Health and Wellness

What Happens To Your Hair After You Are Dead?

Well, hair is undoubtedly one of the best parts of our bodies. We love our hair! We spend our lives taming our hair in the right way so that it looks the best. Some of us even undergo chemical treatments to enhance the beauty of our hair. But, what happens to them once we are dead?

First of all, let me tell you that hair is made up of a protein called Keratin, and this protein is completely devoid of water. Keratin is insoluble in water which is visible when we try to get rid of the hair trapped in the sink using water. Keratin is tough enough to overcome various harsh conditions.

So once you are dead, do you think your hair still keep growing? Well, the answer is no. Although it seems like they have grown up because of the shrunken size of the body. Hair growth is directly connected to the blood vessels present at the base of every hair follicle. The hair from the outer surface of the skin to the further length is already dead! That is why we can get a haircut without any pain!

After death, the body goes through various stages of decomposition, and the fate of the hair is no exception.

Here’s What Happens To Your Hair After You Are Dead

1. Initial Preservation

Shortly after death, the body undergoes a process called rigor mortis, where muscles stiffen due to biochemical changes. At this stage, the hair remains intact and unaffected.

2. Decomposition

Once the body begins to decompose, bacteria and enzymes break down organic matter, including hair. Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin, which starts to degrade along with other tissues.

3. Loss of Pigment and Structure

As decomposition progresses, the hair loses its color and structural integrity. The outer layer of the hair, known as the cuticle, starts to degrade, leading to a loss of shine and smoothness.

4. Detachment

Eventually, the hair may detach from the scalp as the connective tissue holding it in place breaks down. This process may occur at different rates depending on environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity, as well as the specific conditions of the body.

5. Fungal Growth

In humid environments, fungal growth may occur on the hair and scalp after death. Fungi thrive in moist conditions and can contribute to the breakdown of hair and other organic matter.

6. Complete Breakdown

Over time, hair, like other organic materials, undergoes complete breakdown into simpler compounds. This process is part of the natural cycle of decomposition, where organic matter is recycled back into the environment.

It’s important to note that the rate and extent of decomposition can vary depending on factors such as temperature, humidity, the presence of insects and other scavengers, and the conditions of the surrounding environment.

Another interesting thing is that studies show that hair changes color over time. They turn reddish in color when oxidation of Eumelanin in hair occurs, leaving behind pheomelanin, the pigment that imparts red color to the hair. The hair of ancient Egyptian mummies is generally reddish in color because they have been dead for a long time by now and ample time was there for the oxidation of Eumelanin.

Well, the trend of the dead seems to be trending in the living creatures too!

So why get your hair dyed when they are eventually gonna be red anyway? At least you will live a glamorous ghost life! Save that money and order yourself a pizza instead.


Although I'm a Science student, I love writing. My interest in reading gave rise to an interest in writing. I love to express my views through my writings and am always happy to help people by providing important and useful information. I write on crazy topics that grab the curiosity of the reader. I'm an optimist and have a very beautiful view about life. Life is a gift, we should live it wisely.

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