How To Use Photoshop for Basic Hair Photo Touchups

Continuing with this Photoshop series, Stefan demonstrates hair touch ups. Hair edits are simple, but require a lot of patience unlike other touch ups.

Photoshop Hair Retouch Techniques

Hello again to all Photoshoppers reading this tutorial! For today’s tutorial, we’ll take a look at a few things you can do to hair in any photo or image. Hair edits are pretty simple, but require a lot of patience unlike other basic touch ups. So arm yourself with confidence and patience and let’s go!

You Will Need:

  • Photoshop CS3/CS4/CS5/CS6/CC
  • A photo of someone who isn’t bald… :D
  • Some free time
  • Patience

Select an Image

For this tutorial I will be using the following image. It’s a great example and the hair is relatively easy to select:

hair image example Photoshop tutorial

Step 1 – Make Your Selection in Photoshop

You can select the image using any selection method you like. I used a combination of the Freehand Lasso Tool and Quick Mask Mode. Here is the result I came up with:

selection photoshop tutorial hair

Step 2 – Changing the hair color

There’s a couple of ways to go about this.

The first method is to add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to the image. You can do this by pressing on the Hue/Saturation button from the Adjustments panel.

adjustment layer photoshop color change hair tutorial

A new Adjustment Layer + Layer Mask will be created. From here, you can play with the sliders until you get the desired result. Pro Tip – Turn on Colorization for an easier and more effective color adjustment.

blue hair color photoshop adjustment layer hue saturation add effect tutorial

Method 2 – Overlay Layer with a Layer Mask

You can save your changes for the first method and continue on to try the second one without deleting anything. First, create a new layer from the New Layer icon at the bottom of the layers panel. I’ll name mine “Gradient”, since that’s exactly what I will be using as an overlay.

new layer photoshop gradient tutorial create

Now, while holding the Alt key, I will click and drag the Layer Mask from the bottom Hue/Saturation layer over to the new one. This creates the same layer mask over to our new layer.

alt drag duplicate layer mask Photoshop tutorial edit

Now I will select the Gradient Tool and use its Gradient Creator. That way I can create my own gradient based on the effect I want to achieve.

gradient photoshop create blue color drag make tutorial create

From here, I will drag out a quick Gradient from top to bottom. Afterwards, I will select a different Blending Mode. I’ll try Divide for this situation.

blending mode photoshop create blend layers tutorial color

And here is my final result:

hair edit final image photoshop tutorial color change finish


As an added bonus, and to save you the hassle of scrolling up and down, here’s a quick before and after:

before after olor edit hair photoshop retouch tutorial final result



  1. Mad_Rabbit

    August 4, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Great article! IS there any chance you could do it again, this time showing us how to do stuff like this in theGIMP?

    • Stefan

      August 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Hey Mad_Rabbit,
      I don’t use GIMP, personally. I just don’t like the interface and think there are better alternatives to it:

      If anyone else on the team does GIMP I’ll make sure to ask him to throw in a few articles for you :)

      • Mad_Rabbit

        August 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

        Thanks, I appreciate it. As a budding hairstylist, what you just showed us would be absolutely crucial in showing a client how her hair colormight turn out. Sadly, I don’t have the money for Photoshop, so theGIMP is what I have.

  2. Atiqur Sumon

    January 19, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I linked another articles into the Website. It is too much slimier. Hope It would made a platform in our goals. Nice, and I really appreciate yours.

  3. Geert

    January 25, 2015 at 11:27 am


    I think you can do the same with GIMP by selecting the area and using color balance or hue-saturation.

  4. Stella Smith

    December 11, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Well the fact that there is no other background other than hair it is somewhat easy to do. But I would like to see something with a background with a natural photo.

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