Why doesn’t hair stink when it is decomposing?

The hair that you see is already dead, just like your fingernails. It doesn’t decompose in the sense that the cells in your body do. Decomposition smells because of your body’s own internal bacteria in the gut, left unchecked by your being alive, begins to eat its way out of your gut and consume the rest of your organs. External bacteria, having no resistance from your immune system, also seep in and eat you away. Bacteria, just like anything else, leaves behind waste when it eats. Part of the smell of death is the waste products of bacteria.

IANA biologist, so this is the best I can come up with.

Just curious: How do you know hair doesn’t stink when it is decomposing?

Hope this isn’t a “need answer fast” thread!

From what I learned from my compost heap most things can decompose without a terrible odor. The trick is to make sure that the decomposition is done by aerobic microorganisms. This means that whatever is decomposing needs to have plenty of air around it. Hair has lot of air space so all the aerobic bacteria can work just fine. Also having a large surface area and small volume helps decomposition progress faster. Think about how a lot of small ice cubes will melt faster than one big one. Hair has lots of surface area so it can break down quickly. So basically what I am trying to say is, the organisms that decompose hair generally don’t give off bad odors.