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How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop

For this tutorial, I will be using a woman with dark hair stock photo. The effect will work better if the image you chose has a clear and/or even background.

 

Step 1: Select the hair


Open the image you’ve chosen to work with. Then use the magnetic lasso tool (W) and start by clicking just outside the hair to create a selection around it.

Magnetic lasso tool in Photoshop

 

Change the size of the brush and use the add and/or subtract from selection options if needed. The selection does not need to be perfect.

Subtract from selection in Photoshop

 

Step 3: Mask your selection


Click on the select and mask button on the top menu. For a more detailed explanation on how to create and refine the selection with the mask check our tutorial on how to smooth the mask edges.

Select and mask in Photoshop

 

Once you are finished creating the mask, select output to new layer with mask once you are done and click ok.

Output to new layer with mask in Photoshop

 

Step 4: Create a contrast layer


Select the bottom layer and then create a new layer on top by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the layers panel.

Create new layer in Photoshop

 

Fill it with black using the paint bucket tool (B) and make sure black is your foreground color before clicking on it.

Paint bucket tool in Photoshop

 

Step 5: Refine the hair edges


Make the background layer visible and lower the opacity of the black layer so you can see through a bit.

Lower opacity in Photoshop

 

Make sure the mask thumbnail is selected and then, with the brush tool (B) and using a smooth brush with a very low flow (30%), smooth the edges of the hair.

Brush tool in Photoshop

 

Use white to add to the selection and black to subtract from it.

Set foreground color in Photoshop

 

Step 6: Change the hair color


Turn off the black layer and create a new hue/saturation adjustment layer on top of everything.

Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in Photoshop

 

Clip it to the hair layer by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the adjustments panel, check the colorize box and move the hue, saturation, and lightness levers until you get the desired color.

Hue/Saturation settings in Photoshop

 

Step 7:  Adjust the color using blending modes


Double-click in the hue/saturation layer thumbnail to open the layer style window and, in the blending options tab head to the blend if gray section and move the black lever slightly to the right.

Blending options in Photoshop

 

Option/alt-click on top of the lever to divide it and play around with it to achieve a smoother transition.

Blend if in Photoshop

 

Check it out!

Blend results in Photoshop

 

You can adjust the values of the hue/saturation layer to change the color. Or maybe create some duplicates with different colors.

Change hair color in Photoshop

 

If you liked this tutorial make sure to check out our guide on retouching skin in Photoshop.

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