# Can an electric chair shock raise your hair?

What the title says- is it as it is often portrayed in cartoons?

• Purely anecdotal, but the highlight of my day is when my 2-year-old goes down a plastic slide and all his hair stands up on end when he does it, just like in Science class at highschool. – Mark Henderson Jul 16 '12 at 3:15
• @MarkHenderson that's just standard static electricity, he means when the body is part of a circuit (I vote no) – ratchet freak Jul 16 '12 at 13:09
• @ratchetfreak They're the same thing in terms of physics. Your body has capacitance, which means it can store a net positive number of electrons above its normal baseline when "charged" in some way. The answer to OP's question depends on whether we can momentarily store enough electrons to cause an electromagnetic repulsion effect strong enough to move hair. I'd lean towards yes, since we can certainly do it with a Van-de-Graaff generator, but I'd imagine the process would kill you. – Polynomial Jul 16 '12 at 22:12
• @Polynomial - The purpose of the electric chair is for executions... so that the process kills you is more the objective than having hair stand on end. Usually the head is shaved and covered in a conducting helmet so its hard to say if this happens. – Chad Jul 17 '12 at 16:24
• The spiky hair effect is caused by a buildup of a static electricity charge. All the individual strands of hair build up a charge of the same type and as like charges repel the hair strands all repel each other. An electric chair forces alternating current through the body so a static charge can't build up – GordonM Sep 24 '18 at 9:28