No reason to have bad hair days in your virtual life! The way other users interact with your avatar depends greatly upon outward appearance. You want to lose that noobish look ASAP! Hairstyles play a big part in a great look for your avatar, and you really can't get it right with the built-in appearance tools.
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Step 1: Go Ahead and Try the Built in Sliders...
There's no harm in playing with the sliders. It is actually quite fun. Just remove the starter hair that came with your avatar by right mouse clicking on it and and choosing "detach". This will leave you with a bald head. Then, right click your avatar, and choose "appearance". Your avatar will assume a still pose. Choose the "hair tab" and have at it for a bit. If you prove me wrong by creating something flattering, do send a snapshot of it along to me. But I'm betting you will grow weary of this game after a while and be ready for some other options.
Step 2: Shop for Prim Hair...
The quickest way to upgrade your avatar's appearance is with some great prim hair. It comes in thousands of styles and colors priced at around L$100 to L$250 for one style in a range of 6 or so colors. Almost every store allows you to try a demo version which you purchase for L$0. To find places that sell hair, look in search using keyword "hair".
Prim hair is made up of many small pieces called "prims". Some hairstyles have hundreds of prims. Some hairstyles are rigid and some are flexible, meaning that they move when you move. This gives a more natural appearance. Flexi or not should be indicated on the display in the store.
Some stores offer one or more styles for free as a promotional item. There are also some non-commercial locations, like orientation areas, that offer free prim hair. IM me, Thynka Little, in-world to say you saw this on Instructables, and I will give you my current list of freebie places.
Step 3: You Can't Wear Slider Hair and Prim Hair Together...
Slider hair is part of your avatar's form. Prim hair attaches to your head. To resolve this conflict you need something called a "bald cap". Look for it in the inventory folder with your new prim hair. Right click the bald cap in inventory and choose "wear". The slider hair will go away leaving you with a lovely bald head.
Step 4: Trying on the Hair...
Ready to wear the hair? Find the item in your inventory. The simple way to do that is to look in the "recent items" tab, or the name of the store where you bought it.
You will need a pose stand to keep your avatar still while you work on the hair. If you don't have a pose stand in inventory, IM me (Thynka Little) in-world, say you saw this on Instructables, and I will give you one. Drag the pose stand onto the ground from your inventory. Right click it and choose "stand".
Now, either right click the hair and choose wear, or drag its icon onto your avatar from the inventory.
Step 5: It Doesn't Fit Right!
No worries, most prim hair needs some adjustment. Almost all hair has permission to be modified.
There are two things you can do: change the size of the hair or change the position on your head.
Step 6: Not Possible in Real Life... But Entirely Fixable in Your Virtual Life...
The built-in editing tools will help you to correct this problem. To get there, stand on your pose disk, right click the prim hair and left click on "edit".
Step 7: Stretching to Resize the Hair...
A dialogue box will open. Choose "stretch", and "stretch both sides". You will notice tiny gray cubes surrounding your avatar's head. I don't know why they are so tiny. Grab any one of them with your mouse by clicking and holding the left mouse button and SLOWLY pull the cube away from the hair. You will need to play with this a little until it looks right to you. If, perhaps, the hair seems too big, just do the reverse and grab and slide toward the hair.
Even if your hair says "no modify" next to its name in your inventory, you will be able to adjust size and position. If not, ask for a refund. Almost all hair is copy, no transfer. This means you can save a copy with every outfit you make, but you can't give a copy of the hair to your friend. It also means that if you totally screwed up at this point, you can delete this head of hair and start over by wearing another copy. Take a look in your inventory and see, it will be in there. Be patient.
Step 8: Repositioning Hair on the Head...
If your hair still is not sitting quite right on your head, you can reposition it. Again right mouse click on the hair and choose edit. In the dialogue box choose "position". Note that you see multidirectional arrows, red, blue, and green, representing each axis. You can move the hair back and forth in any of these directions by left mouse clicking on the arrow end and dragging slooooowwwly.
Oopsie? Not a problem even if it comes off your head. Just slide it back. In the unlikely-- but still possible-- event that you fling your hair off into the Metaverse and it is lost, just take a new copy from your inventory.
Again, continue to play with size and position until you are satisfied. If nothing works, you may want to consider reshaping your head.
Step 9: Check All Angles...
View all around your head for bald spots. Use either the camera control arrows on your desktop, or alt-zoom. To alt-zoom, hold your computer's alt key and while holding down your left mouse key and moving the mouse around. If everything looks good, you can get off the pose stand by clicking 'stand up' at the bottom of your screen.
Step 10: Need More Help?
Need help getting started in the Second Life virtual world? IM Thynka Little or visit Morrill, home of the Cooperative Extension in SL.