I’ve been diving into hair the past week. The degree of control you have is remarkable. If you consider all the tools, settings and render options there might be 200 options at your command.
It’s an amazing system but since it was designed a long time it doesn’t take advantage of GPU acceleration nor even, I believe, of multi-thread processing. It is currently somewhat tethered to the standard renderer, because if you render w/physical or a third-party renderer the hair must be converted to polygons–millions of polygons depending on your scene.
You can’t really see what you are going to get until you render…so if you are doing detailed grooming of a character you are going to be doing a lot of rendering. The standard renderer does this pretty eagerly and briskly. Still…it can be time consuming work for some scenes.
In this thread I’m going to post some of my explorations w/samples…and my observations.