She doesn’t actually NEED to fluff her hair. I’m pretty sure “perfect hair at all times” is a Tu Naul racial trait.
And he might have taken her a little more seriously if she’d added “oh, and by the way, they’re actually sentient” to her argument, rather than just saying “don’t kill tree creatures, I’m friends with one.” But probably not much more seriously.
(Varony, for his part, doesn’t really distinguish “sentience” to quite the extent that humans tend to. When you live in the Old Wood, there are lots of things around that want to kill you, and very few of them care whether or not you can hold a conversation with them.)