Stop looking like a newbie: Step 5 – Get new hair

August 26, 2007 at 1:38 pm 7 comments

5. Get some new hair

Step 5 of 5 in “How to stop looking like a newbie in Second Life

Some people might recommend you get some new hair much earlier than now, but I have found that you will end up wasting money that way. It’s always best to buy hair to match your outfit and body shape, rather than get all excited and rush out to buy hair, only to find that it doesn’t look good on your chosen head/face shape, or that the colour clashes with that gorgeous dress you just spent $600 on. Plus, now that you know how to edit prims, you will find it much easier to get your hair to fit just perfectly. And as usual, I have some tips so your hair shopping will be hassle-free!

You find hair exactly like you searched for all the other items, using the search box (CTRL F and look for “hair”). Hair shopping is the one exception to my “boutique” rule of shopping: you tend to find that the major designers like ETD, Gurlywood and Panache are popular not because of camping, but because they make a wide range of well-fitting styles and colours, and the customers keep coming back for more.

Hair usually costs between $100 – $400. The lower end of the price range tends to be “static” prim hair, which doesn’t move when you do. While this is usually fine for short styles, it can look artificial on longer tresses (unless you are going for that “sprayed stiff with 2 whole cans of hairspray” look!). Look for ads/vendors that say “flexi” on them if you are going for a more natural look.

Having said that, a word about costs: I have personally found that you do not always have to pay a lot for good hair. The main factor in whether hair looks good or not is the individual designer’s skill in texturing & building. You want hair that has shine, but is not artificially shiny. You want the strands/chunks of hair to look natural, not like some sculpted clay on your head. If they are too large, the strands look like worms or snakes. If it moves, it should have natural movement. All of these factors are down to the person designing the hair, and it’s not always reflected in high costs. For example, I think Kin does great hair, and none of it costs more than $150 (yes, even flexi hair!).

As a rule, it’s always easier to find hair to match an outfit than vice versa. I always suggest wearing the clothes you want to match when you go to the hair shop. That way, you can stand/fly next to the colour swatches to see whether the colour will match. Nearly all hair shops will have demos available, and they are usually free or $1. I wouldn’t recommend buying any hair without trying the demo first. Let me repeat that: Never buy any hair without trying the demo first. If there’s no demo, don’t buy it unless you are prepared to throw that money away.

Just like in real life, not all haircuts suit all face/body shapes. So it’s important to try out your hairstyle before you commit. I wish you could do that in real life! Some demos are editable, so you can adjust the fit to see if it will look good on your avatar. Some demos are not editable, but even then, the real versions usually are. It is rare to find hair that isn’t editable – and if you do, it’s probably because you bought from someone who isn’t a “proper” hair designer.

Once you buy the hair, wear it and edit it to fit – remembering to make a copy first! You should now be looking pretty damn good – or at the very least, you won’t be looking like a waddling newbie. That’s the last step!

Well, that’s about it. You have a new shape, skin, hair and walk. You have by now purchased some snazzy new clothes and shoes. You probably look a lot better than you did before you read this article, and hopefully the 5 steps above weren’t too difficult. In fact, you are now equipped with most of the skills you need to become a shopaholic like me! But I have one last tip for you, as a prize for reading all the way through to the end. And it’s one you’ll use over and over:

6. Save your new look as an “Outfit”

This is a great time-saver, especially if (like me) you end up buying lots of different clothes, hair and/or skins for lots of unique looks. You can save each one of these looks as an outfit, which makes changing looks a single click away. It’s easy to do: simply right-click on your avatar or avatar name, and select APPEARANCE. At the bottom of the Appearance Editor window, you will see a button that says MAKE OUTFIT. Click that button, and you’ll get a new window where you can name your look.

A word of warning: Second Life will not automatically default to saving absolutely everything you are wearing, especially any prims that are attached (hair, jewellery, prim shoes, AO HUDs, etc). You need to manually click the boxes next to all the items if you want to save the entire collection of things you’re wearing as an “Outfit”. If you don’t tick the boxes, it won’t be saved as part of the outfit, and you’ll have to go digging in your inventory every time you want to wear it. I am lazy and I save copies of my AO with all my outfits, but some people don’t. It’s up to you whether you want the hassle of attaching the AO every time you change clothes, or whether you want to avoid clogging up your inventory with lots of copies of the same thing. It’s a trade-off.

Once you have named & saved your outfit, it will be saved into your Clothing folder. My top tip is to make a new folder called “Outfits” so you can find them all easily, and they don’t get mixed in with individual clothing items. The next time you want to wear the outfit, all you have to do is right-click on the FOLDER that contains the outfit, and select REPLACE OUTFIT. That single click will magically replace everything you are wearing with everything in the outfit folder. Pretty neat, eh?

<< previous step: Step 4 – Get all dressed up


Entry filed under: Help for Newbies, Shopping, Top Tips.

Stop looking like a newbie: Step 4 – Get all dressed up How to stop looking like a newbie in Second Life

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Deborah Lamb  |  August 29, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    After many hours I was about to give up my SL when I googled hints you are a sweetie. Thanks. Now I have something that will piss other people off instead of the other way around.

  • 2. Aenea  |  September 7, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    This is a great tutorial on something that can be the bane of a noobie’s existence (and length-of-stay) in SL.

    I would advise people to use “Replace Outfit” with caution, as once you start mixing and matching, or have some items you keep permanently attached (for example, I always wear a nose stud which is no-copy), Replace Outfit will take these items off and then you have to root around in your inventory to reattach.

    I much prefer “Add to Outfit” and then taking off the bits that weren’t replaced in the process…

    Just a suggestion!

  • 3. shynee  |  September 13, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Deborah – I am so glad you found this to be useful 🙂 Sorry for the delay in replyong, but my First Life has been rather hectic these past couple of weeks :-/

    Hope you enjoy your shiny new things in SL!

  • 4. shynee  |  September 13, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Thanks, Aenea – very good point! I forgot about those pesky NoCopy items 😦

    I guess it’s down to preference.

  • 5. Syuusuke  |  January 16, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    In response to Aenea’s point about replace outfit I have another suggestion for it.

    When I make my outfits I make sure to take everything that I wear all the time that is no copy off that way it doesn’t get moved. Then I keep anything that is in that category in a special folder so I can always find the items I need.

  • 6. laurelynelaville  |  May 18, 2008 at 7:20 pm

    A search for Calla or Sirena in game will also bring up some wonderful hair.

    I prefer those to Gurl 6 as a hair I bought from there made my partner laugh as it moved like an octopus on my head. Don’t just put on the demo..walk around the store a bit with it on to see how it moves and if you are happy with that too.

  • 7. rosamoo  |  July 27, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    So glad to read this. I now feel that I can put $20 into SL and not waste it. Thanks so much for the help even a technophone can use!


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