Friday, November 30, 2012

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SL Hair by Truth Hawks Will Turn Heads (NWN Readers' Choice, Top SL Brand)

Truth Hair Brand

Iris Ophelia's ongoing review of gaming and virtual world style

Truth is another brand that's been in Second Life for years now, and unsurprisingly these high-quality hairstyles (mostly for women) have become a staple of SL fashion. Hair by Truth Hawks has a very distinctive texture and style to it, and even his mesh styles feel natural and soft when others may look plasticky or piecy. Above I'm wearing my last purchase from Truth, Cyanne, a relatively recent rigged mesh style that comes with a colour-changing head scarf.

There's a serious critique of Truth that his styles often look very similar. I always get a bit bothered when I hear this because although it may seem true in some cases, you really need to take a minute to think about why. How many times a day do you think popular hair designers get bothered in IMs or notecards about silly things like adding bangs to one of their pre-existing styles, or making it shorter, or longer, or fluffier, or flatter? One of the reasons for Truth's popularity is that he has a little something to satisfy everyones wants and needs. His store is so absolutely massive at this point that you can nearly arrange his styles like a gradient to find the one that's perfect for your features and your taste. Though some styles might look similar at first blush, it's a godsend if you're looking for a cut that's juuuuust right.

We're blogging the top 20 brands in our Readers' Choice list. Stay tuned for the rest soon!

Mixed_reality_iris2010 Iris Ophelia (Janine Hawkins IRL) has been featured in the New York Times and has spoken about SL-based design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan and with pop culture/fashion maven Johanna Blakley.


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Pussycat Catnap

11 searches on the Marketplace entry for this designer that had ZERO results:

(last one, as in jheri curl)

369 pages of marketplace entries, and not ONE of them works for an African avatar?

I guess I know why I've never heard of them.

Iris Ophelia

@Pussycat That's a good point, and sadly one that's true of a lot of most of the most popular designers in SL. There are a few different reasons for it. The more textured (in the RL sense) hair is, the harder it is to do it well in SL with sculpts/mesh, so it's much easier for designers to stick to the sleek or lightly wavy styles that are easier and guaranteed to sell, especially given how many black avatars will still opt for the relaxed-looking hairstyles anyway.

The best way to figure out which designers will have what you're looking for is to look at the designers' techniques. Truth makes the majority of the shapes of his hair with sculpted pieces/chunks, which can't really recreate a kinky/ultra curly effect well without looking like... well... total garbage. But if you look at designers who use flat prims with alpha textures on them to get the shapes for their hair you'll find a LOT more kinky/curly styles. Analog Dog and Tuty's come to mind (though both still have their share of sleek styles anyway).

For the record, I know Mina has a couple good braided styles, and obv. you know about Discord already since they practically have a monopoly on realistic-looking dreads. Unfortunately dreads and braids aren't prominent in mainstream women's fashion right now (for reasons that aren't a mystery, sadly) so the big brands usually favor celebrity cuts and tumblr trends instead.


That issue might go a little deeper, sometimes searching for an exact already known product name was returning no results, yet eventually I could find it manually. I could have been doing something really stupid that I overlooked, haven't worked out what that might be yet.


Their mesh hair isn't that great, they should stick to sculpt hair.

All the models on their pics look similar, no diversity like their hair.


Truth does not cater to 'ethnic' types. I think that's ok. Others do, go buy their stuff. Simple as that. Truth does and always has made some of the best hair on the grid, bar none.


On behalf of other black players in SL, I apologize for Pussycat's comments. We're not all like this.

Iris Ophelia

@Cake Why apologize? It's a perfectly valid opinion.


It's a perfectly valid opinion if a designer did actually make just straight hair, and the statement wasn't made by someone with comes off as extremely Afrocentrist and has a past of alleging racism in more than one comment on this site. After so much of this (which you can't ignore the comment section after that poster is featured on NWN as well), it becomes tiring.

I personally don't even like Truth hair, it's something about the actual strand textures that turned me off to it a while ago. But I'm not going to make a post implying that he doesn't do *any* type of hair that isn't ethnic in its composition, when you CAN visit his store and see he does all kinds of hairstyles.

That's like saying, "Gee, this Glam Affair skin looks a lot like this Body Co. skin." Not exactly saying it's copybotting, but it's a suggestion that can hurt the designer's reputation. Don't do that.

Pussycat Catnap

I searched, I couldn't find - and I noted such. If you don't even make an attempt to be diverse - that's kind of worth noting. Bit 'Uncle Tomish' to jump out and apologize for 'uppity minorities'...

Over the weekend I also went to 'booN' - a hair maker who does a lot of mesh and sculpty, in a wide range of ethnic and genre styles.

I'm also fond of Emotions (or .:Emo which seems to be the best way to find them in search) - huge selection of style that can fit people of almost any background.

- Both of those two shop are maybe less than 5% dreads / curly. But they don't leave me "out in the cold", so I go often, and recommend them to -all sorts- of people. And the models on the hairs - straight or curly, also show variety in ethnic and 'nationality' look (.:Emo for example, seems to have models among the Caucasians that range from Anglo to Romany and so on - and similar variety among other groups).

"Truth" might be very good, but show some variety.

Pussycat Catnap

@Cake: I notice your a blond blue eyed peach skinned African. :p

I make no secret that I'm actually an Asian/Native American, who follows an African sourced Christian faith. I grew up in a multi-ethnic area between Oakland and Berkeley. I've never said I speak for blacks, but I will speak for "minority" issues and issues of social justice and faith.

You apologize for other blacks, so are you just presenting as Scandinavian in SL?

ZZ Bottom

Funny, i trully got ,lots of hair, being my favorites in mesh, Wasabi and Vanity (as their mesh hairs always rezz, and some others don't rezz to often!)
But i never had heard about Truth!


What's new, Pussycat!

I thought you might say something about my appearance. Just so you know? I'm french-creole. My family originates from Opelousas, Louisiana. I was indeed born with blonde hair and blue eyes, but since then my hair has gone light brown and my eyes are now haze:

Thanks for your inquiry. I'm proud to be black, raised in a creole Catholic culture, and people should be equally proud no matter what skin color they are. We are all of the same community.



Correction: My eyes are hazel*, not haze. haha.


I don't normally leave comments on NWN, I'm more of a lurker. Anyway though, I am disturbed by the comment of Pussycat's about representing minority issues. How about we all have different issues?

Also, it is just virtual hair. I love Truth Hair, it is one of my favs in sl. And as an actual African, I don't like how you grouped everyone to be the same and that we would all wear "ethnic" hair in sl. Not everyone in a group is the same, and since you say that you grew up in a multi-ethnic area, I would assume that you wouldn't make such a comment.

At the end of the day, it's just hair, and yes I do wear "ethnic" hair sometimes, but it's not a big deal to me.


I'd like to challenge New World Notes to post a viewer's viewpoints, who, obviously focusing on Afrocentric issues and feigning being one, is actually of African or African-American descent. Since we're qualifying our ethnicities now, then let's have it. Not an Asian player talking about African or African-American equality in a virtual world.

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