If you are trying to edit hair on an image with precision, you can encounter hardly any software other than Adobe Photoshop to do so. Editing hair requires a little bit of in-depth understanding of how masking, layers, and the tools of photoshop work. Since hairs, especially single or flyaway hairs are extremely difficult to select, you need to master the advanced selection method to edit hairs flawlessly. In this article, we will explain to you how to edit flyaway hair.


Types of Editing Tools to Edit Flyaway Hair

Professionals use different types of editing tools to edit different types of hair. Whether you want to change the colors of hair or remove flyaway hair, following are the types of editing tools you will find handy-

1. Selection Tool: You can choose any selection tool you are most comfortable working with. You can use the pen tool for the most accuracy if you have more time. We suggest you use the ‘Quick Selection tool’ while selecting hair and then use the refine edge tool to select the edges of the hair more accurately. 

2. Quick Mask Tool: This tool is not mandatory but using it can save a lot of time. You can find its icon at the bottom of the tools panel.

3. Clone Stamp Tool: If you want to remove flyaway hair this tool can help you a great deal. It takes samples from the background and puts them over unwanted hair.

4. Spot Healing Brush Tool: You can also remove strands of hair from some images using this tool. Check the box of ‘Sample all Layer’ when you are using this tool.

5. Patch Tool: Patch Tool can also help you to remove hairs from some portions.

6. Color Replacement Brush Tool: If you want to change hair colors, this tool can single-handedly do the job for you in some cases.

7. Dodge and Burn Tool: If you want to make dark hair darker and light hair lighter, this is the best tool for you to do the job.

How To Edit Flyaway Hair

Most of the flyaway hair edits are done in two cases- to remove them or to change their color. We will be teaching you both cases in a step by step process.

To Remove Flyaway Hair

Step 1: Open Adobe Photoshop and load the image there. To edit hair, you must work with a high-definition image.

Step 2: Duplicate the background layer first. Take ‘Clone Stamp Tool’ from the tools panel or simply press ‘S’. Use the soft brush and put mode to ‘Normal’, opacity to 100%, flow to 100%, and Sample to ‘Current & Below’.

Creating Duplicate Layer

Step 3: Now take samples from nearby areas of the flyaway hairs by pressing the ‘Alt’ key (Option key in Mac) and slowly paint over the hairs you want to remove. You can apply a mask on the layer from the layer panel so that even if you paint over any unwanted portion by mistake, it can be brought back by painting black on the mask.

Cloning The Area Besides Hair
Cloning The Area Besides Hair

Step 4: Once done, save your work. Export the image from the ‘File’ dropdown menu. Choose whatever format you prefer.

Alternative Method:

If you find the process described above a bit complicated, you can use another method to remove flyaway hairs. Click the icon of ‘Quick Mask’ from the bottom of the tools panel or press ‘Q’. Now paint over the face and area that you want to keep with Brush Tool. You can increase the brush size with shortcut ‘]’ or decrease it with ‘[’.

After you have finished, press ‘Q’ again to leave ‘Quick Mask’ mode. Now invert your selection by pressing ‘Ctrl+Shift+i’ on Windows or ‘Command+Shift+i’ on a Mac. Paint over the flyaway hairs using the ‘Clone Stamp Tool’ or the healing brush tool by taking samples from the background. For some images, the ‘Spot Healing Brush Tool’ can work just fine as well. Make sure the box of ‘Sample all Layer’ is checked in case you are using this tool.

To Change Hair Color

Step 1: To change hair color, first make a rough selection over the hair portion of the image using the ‘Quick Selection Tool’.

Selecting Quick Selection Tool
Selecting Quick Selection Tool

Step 2: Now remove the extra portion of the area which was selected by pressing the ‘Alt’ key on PC and the ‘Option’ key on Mac. Also, use the ‘Refine Edge Brush’ to properly select the edge of hairs.

Step 3: After selection, add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to change the Hue to your preferred color. You can also add a ‘Levels’ of ‘Curves’ adjustment layer to fix the contrast and brightness of the hair. If you get your desired results, save and export your image. But in case you don’t get what you were looking for, Photoshop has an even better option for you.

Step 4: Delete the ‘Hue/Saturation’ adjustment layer if that did not work and add a ‘Selective Color’ adjustment layer instead. It gives way more natural results. You can make any colors by moving the sliders of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Our recommendation is to explore the options you see on the Selective Color adjustment layer and see what works best for your image.

Adding Color To Hair
Adding Color To Hair

Step 5: Once done, save and export the image.

If you could follow along the steps mentioned above, you already have mastered how to edit flyaway hair as well as how to change hair colors.

Frequently Asked Question

How do I fix messy hair in Photoshop?

Select ‘Clone Stamp Tool’ and create a new layer. Put the sample to ‘Current & Below’. Now take samples from the hair background and paint over unwanted hairs. If you want to add hairs, download a hairbrush first and import that into Photoshop. You can find a lot of free hair brushes on different websites as well as make them if you want.

Can you edit hair in Photoshop?

You can remove hair from any portion of the image, add hairs, and change the color of hairs in photoshop. To remove hairs, you need to clone the background over the hair,  to add hair, you can make a hair brush and paint hair wherever necessary. Finally to change their color, select them properly with a refined edge brush tool and add a ‘Hue/Saturation’ adjustment layer or even better ‘Selective Color’ adjustment layer.

How to change hair color to black or white in Photoshop?

Select the hair portion of the image in the way mentioned in the article above. Create a Level Adjustment layer (Shortcut Ctrl+L in windows or cmd+L on a Mac) or a Curve Adjustment Layer (Shortcut Ctrl+M in windows or cmd+M on a Mac). Now you can turn your hair color into white or black by moving the sliders.


The outcome of editing hairs greatly depends on selecting hairs precisely. This is the hardest and most time-consuming part of the editing process. Also, the contrast between the hair and its background plays a vital role in which approach we must take to select them accurately. Once you master them with practice making any changes to them would become a piece of cake for you. We hope this article about how to edit flyaway hair was beneficial to you.

Read Also: How to Remove a Beard in Photoshop