How To Retouch Hair In Photoshop


When you perform photo editing in Photoshop, you’re required to focus on every minute detail to make your image ‘picture-perfect’. Making sure that your model has no flaws, photographers retouch hair, makeup, and even face adjustments.

In this article, we’ll be precisely talking about how to retouch hair in photoshop like a pro.

10 Useful Tips For Hair Retouch In Photoshop

1. Remove unwanted hairs from the face

To make your model’s face look cleaner and more put-together, it’s necessary to retouch hair to remove all the unwanted hairs.

Retouch hair from all the small areas like the edges of the forehead, hairs falling near ears, neck. This may seem like a tedious task but it’s worth it.

Use Healing Brush and Spot Healing tool to remove stary hairs in Photoshop. This tool is useful to retouch any area of the body or an image and works quite flawlessly.

However, make sure that you don’t over retouch hair or it might look fake. It would be better if you’re using a high-resolution image.

2. Remove hairs from the background

It’s impossible to keep the hairs in one place no matter how much you control the air. This becomes highly difficult especially when you’re shooting outdoors.

Hairs floating in the background can really degrade the look of your image. It’s highly important that you make sure that there are no stray hairs in the background.

Such small hair retouch techniques can highly improvise your image.  You may use the Stamp tool to avoid any mistakes and artificial looks in the images. It can easily help you retouch hair without messing with the background.

3. Fill in the spots using Clone Stamp Tool

Hairs make the model more pretty –  unless your look demands bald goodness. Make sure that the hairs in the image look bloomed, full, and fluffy.

Hide all the incomplete and idle spaces between the hairs. For this hair retouch technique, use the Clone Stamp tool. This tool copies one area and pastes it to another area.

Copy the fuller areas of the hairs and paste it on the less fuller and empty areas in-between the hairs,

4. Use Dodge and Burn tool

To retouch hairs, Dodge and Burn tool can be useful for increasing the volume of the hairs. You may try using some beauty products to create that fluff but there’s something magical about doing it through Photoshop.

This technique instantly increases the volume of the hairs, giving it a more polished look. If you’re new to this, I’d advise you to try doing it on the RW files as it offers a better resolution. Work on the edges and edit the cloned area to maintain originality.

5. Avoid using frequency separation

The Frequency Separation technique is specifically used for correcting the skin tone and should not be used to retouch hairs. This technique smoothes the skin, thus, if you’re using it on the hairs, it can pretty much ruin the texture of the hairs.

A professional photo editor or photographer never commits such mistakes. So be sure not to do it in any case.

If you’re not sure how to implement techniques and what to avoid, I highly recommend you hire an image retouching service to make the work easier and more professional for you.

6. Add additional hairs

There are several ways with which you can add more hair to an image. Try experimenting with different brush sizes to create more natural strands of hair.

You may also use a similar contrast of colors to draw hairs. Stroke the brush in the natural growth direction of the hairs. This technique to retouch hairs is very creative as well as effective.

To match the shade with the original hair color, use the eyedropper tool to pick the sample and use it for the additionally created hairs.

7. Use Quick Mask mode to change the hair color

To get an applauding effect, you may want to change the hair color. It could be in order to match the theme or the dress. Whatever be the reason, photoshop makes this hair retouch option super-easy.

First up, create a red mask over the hair. Choose Select & Inverse to separate hairs. With any tone picked from a color palette, you can transform the mask layer.

You may use the brush tool, but if not comfortable, you may use the pen or lasso tool.

8. Increase the length

For the times when you want the hair length to be longer, use the round brush tool to increase the length to retouch hair in Photoshop.

After choosing a color, you can start drawing the strands. Create a natural look by adding different colors, shades, or highlights.

If it doesn’t give you the desired look, try applying the Gaussian Blur. This will help you make the back strands blurrier to mingle with the rest of the hairs.

Highlight the areas by lightning the top and front parts and darkening the back part. This not only creates an illusion but also makes the overall look more realistic.

9. Liquify to shape the hair

Photoshop offers a wide variety of exciting features that every professional loves exploring. To take the hair retouching to another level, use the Liquify option for better control of what you do.

Mostly, you’ll need this filter to add a curvy or wavy effect to your hair retouching. To make it better, you may use the Forward Warp instrument on the hairline. But, remember to make very short strokes for the best results.

10. Keep experimenting for most natural variations

While you retouch hairs, the control is in your hands. To bring the most out of your image, be creative, keep experimenting with new colors for more original variations.

Using variations in colors and different shades of similar colors helps you get a unique, more natural, and enhanced look.

Create different hairstyles using different hairbrushes. With the help of Flip-X, you can move the brush in any direction to create a natural texture.


For professional editors and photographers, photo editing and image retouching is a crucial part to enhance the image appearance. For models and make-up photography, the most important element to deal with is the hair.

It might become quite daunting to retouch hairs if you’re a beginner. Using a few smart tips mentioned above can help you master these techniques.

For all cases where you can’t retouch hairs on your own, taking help from image editing services like Pixelphant can be a huge relief and advantage to your business.



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