How to select hair in photoshop?

How to select hair in photoshop?

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When it comes to editing photos in Photoshop, one common task is selecting hair. Whether you want to change the hair color, remove unwanted strands, or apply special effects, accurately selecting hair can be a challenging task. In this article, we will explore various techniques and tools you can use to select hair in Photoshop.

Using the Quick Selection Tool

The Quick Selection Tool is a handy tool for making initial selections of hair. To use it, select the tool from the toolbar or press the W key. Adjust the brush size to match the hair strands’ thickness and click and drag over the hair you want to select. The tool will automatically detect and select similar tones and textures.

To refine the selection, you can use the Select and Mask feature. Right-click on the selected area and choose “Select and Mask.” In the Select and Mask dialog box, use the Refine Edge Brush Tool to carefully paint over the edges of the hair, ensuring a precise selection.

Using the Pen Tool

For more complex hair selections, the Pen Tool can be a powerful option. Select the Pen Tool from the toolbar or press the P key. Zoom in on the image and click to create anchor points along the hair strands’ outline. Adjust the curve handles to follow the hair’s shape accurately.

Once you have created a path around the hair, right-click on the path and choose “Make Selection.” Adjust the feather radius to soften the edges if necessary. Click OK to apply the selection.

Using Channels

Another effective method for selecting hair is by using channels. Open the Channels panel and duplicate the channel with the most contrast between the hair and the background. Typically, the Blue channel or the Green channel provides the best results.

With the duplicated channel selected, use Levels or Curves adjustments to increase the contrast further. The goal is to create a channel where the hair appears white and the background black. Once you have a good contrast, use the Magic Wand or the Quick Selection Tool to select the white areas representing the hair.

Using Select Subject

Photoshop’s AI-powered Select Subject feature can be a quick and convenient way to select hair. Select the layer containing the image with hair and go to Select > Subject. Photoshop will analyze the image and attempt to select the main subject, including the hair.

While this feature can be a time-saver, it may not always produce perfect results. It is recommended to refine the selection using other tools and techniques mentioned earlier.


Selecting hair in Photoshop can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and techniques, it becomes much easier. The Quick Selection Tool, Pen Tool, channels, and the Select Subject feature are all valuable tools to help you achieve accurate hair selections. Remember to refine your selections using tools like Select and Mask for the best results.


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