Learn How to Edit Hair in Photoshop

Estimated read time 9 min read

How to edit hair in photoshop

Editing hair in Photoshop can be a challenging task for both beginners and experienced users. Whether you’re looking to fix flyaways, change the color, or add volume to a hairstyle, mastering the art of editing hair can take your photo editing skills to the next level. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of editing hair in Photoshop, from selecting the right tools to achieving natural-looking results.

Step 1: Selecting the Right Tools

To begin editing hair in Photoshop, it’s crucial to select the right tools for the job. The most commonly used tools for editing hair are the Clone Stamp Tool, Healing Brush Tool, and the Pen Tool. Each tool has its own advantages and can be used for different purposes. The Clone Stamp Tool is great for removing stray hairs or filling in gaps, while the Healing Brush Tool can be used to fix imperfections and smooth out textures. The Pen Tool is perfect for creating precise selections around the hair.

Note: It’s important to work on a duplicate layer when editing hair in Photoshop. This way, you can always revert back to the original image if needed.

Step 2: Creating a Selection

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate tools, the next step is to create a selection around the hair. The Pen Tool is recommended for creating precise selections, but you can also use the Lasso Tool or Quick Selection Tool depending on your preference and proficiency. Take your time and carefully trace around the edges of the hair, ensuring that you include all the strands and wisps.

Pro Tip: Refine your selection by using the Refine Edge Tool, which can help you achieve more accurate results, especially with complex and detailed hairstyles.

Step 3: Editing the Hair

Now that you have a selection, you can begin editing the hair. Start by addressing any flyaways or stray hairs using the Clone Stamp Tool or Healing Brush Tool. Adjust the size and hardness of the brush for more precise edits. If you want to change the color of the hair, create a new layer and use the Brush Tool with a soft brush to paint over the desired areas. To add volume or texture, consider using the Dodge and Burn Tools to lighten or darken specific areas of the hair.

Remember: Less is more when it comes to editing hair. Aim for natural-looking results by paying attention to details and avoiding excessive retouching.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can enhance and transform the hair in your photos using Photoshop. Experiment with different techniques and tools to achieve the desired effects. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to master the art of editing hair and take your photo editing skills to new heights!

Preparing the Image: Removing Background and Isolating the Hair

Preparing the Image: Removing Background and Isolating the Hair

Before you can start editing the hair in Photoshop, it’s important to prepare the image by removing the background and isolating the hair. This will allow you to have a clean and clear background for your hair editing process.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to remove the background and isolate the hair:

  1. Open your image in Photoshop.
  2. Select the Background Eraser Tool from the toolbar on the left side of the screen.
  3. Adjust the size of your brush according to the size of the hair strands you want to isolate.
  4. Zoom in on the area around the hair to get a closer look.
  5. Start erasing the background around the hair by brushing over it with the Background Eraser Tool. Be careful not to touch the actual hair strands.
  6. Continue erasing the background until you have removed it completely from around the hair.
  7. If there are any areas where the background eraser tool has removed hair strands, you can use the Clone Stamp Tool to duplicate nearby hair strands and fill in those gaps.
  8. Once you have removed the background from around the hair, create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel.
  9. Move the new layer below the hair layer by dragging it down in the Layers panel.
  10. Select the original hair layer and press Ctrl/Cmd + J to duplicate it.
  11. Hide the original hair layer by clicking on the eye icon next to it in the Layers panel.
  12. Click on the new duplicated hair layer to make it active.
  13. Go to the Adjustments panel and click on the Add Layer Mask button to add a layer mask to the duplicated hair layer.
  14. Use a soft brush with black color to paint over the areas where you want the hair to blend with the background. This will create a seamless and natural look.
  15. Zoom out to see the final result and make any necessary adjustments.

Once you have completed these steps, you will have a clean image with the hair isolated and ready for further editing in Photoshop. Now you can move on to editing the hair to your desired style and look.

Refining the Selection: Using Advanced Tools and Techniques

Refining the Selection: Using Advanced Tools and Techniques

Creating a precise selection around the hair can be a challenging task, as hair strands often blend together and have fine details that are difficult to capture. However, with the help of advanced tools and techniques in Photoshop, you can refine your selection and achieve a more natural-looking result.

