drys up and the skin to your start to get smaller when you don't have oxygen this is just

    wow

  • brow-usagi21
    5/07/2014 - 03:42 p.m.

    if someone asked me that question I don't know what I would say. I would actually just Google it on my phone. but maybe I would say yes but no :/

  • dunl-dancerr
    5/07/2014 - 03:44 p.m.

    When you die, your skin rots, making your cuticles go back farther. So, it looks like they grew even if they don't. That's how there's some truth to this.

  • coll-bubbles
    5/07/2014 - 03:45 p.m.

    It's weird that someone would think that you hair and nails would still grow after you die because your body isn't doing anything anymore. So, obviously your body can't grow anything.

  • brandon8eagles
    5/07/2014 - 04:01 p.m.

    There is some truth to that though, from the base (where your skin ends) and to the tip of your fingernail/hair it increases its measure. But that would be creepy if the nails would still grow...

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    5/07/2014 - 08:06 p.m.

    I think that it is educational that nails and hair grow because nails are living cells that keep reproducing, and hair is also living cells. Living cells mean that you are living but because you are not living the living cells will die. I think that dead bodies grow nails and hair in movies because it's usually a tragedy or it's so that people can get creeped out.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why is there some truth to this myth?
    Answer: There is some truth in this myth because if you were to look in a coffin then you might see that it has nails, but actually it was just changes that made it look like that.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    5/07/2014 - 08:18 p.m.

    I think that this fact is weird because, it talks about people who are dead and it talks about if they can grow nails and hair. I also think that the people who made the fact are strange because, they are talking about things that are out of the blue. I think this is a weird thing about people they are talking about something that nobody in the world will talk about.

  • seiaw-2
    5/07/2014 - 11:04 p.m.

    According to the smithsonian , your hair and skin don't grow after you die, although it. May seem like that because when your skin dies, it retracts from the nails or hair making them both seem longer although they are not. I never really thought about that and it really interested me because when I came to think about this detail , I realized that in movies with the dead /living dead, some of them (the dead) have unnaturally long nails or hair.

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