Hello, everyone, and welcome to Mask and Mien’s official coverage of Hair Fair 2016!
I’m Portia Pexington, coming to you live from the Hair Fair’s ‘Backlot East‘ location, just one of four full shopping sims and two camming sims dedicated to this landmark event!
It’s hard to live in Second Life and not be aware of Hair Fair – it’s one of the core events on the grid and, as always, a percentage of the ‘Fair’s proceeds are donated to Wigs For Kids, an important and established charitable organization dedicated to providing children suffering from hair loss with the tools they need to maintain their self-image and esteem. Although most of us approach Hair Fair as a shopping event, and rightly so, it’s important to remember that while so many of us indulge in our Second Life hair addiction there are so many people in Real Life that go without. If you’re able to donate to this cause, like so many content creators who are so generous with their time and profits, I urge you to do it. Remember that the greatest power we can claim in Second Life is the power to do good things for others. ❤
With only a few hours before Hair Fair 2016’s official opening, we at Mask and Mien have prepared a special report to help you, our readers, navigate this massive event with minimal fuss. So without further ado, I’m thrilled to share our first ever…
Hair Fair Pre-Show!
Introduction to Hair Fair 2016
As you can see from the map above, the Hair Fair 2016 event is divided between four main shopping areas named Backlot West, Backlot Central, Backlot North, and Backlot East. There are two additional sims on either side of Backlot Central – Ruthenium (west) and Palladium (east) – that will be available for camera shopping as well. I’ll share a few quick tips for Hair Fair Shopping a bit later in the post. 😉 Each sim should (I can’t confirm for the shopping sims as they aren’t open to the public yet) have a map just like the one above near its landing point for ease of navigation.
Getting Ready for Hair Fair
The first and best advice I can give you for an event of this magnitude is to join the Hair Fair DEMO group right away! There is no better way to plan a Hair Fair shopping excursion than to know exactly which hairstyles work for you and which don’t. Yes, it takes a while to try everything and there are going to be boxes inside of boxes to unpack but .. believe me .. it’s worth your time to know what you’re getting yourself into.
Over the years I have developed somewhat of a system for dealing with hair fair demos and I thought it might be a useful thing to share here. We can even call it the Portia Method, if you like.
First of all, yes, I know my inventory is pretty ridiculous. It’s part of the reason that I rely so heavily on folders and organization and without the handy-dandy search bar, I’d probably never find anything.
For Hair Fair in particular, I like to put all of my demos in one folder (Hair Fair Demos -> the exclamation points in the title ensure it’s near the top of my inventory list). After that, I create three additional folders for ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘maybe.’ These are crucial as they give me a way to rank each demo.
- YES Hair – for me, is something I try and immediately go YES! If there’s any uncertainty about a style’s fit or colour options, I don’t use this folder.
- MAYBE Hair – is a broader category, basically consisting of styles I like but want to revisit in a little while. Maybe I’m not sure about a colour (being blonde, it’s a little difficult) or I think I have something similar already in my inventory.
- NO Hair – is something that’s just not going to work for me. Doesn’t mean it isn’t great hair – it’s just not great on me.
Once I’ve tried literally dozens, maybe even hundreds of hair demos, separating them all into my three basic folders, the next thing I do is look at my ‘yes’ hair. If there are more than a few hairstyles here, I’ll probably just save the ‘maybe’s for later in the month. This year, I found quite a few more than expected *cough* so I’m going to need to make another trip once my L$ balance recovers, at least a little bit! 😉
The second-to-last step in my Hair Fair Shopping Method is to make sure I have all the information I need to get into the ‘Fair with a plan. I write down the names of the hair I plan to purchase, listed by designer name and then I pull from the Store Locations notecard (provided in the Hair Fair DEMO Group) to list where each of these designers are located. This is the notecard I use when I’m shopping in the final stage:
(What did you think it was going to be?)
I’d like to close this post out with a quick list of tips and tricks I’ve found to be helpful over the years. Maybe I’m not the -most- experienced shopper out there, but we can all do better when we help one another, right?
Tips and Tricks from a SL Shopaholic – Hair Fair Edition:
- Hair Fair is a MARATHON event and not a SPRINT. The event is open from July 16th to the 31st, 2016. No one has to get in and get everything on the first day. Take your time and plan your approach – your L$ balance will thank you!
- Try every demo that you think will work for you. Yes, we all love our favourite designers but I was amazed by the quality of hairstyles from places I’d never heard of before today. Let these people surprise you! There’s no better time or place to see what the hair creators of Second Life have to offer. ❤
- Stay organized! If you’ve already tried every demo and written a list of what you’d like to purchase during the event, going off-script can be a problematic decision! Think about -why- you want to pick up this new, rogue hairstyle. SL hairstyles aren’t very expensive but the costs add up very quickly!
