Despite the advancements in Bento, Animesh, and bake-on-mesh, the hairstyle industry in Second Life has not seen much change. Flexi hairstyles are still available and can be found under a dedicated category on the Marketplace, but they are not commonly seen in use by Second Life residents.
To be honest, I sometimes miss flexi hair. I appreciate the non-static effect it provided. It also reminds me of the Lelutka Swish Hair that had a slight windblown effect, which I thought was pretty cool back then. I even bought three hairstyles, but I had completely forgotten about them until I decided to write this post.
The most notable update to Second Life hair, if it can even be considered an update, is the inclusion of various styles in the HUD. You can now select whether you want your bangs on the left or right, enable or disable baby hair, and choose whether you want your hair swept back or forward. This feature is convenient for both styling and photography purposes.
Stealthic is taking it up a notch by providing an automated hairstyle cycling option, which I absolutely adore. As far as I know, he is the only creator who offers this feature at no extra charge for all of his hairstyles.
In the video, I set the hairstyle to change every 10 seconds for demonstration purposes. However, I typically set it to change every minute and exclude some of the hairstyles.
During one of the rounds of the pose fair, I stumbled upon some Bento animated hair by (яed)Mint, a brand I had never heard of before and decided to check out. However, I was disappointed with the texture and animation, so I stopped using animated hair for a while. I have seen a few other brands offering “Bento” hair, but I haven’t explored them yet.
Until Vista Animesh Verge Braid.
A collaboration between Stealthic and Vista Animations resulted in the creation of an Animesh hairstyle, which I was eager to check out when it was announced.
The price for the Stealthic Variety pack is 350L, while the Vista AO costs 900L. If you’re interested in just a braid hairstyle, you can purchase the hair separately. While the Animesh braid is included in the Vista AO pack, you need the Stealthic hair to access the full range of colours available.
While I’m not particularly fond of that hairstyle, it does complement the sporty look, so I went for a jog to showcase the hair animations. The running and walking animations looked impressive.
The AO may seem a bit limited and expensive at 900L, but I believe we are paying for the innovation of the product, which is understandable.
The dancing animation in the AO is quite restricted.
I am delighted to support a product with the potential to be excellent.
I encountered two issues while testing the Animesh braid and the Vista AO:
Firstly, the Animesh braid seemed to override everything. I was unable to ride my horse or take pictures with my friend while wearing it, even though I wasn’t using the AO. It could be problematic if the Animesh braid continues to dominate over other animations in the future.
Secondly, the Vista AO doesn’t offer much at the moment, but this is likely because it’s a new innovation and they’re still working on it. However, I hope that we won’t have to purchase a new AO every time a new hairstyle is released, and that instead the current AO will be improved and updated for free, while we pay for the new hairstyle.
While it’s possible that each hair brand may release their own AO for Animesh hair, it could become expensive in the long run. However, it’s unclear what other options Second Life has for non-static hair. Another option could be to stick with Flexi Hair or Bento hair.
In conclusion, I find the concept of Animesh hair exciting and look forward to seeing new hairstyles with improvements. I’m hopeful that the project won’t be abandoned, and we’ll see updates soon.
Now, it’s your turn to share your thoughts! Do you like the idea of Animesh hair? What features or improvements would you like to see in future hairstyles? Or are you content with the hair options currently available in Second Life? Share your opinion in the comments below.