Like a few other digital characters I have in my content folders, I continually load it and try to improve various aspects.
Some of you may remember the "beach snapshot" I posted a page or two earlier. That employed a very different approach, three "tail" props (of all things) bent and positioned to resemble an insanely fluffy "mane". It looks closest to the animation cels, but each prop has something like 40 transparency maps (a technique used to render part of a textured surface "invisble") to "feather" the hair strands. But that trick costs extra CPU cycles. Having over a hundred brings the render time to a smail's pace! This prop has but a single "trans-map" to feather the hair in the back, so it renders comparatively lightning fast.
It's definitely a case of weighing pros and cons.