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I'm trying to create hair like that using particle system with a curve object, but the results are not very encouraging:(

From the particle system panel I've disabled physics and added some random rotation to the particles.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should not use particles for this kind of hair?

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Particles seem like a good start point. I'd probably turn off random rotations if you want a more tame or regular look to the hair spikes to match the picture though.

If you are not satisfied with the result you can always convert or apply the particle system afterwards and adjust it manually.

Particles

You can adjust each hair strand/spike as an instance, as an individual object or even join them all into a single object.

particle convert

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Once you get the basic shape of the hair in particle edit mode, turning up the clump value in the particle panel-children tab. This should give the hair a spiked look.

Note: You need to have children (simple or interpolated) enabled for this to work.

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