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Learn How to Make Hair Color Stand Out in Photoshop

We spend so much time talking about how to retouch faces in portraits, but we rarely pay as much attention to the hair. However, hair can take up just as much (if not more) space in a portrait as the face, and it's what frames the features. Phlearn is here with a great tutorial on how to really make hair pop and take your images up a notch.

Like most retouching, the key lies in a subtle touch to enhance what's already there without drastically changing it to the point of artificiality. The first trick is a Color Balance adjustment layer to add a bit more color to what's there (notice that Nace recommends starting with the midtones; he doesn't even touch the shadows or highlights in this case). Next is adding a Solid Color adjustment layer with the Vivid Light blending mode and using Blend If to add it exclusively to highlights. The real icing on the cake is the dodging and burning, which shapes the hair and makes the color pop off the screen. It's a great technique that can really give your portraits an extra something that sets them apart. Be sure to check out Phlearn's YouTube channel for more! 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Also it helps to pick contrasting colors during the shoot. The main pic is a girl with read hair, so the green grass is an ideal choice to make that red hair pop.