How to change hair color in Photoshop

Ever wonder how you can change your hair color without going to the salon, wait for your hairdresser to finish the job for a couple of hours, then photograph it, and show it to your friends? Or are you planning to change your hair color but you do not know if it will look good on you? Good news! Because it will only take you a couple of minutes to change your hair color in Photoshop and you will not lose a lot of time and money – except probably for the one-time procurement of the software and the small charge in electricity used – before you finally go to your hairdresser and have your hair fixed.

Changing the hair color in Photoshop is very easy. First, you need to select the photograph you want to modify and use it for the rest of this short activity. I’m using an image of my wife Lisa Rae (below) to show how her hair turns from black to another color.

Changing Hair Color in Photoshop

Changing Hair Color in Photoshop

1. Open the file in Photoshop then go to Quick Mask (Q).
2. Click on the Brush Tool (B) and choose a Soft Round Brush in the Brush Preset Picker. Be sure the Mode is Normal, Opacity is 100% and Fill is 100%.
3. Use the brush tool to choose the part of the hair you want to change. You will notice a red translucent color instead of the Foreground/Background color because you are in the Quick Mask Mode.
*Tip: Use the [ and ] keys to quickly increase and decrease the brush size and be sure not to include any unwanted area because it will also turn into another color later on.

Quick Mask

Quick Mask

4. After choosing the areas of the hair you want to change color, exit Quick Mask (Q) and you will notice that the areas outside the hair are selected.
5. Because we want the hair to be selected, go to Menu Bar > Select > Inverse (Ctrl+Shift+I) to select the areas we selected during Quick Mask mode.
*Optional: Set the foreground color other than black or white so you can see the changes instantly. For this example, I picked the color red just to see the effect of this bright color. You can always change the color of the hair after we do this final step.

6. To change the hair color, go to Menu Bar > Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. A “New Layer”window will pop-up. Just set the Mode to Soft Light and the Opacity to 40% to 60%. 7. After you hit “OK”, you will see the color palette and you can now choose which hair color is appropriate for your picture.

Soft Light

Soft Light

A big thanks to Photoshop, you can now change the hair color without going to the salon.

Change in Hair Color (Yellow)

Change in Hair Color (Yellow)

Change in Hair Color (Red)

Change in Hair Color (Red)

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