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Changing Hair Color – Prim & Mesh Hair

An Illustrated Guide to Coloring Hair

This is an illustrated guide on how to change hair color in Second Life.  I’ve written it for those who purchase my hair, but it can also be used if you have purchased hair from someone else that’s modifiable.  Unfortunately, most hair that you purchase can not be modified, but there are a few people like myself that sell modifiable hair.  I firmly believe that you ought to be able to modify purchased items such as hair or clothing and all of my products come that way.

To change the color of hair do the following:

  • Select one of the existing colors in the hair package which is close to the color you desire. (Note that the white hair that comes in the package works quite nicely as a starting point for crazy or unique colors such as purple, blue or lime green.)  For this example, we’ll start with blonde hair and re-color it an eye catching red.
  •  Make a copy of the hair color that you have selected (illustrated below). That’s important. You’ll want to keep the original intact. Be sure not to leave out this step.

HairMakeCopy .


  • Wear the hair and stand on a posing stand.
  •  While wearing the hair, right click on it and select “Edit.” The Edit dialog box will appear (below):



  •  On the Edit dialog box, click on the “Texture” tab.



  • Near the top, left of the “Texture” area, you’ll see a “Color” box. Click in the box and the “Color Picker” will appear.


  •   Select a color from the Color Picker.  Wait.  Give the hair some time to adjust to the new color. You’ll see the color picker jump around a bit as it colors all of the strands. It’s best if you give it time. Keep adjusting the color – and waiting in between – until you get the tint that you desire.


  •  The key is to wait. In most cases, if you give it enough time, all the strands will be colored.
  •  Before leaving the Color Picker, save the color. You can save it by dragging the color to one of the small square boxes found at the bottom of the Color Picker. The “saved” color will come in handy in the event you need to touch up some of the resistant strands that don’t pick up the color.


  • Click on “OK” and you’ll leave the Color Picker and be back at the Texture area.
  •  Exit from the Edit dialog box by clicking the “X” in the upper right hand corner.
  •  You may find that some of the strands won’t pick up the color, but you won’t see those resistant strands right away. What you’ll need to do is to detach the hair and then wear it again. When you wear it the second time, the resistant strands, if any, will appear.
  • Before wearing it a second time, change its name in the inventory.   Let’s say you started with Blonde and you are creating a reddish orange color that you are calling “Flame.” Change the Blonde to Flame so that you can keep track of it.



  • Once you’ve changed name, wear the hair again.  If all the strands are colored, then you’re finished.  Congratulations!


Instructions on what to do if not all the strands pick up the new color

  • If you find that not all of the strands are colored, first try running through the steps above – giving it time after you pick the color – to see if the second time around, you are able to obtain complete coverage. In other words, “edit” the hair, open the Color Picker, and re-select the desired color. It’s easy to re-select the same color because you have saved it in one the boxes at the bottom of the Color Picker. Remember, give it time to color all the strands.
  •  If you find that after a second time, there are still stands which resist the new color, you can fix it by coloring the stands individually. That’s what I’ll describe next. And it’s also the process that you’ll use if you’d like to impart two or more colors to different sections of your hair.
  •  Right click on the hair and select “Edit.”   At the top of the Edit dialog box you’ll see a checkmark for “Edit Linked.”   Put a checkmark there. This will enable you to select individual strands. First click away from the hair so that it’s not selected and then click on an individual strand of hair. (Note that when doing this, you may lose the “Edit Linked” checkmark. If that happens, just re-check it.)


  • When you have one of the discolored strands selected, then make sure the “Texture” area of the Edit dialog box is showing. Click on the color box to bring up the Color Picker. Look for your saved color from the square boxes at the bottom and click on it. Then click OK. That will fix the color. Continue doing this for each of the discolored strands.



  •  You may find that you can’t individually select some of the strands. That’s because there’s quite a bit of overlap between the panels which contain the strands. There are two ways to approach this. The first requires that you go to a sandbox or someplace where you can build. Sandboxes are best since they generally have lots of prims available.
  • Once you have located yourself at a Sandbox, right click on the hair and select “Drop.” The hair will drop to the ground. It will end up on its side or upside down, and from this position, you can access some of the strands that you might have missed when attached to your head. Select a discolored strand and bring up the Color Picker. Select your color from the saved colors in the boxes at the bottom. Once you get all of strands properly colored, right click and “Take” the hair into your inventory. Once it’s in your inventory, you can wear it again



  •  Still can’t reach all of the stands? Here’s a sure way of reaching all discolored strands. You can either work with the hair on your head – or from a dropped position (described immediately above). Select one of the strands of hair which is getting in the way and preventing you from reaching the discolored strand. When the strand is selected, you’ll see arrows. The arrows allow you to move the hair. Using one of the arrows, move the strand off to the side. Don’t worry. Once it’s moved to the side, you’ll be able to snap back in place by pressing CTRL + z on your keyboard. Try that first to make sure you see how it works. Second Life is quite amazing in that you can move several strands and it will remember where each of the strands originated. When you click CTRL+z, each strand will return to their proper place. Go ahead move some strands out of the way until you can isolate the discolored strand. Once the discolored strand is selected, bring up the Color Picker and select your saved color. Then select each of the strands that you have moved and press CTRL+z to snap them back in place.




NOTES . . .

Even though the above process takes several steps, it’s actually the best way to make changes to hair color. You have complete freedom on color choice and you are able to use Second Life’s Color Picker which works far better than any commercial color changer options. Most importantly your hair, itself, is modifiable. You can color certain strands or you can even re-arrange strands and change the style to your needs. It’s also valuable from a learning standpoint. If you like to create things in Second Life, you can see how the hair is constructed and it gives you a starting point for making your own.

At the same time, I’m always looking for alternatives, and in regards to hair, I have looked at all of the various commercial hair coloring options.  I haven’t found any that are satisfactory.  Consequently, I am working with a Second Life scripter on a better solution to coloring hair, and when we come up with a solution it will, of course, be available to all of you – my wonderful customers!  Moreover, I’d like to take it one step further. I’d like to make it freely available to anyone. I was quite surprised not to find a decent color picker available in Second Life’s depository of scripts, and if we can come up with a solution, it might be a way of filling that gap.

In the meantime, however, you can color your hair! Because the hair is modifiable, you can make as many different colors, or color combinations, as you desire. If you run into problems coloring any of my hair products and need some assistance, drop me a notecard in Second Life. I’ll be glad to help.

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