This page gives a brief introduction to Blender's 'hair' particle system.

Watch the 7 minute Vimeo video below.

Here is the script of the video, in case that helps:

  1. Let's give Suzanne some hair. Delete the default cube and add the monkey mesh.
  2. Switch to Edit Mode and Face Select Mode then select the faces that should get hair. I used circle select (C) then Shift+RMB (right mouse button)-click to add the final faces.
  3. We will assign the selected faces to a vertex group. Open the Object Data panel, create a new vertex group and rename it 'scalp'. Then assign the selected faces to the vertex group.
  4. Open the particles panel, create a new particle system and change the system type to 'hair'. Switch to Object Mode to see the result.
  5. In the 'vertex groups' section, assign the 'scalp' vertex group to 'density' to indicate that only the corresponding faces should receive hair.
  6. Adjust the hair length as shown and increase the number of particles (hairs) to 1500.
  7. Open the advanced settings and switch from 'Jittered' to 'Random' so that all 1500 hairs appear on the 'scalp' area.
  8. We'll use 'gravity' to pull the hair down. In the 'Field Weights' section, turn on 'use for growing hair', then reduce the gravity value until the hair looks natural.
  9. In the 'Display' section, increase the number of steps to get rid of the kinks in the hair.
  10. Switch to camera view (Numpad 0) then adjust the camera view. Try a render (F12).
  11. To avoid the black shadows, turn on environmental lighting in the World panel.
  12. Select the head in Object Mode then switch to Particle Mode.
  13. Use your artistic skills to cut, comb, puff and smooth the hair to your liking. You don't have to use a conventional hair style - be creative!
  14. You can get the back view with Ctrl-Numpad 1.
  15. To get more hair, open the 'Children' section and switch from 'none' to 'interpolated'. The child hairs won't be visible unless you also turn on Children in the tool shelf of the 3D view window.
  16. Make final adjustments and do a last render.

For a very good but much more advanced video on hair click HERE (70 mins + 40 mins)