Hair Fair 2014 Analysis

Due to the lack of data, the following assumptions have been used in this analysis:

– Every participating store has made approximately the same amount of sales (underestimating)
– The sample of the survey respondents is random enough to be eligible for working with
– The total amount of money donated through hair sales is the sum named by the Hair Fair organizers (underestimating)
– Respondents who chose one or another range in the question about the amount of money they are going to spend would be uniformly distributed along that range if we took a precise number as an answer instead of the range.

Yet another apparel fair for those with too heavy pockets has ended. Well, to be true, not just yet another – one of the most advertised fairs which has made it even to the Firestorm’s Message Of The Day.

With all my personal dislike to the idea of the virtual world with so many possibilities for creating interactable objects, as well as interactable environments, being run to the sensible degree by a fashion industry, which consists of putting on pretty things and doing nothing with them but displaying on yourself, this will not be the subject. Expect numbers. Expect more numbers than you see in a usual blog post. Worry not, most of you should be able to understand most of them. If you do not feel like reading the entire report, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of it – all the numbers that matter are found there.

Hair Fair has been held every year starting in 2005, and the popularity of the event has been only growing since, with the help of many other residents and organizations in spreading the word about it. Apparently, a fair chunk of such a high amount of visitors is also generated by those who want to shop and feel good about themselves at the same time. I mean charity, of course. Different stores donate a different amount of money for a non-profit organization that, along with participating creators, also specializes on making fake hair, but for those that actually need them.

Organizers of Hair Fair publish the amount of money they have managed to raise and that will go to the good cause every year – this year has not been an exception, and I am endlessly grateful to them for providing us this valuable piece of information, for without it we could not be able to accomplish half of what we can now.

To be true, this was the main factor that has encouraged me to do this analysis. Not many event organizers dare to publish numbers. Especially money-related numbers. Hair Fair undoubtfully stands out with their publishings of the money raised during the fair, what’s more, posting the money raised from hair sales separately. When there is data, there’s something that can be withdrawn from it with some additional data, even if estimates. How much money has been spent in total, for example. Or how many visitors have been there. Or what people buy. So I have decided to challenge myself with discovering the scale of such an event. Of course, there is still a lot of data missing, but today, I am not interested in precise numbers – I am interested in a scale of an event. It is big. How big?

Now, before I go on, I would like to put a little note regarding the data used in this analysis. All of the data on stores has been collected through visiting each of them and writing down the prices on separate packs and fatpacks, as well as the amount of donations made from the sale of each pack – this information was available openly. Regarding the results of the survey: each participant has shared their information voluntarily, without being forced to in any way. Unfortunately, I was not able to survey people on the first and the last weekend of the fair. It is possible that some big spenders were there, therefore the sample of the visitors, even though assumed to be random, might or might not be as random as we wish it was. But again, our goal here is to have a look at the scale of such an event, not to withdraw results with the maximum precision.

In case you do not want to go through all the calculations and just get straight to values, just keep scrolling and checking out text in bold – it contains the most important information.


A box plot that visualizes the difference in percentages of donations. 40% is already an outlier.

In total, 80 different hair creators have participated in the fair (the list can be found here). On average, stores have been donating 23.48% of their sales.

In case they play any significant role, let us also check out the donations from dollarbies sold at the Hair Fair. 17 stores were providing dollarbies, 6 of them were donating the money collected from dollarbie sales to the cause, which makes it 35.29% off all the dollarbie sales donated to the cause.

L$35 donated off every L$100 spent on dollarbies, this sounds pretty interesting – but not as much if we take into account that it is only L$6 spent per visitor, therefore, in case the visitor has bought all the donating dollarbies, he has donated only L$2 in total. If that is all the visitor has bought at the Hair Fair, this donation plays a very tiny role. We could claim that he falls into the L$0-500 range in the survey, and that range consists of roughly a quarter of all respondents, but knowing the kind of people that visit such events, I could say that it’s hardly possible. Those who mostly pay attention to freebies and dollarbies are usually new Second Life residents, but in that case, first, all the survey participants were at least 6 months old and older residents spend their L$ more willingly (and in many cases, more recklessly), and second, it was obvious with a naked eye that there were not that many newcomers, and even if all of them have bought all the dollarbies from designers that donate 100% off the dollarbies sales, that would still comply with the results of the analysis, because I am going to underestimate.

As we know, every store was supposed to donate minimum 15% off their hair sales – 32 stores were donating exactly this amount off each of their sales. The biggest percentages of averaged donations were 60%, 66.67% and 75%. 8 hair brands have decided to donate on average half and more off their profits.

From the average value, we can conclude that the total amount of money donated from sales at the fair is approximately 23.48% of the total amount of money spent on hair at the fair. In this analysis, I will rather underestimate than overestimate. Therefore, instead of using the median, I will go with the mean, because it will give me a lower amount of money.

According to the data from the Hair Fair blog post, L$4,764,064 is how much they have collected through hair sales donations and kiosk donations. Since we are only interested in hair sales donations, we can approximate this value accordingly to the last year hair sales donations, which have compised 93.5% of total amount of money collected. That makes sense, because all in all, the driving force of the event is new/exclusive hair releases, and people go there mostly to get hair. So it will be safe to go with the same portion of the all collected money for this year.

In total, L$4,856,914 has been collected in donations throughout the event. If we take 93.5% off that amount, that will be L$4,541,215. So, approximately L$4,541,215 has been collected through hair sales alone.

