How to Change Hair Color in Photoshop
There are many reasons why you may want to change your 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.
Some Guidelines on Changing Hair Color in Photoshop
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 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.
Change Hair Color In Photoshop Including Black Hair To Blonde
Keep in mind that when doing hair color changes in Photoshop it is a lot easier to go from light hair colors to dark. One of the reasons is that lighter hair tends to have more detail and therefore you can make better adjustments.
Going from dark hair to light hair is much more difficult. For example, turning black hair into blonde hair is extremely difficult or impossible in a lot of cases because the details in the hair are lost in the shadows and darkness, and the color changes often look unrealistic.
Realistic hair color conversion
This tutorial will show you what would do in black hair to blonde color change. It won’t be a 100% realistic hair color conversion, but depending on your photo and your goals this might be good enough.
Keep in mind is that everyone’s hair is different. The numerical values for opacity or any other adjustments that I use on this photo may not work for your photo. You will have to experiment and see what works for your images.
For some hair color changes, there might be more than one way to get to the same result which is why in this tutorial I’ll cover 3 ways of changing hair color in Photoshop.