John died in a fire inside a house. John's hair was totally destroyed by the fire.

His body was extracted and resurrected with the Resurrection spell. Its description says:

This spell closes all mortal wounds and restores any missing body parts.

Does it include John’s hair? Will he be raised bald or with hair?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please avoid using comments to answer. The answer form is just a few pixels down and won’t get your post deleted. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 0:37

3 Answers 3


Yes, hair is a body part for the purpose of spells.

I've searched the Player's Handbook for all references to 'hair'. Most references to hair relate to how hair contributes to your appearance or body (there is even a slot in your character sheet for hair). However, we want to see whether spells treat hair as a 'body part'. There are three spells which reference hair and body parts together.


If you have a body part, lock of hair, clipping from a nail, or similar portion of the target's body, the target makes its saving throw with disadvantage.


Body part, lock of hair, bit of nail, or the like


some hair, fingernail clippings, or other piece of that creature's body

The phrasing of scrying might suggest that 'body part' and 'lock of hair' are separate things, but this quote from the scrying spell comes from inside a small table where there was not room for any more words. It may just be that 'hair' and 'nail' are included in this brief list to highlight that these are valid and common options for body parts.

The phrasing of dream might also be read as suggesting that 'body part' and 'lock of hair' are separate things, but dream also categorised both things as a 'portion of the target's body'. By any plain English reading, a 'portion of the target's body' is synonymous with a 'body part'. This implies that hair is indeed a body part, and is probably mentioned separately because it is a very common choice of body part for the spell.

The phrasing for simulacrum further supports that hair is a body part, by equating 'hair' to a 'piece of that creature's body'. Simulacrum is notable in these three examples for not including the phrase 'body part' while clearly talking about body parts.

In conclusion, hair is counted as part of the body. Therefore, resurrection should regrow John's burnt hair, just as it would regrow his burnt skin and other body parts.

Thematically, this conclusion makes sense. Resurrection is a high-level spell which restores a dead creature to a fully functioning body (magical afflictions notwithstanding). It would be strange if resurrection would fix all wounds but not also fix hair in the process of restoring the body.

As a caveat, I will admit that there is some ambiguity in these readings. It depends on how broadly you define 'body part'. If you have a more restrictive definition of 'body part' than 'part/piece/portion of the body', then the logic above would fail. However, if you get to these kinds of semantics, then it will ultimately boil down to how the GM rules on these small ambiguously defined details.

  • \$\begingroup\$ My ruling on this for my table is if it contains DNA... so hair and nails are out at my table... however a vial of blood would work. But it isn't like your buddy is going to care if you cut of part of their corpse, he won't feel a thing. Specifically for resurrection anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 2:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth How does your DNA rationale interact with the above mentioned spells? Dream, scrying and simulacrum all indicate that hair and nails are adequate to uniquely identify a creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 7:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ I actually read this in reverse based on how you worded your answer. I meant in order for a person to be brought back. However, most of the other spells listed have lore in multiple stories and legend that support the use of hair in scrying and voodoo. When brought back hair would grow back I just don't allow just hair as a viable part for the casting of resurrection or simulacrum for that matter. The rest are fine at my table. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented Dec 1, 2019 at 15:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth actually hair and nails could contain dna because they will most likely have part of the skin attached in the case of hair and nails and blood in the case of nails should they be forcibly removed. Also if anything with dna works just about anything produced by the body should contain it in some amount even if it’s not a body part. I wouldn’t say blood is a body part. Then again this is most likely a moot point anyways since the op is clearly asking for raw. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 18:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MageintheBarrel The most common source for bits of nail is from clippings of the nail, which don't involve ripping out the nail. What you are describing is DNA from contaminants attached to nail and hair, not DNA in the hair or nail itself. However, this conversation has turned away from the original topic. Further discussion should go into chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 0:44

Hair is not a body part for spells.

Both dream and scrying list hair separately from a body part, while simulacrum lists it as a piece of a body.

This suggests that in and hair is not a body part.


The other answer posits:

It may just be that 'hair' and 'nail' are included in this brief list to highlight that these are valid and common options for body parts.

I find this interpretation to be wishful thinking. The usual English phrasing, if the intent was to call out specific body parts in a list that also includes body parts, would be something like "If you have a body part, such as a lock of hair, clipping from a nail, or similar portion of the target's body". It is very poor English usage to provide a list of items where both a broader category and a subcategory of the broader category are provided without further clarification.

So technically, using only the rules as published, the answer to the question is:

Nothing in the rules provide specific information, but based on the reading of at least some related texts in the rules, hair is not a body part.

That said, it would as always be reasonable for a DM to rule that the hair is restored along with the rest of the body. Given the ambiguity in the rules and the plausibility that the spell is intended to restore 100% of a person's original state, that's entirely consistent with ignoring the suggestive text in the rules and allowing hair to be restored anyway.

That said, even if a DM rules that hair is not restored immediately with the casting of the spell,

The hair will eventually grow back, since surely the hair follicle itself is obviously a body part, being entirely contained within the skin, which itself must be a body part.

After all, if the skin is not a body part, then missing hair is going to be the least of a burn victim's worries when being brought back to life by Resurrection.


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