Been awhile since I've done hair and not sure what the best method is but apart from having programs like shave and a haircut you can get some decent results with paint effects hair on curves. You could convert the hair to polygons. I've never tried to animate hair before so I'm no help in that area but my preference when it comes to creating hair with only Maya is using paint. It's not too difficult either once you do it a few times.
Just keep in mind though that I'm not sure how it would be animated appropriately. Perhaps someone else will know the answer to that.
Don't be satisfied with what you can do but rather strive to do the things you can't do!