Sign Up Now
Twitter Facebook Flickr Buzz
Social Networks


Forgot Password? Go Join Now
Sign Up for Starter's Pack (Free)
Call (800) 223-8720
Need Web Solutions? Get Free Sample Issue

Inside Photoshop: Search Articles

  Search Library:  
2019 |  2018 |  2017 |  2016 |  2015 |  2014 |  2013 |  2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2008 |  2007 |  2006 |  2005 | 

Color your model's hair many different shades without the chemicals

Added on Friday 22nd of February 2008 07:12 am EST
Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3
Operating Systems:
Microsoft Windows, Macintosh

You can’t expect your model to go to the hairdresser and alter her hair color every time you have a photo shoot. But you can change her hair right in Photoshop so you can experiment to see which color suits your needs best.

To give our model a digital dye, we’ll:

  • Make a quick mask selection to select our model’s hair.
  • Apply a color fill layer with that active selection and apply the right blending mode for a realistic color switch.
  • Edit the colors to experiment with different hues and shades.

Sometimes when creating an advertisement or marketing piece, you’ll need to convey a certain image. But does your model really want to dye her hair purple just for your photo shoot? Whether you’d like to complement your model’s skin tone, go with a funky ‘do, or simply darken those locks, there’s a simple approach to colorizing hair in Photoshop—and it doesn’t require a trip to the hairdresser.
Note: To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article. Then, extract the file hair.psd, launch Photoshop, and open the file shown in Figure A. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.)


Make a selection
We’ll start by selecting the hair. You can do this any way that works best for you, but we’ll make a Quick Mask selection.

To make a Quick Mask selection:
  1. Double-click on the Edit In Quick Mask Mode button located at the base of the Tools palette to display the Quick Mask Options dialog box.
  2. Select the Selected Areas option button and set the opacity to your liking. We set ours to 50 %, as shown in Figure B.


  1. Click OK.
  2. Select the Brush tool from the Tools palette, choose a soft round brush, and set the diameter to whatever size you’re comfortable painting over the hair with.
  3. Paint over the hair, as shown in Figure C.

  1. Press Q to exit Quick Mask Mode and preview your selection, as shown in Figure D.


Tip: Save this selection as a channel in case you accidentally ...