At long last, players have the chance to grow their own head of hair in ARK: Survival Evolved -- quite literally, in fact. When you boot up the game and make a new character to check out the content in Patch 254 (or Update 1.08 for console survivors), you'll quickly notice that there are still no hair options in the character creation menu. Even the females start out with less hair than they had before this patch. Beard trimming and styles.
That is because your hair grows in real time on the ARK, just like any good island survival story. In fact, it grows insanely fast. You can expect a fully grown and tangled head of hair in as little as 5 in-game days -- that's 5 hours if the game settings aren't tweaked. Additionally, male survivors can expect a full beard in as little as 8 in-game days.
It's easy to see where Studio Wildcard was going with this. Before patch release, they revealed to PCGamer that hair will not grow when you're offline and that it would reset should you die. However, upon personally testing these claims, I've found that this is not the case.
You probably looked something like this when you logged back in.
Beard grooming and styles
Your hair and haircut settings are retained upon death, and your hair clearly grows while offline -- even in singleplayer! When I logged onto the singleplayer game (which I never actually use) for the first time since the update, I already had a full head of hair.
I think it's safe to say that Wildcard's system is not working as intended. Until the point at which it is working correctly, I highly suggest slowing down hair growth in your server settings.
How to Style Your Hair in ARK
You can, in fact, trim up and style that mop of hair on your head, but you'll have to grind to level 25 to do so. You can spend 10 Engram Points to learn how to craft Scissors at the Smithy under the Miscellaneous Weapons category. You'll need 35 Flint, 5 Obsidian, and 6 Metal Ingots to make a new pair of Scissors.
Left-clicking on a player opens up their haircut menu. Right-clicking opens the haircut menu for yourself. Here you can adjust hair length and style for both Head Hair and Facial Hair -- even on female survivors! There aren't a lot of style options right now, but Studio Wildcard is already planning to add a couple more in the next update.
If you happen to have dyes in your inventory, you can also use the haircut menu to dye your hair. If you're looking to take full advantage of this feature, it's a good idea to start with a lighter hair color during character creation.
In addition to cutting Human Hair, scissors are also useful for shearing the new tamable sheep called Ovis. ( Fun fact: Adding Ovis into ARK: Survival Evolved is what finally pushed the developers to work on the system for dynamically growing hair.) Cutting hair and sheering Ovis grant the player Human Hair and Wool respectively, which are both useful as a substitute for Pelt in crafting recipes.
Beard trimming and shaping
How do you like ARK's new Hair and Beard system so far? How's the Tek Tier update treating you? Share your thoughts on this massive new update in the comments below! Look forward to more guides on Patch 254 coming soon.