Cycles is pretty neat, although I was disappointed I couldn’t render hair with it yet. I made the hair for this into dreadlock-meshes.
He/She needs a cutie mark!
If you want, you could make a duplicate of your scene and use BI for the particle hair and combine in the compositor. If that would help.
well darn, I forgot the cutie mark. perhaps you could add one or two details to it (just posted on blendswap, will give link soon)