Hair Growth After Death

Locks of hair
Q: I heard that hair does not stop growing once you die! I'm just curious is this true. If so, how long does it keep growing afterward?
A: This is actually a myth. While it is true that when the heart stops beating and a person is declared dead the cells of the body may still be alive, even the most long-lasting cells on a corpse will only live on for a few days beyond the declaration of death.
While this can technically mean that there is growth beyond the point of death, the actual amount of growth would be negligible.
What actually happens, and what results in the idea that the hair (and nails) continue to grow is that after death, the skin begins to retract and degrade. The end result is that the hair and nails appear to get longer after death. This is why many people think that the hair continues to grow after death.
Photo: Michael C Gray/Shutterstock
See also:
What is hair made of and how does it grow?
Hair myths