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  1. ghostkisses

    ghostkisses Member

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    What colour does hair go when you die?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by ghostkisses, Oct 9, 2017.

    Would it be possible for blonde hair to go black in death? I need the hair colour to change before the hair starts going icky - I still want the hair to be luscious, just a different colour. Plus, if it can, how long after death would this begin to happen? The body is under a house. I don't know if that would affect the condition of the soil... I'm gonna say it's pretty damp so I know that would speed up the decaying process. The body isn't really buried as such, more of in a hollowed out tunnel of mud. But it's still underground. Maybe like 2 feet underground? In England. It's only been a few days since this person died but I can come up with a faster decaying process if needed bc I have fake dead body science I made for my story. And cuz it's England it's p. cold, so umm chemical reactions should happen slower... It's not out in the open so flies and such are less likely to find it I think.

    I know hair dye exists but uhm I don't think this body has time to go to the salon anymore... I could give some magical explanation like ooohhh evil and all that but ehm I want to give my fiction a somewhat scientific approach, so if people flew in my story I'd be like "boy this is happening bc of *insert a kinda believable scientific thing here that is beyond 'ooh, experiments'*.

    And jet black as well. Just imagine the transition Willow's hair made in Buffy when she became dark Willow, except more science-y and less witch-y.

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  2. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    There could be some weird chemical reaction with something in the soil, maybe, but as a general rule hair doesn't change colour on its own.
     
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  3. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Hair and fingernails can last longer than the rest of a body because those parts of you are already, technically speaking, dead. Clipping your nails and cutting your hair doesn't hurt because there's no nerve endings. What hurts when you get your hair pulled is the stress on the follicle your hair grows from. Hair goes white because the pigment cells in hair follicles die as we get older.

    There's no way I can see that follicles would turn hair dark in death, because the follicles would be dead at that point. Depending on the hydration available to the body, one of two things is going to happen. If the body is made exceptionally dry and kept free from the outside air, you'll get a mummy, more or less.

    If the body is in a moist environment such as you'll find in soil, the body will decompose in its own fluids, and eventually the stagnant fluids in the stomach and intestines will cause bloating (in about two weeks). That's basically going to ring the dinner bell for all the little critters that like feeding on decomposing bodies. The body will, um, de-bloat, releasing all those fluids, including all over the body's hair.

    Long story short, the body won't change hair color by itself after death. You'll need a chemical exposed to the body, and there I don't know what you'd be able to use.
     
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