Learn How to Make Hair Look Magazine-Worthy in Photoshop

Let’s face it, hair can be a bitch to work with in postproduction. My clients rarely have hair like you see in a Pantene ad, but of course, I always want it to look that way in the finished product. That’s why this oldie but goodie from Phlearn is worth a revisit.

I recently had a client in my studio who was a bit self-conscious about her hair. A beautiful young lady, she had hair a lot like mine: fine, limp, and hard to keep curled. She dreamed of having big, beautiful super-model waves in her photos, and my hair artist did a great job of giving her those. That is, until we reached the location of our shoot, a hothouse conservatory at the local botanical gardens. As soon as we walked in, everything fogged up and deflated.

We did a quick touchup then and there, but as the hour wore on, the humidity just overwhelmed her locks. I knew we would need some extra help in postproduction. 

Later, as we shot outdoors in the wind, her fine hair produced a good amount of movement, but not without its share of trouble. In the final images, she had flat hair, gaps in places, and little flyaways all over that I had to contend with.

Lucky for me (and for the rest of you), we have good ‘ol Aaron Nace and Phlearn. In this video, Nace shows us how to fill in gaps, add volume, and generally fix up the ‘do in Photoshop. Using layer masks, the liquify tool, clone stamping, and blend modes, Nace creates totally magazine-worthy hair.

Follow what you learn here, and you are sure to have clients happy with even the most unruly hair.

Jenny Edwards's picture

Jenny Edwards is a portrait photographer based in Amarillo, TX. She specializes in family and generational portraiture, as well as fashion-inspired portraits for high school seniors.

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