Let us recall that the average percentage of sales stores were donating is 23.48% – so L$4,541,215 is only 23.48% of the total money spent on hair during the event. How much is 100%? It is L$19,340,779.

L$19,340,779 has been spent on hair in total at the Hair Fair 2014.

Let us turn our heads at the visitors of the fair now. In the survey, respondents had to answer 2 questions, one of which was giving the range of L$ amounts and the respondents needed to pick the range in which their Hair Fair total spendings will fall. I have gone through three different ranges before picking the one that would give me the most precise answer, but they all contain valuable data, so I will not reject the results of the other ranges. In total, 146 people have kindly agreed to participate in the survey, and I cannot be grateful enough to everyone and each of them for their input for this analysis. I had to change the options in survey questions two times, so there were three different survey results – this is the diagram that shows the results of the final version of the survey (therefore, with most answers.)

Those are the answers to the main question of the survey by 115 (out of 146) respondents.

Those are the answers to the main question of the survey by 115 (out of 146) respondents.

As stated above, we assume that the expences from different people are uniformly distributed within each range. What it means is if we look at the mean of all the values in the range, it will be roughtly equal to the mean value of the range – L$250 for the L$0-500 range, L$1500 for the L$1001-2000 range etc. In case of the “more than L$3000” range, for the right hand side edge I will use the highest amount of spendings on the hair known to me – it happened to be over L$7k, so let it be L$7500.

We will be working with the average of all the values from the survey, which is 1,520.55. What it means is if we take all the spendings and divide them between all the visitors who bought hair, it will be approximately L$1,521 per visitor.

You probably have guessed the next step. Indeed, we divide the amount of money spent at the fair by 1,521, and that’s how we get the total amount of visitors at the event.

19,340,779/1,521 = 12,716

Hair Fair 2014 has welcomed at least (remember, I underestimate) 12,716 unique visitors.

I want you to note that this number consists of only those visitors that have spent money on hair at the Hair Fair. There were people that accompanied them but were not interested in hair themselves (while doing the survey, I have stumbled upon at least 3 guys who were merely spending money on their girlfriends). There were people that were just doing window shopping. Maybe a few residents just dropped by and made a donation through a kiosk or bandana sales.

What does that number mean to Second Life?

Most of those people are:
– the ones that get on Second Life often enough to consider spending about $5-6 USD (on average) on digital appearance (and not complete avatars, but only hair) worthwhile;
– females – there was 1 male to 20 (if not more) female visitors of the Fair.

I dare to claim that at least 87.9% visitors are the regulars – this number was not taken out of the blue, it is a total amount of visitors minus half of those who spent a certain amount of money in the L$0-500 range. 87.9% of 12,716 is 11,177.

All hair

Let’s play Find 5 Differences

On the login page in Firestors, there is always information about the grid, including how many people are currently online, also the concurrency charts (past 24 hours and weekly) are available here. We will take into account that people from the Eastern and the Western hemispheres log in at different times, and the ratio between people logged in at 2 AM and 2 PM SLT is 3:5 – so, if we apply that ratio to the visitors, we get 4,191 visitors at the nighttime and 6,986 – at the daytime. At both times those are 1/7 out of total SL residents. At least 1/7 of the Second Life population has visited Hair Fair to buy hair.

Obviously, not all the Hair Fair visitors have a sole interest in Second Life as a fashion runway and themselves as models… however, according to the profiles I was going through, a vast majority of visitors pay a lot of attention to their appearance, or look like the kind of people that do. In fact, is there any other explanation to visit an event dedicated to appearance?
That is not all, though!

Some people among those I have messaged with a request to take a survey, asked me if I can take a feedback regarding Hair Fair from them.
– 3 visitors have found it hard to navigate at the fair with the layout of the regions – one of them proposed putting maps with “You are here” points;
– 1 visitor proposed the idea for the designers – instead of providing freebies and dollarbies, changing a little more for such compliments from the desirners, like L$10, under the condition that the money will go for a good cause. It is still much less than the average hair pack price, but more money will be collected;
– 1 visitor had a navigation problem too, but of a different kind – it was hard to find your favourite brand that participates in the fair, because the store signs were not big enough – therefore, you lose a lot of time, since you have to walk into every store to find out what it sells. (Myself, I would add that putting the signs on the ground was not a good idea too – when you walk, your camera is pointed straight, so to look at the ground, you need to stop and point it at the ground.)
– 1 visitor reminded that the hair sold there is just data and replicable, therefore 15% as a lowest possible percentage for a donation looks too low for something that takes no production costs – something like 30% looks more fair. Another idea was that first n sales should donate a higher percentage to the cause, and then the following sales are allowed to donate a lower one. For example, first 50 hair sales donate 50% to the cause, and then all the following sales donate 20%.

Guys have provided the feedback even without knowing it. When I’ve messaged some of them, they have admitted that they are here to keep company to their girlfriends, but more importantly, that men’s hair are looking mostly the same, so there is no point in buying what you already have got (they didn’t bite the good cause bait!). Honestly, for me, half of women’s hair are looking the same too, just added a streak there, removed a streak here, cut half an inch, and there, a new hairstyle.

All in all, this concludes the Hair Fair 2014 analysis, and hopefully you have managed to take away something from it. Not everything in Second Life converges to fashion fairs, however they comprise a large part of Second Life – even Firestorm Project could not pass it by! So I think this is important to examine the event of such importance in a statistical sense. Why are such events this popular? That will be the topic of another analysis!


One Response to Hair Fair 2014 Analysis

  1. Pingback: Hair Fair 2014 – the more you know | Smart SL

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