1. Quick Selection Tool

1. Quick Selection Tool

One of the tools that can help you refine your hair selection is the Quick Selection Tool. This tool allows you to paint over the areas you want to select, automatically detecting and selecting similar tones and textures. To use the Quick Selection Tool, simply click and drag over the desired areas of the hair. To refine the selection, you can use the [ and ] keys to decrease or increase the brush size, or use the Refine Edge option to fine-tune the selection further.

2. Refine Edge

2. Refine Edge

The Refine Edge option is an essential tool for refining hair selection in Photoshop. To access this feature, make sure your selection is active and go to Select > Refine Edge. In the Refine Edge dialog box, you can use options like Smart Radius, Decontaminate Colors, and Smooth to improve the edges of your selection. Experiment with the settings until you achieve a more accurate and refined selection around the hair.

Pro tip: If you’re working on a complicated hair selection with intricate details, try using the “Onionskin View” option in the Refine Edge dialog box. This allows you to see a transparent preview of your selection against different backgrounds, helping you spot any areas that need further refinement.

Remember to check the “Show Radius” option in the Refine Edge dialog box to visualize the selected areas more clearly.

By using a combination of these advanced tools and techniques, you can take your hair editing skills in Photoshop to the next level. Don’t be afraid to experiment and practice to achieve the desired results.

Enhancing Hair Color and Texture: Adjusting Levels and Applying Filters

Enhancing Hair Color and Texture: Adjusting Levels and Applying Filters

One of the key elements in editing hair in Photoshop is enhancing the color and texture to make it look more vibrant and beautiful. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore how to adjust levels and apply filters to achieve the desired results.

To begin, open your image in Photoshop and make sure you have selected the layer containing the hair. This will allow you to make targeted adjustments without affecting the rest of the image.

First, let’s focus on enhancing the hair color. Go to the “Image” menu, select “Adjustments,” and then click on “Levels.” Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+L” (or “Command+L” on a Mac).

The Levels dialog box will open, displaying a histogram representing the tonal range of the image. By adjusting the black, gray, and white sliders, you can control the shadow, midtone, and highlight levels, respectively.

To enhance the hair color, start by moving the black slider to the right slightly. This will deepen the shadows and add richness to the hair. Next, adjust the gray slider to fine-tune the midtones. Finally, move the white slider to the left to brighten the highlights and make the hair appear more vibrant.

After adjusting the levels, you can further enhance the hair by applying filters. One popular filter for adding texture to hair is the “Gaussian Blur” filter. Go to the “Filter” menu, select “Blur,” and then choose “Gaussian Blur.”

In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, adjust the radius to control the amount of blur applied to the hair. Be careful not to overdo it, as this can result in an unnatural or soft effect. Use a low radius value for a subtle enhancement and a higher radius value for a more pronounced effect.

In addition to Gaussian Blur, you can experiment with other filters such as “Sharpen” or “Smart Sharpen” to bring out the details and add crispness to the hair.

Remember to use layer masks and blending modes to blend the edited hair with the rest of the image seamlessly. This will ensure a natural and realistic final result.

By following these steps and experimenting with different adjustments and filters, you can enhance the color and texture of hair in Photoshop and create stunning, professional-looking images.


What is the purpose of editing hair in Photoshop?

The purpose of editing hair in Photoshop is to enhance the appearance of a person’s hair in a photograph. This can include removing flyaways, adjusting color and tone, adding volume, or even changing the hairstyle completely.

What tools can be used to edit hair in Photoshop?

There are several tools that can be used to edit hair in Photoshop. Some of the popular ones include the Clone Stamp tool, Healing Brush tool, Spot Healing Brush tool, and the Brush tool with different opacity levels and blending modes.

How can I remove flyaways in Photoshop?

To remove flyaways in Photoshop, you can use the Clone Stamp tool or the Healing Brush tool. Select a small brush size, and sample an area of hair that is similar in color and texture to the flyaway. Then, carefully brush over the flyaway to remove it.

Can I change the color of someone’s hair in Photoshop?

Yes, you can change the color of someone’s hair in Photoshop. One way to do this is by using the Brush tool with a color blend mode. Simply select a new color and brush it over the hair. You can also use adjustment layers, such as Hue/Saturation or Color Balance, to change the hair color.


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