Download to see the super huge fullsize file!
The most handy hair structure tutorials are this video by Proko and this blog post.These are useful for thinking about the direction hair locks flow with different styles: 1 2 3 4 5 | Painting Realistic Hair | Shading with gradients: 1 2
Tutorials by me including: Gimp Brush Dynamics, Coloring Eyes and Coloring Method.
Final Thoughts/Dissing of smudge tool
As I was looking for other hair tutorials to plug, it made me sad. Sooo many of them recommend techniques that leave you with blurry hair, whether from the smudge tool, the airbrush tool, fuzzy brushes, or brushes with low opacity. I think rendering with only the smudge tool on hair is the Comic Sans of digital painting and it's a sure way to make any painting look amateurish.
When I first started digital painting I wasted months and months on the smudge tool. It only made ugly art worse and stole time away that could have gone towards getting better at Ye Trusty Paintbrush Tool. It might be a tool lots of people use, but smudge gets no mercy from me.
I actually disagree with your opinion on Burn/Dodge. Its a little complicated to work with, but extremely useful. To just use it for fiery effects is an absolute waste as it can be used to enhance your artwork in many ways, especially on a lightings perspective. I use it all the time recently (courtesy of Ross Draws lmao). For me dodge/burn especially dodge gives a really nice lighting effect, and mixed with other layer modes and playing around with different colours and opacity on different elements within the environment really sets your drawing apart.
You should actually try using it, it'll add a really great addition to your artwork. Also, I think picking and choosing several colours (at least 3-4 different colours by changing the hue on the colour wheel simultaneously dragging the colour picker to lighter or darker tones) for the gradient will actually make the artwork look. It'll add a fresh saturated pop and will make drawings look livelier.