1. Add a Sphere (Space - Add - Mesh - UVsphere) (32 Rings x 32 Segments)
2. Open Object menu (F7)
3. Open Particle Buttons
4. Click Add new
5. Change the type of particle system from Emitter to hair
6. Under the physics section change the 'normal' value from 0.000 to 0.060 (this determines the length of each strand
your sphere should now have strands coming out of it
7. change the 'random' value to 0.020
8. go to the materials menu (F5)
9. Click add new and under the Preview tab change the preview type to strand and enable oversampling.
The shape of your strands can be determined by adjusting the end width, start width and the shape. this is done in the render pipeline under 'strands'
10. I chose the following settings for the purpose of this tutorial.
11. open the textures menu click add new and select blend as the texture type
12. open the colors tab, click colorband. click the line on the left hand side and change the 'A' (alpha) value to 1.000 then click the line on the right hand side and change the alpha value to 0.000
13. go back to the material buttons, then under the 'map input' tab change the texture coordinates to 'strand'
14. Now open the 'Map to' tab and turn 'col' (colour) off and 'alph' (alpha) on.
15. in the render pipeline turn 'Ztransip' (transparency) on and in the material tab change the value of 'A' (alpha) to 0.000.
If you render it now it is starting to look cool.
16. go back to the particle buttons and under the 'particle system' tab change the amount to 10000, this will thicken the hair. if you have a good computer try turning it up more and more (save before doing this because it could cause blender to crash.
now mess around with the physics buttons eg. 'brown' (Brownian), random, normal... and see what you can come up with.
i used these settings
and came up with this