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In this Photoshop tutorial, We will see how to change hair colors. You can change any color you like from blonde to red or even dark hair. In this tutorial, I used a model with dark hair to show you that you can do anything.

Tutorial details and resources

Difficulty: Beginner
Apps Used: Adobe Photoshop
Estimated Completion Time: 5-15′ Minutes
Resources: Girl from Kris Krug

Step 1 > Open the Image

First, open the image you want to edit. For this tutorial, i used a girl with dark hair but you can change any color with the same technique. The settings, however, have to be different unless your model has the same hair color as my example.

change hair color step 1

Step 2 > Duplicate the Layer

Simply duplicate the layer so if anything goes wrong you don’t have to import the image again in Photoshop.

hair color step 2

Step 3 > Edit in Quick Mask Mode

To select the hair you can use the Quick Mask Mode (Q) and draw over the hair. In your tools palette press the Quick Mask Mode (Q). Next, pick the Brush Tool (B) with size 40px and 30% hardness.

change hair color step 4

Step 4 > Draw Over the Hair

As you draw over the hair you will notice the transparent red color. Use smaller brush size for hair details. If you paint the wrong spot simply turn the foreground color to white and draw again over it. When you are done press the Quick Mask Mode (Q) again to return to normal mode. You will notice the hair is now selected.

change hair color step 4

Step 5 > Inverse the Selection

Go to Select > Inverse or press (Shift + Ctrl + I) to inverse the selection. Now we are ready to change the color.

change hair color step 5

Step 6 > Change the Color

To change the color we need to use an adjustment layer. In your layers palette press the adjustment layer small button in the bottom and press Selective Color.

hair color step 6

Step 7 > Color Settings

You can play with the settings to achieve your desired result. I used the following settings to change the dark hair:

Reds: cyan: -66, magenta: 26, yellow: 3, black: 21.

change hair color step 7a


Neutrals: cyan: -24, magenta: -14, yellow: 0, black: -3.

change hair color step 7b


Blacks: cyan: -10, magenta: 3, yellow: -5, black: 3.

change hair color step 7c


With this technique, you can change colors on hair, eyes, nails, and anything else you like. This is also non-destructive because you are not painting directly over the pixels. You can revert the settings simply by disabling the adjustment layer.

change hair color step 8