I came from years of modeling with Rhinceros and V-Ray, and I never encountered such memory problem when rendering too much hair.
Yesterday I tried rendering a simple towel and my PC just froze for serveral minutes. I used 1.000.000 strips of hair on it, but it shouldn’t bork my system (I suppose), which has 4 GB of RAM.
When it finished rendering Blender displayed the memory usage as not even 2 GB.
Is the high mem consumption correct, meaning I should get at least 4 more GB of RAM?
Here’s the towel: