Hair and fingernails may appear longer after death, but not because they are still growing. Instead, a persons fingernails and hair may appear longer because the skin around them has retracted, according to the Dermatology Clinic at UAMS.
After death, dehydration causes the skin and other soft tissues to shrink. This occurs while the hair and nails remain the same length. This change in the body creates the optical illusion of growth people observe.
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