Jul 02, 2014

How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop

Changing Hair Color in Photoshop

There are many reasons why you may want to change hair color in Photoshop. Perhaps your subject has recently dyed their hair and it doesn’t look natural. Perhaps you want to see what you would look like with dark hair.

Changing Hair color in Photoshop is much easier than doing it in real life and by the time this episode is over you will be on your way to color city! Join us as we show you how to change hair color in photoshop.

Some Guidelines on Hair Color

It is much easier to make hair dark than light. If you are starting out with a blonde and want to make her a brunette, not too hard. Turning black hair into blonde hair is nearly impossible. The reason is that you have more information to start with in lighter colors. With black you will see very little detail, making it difficult to make lighter colors realistic.

Also be sure to not over-saturate hair color, there is a big difference between yellow and blonde.

Altering Hair Color in Photoshop

One of the best tools to use here is the “Selective Color” Adjustment Layer. You will be able to pinpoint a hair color (usually in the “red” range) and use the sliders to change the color. This adjustment layer is great because it will allow you to change hair color without going too drastic.

To make black hair use the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer and bring the saturation close to zero. Then use a Curves Adjustment layer to make the hair darker. As is often the case when making something darker in Photoshop, you will need to take care of the highlights separately. In this example we paint with white over the hair and use “blend-if” to blend it into the lighter areas of hair creating more defined highlights.


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    Natasha Heredia

    You ARE crazy! But, want to know a secret? All the best people are! 🙂 loll

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    Hello, my name is Ovidiu. I have been watching and learning a long time with you. Great work guys. But I also wanted to recommend you to some other people who are just starting out, and I don’t know where to find the first episodes you made. The ones with Avery, the ones with the basics. Can anyone tell me where to find those PLEASE. I can download them if I have to. Thanks and keep up the good work. See ya.

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      Leszek Frankowski

      Oh, you’re right, they’re gone. Good thing I downloaded them all.
      But to be honest, I think Aaron’s techniques and even taste improved by a lot since those very first episodes and most of the topics are revisited later in a much better way.
      Plus, the episode where Avery convinced Aaron that he’s an aspie was so awkward that it still makes me cringe. 😛

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    Joa Köster

    Can it be that no videos are shown anymore (tested it with Safari, Opera, Firefox and a fresh installed Chrome)?

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    i don’t know but i realy wanted to get them back somehow, just to start over from the start. can anyone help me???

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    Steve Brokaw

    I really enjoyed this tutorial. I will definitely agree that light to dark / colored is MUCH easier than the other way around. You really need to watch how much you change the hair color or it looks unnatural in my opinion. The free tutorial shows a good range. Thanks!

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    SUPER HELPFUL! Not just this direct effect but the points brought up in this one tutorial help me in many tasks in photoshop! I love how you teach about the reasoning and meaning behind everything you do it helps the young artist like me have a sense of confidence in what could otherwise be a daunting program!

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    YAAAY i have made this suggestion a while ago, really happy with this video ;D!

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    Hi! Thanks for the great tutorial. I’d like to request a sequel episode with extra attention to the flyaway hairs. Besides the color that I could’t get right, the flyaway hairs on the skin really drove me crazy. I ended up coloring in with yellow, and in my frustration, I left it like this. Extra help would be really appreciated. Thanks!

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    Charles Cabrera

    This is great, I’ve already had a chance to use it. Along the lines of retouching concerning hair. How about an episode where there is a large gap in the hair. This probably happens more for us that do not always have someone to catch these things during a shoot. But sometimes you just like a photo but there is this large gap in someones hair.

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    Hello Aaron! I have this picture of Lucky Blue Smith and I want to change his hair to black with some white streak. How do I do it? I tried Selective color and hue/saturation but I can’t figure out a way.
    I tried using curves, making the picture really black and then erasing but there’s a problem tracking his hair.

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    Troy Musson

    copying layer mask to another mask doesnt work with alt click in photoshop cc version windows ,couldnt figure out how to do that!

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    Hello, my name is Mohammad. I have been watching and learning a long time with you. Great work guys.