- BE PICKY! I can’t stress this enough: it’s perfectly fair to say “you know, this isn’t my favourite. I’m going to pass.” No one’s feelings will be hurt if you spend your L$ elsewhere. It’s your avatar!
- Make sure the colours are right for your avatar! Many SL hair creators provide full colour demos for their hair now so it should be easy enough to check. If you’re trying a style that -doesn’t- come with a colour demo, you may want to mark it as a ‘maybe’ for the time being. Have a peek at other recent demos from the creator in question to make sure you’re investing in something you will want to wear tomorrow, next month, and a year from now.
- Remember that some hairstyles are resizable but many are not! Rigged mesh is a tricky thing sometimes and if there are clipping issues with your head and face, it may not be fixable. Anything that says ‘Rigged’ or ‘Fitted Mesh’ is going to be hard, if not impossible, to resize. Sometimes it’s possible to change your shape (headsize and forehead slope are good places to start) and sometimes using a head alpha will do the trick.
- Know your inventory and try to avoid duplicate styles unless the hair you’re trying is an improvement over what you currently have.
- Know your limits! If you only want to spend a certain amount of L$ at Hair Fair this month, set yourself up in advance and buy the hair that you absolutely adore FIRST. Hair you like or think you can use needs to be of secondary importance.
- When you’re shopping at an event, PLEASE be conscious of other shoppers!
- Keep yourself as low-lag as possible! Remove as much as possible from your avatar including HUD attachments, jewellery (and yes, even your wedding rings and collars – Hubby/Master will just need to get over it for an hour), and mesh bits. No one is going to be looking at you during a shopping event!
- Go full-alpha whenver possible! In the case of Hair Fair, don’t be the person walking around trying a hundred and four demos – try everything in advance so you can get in and out easily without lagging everyone around you.
- Turn your graphics down to Low. Minimize physics, particles, and flexi-prim movement. Using ctrl+alt+shift+4 will derender every avatar in the region (including you!) and this is what I do when I’m shopping. Sure, maybe we bump into a person or two but it’s easier in the long run.
- I’ve noticed some trouble purchasing items from one side of the sim to the other – so whenever possible, position yourself as close to the booth in question as you can. I do just fine hovering above the middle of the sim and simply camming around.
- Area Search (World > Area Search) can be a great help!
Is that everything? I feel like that’s everything.
This is Portia Pexington, signing off for the night; stay classy, Second Life!
Hair Fair 2016 opens at 00:01 July 16th, 2016.
~ Credits ~
Skin Appliers: Lara Hurley-Christy Rose Pale *Catwa Appliers* ~ Lara Hurley
Head: CATWA HEAD Annie 4.9 ~ Catwa Clip
Eyes: IKON Hope Eyes – Quicksilver ~ Ikon Innovia
Mesh Ears: [MANDALA]STEKING_EARS_Season5 ~ Yokonosuke Eel
Mesh Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V3.5 ~ Onyx LeShelle
Mesh Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands – Elegant1 ~ Siddean Munro
Eyeshadow Applier: alaskametro<3 “Zara” eyeshadow ~ Alaska Metropolitan
Nail Appliers: [LB Hieroglyphs Gold] *Slink & Omega* Manicure ~ Santana Lumiere
Hair: +elua+ Xanthe_Lightblonde [fitted] ~ Miu Edman ~ NEW @ Hair Fair 2016 (July 16-31st)
Dress: -AZUL- Cara MeshDress /Pearl ~ Mami Jewell
Wedding Ring: JCNY – ‘UN-BREAKABLE, iEngrave, Hyper-Gems Combo Ring ~ JD Hansen
Statement Ring: (DF) GIORGIA ring topaz ~ Squinternet Larnia
Bracelet: (DF) GIORGIA bracelet topaz ~ Squinternet Larnia
Earrings: :::ChicChica::: Lina Black ~ Lilo Denimore
Microphone: -RC- News Mic – City 3 News ~ Redd Columbia
Paparazzi: Rowne.Singer – Paparazzi ~ Fashionboi Landar
Pose: *PosESioN* Lingerie 10 ~ Dahriel
Location: Hair Fair Backlot East
Hair: little bones. Cross _DEMO* ~ Nova Faerye ~ NEW @ Hair Fair 2016 (July 16th-31st)
Shirt: ISON – ruffle collar tank -Maitreya- (white) ~ Harry Hyx ~ NEW @ Collabor88 (July 2016)
Pose: *PosESioN* Model Woman 7 ~ Dahriel
* I totally bought this style when I went back to Hair Fair. JUST SAYING! 😀