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Published on 03 Jul 2014 | over 2 years ago

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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!

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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