Here are my initial character sketches, starting by just experimenting with simple shapes and hair design. I didn't include any arms or legs at this point because they're really secondary to hair at this point, and I want to ensure I get the relationship between the body and head/hair right before I start adding limbs. I wanted the character to have a large head, much larger than the body, in order to emphasise the hair and allow for wide eyes and much more expressive facial acting. I also played witht he possibility of using a hair band to define the 'wrist' of the hair hand to make it easier to see where the 'hand' stops and 'arm' starts.
Once I'd got an idea for the general shape/proportions of the character, I started adding detail such as hair, clothes and feet, keeping to the simpleand limbless Rayman style for the time being. I went for a triangular shaped body since these tend to have a good center of blanance and work well with the large circular head, allowing for a thin, distinct neck line which easily spreads out into the wide hips usually associated with being female. The wide hips also make the perfect base for a dress to hang off, completing the girlish appeareance. I still left the hands out at this point since I wanted to make sure the hair worked as arm/hand substitutes and without actual hands being present to divert the viewer's eye. I'm glad I took this approach because I soon disocovered that the way I was drawing the hair was took thick and volumous, making it difficult to define the posing of the arms. You can tell the drawings below wouldn't look particularly great in silhouette.
Next I tried refining the hair; making it thinner and more shaped so it would be easier to read as 'arms'. I also started adding more detail to the dress, shoes, eyes, and design in general, going for a very swirly style inspired by the celtic fairy tale style of the Rayman 2 game. ...Then I soon realised that my character was regretably morphing into a bit of a Rayman clone, which is the very last thing I wanted to happen. I think there are still some good aspects to the design which I'm glad I explored, but overall she looks too generic and fantasy based, not at all like she belongs in a narrative about a normal girl who can't whether or not she should cut her hair. Also all the swirly details seem rather unnesessary and would be a pain to animate... I think I need to refocus myself and home in on my narrative and the kind of girl I want to represent that story.