Retouching Hair: Changing Hair Color

by Scott Kelby

... continued from the previous page.

Step Five: When you click OK in the Refine Edge dialog, the dialog goes away and your selection is back in place, and of course, even though you can’t see it, your selection is dramatically better.

use the mask, then hue / saturation

So, click on the Create New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Hue/Saturation from the pop-up menu. Now, changing hair color is as easy as dragging the Hue slider in the Adjustments panel. Here, I dragged it to the left a little bit and the hair turned pink. Once you make an adjustment like this, you’ll be able to see much more clearly if you missed any areas with your selection, and luckily, your Hue/Saturation adjustment layer comes with a layer mask, so you’re ready to edit.

Colorize in the Hue/Saturation palette If you see you missed an area, get the Brush tool (B), make sure your Foreground color is set to white, choose a small brush, and paint right on the photo on the area you missed to add it. If you selected too much, paint on that area in black to get rid of it.

Step Six: Now, if the color is too intense, drag the Saturation slider to the left (I usually have to do this to some extent when changing hair color, or the new color becomes too overpowering, so you can almost count on having to lower the Saturation amount. While you’re there, go ahead and lower it quite a bit and her hair turns almost silver, which in this case looks kinda cool). Okay, the variation I talked about earlier is to turn on the Colorize checkbox at the bottom of the Hue/Saturation options in the Adjustments panel (shown circled in red here) and you get a different result from your Hue, because now rather than just shifting the Hues that are there, it’s pouring a tint on top of your color.

set hue saturation to multiply

Step Seven: To change her hair to brunette, we’re going to change the pop-up menu at the top of the Adjustments panel back to Default, then go to the Layers panel and change the blend mode of this Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to Multiply. We’re just going to use this layer for the blend mode change, so, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to duplicate the layer. We’ll now change the color using this duplicate layer, so in the Hue/Saturation options in the Adjustments panel, turn on the Colorize checkbox, and drag the Hue slider almost all the way to the left, until it reads 4, then lower the Saturation until the color look about right to you (here, I lowered it to 14). Now, click back on your first adjustment layer, and lower its Opacity until the color looks more realistic (usually around 18%, as shown here).

Note: The Multiply layer works for changing light hair to a darker color. If you need to change dark hair to a lighter color, you’d change the blend mode to Screen instead.

making final revisions and adjustments Step Eight: This last step is optional, but if it looks like you still are missing any part of her hair, now is when you’ll fix it (there were a few hairs by each ear and along the temple on the left that I missed in my selection, and that still looked blonde). So, get the Brush tool, and lower the Opacity in the Options Bar to around 30%, then paint over the hairs you missed. By painting with a low opacity like this, you can build up the color—perfect for these small, wispy hairs.

Then you’ll need to copy this layer mask over the one on the bottom Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, so they match. To do this, simply press-and-hold the Option (PC: Alt) key and click-and-drag the mask on the top adjustment layer over the one on the bottom adjustment layer. A dialog will appear asking if you want to replace the mask, so click Yes and you’re done.
Click to see the final image.

GO NEXT : Darkening a Part Line as we continue our series on retouching hair!

Excerpted from : Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques by Scott Kelby

Excerpted from Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop by Scott Kelby. Copyright ©2011. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and New Riders.

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Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques / Amazon

Scott KelbyScott Kelby is Editor, Publisher, and co-founder of Photoshop User magazine, host of the top-rated weekly videocast Photoshop User TV, and co-host of D-Town TV (the weekly videocast for DSLR shooters). He is President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), the trade association for Adobe Photoshop users, and he¹s President of the training, education, and publishing firm, Kelby Media Group, Inc.

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